Propaganda organs preparing for protracted struggle with the US?; Xi goes to Russia; Religion restrictions extend online; Possible sanctions over Xinjiang; Maybe PRC's foreign infrastructure investment brings benefits too

17 years since the 9/11 attacks...

Washington in 2001 increasingly saw China as a competitor. George W Bush referred to China as a "strategic competitor" during the 2000 Presidential campaign, early in 2001 his administration took steps to move closer to Taiwan, and of course the Hainan Island Incident occurred on April 1. But whatever momentum may have been building in DC against China wavered after the 9/11 attacks. 

As Barbara Demick wrote for the LA Times:

Chinese political scientists also see Sept. 11 as a turning point for the Bush administration's attitudes toward their nation. During the 2000 presidential campaign, Bush described China as a "strategic competitor" and, after taking office, further angered the Chinese by pledging to do whatever it took to defend Taiwan, which is viewed by Beijing as a renegade province.

"Things changed after 9/11. China extended its hand to Bush, promising to support the war on terror," said Shen Dingli, a professor of American studies at Fudan University in Shanghai. He said that Beijing, in return, felt that it had Washington's support for its campaign against Muslim separatists in western China. And even though the Bush administration in October approved a $6.5-billion arms sale to Taiwan, the package excluded U.S.-made submarines, which China had argued were offensive weapons.

"Over time, Bush came to understand that China is a very important friend when it comes to national security interests," Shen said.

And here we are 17 years later, in the midst of a fundamental, structural change in official US views towards the PRC. But has the shift come too late for the US to achieve anything like "victory", and even if it can are the costs so much higher now that few will be willing to bear them?

Thanks for reading.

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The Essential Eight

1. US-China

Trade wars: China fears an emerging united front | Financial Times $$:

An increasing number of officials and analysts in Beijing now agree with Mr Bannon, seeing the escalating trade war as just the leading edge of a larger effort by the US to “contain” China. “The risk of China and the US sliding into a new cold war is increasing,” says Tu Xinquan, a professor at Beijing’s University of International Business and Economics. “It will be a nightmare for China, the US and the world.”

Wang Chong at the Charhar Institute, a Beijing-based think-tank, says China’s current problem in the US is not just related to Mr Trump: “Both the Republican and Democratic parties have reached a consensus that they should try to curb China’s development.”

In a series of authoritative articles in party-controlled publications, Chinese officials have recently warned that the country faces a new era of “strategic containment” orchestrated by the US.

Caixin View: Front-Loading Provides Temporary Relief for China’s U.S. Exports - Caixin Global:

Given the uncertainty over the size of the tariffs and when they will be imposed, this factor could continue to boost exports to the U.S. for a few more months. A second round of levies of up to 25% on a further $200 billion of Chinese goods may be just around the corner, after a public comment period ended last week. A third round on another $267 billion in Chinese goods could be rolled out “on short notice,” according to comments made by President Donald Trump last Friday. But as there’s still no concrete date for either, the front-loading could go on for some time.

China Woos U.S. Companies Again, Dropping Trade Threats - WSJ $$:

Beijing is offering a reassuring message in its outreach to American companies. At a meeting last month, Liu He, President Xi Jinping’s economic-policy chief, told visiting American business representatives that U.S. companies’ China operations won’t be targeted in Beijing’s trade-brawl counterattacks. “We won’t allow retribution against foreign companies,” Mr. Liu said, according to people briefed on the event.

OR NOT?

The "qualitative measures" - China puts off licenses for US companies amid tariff battle - AP:

An official of a U.S. business group says Chinese regulators are putting off accepting license applications from American companies in financial services and other industries until the two countries resolve a worsening tariff dispute.

The disclosure Tuesday is the first confirmation of fears among U.S. companies that the battle over Beijing’s technology policy might disrupt access to China.

The vice president for China operations of the U.S.-China Business Council, Jacob Parker, said the delay applies to industries Beijing promised to open to foreign competitors.

China Sees That U.S. Trade Will Benefit Both Countries - Bloomberg - Fu Ying:

Visiting the U.S. recently, I was told by virtually every American I met that attitudes toward China had shifted. This phenomenon, they claimed, cut across bipartisan lines as well as government, business and academic circles. The U.S. was frustrated at not having shaped China in its own image, despite bringing the country into the World Trade Organization and helping to enable its economic takeoff. Instead, China had “ripped off” the U.S. by taking advantage of it in trade and business. There was concern at how fast China was climbing up the global economic and technological ladder, and that its military was threatening to “elbow out” the U.S. from Asia...

