Preparing for October 1; Weekend HK protests; CCTV mocks Trump over phone call claim
|Bill Bishop||Aug 28, 2019||10||1|
I still can’t find anyone who can confirm the weekend phone calls with China claimed by President Trump. The Chinese are starting to have fun with the claim, with a CCTV host mocking Trump in this video, saying that really the US was “calling the stock market” to reverse Friday’s drop.
Are you ready for the October 1st 70 anniversary of the founding of the PRC Party in Beijing? Beijing is already going on lockdown, whatever fun remained will likely be gone for at least the next several weeks, PRC officials will be even more sensitive and paranoid, VPNs that still work may slow to a crawl and there will be significant economic disruptions as factories shut around Beijing in an attempt to ensure blue skies for the big day.
The South China Morning Post reports today that the parade will include even more impressive military hardware than the Victory over Japan Day 70th anniversary parade in 2015. I am glad I will be watching from afar.
Thanks for reading.
The Essential Eight
1. Preparing for October 1 Party
“The parade is to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China on October 1,” one military insider said.
“So it should let the whole world see China’s achievement of military modernisation under the leadership of President Xi Jinping since he came to power [in 2012].”
The military insider, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that weapon systems such as DF-41 intercontinental ballistic missiles and J-2 submarine-launched ballistic missiles have already been moved to Beijing. A squadron of J-20 jets, the country’s first stealth fighter, is also preparing for the event...
Another military source said that other nuclear weapons like the DF-26 anti-ship missile, and hypersonic missiles such as the DF-17 and DF-20 which are capable of breaching missile shields, would also be put on display.
Looks like at least some of the hardware has been in Beijing since July. This is a satellite photo of a base northwest of Xiangshan:
A selection of candidates for the national medal and honorary title will be held for the first time in commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China (PRC)...
Together with Tu, seven other role models, including Zhang Fuqing, a 94-year-old war hero who served as a soldier in the Chinese People's Liberation Army during the Liberation War and was twice awarded the title of "Combat Hero," and Yuan Longping, Chinese agricultural expert who is also called the "father of hybrid rice," are nominated for the Medal of the Republic as well.
Another 28 figures have been nominated for the national honorary title. The candidates for this category of honor feature outstanding figures from multiple ethnic groups such as Mongolian, Tibetan, Uyghur and Hui.
The full list of the candidates.
2. Hong Kong
ong Kong police will ban a rally and march on Saturday by the organiser of three record-breaking mass protests over the past two months, citing heightened safety concerns after last weekend’s escalation of violence, the Post has learned.
The Civil Human Rights Front would be informed of its application’s rejection on Thursday, a police source revealed.
The move was likely to spark more chaos and turmoil over the weekend, given the symbolic import of the event, scheduled to mark the fifth anniversary of the announcement of a restrictive electoral reform package by Beijing that was eventually rejected by Hong Kong.
At a meeting in Beijing of the Hong Kong-based Belt and Road General Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday, Wang said a unified city could help it survive the crisis.
“Hong Kong is faced with the most severe situation since the handover,” state-run Xinhua quoted him as saying.
“[I] hope everyone can hold up the patriotic flag, unify all walks of life in Hong Kong society, and staunchly support the Hong Kong government in stopping violence, restoring order and implementing laws and regulations.
Leung Chun-ying, who governed the former British colony between 2012 and 2017 and was in power during earlier pro-democracy protests in 2014, posted a link on his personal Facebook page that promised a crowd-funded bounty and anonymity to potential tipsters.
The website, 803.hk, is named after an Aug. 3 incident in which a demonstrator flung the Chinese flag into the water of Hong Kong’s harbor
People’s Daily overseas edition commentary by “Haiwang Lou” said one reason for the prolonged protests in Hong Kong is some teachers are encouraging the young people to boycott school and join the protests. It said after things settle down the government must revise the curriculum to make up for the lack of “national education”
The Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions said that 20 Cathay employees have been dismissed or forced to resign, including pilots, cabin crew, ground staff and managers. It called the rally after Cathay Dragon, a Cathay group airline, fired cabin crew union head Rebecca Sy last week.
“The message from Beijing is clear,” said one veteran banker who has worked for decades with many of Hong Kong’s leading blue-chip companies. “Are you part of the solution or part of the problem?”
A senior executive at Jardines, the territory’s biggest employer and largest landlord in the Central business district, agreed: “The Chinese government is setting new terms in the way we operate.”
In the past two months, shares in big real-estate companies have dropped and a marquee land sale in a much-hyped redevelopment area has fallen through. Home values have edged lower, and some analysts now expect prices, after marching upward for many years, to be flat for 2019.