Many in China believe that the root causes of U.S. troubles lie within — and therefore need to be solved by Americans themselves. We can see that the U.S. system requires a major overhaul to overcome deep sociopolitical divisions and economic disparities. But that doesn’t relieve China of the responsibility to engage in dialogue, to find out where the two sides can and can’t agree, and to seek solutions or at least ways to manage persistent disputes.

Such an approach won’t appeal to those who seek confrontation now. But, to borrow a saying, if some folks want to chase butterflies, why should the rest of us go dancing along with them?

Comment:  When I was in Beijing last month I was invited to tea with Madame Fu. She is quite charming in person, has an interesting role in the bureaucracy and it is an interesting time inside the PRC system as the traditional US experts inside the foreign affairs bureaucracy seem to have failed to inform the leadership of the changes in the US.


2. CCP propaganda organs preparing the masses for protracted struggle with the US?

A People's Daily article on page 2 of Tuesday's paper blames the US for the trade war and says America's real goal is to keep China down--风物长宜放眼量 - 从强国兴衰规律看我国面临的外部挑战 -Range far your eye over long vistas- Looking at the external challenges of China from the pattern of the rise and fall of powerful countries.

I think there may be a trend here...

This article is written by 孙劲松 Sun Jinsong、刘悦斌 Liu Yuebin、王兆勤 Wang Zhaoqin、彭公璞 Peng Gongpu and 左凤荣执 Zuo Fengrong. Liu, Peng and Zuo at least work at the Central Party School.

The Tuesday Evening CCTV Evening News introduced the People's Daily article. The CCTV Evening News broadcast audience is much larger than the paper's, and extends far beyond Party cadres. 人民日报刊发重要文章《风物长宜放眼量——从强国兴衰规律看我国面临的外部挑战》_CCTV:

今天出版的人民日报刊发重要文章:《风物长宜放眼量——从强国兴衰规律看我国面临的外部挑战》。文章认为,回望大国兴衰历史,新兴国家在发展进程中的关键性阶段,往往会受到守成国家的刻意打压。在我国爬坡过坎的关键性阶段,美国主动挑起贸易战,打乱中国发展进程的意图暴露无遗。我们要紧密团结在以习近平同志为核心的党中央周围,从容应对,更加专注地做好自己的事情。面对偏见,用行动说话;面对压力,用能力、实力说话。中国完全有信心有能力跨过这道“坎”。

Google translate of the CCTV Evening News introduction of the People's Daily Article:

The People’s Daily published today published an important article: "A long-term view of the wind and the wind - the external challenges facing China from the law of the rise and fall of a powerful country." The article believes that looking back at the rise and fall of the great powers, the critical stages of the emerging countries in the development process are often deliberately suppressed by the defending countries. In the critical stage of climbing the country, the United States took the initiative to provoke a trade war and the intention of disrupting China's development process was exposed. We must closely unite around the Party Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping as the core, calmly cope with and concentrate on doing our own things. In the face of prejudice, speak with action; face stress, speak with ability and strength. China is fully confident that it has the ability to cross this "hole".

The title of the article is taken Mao Zedong's Poem “七律·和柳亚子先生 Reply to Mr. Liu Yazi 1949”:

饮茶粤海未能忘,索句渝州叶正黄。
三十一年还旧国,落花时节读华章。
牢骚太盛防肠断,风物长宜放眼量。
莫道昆明池水浅,观鱼胜过富春江

Translation:

I still remember our drinking tea in Kwangchow
And your asking for verses in Chungking as the leaves yellowed.
Back in the old capital after thirty-one years,
At the season of falling flowers I read your polished lines.
Beware of heartbreak with grievance overfull,
Range far your eye over long vistas.
Do not say the waters of Kunming Lake are too shallow,
For watching fish they are better than Fuchun River.

Why was this specific poem chosen? If you have any ideas please let us know in the comments.

How China's Middle Class Views the Trade War - Foreign Affairs - Cheng Li:

So far, the Chinese middle class has leveled its ire at the Communist Party leadership. But the object of middle-class criticism is neither fixed nor exclusive. Strong U.S. pressure on trade, combined with China’s vulnerable position, does not necessarily mean that the Trump administration is winning or that the current dynamic will hold.

In fact, a repositioning might already be under way. The Chinese media, which were more favorable of Trump than U.S. outlets during the first year of his presidency, now largely attribute trade friction to a “crazy” and “greedy” American president. U.S. trade actions against China and the Trump administration’s strategic shift—from partner to rival—have led most Chinese to conclude that the primary goal of the United States is nothing more than to contain a rising China. In addition, the recent passageof the Taiwan Travel Act in the U.S. Congress ostensibly normalized official visits between the United States and Taiwan. Chinese leadership is harnessing and weaponizing this event, inciting talk of an American conspiracy with ill intentions in official media.


3. To Russia with strategic love and money...

Chinese president arrives in Russia for Eastern Economic Forum - Xinhua:

Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived here Tuesday for the fourth Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) at the invitation of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

It is the first time for the Chinese head of state to attend the EEF, which was proposed by Putin in 2015....

Xi, during his seventh trip to Russia since 2013, is scheduled to attend several bilateral and multilateral events, including his third meeting with Putin this year. The two heads of state will also attend some activities on people-to-people exchanges and economic and local cooperation.

Putin hails Russia-China trust in talks with Xi | Financial Times $$:

“We have a trusting relationship in the sphere of politics, security and defence, we know that you personally pay much attention to the development of Russian-Chinese relations,” Mr Putin said at the start of talks between the two men at an economic conference in Russia’s eastern port city of Vladivostok...

War games and business deals: Russia, China send a signal to Washington - The Washington Post:

“The Chinese right now are sending a clear signal that one, they don’t see Russia as a threat, which already should be a concern to the United States,” said Michael Kofman, senior research scientist at CNA Corporation, a federally funded research organization. “They are increasingly wishing to signal that increasing confrontation with the United States will drive them toward greater balancing behavior with Russia.”

The joint exercises that started Tuesday represents the first time that China has joined Russia’s annual strategic exercise, a role typically reserved for Moscow’s closest allies. The deepening military bond between Moscow and Beijing, analysts say, gives China valuable access to Russian military technology and to Russia’s field experience in Syria and Ukraine.

China will see a 'substantial improvement' in Russia ties thanks to US tariffs, former PBOC governor says - CNBC:

U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods are going to lead to a "substantial improvement" between China and its neighbor Russia, the former People's Bank of China (PBOC) Governor Zhou Xiaochuan told CNBC Tuesday.

"From the economy's (point of view) and the financial sector's (perspective), we would like to have a normal relationship with the U.S.," he told CNBC's Geoff Cutmore at the Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) in Vladivostok, Russia.

However, he added that a massive package of U.S. tariffs on Chinese imports, instigated by President Donald Trump, has made China "look at other markets and to diversify our trade and business relationships."

Growing Russian and Chinese influence could spark extremism, task force says - POLITICO:

Russia’s and China’s expanding economic and military reach could foster extremism in developing nations, and the U.S. must engage the rest of the world in trying to prevent that threat from materializing, a task force spearheaded by the leaders of the 9/11 Commission argues in a new report.

Alibaba did a big Russia deal around the forum, and Jack Ma is there.

Alibaba goes big on Russia with joint venture focused on gaming, shopping and more | TechCrunch:

To recap: Alibaba — which launched its AliExpress service in Russia some years ago — will hold 48 percent of the business, with 24 percent for MegaFon, 15 percent for Mail.ru and the remaining 13 percent take by RDIF. In addition, MegaFon has agreed to trade its 10 percent stake in Mail.ru to Alibaba in a transaction that (alone) is worth around $500 million. That would give the joint venture a valuation of around $2 billion.

Even Putin asked Jack Ma why he is "retiring"...--普京问马云为什么退休? 马云的回答让普京忍不住鼓了两次掌|时事|普京|官员|俄罗斯_新浪视频 

If Ma were really deep in the political cowshed would he be at this event announcing a big Russia deal and talking to Putin?


4. Magnitsky for Xinjiang abuses?

U.S. Weighs Sanctions Against Chinese Officials Over Muslim Detention Camps - The New York Times:

In their demand last month, Mr. Rubio and other lawmakers urged officials at the State and Treasury Departments to impose sanctions on Chinese companies that have profited from building the camps or the regionwide surveillance system, which includes the collection of biometric and DNA data. They singled out Hikvision and Dahua Technology for the surveillance.

Mr. Rubio said the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, which he is a chairman of, will also ask the Commerce Department to prevent American companies from selling technology to China that could contribute to the surveillance and tracking...

The congressional demand, outlined in an Aug. 28 letter, singles out Mr. Chen among the seven Chinese officials who would be sanctioned.

Adrian Zenz' paper is outside the paywall, his work has been instrumental in surfacing much of what is going on in Xinjiang- ‘Thoroughly reforming them towards a healthy heart attitude’: China’s political re-education campaign in Xinjiang: Central Asian Survey: Vol 0, No 0 - Adrian Zenz: 

Since spring 2017, the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in China has witnessed the emergence of an unprecedented re-education campaign. According to media and informant reports, untold thousands of Uyghurs and other Muslims have been and are being detained in clandestine political re-education facilities, with major implications for society, local economies and ethnic relations. Considering that the Chinese state is currently denying the very existence of these facilities, this paper investigates publicly available evidence from official sources, including government websites, media reports and other Chinese internet sources. First, it briefly charts the history and present context of political re-education. Second, it looks at the recent evolution of re-education in Xinjiang in the context of ‘de-extremification’ work. Finally, it evaluates detailed empirical evidence pertaining to the present re-education drive. With Xinjiang as the ‘core hub’ of the Belt and Road Initiative, Beijing appears determined to pursue a definitive solution to the Uyghur question.