Montreal Pride told Lam it had received information from police about "a potential attempt to sabotage the parade by pro-Communists" over his group's participation.
Several politicians were due to take part in the parade, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Quebec Premier François Legault.
"Given the presence of public figures … we unfortunately have to remove you from the parade for security reasons," organizers said in an Aug. 17 email, a copy of which was provided to CBC News.
According to Hong Kong police, CNN has apologized for their erroneous reporting when covering the violent protest on the night of August 25.
In a letter sent to police on Wednesday, CNN Hong Kong's Vice President and Bureau Chief Roger Clark informed them that a headline was temporarily displayed on the CNN website saying "Police use petrol bombs and water cannons against Hong Kong Protesters," which he admitted was "erroneous" and later "replaced."
Consider the case of Nathan Law GRD ’20, a leader of Hong Kong’s 2014 Umbrella Movement who founded and led the pro-democracy party Demosistō. In 2016, he became Hong Kong’s youngest-ever legislator, but after only nine months, Beijing removed him from office. This year, he begins a masters in East Asian Studies at Yale. Even though the semester has yet to begin, Chinese propaganda organs have already targeted Nathan and set their sights on our campus.
Nathan Law, a pro-democracy Hong Kong activist who in September will start graduate studies at Yale University, says he has received “numerous threats to my personal safety.” One message reads: “I will wait for you at school and you have no escape. Gun shooting will start—American style.”
But reports on episodes like this one, while important, are dominating media coverage to the point of drowning out the quieter, less aggressive voices of other Chinese mainlanders, whose views on Hong Kong the government in Beijing is less interested in amplifying.
Moreover, they risk giving anti-Hong Kong chauvinists a disproportionately large spotlight...
Over the past two weeks, I have spent dozens of hours exploring reactions to the protests on Chinese social media. But instead of finding uniform antipathy for the Hong Kong protesters or support for the government’s reaction, I came across a range of opinion running the gamut from admiration to disdain, confusion, and even indifference.
Beijing blames foreign forces for inciting ‘riots.’ Here’s why that makes sense in China.
CCTV put out a video in which host Li Zimeng mocked Trump for putting out fake news that the US had trade talks with China over the weekends. Li said it is simply a show put up by Trump to boost the stock market.
People’s Daily’s commentary denounces the US for interfering in Hong Kong as politicians such as Pelosi voice their support for the protesters. It says the US support is part of its hegemonistic and imperialist foreign policy to sow “color revolution”. It said the US politicians would be “struck hard in the head by the Chinese people” if they don’t support such support immediately.
People’s Daily reports that at a recent symposium Chinese trade experts said the trade war shows the world that China is a responsible major power safeguarding the international institutions while the US simply wants to undermine it. They added that China is confident with its economy and US pressure will not work.
The USTR said in an official notice that on Sept 1, U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency will begin collecting a 15% tariff on a portion of the list that contains over $125 billion of targeted goods from China, including smartwatches, Bluetooth headphones, flat panel televisions and footwear.
There’s no winner in a trade war -- what matters for the U.S. and China is who loses least. Bloomberg Economics’ analysis of 700,000 trade data points shows that, in one important respect, the U.S. is the biggest loser. China was the dominant supplier of many tariffed products, meaning U.S. importers are scrambling -- and failing -- to find replacements. With China sourcing from a wider variety of countries, its firms face smaller supply disruptions.
With the price of children's products from China driven up by the additional tariffs, many new parents in the United States, especially those with relatively lower incomes, cannot even afford a new crib with acceptable quality, exposing their babies to potential dangers.
Price hikes of children's products due to tariffs are "likely to lead to an increase in infant and child deaths and injuries," warned Joseph Shamie, an industry insider with decades of experience in the juvenile furniture sector.
In 2017, Daines announced a tentative agreement with one of China’s largest retailers to import $200 million of beef raised by members of the Montana Stockgrowers Association. That effort has stalled amid the escalating trade dispute between the U.S. and China.
“What’s the point of calling Xi Jinping ‘a good friend’ and ‘a great leader’ but still increasing tariffs?” asked Yao Xinchao, a trade professor at the University of International Business and Economics. “He’s a 70-ish-year-old man but speaks like a 7-year-old kid. We just can’t listen to what he says now. I think Chinese leaders have realized this, too.”
senior officials in the Trump administration and lawmakers on Capitol Hill are quietly brainstorming ways to officially punish China for the clampdown in Hong Kong and to deter Beijing from deploying military forces to directly and violently confront protesters in the streets, according to three government sources with knowledge of those efforts. The wide-ranging discussions—which include the possibility of imposing travel bans and asset freezes on certain Chinese leaders—come just two weeks after Beijing’s troops began to amass outside Hong Kong.