China tells U.N. rights chief to respect its sovereignty after Xinjiang comments | Reuters:

In Beijing, Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang signaled that China did not want the United Nations to get involved.

“China urges the U.N. human rights high commissioner and office to scrupulously abide by the mission and principles of the U.N. charter, respect China’s sovereignty, fairly and objectively carry out its duties, and not listen to one-sided information,” he told a daily news briefing.

Beijing rebuts human rights allegation - People's Daily Online:

Beijing said on Monday that the Human Rights Watch NGO has always been full of prejudice against China and distorted the facts when it accused the Chinese government of suppressing Uygurs....

Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said at a daily news briefing that he will not give a detailed response to such accusations and remarks....

Policies and measures that are carried out in Xinjiang aim to "promote stability, development, unity and ensure better livelihoods", Geng said.

They are also carried out to crack down on ethnic separatism and violent and terrorist criminal activities in accordance with the law, safeguard national security and protect people's life and property, he said.

Global Times editorial weighs in on talk of using the Magnitsky Act, says "foreign forces" are using religion to try to "pry apart" China...I wonder if the US government will include any of the propaganda officials under Magnitsky...社评:境外势力休想借用宗教撬动中国_评论_环球网

西方一些媒体和组织,还有少数政客近来频频攻击中国的宗教事务,指责中国一些地方政府“打击基督教徒”,并继续攻击新疆的治理,威胁动用所谓《全球马格尼茨基人权问责法案》进行制裁。中国公民享有充分的宗教信仰自由,每一个中国人可以自我选择成为某一宗教的信徒。与此同时,宗教事务需要依法管理,在一些地方,有少数人违反管理规定组织非法宗教活动,而不是按照相关法规开展活动,这种情况必须受到治理。


5. Regulators wobbling on winter emission cuts?

In bold bet, China may let provinces set own winter output curbs for heavy industry | Reuters:

Talk of the move drove down steel and industrial raw material prices and comes as Beijing looks to end its “one-size-fits-all” fight on pollution, devising more nuanced policies reflecting local conditions to limit economic disruptions.

“Production cuts on heavy industry will remain this winter, but detailed cutting rates will be set by local authorities based on their own situation,” said a source, who is involved with the plan.

It is not clear when the Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE), will announce a formal decision, added the source, who declined to be identified as the plan has not been made public.

China's steel heartland tests mills' mettle with new smog-busting plan | Reuters:

The two steelmakers are among the first producers in Hebei province to comply with the local government’s latest audacious plan to make its smoke-stack industries more efficient and clean the notoriously toxic air of the northern industrial heartland...

The moves, detailed in a document published on the province’s website in July but not previously reported, mark a new front in the government’s years-long war on pollution and outdated excess capacity in heavy industry, heralding even more upheaval for the debt-laden steel sector.

After years of weeding out “zombie” mills and permanently shutting idled plants, these are some of the toughest steps yet as provincial administrators confront the challenge of meeting tougher central government emissions targets.

This Indian company hit a jackpot because of China’s push for blue skies:

China’s push for blue skies has caused an obscure steelmaking ingredient to fuel gains of as much as 2,600 percent since the start of 2017 for the few companies that supply it, minting at least one new billionaire.

The material is graphite, a form of carbon that has seen demand soar because of its use in electric-vehicle batteries and the lower-pollution steel mills that China is favoring to clean up its air. That double-whammy pushed shares of Graphite India Ltd. up more than 1,200 percent since January 2017, boosting the wealth of founder K.K. Bangur to about $1.75 billion, according to Bloomberg calculations. HEG Ltd. fared even better, rising more than 26-fold to add $1.4 billion of value for its owners including Chairman Ravi Jhunjhunwala.


6. More on the spreading crackdown on religion

China to regulate online religious activity amid crackdown - AP:

Anyone wishing to provide religious instruction or similar services online must apply by name and be judged morally fit and politically reliable, according to draft regulations posted online late Monday by the State Administration for Religious Affairs.

Organizations and schools that receive licenses can operate only on their internal networks that require users to be registered and are barred from seeking converts or distributing texts or other religious materials, the rules said.

They also impose tight limits on what can be said or posted, including a ban on criticism of the party’s leadership and official religious policies, promoting religious participation by minors, and “using religion to ... overthrow the socialist system.”

Livestreaming of religious activities, including praying, preaching or even burning incense, is also forbidden.

China Law Translate - Measures on the Administration of Internet Religious Information Services (Draft for Solicitation of Comments):

Article 1: These measures are drafted on the basis of the "P.R.C. Cybersecurity Law", the "Measures on the Administration of Internet Information Services", the "Regulations on Religious Affairs" and other relevant laws and regulations, so as to regulate Internet religious information service activities, to preserve religious peace and social harmony...

"Internet religious information" as referred to in these measures refers to information involving religion, including that relating to religious doctrine, religious knowledge, religious culture, or religious activities, that is transmitted as text, images, audio or video through means of Internet websites, applications, forums, blogs, microblogs, public accounts, instant messaging, or online live-streaming.

"Internet Religious Information Services" as referred to in these Measures, refers to legal person organizations that are established in the [mainland] territory of the P.R.C. or organizations that are not legal persons, that publish internet religious information or provide a platform for transmission of internet religious information.


7. AidData report looks at benefits of China's foreign infrastructure investments

Report: Chinese building projects narrowing economic gaps - AP:

The study of 3,485 projects in 138 nations across Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East in 2000-14 found they led to a more equal distribution of economic activity by improving access to jobs and markets.

“Western pundits and politicians often claim that Beijing is a reckless, self-serving or sinister actor,” said AidData’s executive director, Bradley C. Parks, in an email. But by helping to spread economic activity more evenly, “Beijing’s investments address one of the root causes of instability around the globe and thus make it easier for Western powers to tackle other global threats and crises.”

The report stressed it focused on only one aspect of Chinese financing. The overall impact is “a more complex question,” it said, noting other research has found corruption and environmental damage linked to Chinese projects.

AidData - Chinese infrastructure investments reduce inequalities in developing countries:

Using the most comprehensive dataset of Chinese development project locations ever assembled, a new AidData working paper shows that Chinese infrastructure investments narrow economic inequalities within developing countries.

The full report - Connective Financing: Chinese Infrastructure Projects and the Diffusion of Economic Activity in Developing Countries

You can also download the geocoded dataset of Chinese Government-financed projects worldwide.


8. Two worthwhile podcasts

China's Great Gamble, with Barry Naughton by Harvard Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies:

Xi Jinping is consolidating power just as China has embarked on an unprecedented push to become a global and technological power. Xi’s followers are fashioning an economic and administrative system that they hope can achieve these ambitious goals. Some parts of this multi-stranded program will succeed and some will fail. The global economy—and global power relations—will depend on the balance between success and failure, and the ways in which Chinese manages the success and failure of individual initiatives.

Stranger than Fiction: China’s Espionage Industrial Complex — The Little Red Podcast — Overcast:

To explore the shadowy realm of Chinese spycraft, Louisa and Graeme are joined by two top-notch journalists-turned-spy-novelists who have written extensively about Beijing’s army of spooks. Adam Brookes, former China correspondent for the BBC and Chris Uhlmann, chief political correspondent for Channel Nine in Australia unpick how Beijing is redefining espionage for the cyber age.


Business, Economy, Finance And Trade

China shares hit 31-month closing low on trade worries | Reuters At the close, the Shanghai Composite index was down 4.69 points or 0.2 percent at 2,669.48. It was the lowest close for the index since Jan 28, 2016

China stocks: National team traders purchases of local equities - CNBC In the second quarter, the groups bought an estimated net 116 billion yuan — or nearly $17 billion — worth of local stocks that are known as A shares, Goldman Sachs' Chief China Equity Strategist Kinger Lau said in a Friday report...The second-quarter purchases account for about 0.2 percent of market capitalization and follow sales of 71 billion yuan in the first quarter, Lau said. Overall, his team estimated the national team holds 1.5 trillion yuan worth of A shares, or about 2.9 percent of the listed market capitalization.

Foreigners Face Paying More Tax in China - Caixin Global: Foreigners who have a residence or reside on the Chinese mainland for more than 183 days a calendar year will be classified as resident taxpayers, subject to Chinese tax on their worldwide income, according to the revised Individual Income Tax Law (link in Chinese) that the top legislature passed Aug. 31. Those residing on the Chinese mainland for less than 183 days a year will be considered nonresident taxpayers, liable for tax only on their onshore income, according to the revised personal income tax code that will take effect in 2019

Chinese Money Is Driving a Property Boom in Cambodia - Bloomberg Even more ambitious is the government’s plan for a new $80 billion capital to the north of the city, called "Samdech Techo Dragon City" after Hun Sen’s official title and zodiac sign.