Even with President Donald Trump delaying tariffs on $160 billion of toys to smartphones to spare the Christmas boom for U.S. retailers, the damage has already been done. That’s because big toy purveyors like Walmart Inc. have already piled up inventory given the uncertainty over how the trade war will pan out, according to industry officials.
The U.S. Navy vessel Wayne E. Meyer, an Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer, carried out the operation, traveling within 12 nautical miles (14 miles/22 km) of Fiery Cross and Mischief Reefs, Commander Reann Mommsen, a spokeswoman for the Japan-based U.S. Navy’s Seventh Fleet, told Reuters.
The operation was conducted “to challenge excessive maritime claims and preserve access to the waterways as governed by international law,” Mommsen added.
This marks at least the second time China has denied a request by the United States this month, having earlier rejected a request for two U.S. Navy ships to visit Hong Kong, as the political crisis in the former British colony deepened.
The defense official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the destroyer was supposed to visit on Sunday but China denied the request prior to that.
4. Undersea cables and the Digital Silk Road
U.S. officials are seeking to block an undersea cable backed by Google, Facebook Inc. and a Chinese partner, in a national-security review that could rewrite the rules of internet connectivity between the U.S. and China, according to people involved in the discussions.
The Justice Department, which leads a multiagency panel that reviews telecommunications matters, has signaled staunch opposition to the project because of concerns over its Chinese investor, Beijing-based Dr. Peng Telecom & Media Group Co., and the direct link to Hong Kong the cable would provide, the people said...
Team Telecom’s concerns over Pacific Light include Dr. Peng’s Chinese-government ties and the declining autonomy of Hong Kong, where pro-democracy protesters have been holding massive demonstrations for months against Beijing’s efforts to integrate the territory more closely. Dr. Peng is China’s fourth-biggest telecom operator.
The final piece of Australia’s A$137 million ($92.53 million) undersea cable to bring high-speed internet to the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea was laid on Wednesday, with Canberra seeking to repulse Chinese influence in the Pacific.
What does the digital side of the BRI actually consist of? The Chinese government has greatly expanded the ambition and scope of the Digital Silk Road from its early focus on fiber optic cables, as described by the National Development and Reform Commission in a paper called “Vision and Actions”, and space industry-related projects.
Taking account of Beijing’s updated policy goals, the MERICS BRI Tracker database covers infrastructure – meaning cables and network equipment, including 5G – plus data and research centers, smart city projects, and large e-commerce and mobile payment deals (a small selection of relevant entries is shown in the map below).
5. EU chamber of commerce report on social credit system
The Corporate SCS uses modern technologies to monitor, control and steer market participants. It comprises a diverse range of rating requirements, which form the basis for calculating regulatory ratings awarded to all market actors. Companies’ behaviour will be continually monitored, with scores being adjusted accordingly. If businesses fail to clearly grasp all aspects of the System and what they need to do to comply, they risk serious repercussions like sanctions or even blacklisting...
“China’s Corporate Social Credit System is the most concerted attempt by any government to impose a self-regulating marketplace, and it could spell life or death for individual companies,” said Jörg Wuttke, president of the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China. “For better or worse, China’s Corporate Social Credit System is here to stay. Businesses in China need to prepare for the consequences, to ensure that they live by the score, not die by the score.”
The level of data integrity embedded in the system means that the system will solve the problem of stranded information for both local and international companies. The sharing of information will improve equal treatment for all companies in China and drastically improve the efficiency of doing business, Feng Liguo, a research fellow at China Minsheng Bank's research center, told the Global Times.
"It is never in the interest of China to put off foreign business by unfair treatment," Feng said. "The system can provide a better business environment rather than scaring foreign investment away."
Many have voiced concern about the system’s potential to evolve into an Orwellian panopticon of social control. While that’s a valid worry, it’s also a skewed and incomplete picture of what the SCS is designed to do.
As we’ll see over the following pages, the SCS was created first and foremost as a tool for controlling corporate behavior (both for domestic companies and foreign companies doing business in China), second as a mechanism for evaluating the “creditworthiness” of individuals from both a financial and behavioral perspective, and third for solidifying Party control over the State.
6. Former US official indicted over contacts with Taiwan intelligence
An, a former State Department official and defense contractor who is now a senior research fellow at the Global Taiwan Institute, allegedly lied to the FBI about the gifts...