Boeing ups forecast for China's new plane purchases over 20 years - Reuters China is seen buying 7,690 new planes worth $1.2 trillion by 2037, according to Boeing. The planemaker also predicted that China will account for 18 percent of the world's commercial airplane fleet by 2037,

Beijing appears to be getting closer to consensus on how and when to unveil a nationwide property tax | South China Morning Post The first draft of the property tax law will “definitely” be ready for national legislative review within this year, according to a report by Beijing-based The Economic Observer, citing sources in the tax system. This coincided with a comment by a National Bureau of Statistics official in July that indicated the department would “accelerate the property tax programme”.

Salomon Ski Owner Gets $5.5 Billion Chinese Bid Ahead of Games - Bloomberg China’s Anta Sports Products Ltd. is gearing up for the Beijing Winter Olympics four years from now with a 4.7 billion-euro ($5.5 billion) approach for one of the world’s biggest makers of ski equipment. Amer Sports Oyj of Finland, which owns the Atomic and Salomon brands, confirmed a Bloomberg News report that it has received takeover interest from an investor group backed by the Chinese company, which already sells the Descente brand of winter-sports wear in China.

China Is the New Hotspot for the Products Behind the Financial Crisis - WSJ $$ Products that became a symbol of Wall Street’s unsustainable excesses a decade ago—such as mortgage-backed securities—are surging in popularity with Chinese investors. Just over $100 billion worth of asset-backed securities were issued in the first half of 2018 in China, according to S&P Global Ratings, a 44% year-over-year rise that put the country second, after the U.S., in terms of world-wide issuance.

Infrastructure Spending No Cure for Slowing Growth, Top Researcher Warns - Caixin Global policymakers should lower the country’s growth target, focus on qualitative goals such as jobs and the environment, push ahead with reforms, and boost spending on health, welfare and social security, Liu Shijin, a member of the Monetary Policy Committee of the People’s Bank of China, said at a conference on Sunday. Although investment in building roads, railways and housing can play a role in preventing a precipitous decline in growth in the short term, its potential to drive economic expansion over the long run has waned, said Liu, who is also a deputy head of the China Development Research Foundation, a state-backed think tank, and deputy director of the economic committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, an advisory body to the country's legislature.

Alibaba’s Partnership Structure Keeps Jack Ma in Picture Past 2019 - Caixin Global While the website states that there are currently 36 partners in the group, Caixin has learned that the latest number is actually 38. One of those is Ma, and each is equal within the partnership with just a single vote, according to Alibaba’s website. But many of those partners, as well as Alibaba’s board members, will still feel Ma’s influence even after he officially leaves as chairman, said an official at a major global hedge fund, speaking on condition that his name not be used. “Jack Ma’s significance to Alibaba has long surpassed his position. How could the new chairman not listen to him?”

Asset Manager Huarong Abandons Listing in Wake of Corruption Scandal - Caixin Global The ongoing corruption investigation into former Chairman Lai Xiaomin and the related “prominent decrease” in the company’s first-half net profit, which fell 95% year-on-year, have created “uncertainty” over its planned mainland stock offering, leading Huarong to withdraw its application with regulators, the company explained in a filing with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.  //  Comment: Whispers that the corruption issue is much bigger than just Lai Xiaomin

Editorial: China’s Social Security Policies Should Cater to Diverse Needs - Caixin Global The central government has promptly responded to corporate concerns over recent changes in China’s system for collecting social security contributions from employers. A State Council executive meeting held on Thursday stressed that “before the reform of the social security fee collection agency falls into place, all local governments should maintain their existing collection policies while researching an appropriate level of social security fee reduction to ensure that the overall burden on businesses does not increase.” This is the correct decision, and will increase the market’s vitality and help manage expectations.

China’s Luxury Market is Exploding, Fueled by Tesla, Apple | Jing Daily China’s luxury Consumer Price Index (CPI), which tracks the prices of luxury goods marketed to the country’s 1.47 million high net worth individuals, saw a 4.1 percent jump during the June 2017 to June 2018 period compared to the previous year period’s 3.6 percent rise.  It caps an amazing 10-year run during which China’s luxury CPI jumped 82 percent.

Shenzhen helped start China's boom. Now it's too expensive for factory workers. - The Washington Post Many Foxconn workers are leaving. They are pushed farther from Shenzhen — just north of Hong Kong — or even abandoning their once-coveted jobs and moving back home. It’s a struggle of old vs. new that echoes a broader shift across China. The irony is self-evident: the factory workers who were the backbone of China’s stunning industrial growth are now becoming victims of the country’s prosperity.