It’s unclear why or when the FBI first started investigating An, but an affidavit filed by an agent assigned to the FBI’s counterintelligence branch revealed that in March 2016, federal agents had a warrant to eavesdrop on An’s communications with a Taiwanese official—referred to as TAW3—who allegedly worked for Taiwan’s National Security Bureau...
At a meeting in July 2016, FBI agents claim, An’s wife accepted gifts, including a liquor bottle and children’s clothes, from TAW3 and another unnamed Taiwanese official.
Two years later, An agreed to an interview with FBI agents about “his contacts with representatives of the government of Taiwan” and was asked if he held close and continuing contacts with the foreign officials—which security clearance holders are required to report—and if he had ever accepted gifts from them. FBI agents said An failed to report his relationship with the officials and “falsely stated that he had never received gifts from them” despite being “asked this several times during the interview.”
7. Foreign interference at Australian universities
Concerns groups supporting the Chinese Communist Party have infiltrated pro-democracy movements on university campuses have prompted the creation of a new Federal Government taskforce.
Federal Education Minister Dan Tehan announced the new measure, which he said would be a collaboration between government, security agencies and the university sector.
He said it would have a wide-ranging role in looking at foreign interference in the nation's education sector, from assessing cybersecurity to the theft of research and intellectual property.
Comment: The recent campus protests over Hong Kong have demonstrated that every country with a large population of PRC students needs something like this
There are also a quarter million Chinese students in Australia and they want to be heard, too. They have no reason to be loyal to Australia or sympathetic to Hong Kong. We can expect them to be civil and to respect local norms of political behaviour, but we can’t demand that they agree with Hong Kongers — or with us.
In an action that certainly must deserve the irony of the year award, the Chinese government has come to the defence of its student supporters, demanding that host countries such as Australia “protect their lawful right” to express their opinions.
Of course, people in China enjoy no such lawful rights. But Chinese citizens in Australia do.
A group of Chinese international students say they take little notice of politics or historical events, with one admitting to not having heard of the Tiananmen Square Massacre.
A Melbourne University study based on interviews with the Chinese students found they had largely come to Australia to increase their employability at home.
The students, whose testimonies were published anonymously this month in the Journal of Australian Studies, tended to distrust Chinese and Western media, seeing both as biased in different ways.
8. Ode to the FT’s Beijing Driver
When Liu Chaowei started working as the Financial Times’ Beijing bureau driver in 1995, only a year after the bureau was founded, there was not much financial news to be written about...
Mr Liu also had an unerring ability to distil the defining characteristics of the FT editors who would visit China on reporting trips. Most of them had the “whiff of an English gentleman” about them, but there were more personalised descriptions — the “wise one”, the “stern one”, the “one-who-doesn’t-love-talking” and a couple of less flattering monikers...
Mr Liu has seen six bureau chiefs, 14 correspondents and 33 news researchers pass through the FT’s Beijing bureau. When I tell him China’s growth will probably mean many more are to come, and ask him for his advice, he has only a few pointers: the ones who do well have humanity, good writing skills, and manage relationships in the bureau well. And, he adds, try not to get on the foreign ministry’s nerves.
I would read his memoirs
Business, Economy and Trade
China seeks to change economic landscape as Donald Trump escalates US decoupling risks | South China Morning Post Robin Xing, chief China economist at Morgan Stanley, said that the new focus on economic development in major cities is a new way of thinking among Chinese leaders. “It’s quite different from the tone in the past decade that highlighted small towns and low-tier cities in western regions,” Xing said.
China Slips Deeper Into Debt, Though at Slower Pace - Caixin The overall leverage ratio, which measures the nation’s outstanding debt in the real economy against nominal GDP, rose to 249.5% in the second quarter, up 0.7 percentage points from a quarter earlier, according to a report released Tuesday by the National Institution for Finance & Development (NIFD), and the Institute of Economics at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. The second quarter’s increase was smaller than that in the first quarter, which saw a 5.1 percentage-point jump.
为高质量发展添能蓄势（中国经济纵深谈（16））——如何看待当前宏观政策 People’s Daily’s front-page article explaining China’s macro policies. It said the priority now is to use the counter-cyclical fiscal policy and monetary policy to keep the growth in “a rational range”, as China “faces a complicated situation with apparent increasing number of internal and external risks and challenges”.
Yuan's Longest Drop Since 2015 Hangs in Balance After Strong Fix - Bloomberg The yuan slipped 0.03% to 7.1648 a dollar as of 5:38 p.m. in Shanghai. The currency entered the day having fallen in the previous nine sessions, the longest slump since December 2015. The People’s Bank of China earlier set its reference rate at 7.0835, compared with the 7.1126 average forecast by traders and analysts in a Bloomberg survey.
A Costco opened in China. See the absolute chaos that ensued - CNN Video remember this from 2007? - “French retail giant Carrefour has apologised after three people died in a stampede in one of its supermarkets in China. People had flocked to the shop in November after being attracted by a big discount on cooking oil.” Good for Costco to have such a big opening, but can they sustain it, without having riots and injuries? Mother-in-law been laughing at the videos out of Costco, wishes she were there, says when they open in Beijing the shoppers will be even rougher...there are esports for the youth, what to call the sport of discount shopping for retirees?
Despite Top Planner’s Order, It Is ‘Unrealistic’ for Beijing to Drop New-Energy Car Plate Quota - Caixin Global However, it is “unrealistic” for the capital to scrap its quota on new-energy cars, according to a source close to the Municipal Commission of Transport. That source said the municipal government is now more focused on combating congestion, for which the license plate quotas are an important tool. Beijing is the only part of China to have a quota for new-energy car license plates. The source said Beijing’s plan to keep the number of cars on its roads to under 7 million has not changed.
Yicai Global - Forbidden City's Lipstick Maker Bloomage, BrightGene Get One Step Closer to Star Market IPOs Chinese drug firm BrightGene Bio-Medical Technology and Bloomage BioTechnology, which makes cosmetics for the Palace Museum gift store in Beijing, have been given the green light to proceed with their applications to get listed on Shanghai's new Nasdaq-like Star Market
Beijing's Municipal Banking Regulator Targets Use of Personal Credit Cards for Home Purchasing - China Banking News The regulator issued the “Regulatory Opinions on Strengthening Bank Card Risk Prevention and Control” (关于加强银行卡风险防控的监管意见) on 26 August, stipulating that “commercial banks strengthen monitoring and control the fund flows for credit card large-sum overdrafts and cash instalments operations.”
How Science and Technology Industrial Parks Invigorated Western China’s Economy - Pandaily China’s first STIP [Science and Technology Industrial Parks], Beijing’s Zhongguancun set the standard for productivity and creativity, producing 40% of China’s tech unicorns. This success in Beijing was then replicated throughout the country, with a total of 156 STIPs currently active. Notably, China’s STIP development has spanned throughout the country’s massive area, with 23% of the STIPs existing in China’s remote and relatively underdeveloped western region. This is in stark contrast to the United States’ geographic concentration of tech sector resources, which are largely confined to both coasts in cities like San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Seattle on the west coast and New York, Boston and Washington D.C. on the east coast. The more balanced geographic distribution of science and technology resources throughout China has invigorated the innovation and economic output of some of these previously underperforming regions.
Import Limits, Effects of Swine Fever Hit Pork Prices in China - WSJ $$ Prices of the mainstay—used in dishes such as lunchtime dumplings and spicy mapo tofu—have risen 18% in China since the week ended Aug. 9 and are up more than 50% in the past year...As prices rise, consumers are changing their buying habits, pushing up prices for other meat. Chicken prices are up 5% since the start of the year, according the Ministry of Commerce..
Exclusive: Fake-branded bars slip dirty gold into world markets - Reuters It is not clear who is making the bars found so far, but executives and bankers told Reuters they think most originate in China, the world’s largest gold producer and importer, and have entered the market via dealers and trading houses in Hong Kong, Japan and Thailand.
Politics and Law
China ban on some textbooks seen as aimed at Uighur culture - AP For 15 years, Yalqun Rozi skillfully navigated state bureaucracies to publish textbooks that taught classic poems and folk tales to millions of his fellow minority Uighurs in China’s far western region of Xinjiang....Rozi was arrested soon after Chen Quanguo, a hard-line politician, became Xinjiang’s top official in 2016 and his books were pulled from shelves...Soon his former colleagues at Xinjiang Education Press began disappearing, as did the officials who used to supervise his work. Colleges held political meetings to denounce “problematic textbooks,” including Rozi’s, calling them “treasonous” and a “great scourge” that poisoned Uighurs with ideas of splitting China.
人民情怀始终不渝：欧美同学会“知国情、话自信”活动进陕西 Members of the Western Returned Scholars Association, a group run by the CCP’s United Front Department, visited Liangjiahe, the village where Xi worked as a sent-down-youth during the cultural revolution, and they said they were inspired by Xi’s love for Chinese people and his hardworking spirit. //I met with a contingent of this group in DC earlier this summer, incredibly depressing regurgitation of the Party line, several of the US attendees walked out mid-dialogue.