 

Politics, Law And Ideology

China move points to possible end of birth limits - AP: China is eliminating a trio of agencies responsible for enforcing family planning policies in a further sign the government may be planning to scrap long-standing limits on the number of children its citizens can have. The move was part of a reorganization of the National Health Commission announced Monday that creates a new single department called the Division of Population Monitoring and Family Development responsible for “establishing and perfecting a specialized system for supporting families.”

Translation: 13th NPC Standing Committee Five-Year Legislative Plan – NPC Observer the NPCSC’s legislative agenda for the next five years is not restricted to projects in this plan, which are “major” tasks—either important new laws or comprehensive changes to existing laws. The NPCSC can, and does frequently, consider more minor bills and even major ones that are necessitated by future needs without first listing them in the five-year plan.

吉林省纪委副书记、省监委副主任邱大明被查 Qiu Daming, deputy secretary of the Jilin discipline and inspection commission and national supervision commission, is under investigation

 

Foreign and Military Affairs

DPRK top leader meets China's top legislator again, hosts welcome activities - Xinhua Kim Jong Un, chairman of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK) and chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the DPRK, met him and the Chinese delegation twice and held a special arts performance and a welcome reception, which show the sincere feelings of Kim himself as well as the party, government and people of the DPRK towards Xi as well as the party, government and people of China, Li said. Promoted personally by Xi and Kim, the strong friendship between China and the DPRK has been revitalized and reached a new stage, Li said.

[视频]栗战书与金正恩再次会见并出席朝鲜为中国党政代表团举行的欢迎活动_CCTV节目官网-CCTV-1_央视网(cctv.com) CCTV Evening News report on Li Zhanshu's second meeting with Kim...the socialist fraternal feelings are strong in the propaganda at least...

North Korea is still making nukes, and the Trump admin is taking a harder line But North Korea's recent actions have challenged the Trump team's pressure campaign, and now the administration is looking for ways to bolster it. The first sign of the shift will be at sea, officials said, where an international maritime coalition will step up its efforts to expose ships and nations that are evading sanctions with illegal transfers of goods between ships at sea, according to three senior U.S. officials.

Greenland picks Denmark as airport project partner over Beijing | Reuters A Chinese construction company later appeared on a list of six firms that have shown interest in the projects, whose costs are estimated at 3.6 billion Danish crowns. Greenland, itself also eager to benefit from growing activity in the Arctic, plans to expand the airports to cater for direct flights from Europe and North America. Rasmussen said in June that it was the assessment of the Danish government, which still handles the island’s foreign and security policy, that the project was of a magnitude to impinge on those areas.

The Bugbear of Chinese Deforestation: The Real Threat to Russia’s Forests - Carnegie Moscow Center - Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Russia is not the only country in whose forestry industry the Chinese are active. Chinese businesses’ behavior largely depends on the degree of control exercised by the local authorities, and forestry is a great illustration of this.

The China in Africa Podcast: Have We Reached Peak China-Africa? Longtime China-Africa scholar Luke Patey, a senior researcher at the Danish Institute of International Affairs, is among a growing number of analysts who believe that the outcome of this year's FOCAC summit clearly demonstrated that Africa now has a diminished role in China's global economic agenda. Luke joins Eric & Cobus to discuss what's behind this trend and his provocative column in the Financial Times on why  the "Chinese Model is Failing Africa."

PM's Adviser Abdul Razak Dawood contradicts FT report regarding CPEC Speaking exclusively to ARY News, the PM’s adviser maintained that there are some misconceptions regarding his interview with Financial Times and will soon issue a clarification. Later, the Ministry of Commerce and Textile issued a clarification saying Pakistan rejects the article “especially its title”.

Latin America’s shift to Beijing? Washington only has itself to blame, shrug region’s diplomats | South China Morning Post “You left some space and the other guy moved in,” a Latin American diplomat said, speaking anonymously so he could more freely discuss the relationship with the United States and China. “The region will work first with the people who bring the money.” The Chinese have been constructing roads, designing new embassies and building technology infrastructures from Argentina to Mexico. It has expanded its interests of Latin American oil, copper and iron and now wants to become a more equal trade and diplomatic partner.

 

Taiwan

Taiwan plans incentives to lure companies back from China | Financial Times $$ The Taiwan government is drawing up measures to encourage companies with factories in China to shift operations back to Taiwan, in response to the rising threat from the US-China trade dispute on its critical electronics manufacturing industry. The incentives, which are being finalised, include relaxation of Taiwan’s strict land-use regulations as well as expanded tax breaks for spending across equipment upgrades, research and development, and manufacturing automation, trade officials told the Financial Times.

 

Tech And Media

Fei-Fei Li to step aside as Google Cloud’s leader and Chief Scientist · TechNode Li’s resignation from Google was expected when she started working for Google. According to the Stanford Vision and Learning Lab’s post in January 2017, Li would be on the leave from Stanford from the second half of 2018. While Li was working for Google, she continued to work with her graduate students, postdoc and collaborators at the university.