Exclusive: Bank Executive Walks Free From Bribery Charges - Caixin Xu Zhihong, a former general manager of Hong Kong-based CMB Wing Lung Bank Ltd. and a former senior executive of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), was released from a detention center after a court in Wuxi, Jiangsu province, accepted prosecutors’ request to withdraw criminal charges against him, according to He Bing, Xu’s lawyer.
Unified high school textbooks put emphasis on traditional values - China Daily Wen Rumin, editor-in-chief of the Chinese language textbook and professor at Peking University, said that to put more emphasis on traditional values, the new textbooks have added many traditional Chinese articles and poems－67 in total－accounting for nearly half of the articles in the books. The textbook puts special emphasis on China's revolutionary history, including five articles written by late Chinese leader Mao Zedong and five articles by prominent modern Chinese writer Lu Xun, who was a leading figure in the New Culture Movement in the 1910s, Wen said.
Senior CPC official calls for improved work of China's law societies - Xinhua ang Chen, a senior Communist Party of China (CPC) official and chief of the China Law Society, has called on local law societies across the country to improve their work and contribute to advancing law-based governance.
守良不“守良” The CCDI gives details of a corruption case in which an official in Beijing received more than 25m USD in bribes. The CCDI said Gao Shouliang, former party secretary and president of Beijing's public and supply cooperatives, not only took the bribes but also colluded with others to give fake testimony to investigators.
Did a toilet Xi inspected become a museum exhibit?
Xi Jinping Looking At Things 习近平在看东西 @zaikandongxiThis seems to be one of the core duties of the Chairman. Looking at the toilet 厕所 (cèsuǒ), this time in Gansu. In the words of Xinhua, 厨卫设施齐全 (chúwèi shèshī qíquán), i.e. the kitchen and bathroom facilities were complete in the home of Comrade Li Laohan. Aug. 21st, 2019. https://t.co/1XhUyHjeTG https://t.co/obNGbVq1w7
RBMK-1000 @Williamreborn2@zaikandongxi You gonna follow up on this story?https://t.co/XwUtF4Z393 Apparently the lucky toilet upon which chairman Xi's gaze fell has been enshrined in a museum of some sort. The red characters behind it read "无水(waterless)零排放(zero emission)厕所(toilet)", whatever that means. https://t.co/68pbNdP4rS
And if you are on Twitter the Xi Jinping Looking At Things 习近平在看东西 is a hoot.
Foreign and Defense Affairs
Xi asks China, Uzbekistan to promote quality Belt and Road construction - Xinhua Chinese President Xi Jinping met with visiting Uzbek Prime Minister Abdulla Aripov here on Wednesday, calling on the two countries to jointly push forward the high-quality construction of the Belt and Road...Calling China "the closest and most reliable neighbor and partner" of Uzbekistan, Aripov said that Uzbekistan will work with China to firmly implement the important consensus reached by the two heads of state.
Pence, in visit to Iceland, to discuss 'incursions' into Arctic Circle by China, Russia: official - Reuters Vice President Mike Pence, in a visit to Iceland next week, will have talks about ‘incursions’ into the Arctic Circle by China and Russia, a senior Trump administration official said on Wednesday.
Japan to compete with China in Africa investment - The Washington Post Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told African leaders gathered here for a summit on Wednesday that his government was determined to step up its engagement with the continent. But with a rapidly aging population and a huge debt burden of its own, Japan won’t be writing any blank checks for overseas development aid anytime soon. It knows it cannot compete with China’s deep pockets. Instead Abe hopes to harness Japan’s private sector, vowing to raise investment beyond the $20 billion that he said had flowed from Japan to Africa over the past three years.
Russia offers rocket engine tech as China’s Long March 5 struggles to get off the ground | South China Morning Post China and Russia are forging stronger ties in space technology with Russia offering to supply rocket engines to China in exchange for Chinese microelectronics, according to the head of Russia’s state space corporation. At the MAKS 2019 Moscow air show on Tuesday, Dmitry Rogozin, director general of Roscosmos, said Russia was also keen to use its rocket technology to launch Chinese satellites.
Are Washington and Beijing Fighting a New Cold War? - Foreign Affairs Like Soviet leaders, Chinese ones view the United States as the enemy. They are careful and courteous in public, and often declare their adherence to international norms, but in the party’s internal communications, the line is always that the United States is planning to undermine China’s rise through external aggression and internal subversion.