China financial news service shuts down, ‘sorry’ for unspecified mistakes | South China Morning Post: When China’s largely ceremonial legislature started to solicit public views to amend China’s personal income tax law, the channel published a petition letter in the name of its own “NetEase research bureau”, saying China should raise the monthly personal income tax threshold to 10,000 yuan (US$1,450) from the previous 3,500 yuan. The legislature did not heed the NetEase appeal, instead raising the threshold to 5,000 yuan a month. After the law’s passage, the channel published another opinion piece by an outspoken academic, saying the new threshold did not reflect public opinion. A source from another mainland internet portal, which receives instructions from Chinese censors, said the harsh punishment over NetEase’s financial and economic news coverage may be linked to an ongoing campaign by Beijing to stabilise confidence in China’s economic prospects amid an escalating trade war with the United States.

Netease Issues Apology for Content Lapses | China Media Project The Netease apology is the latest mea culpa from a Chinese tech firm in the midst of a broad tightening of controls on information in China, and like recent apologies — notably the self-confession, or jiantao (检讨), issued back in April by Zhang Yiming (张一鸣), the founder and CEO of Jinri Toutiao — this one is clearly imbued with a sense of shame and prostration. These apologies are notably distinct, in my view, from acts of so-called “self-discipline” (自律) we tended to see from tech and media sites before the Xi Jinping era.

China Bans Online Carpooling Services in Wake of Second Didi Murder This Year | Yicai Global Chinese authorities have outlawed online carpooling services nationwide after the death of two passengers using Didi Chuxing, and will not allow ride-sharing apps to operate again until the companies behind them fall in line with regulations. Ride-sharing providers need to self-inspect their safety policies and stop providing carpooling services until they have fixed all problems, the ministries of transport and public security said in a document published by the former on social media yesterday.

Chinese director Feng Xiaogang denies unfounded online rumors of tax evasion - Global Times Veteran Chinese director Feng Xiaogang wrote on Sina Weibo that he didn't evade any tax payments. He said the netizens who spread the rumor are not only insane but also violating libel laws. Actors in the film industry were investigated by the State Administration of Taxation starting early June after outspoken TV host Cui Yongyuan reported on the practice of "yin-yang contracts," in which a person shows a low-figure contract to tax authorities but actually earns much more from a high-value contract, the Xinhua News Agency reported. // Comment: the film industry tax evasion scandal is set to explode. And politically it is very useful to bring the industry to heel and to "encourage" it to make for content that adheres to "Socialist Core Values"

An analysis of censorship in Chinese open source projects - The Citizen Lab Anew paper by the Citizen Lab investigates how Chinese censorship reaches independent developers and reveals that, while developers include censorship lists in open source projects, there is little apparent similarity in these blacklists, raising several questions about their origins. Founded in 2008, GitHub is a popular open source software development and sharing platform used by programmers all over the world. By scraping GitHub code repositories, Citizen Lab researchers found over 1,000 Chinese blacklists comprising over 200,000 unique keywords, representing the largest dataset of Chinese blacklisted keywords to date.

 

Society, Art, Sports, Culture And History

Couple who immigrated from China killed on Oregon Coast - AP Miaochan Chen, 49, and Wenjun Zhu, 41, from Lake Oswego, Oregon, perished on Sunday but their 10-year-old daughter was unharmed, Capt. Tim Fox of the Oregon State Police said Monday...The family immigrated in July. A state agency placed their daughter into a local foster home.

Chongqing Man Throws Golden Retriever and Cat from 21st Floor | What's on Weibo On September 6, a man from the Shapingba district of Chongqing threw his golden retriever and a pregnant cat from the 21st floor of an apartment building. Both animals died. Various Chinese media report that the man supposedly committed the cruel act after learning his wife was pregnant and not wanting her to keep pets in the house while expecting. After an argument with his wife, he allegedly threw the pets out of the window. Shocked neighbors told reporters that the incident occurred around five o’clock on Thursday, when they heard a loud thump and found the animals on the pavement.

评书大师单田芳11日在北京病逝 享年84岁 Pingshu performer Shan Tianfang has died at 84.

 

Agriculture And Rural Issues

Tiny Pig Farms Complicating China's Fight Against Deadly Virus - Bloomberg “It is very hard to eradicate the disease in the country, where middle-and-small-sized hog farms dominate,” said Pan Chenjun, an analyst at Rabobank International in Hong Kong. It will be difficult for China to control the disease in the short-term, or over the next year, as these farms lack of proper biosecurity measures to guard against the disease, she said.