Europe Wakes Up to China’s Rise - Foreign Affairs In addition to tackling its internal divisions over China, the EU is struggling to determine whether and how to cooperate with the United States on China. In theory, it should be easy for the two powers to develop a common approach. Both worry about China’s lack of market access for Western companies, its encroaching political influence, and the debt burdens of BRI projects. Both doubt that China will become the “responsible stakeholder” that many China watchers envisioned a decade and a half ago.
TikTok Has a New Way to Monetize Its Rabid Teenage Fans – Adweek TikTok’s spread across app stores goes hand-in-hand with some of the company’s other planned ad offerings. In June, Digiday revealed TikTok was experimenting with its own custom audience system, along with tracking pixels, to better target users based on their web-wide behavior. These are both tools that hoover a lot of user data for a company that has its origins in China. Add in the ability to microtarget users across their apps, and it’s not hard to imagine a possible “Chinese Cambridge Analytica,” as Parsons professor David Carroll dubbed it.
NZ spy agencies call for greater transparency on political donations | RNZ News The comments come amid fresh focus on a $150,000 donation to the National Party in 2017 from a company registered in New Zealand but owned by Chinese billionaire Lang Lin. The transaction was legal and publicly declared, but Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said it was "outside the spirit of the law" which is intended to limit overseas donations to no more than $1500.
Chinese apology for Philippine fishing boat sinking lands as Duterte heads to Beijing | South China Morning Post Conciliatory gesture comes two months after collision in South China Sea left crew of 22 stranded... Philippines president has been under pressure to take a tougher line during his visit
How China Uses LinkedIn to Recruit Spies Abroad - The New York Times “We’ve seen China’s intelligence services doing this on a mass scale,” said William R. Evanina, the director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, a government agency that tracks foreign spying and alerts companies to possible infiltration. “Instead of dispatching spies to the U.S. to recruit a single target, it’s more efficient to sit behind a computer in China and send out friend requests to thousands of targets using fake profiles.”
Esper calls for new basing investments in the Pacific - DefenseNews Secretary of Defense Mark Esper today called for expanding base locations in the Pacific while continuing regular freedom of navigation operations in the region, as part of a broader attempt to stymie China’s influence. Esper, speaking at the Naval War College, called the Indo-Pacific theater “our priority theater,” as the department continues its shift towards an era of great power competition.
Pentagon Seeks to Counter China’s Drone Edge – Foreign Policy “We don’t have much of a small UAS industrial base because DJI dumped so many low-price quadcopters on the market, and we then became dependent on them,” said Ellen Lord, the Pentagon’s chief weapons buyer, in an Aug. 26 press conference. “We want to rebuild that capability.” In an effort to bolster the defense industrial base across the board, this fall the Defense Department is launching what it is calling a “Trusted Capital Marketplace” to connect trusted sources of capital with small tech firms.
第十二届中国—东北亚博览会闭幕 引资逾555亿元 Jilin province holds another China-Northeast Asia Expo
巴音朝鲁景俊海会见金英才 Kim Yong-jae, the North Korean minister of external economic relations was in Jilin for the China-Northeast Asia Expo, met with the Jilin party boss Bayin Chaolu.
China to conduct fresh military drills near Taiwan - Taipei Times State-backed newspaper Global Times called it a “live-fire drill.” The Chinese People’s Liberation Army late last month held two large military drills close to the Taiwan Strait.
Tech and Media
Huawei invests in semiconductor firms amid self-reliance push · TechNode Huawei has invested in two domestic semiconductor firms focused on materials and chip design as the Chinese telecommunications equipment maker seeks to boost self-reliance amid US sanctions, National Business Daily reported on Tuesday....Huawei’s wholly-owned investment firm Hubble Technologies has invested in Shandong province-based Tianyue Advanced Material Technology and Hangzhou’s Joulwatt Micro-Electronic.
Evolution of Mobile Esports for the Mass Market – a free report – Niko In 2018, mobile esports games generated $15.3 billion (25% of total mobile game revenue) with $5.6 billion from China alone, and another $450 million from Greater Southeast Asia. PC esports titles earned $16.1 billion in revenue globally, with about 40% of the earnings coming from China.
State-Backed Chipmaker to Build ‘Strategically Important’ Plant in Southwest China - caixin State-owned chipmaker Tsinghua Unigroup Ltd. signed a deal Tuesday with the Chongqing municipal government to build a facility that will design and manufacture memory chips in the southwestern Chinese city. The plant, which will focus on DRAM chips — one of two major classes of memory chips — will include a factory, a science park and a research and development center.
Megvii Could Become China, or Even World’s First AI Company to Go Public- PingWest In addition to facial recognition, Megvii expanded its reach into other artificial intelligence sector through investments and acquisitions. It acquired Ares, a Beijing-based robotics company and invested CNY 2 billion to promote the use of robotics in logistics, showing its ambitions to influence the artificial intelligence industry as a whole instead of being the leader in facial recognition only. Among the many risks listed, investors are warned about the possibilities of continued loss-making years in the future due to high R&D costs, the U.S- China trade war, and more importantly, negative publicity over the implementation of the company’s facial recognition technology in China.
Tencent Music Dives as Watchdog Probes Its Record-Label Ties - Bloomberg The State Administration of Market Regulation, which launched the probe in January, is scrutinizing the Shenzhen-based company’s dealings with music labels including Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment and Warner Music Group Corp.
Tencent sues critics in clampdown on reputational damage | Financial Times $$ “It’s very weird,” said Jianfei Yan, who was faced with a Rmb1m ($140,000) defamation lawsuit from Tencent in March after writing an article about the dominance of the “super powerful” WeChat platform and its potential for data breaches. “If Tencent questioned my comments, they could [have stopped] me publishing them on WeChat . . . but they just directly appealed to the court and sued me.”
Society, Arts, Sports, Culture and History
In Landmark Ceremony, a Catholic Bishop Is Installed in China - The New York Times The ceremony in Jining seemed to signal that Beijing was willing to make compromises as part of the 2018 deal, which was signed last year to facilitate appointing new clergy. Father Yao had been approved by the Vatican in 2010 to succeed an octogenarian bishop but Beijing had refused to approve him, even after the bishop died in 2017 at age 89.
‘A Little Reunion 小欢喜’ Dives Headlong Into China’s Thorniest Themes - SixthTone A Chinese drama that has sparked a storm of discussion on contemporary social issues since its premiere just over a month ago aired its final episode Tuesday. “A Little Reunion” tells the story of three Beijing high schoolers as they and their families prepare for the gaokao, China’s notoriously difficult and hugely important college entrance examinations
Bizarre Buildings & Ambitious Architecture of Rural China: Here's Chinese Vlogger 'Schlieffen' | What's on Weibo His fourth video, “A Trip to Hogwarts Hebei” (“霍格沃茨河北分校之旅”) launched him to stardom in his channel’s first month. The video documents the bizarre architecture of the Hebei Academy of Fine Arts, which has been compared to the ‘Hogwarts’ School of Witchcraft and Wizardry from Harry Potter due to its bizarre castle campus.
Pioneering Report Exposes Global Reach of So-Called Conversion Therapy | Global LGBT Human Rights Organization | OutRight good section on China. Report written by my sister
Chinese woman’s Rolls-Royce parking row uncovers string of crimes | South China Morning Post The licence plate number on the car indicated it had originated from a government agency or from someone who was among the first in China to own a vehicle.
Energy, Environment, Science and Health
Yahoo Japan bans ivory sales - The Washington Post Yahoo Japan said it made the decision after confirming multiple reports that ivory bought on its online auction site was “smuggled abroad and detected by foreign customs authorities,” in contravention of international rules banning cross-border trade.
Mekong nears tipping point as US-China rivalry grows - Nikkei Asian Review - Brian Eyler and Aaron Salzberg The Mekong River, which originates on the Tibetan Plateau and flows nearly 5,000 km through China, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam to the South China Sea, is in danger of drying up...China did not cause the drought, although outflows from its Jinghong dam were reduced in June and July for "grid maintenance." This seems to have been thoughtless, rather than malicious.
Inner Mongolia Woman Whipped to Death During ‘Group Counseling’ - SixthTone The incident occurred on July 8 in Hohhot, the region’s capital, during a so-called cane therapy session. A “teacher” instructed a group of individuals who had enrolled at the center seeking treatment for a variety of mental health issues to lie down on the ground while their peers beat them with flexible bamboo rods.
China to promote educational equity via Internet - Xinhua The country will encourage online education development so as to offer new platforms for vocational training and skills improvement, according to a statement released after a State Council executive meeting. The statement called for efforts to offer network access that is exclusive to educational institutions, stressing all schools across the country should enjoy high-speed and stable Internet service.
The Chinese Students Stuck in Fake Majors - Sixth Tone Many other students across China have been caught up in fake major scandals as the country’s private vocational schools struggle to recruit new pupils. In May, students at a vocational school in the eastern city of Nanjing disputed with staff after they discovered they would not receive qualifications for nursing, as they had been promised, but in home economics. According to Zhang Run, a lecturer at the People’s Public Security University of China, there are many similar cases that go unreported because the students’ families reach a settlement with the school.