Reopening toll; Hong Kong; US-China-Japan; Liu Jianchao on Party diplomacy
The last week before the Lunar New Year/Spring Festival should be fairly quiet. Tomorrow will see the release of GDP data and possibly official admission that the population declined in 2022. Later this week Xi should make his annual pre-Spring festival inspection tour. Outgoing Vice Premier Liu He is leading the PRC delegation to Davos, so expect to hear lots about how the PRC is reopening and getting back to business.
Summary of today’s top items:
Reopening toll - The government announced that since December 8th 59,938 people have died in hospitals from COVID-19 or a combination of the infection and preexisting conditions. That number likely dramatically understates to full death toll since the chaotic reopening, as it does not include people who died at home or in places like retirement homes.
Zheng Yanxiong is the new head of the Hong Kong Liaison Office - Zheng, with a security background, said the “liaison office cherishes the presence of order, and is eagerly looking forward to …
Hong Kong further unleashing the driving force of prosperity so as to facilitate a shift from order to prosperity”.
US-China - US Treasury Secretary Yellen and outgoing Vice Premier Liu He will meet in Davos this week.
US-Japan on China - The US-Japan meetings last week were not well-received in Beijing. If past practice holds do not be surprised to start seeing punishments meted out to Japanese interests, even if that goes against the seeming tactical shift towards appearing more pragmatic.
Liu Jianchao on Party diplomacy - Liu Jianchao, head of the International Liaison Department of the Chinese Communist Party, has an essay in the latest issue of the ILD publication "Contemporary World 当代世界" titled “Strive to write a new chapter in the party's external work in the new era and on the new journey” It is an interesting official look at how the ILD sees its role. Liu writes that Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era is a “is a major ideological public good provided by our Party to the world”.
Three Body series - The new series based on the best-selling series was released Sunday, there is already n English-subtitled version on Youtube.
Thanks for reading.
1. Reopening toll
The government announced that since December 8th 59,938 people have died in hospitals from COVID-19 or a combination of the infection and preexisting conditions. That number likely dramatically understates to full death toll since the chaotic reopening, as it does not include people who died at home or in places like retirement homes.
Jiao Yahui, head of the National Health Commission's medical administration bureau, said that 59,938 deaths associated with COVID-19 were reported at hospitals across the mainland between Dec 8 and Thursday.
Of these deaths, 5,503 were caused by respiratory failure due to COVID-19, and the remainder resulted from a combination of the infection and preexisting illnesses, she said at a news briefing on Saturday.
Jiao added that the average age of patients who died was 80.3 years, and over 90 percent of them had underlying conditions such as cardiovascular or metabolic diseases, late-stage tumors or kidney failure.
"Winter is also the peak season of respiratory and cardiovascular diseases among the elderly. With the spread of COVID-19, the number of elderly deaths is relatively high, and we are attaching greater significance to protecting elderly patients and saving their lives," she said.
“This reported number of Covid-19 deaths might be the tip of the iceberg,” said Zuo-Feng Zhang, chair of the department of epidemiology at the Fielding School of Public Health at University of California, Los Angeles.
While the figure is roughly in line with what Zhang estimated might be coming from the country’s hospitals, he said it’s only a fraction of the total Covid deaths across the country.
Using a report from the National School of Development at Peking University that found 64% of the population was infected by mid-January, he estimated 900,000 people would have died in the previous five weeks based on a conservative 0.1% case fatality rate. That means the official hospital death count is less than 7% of the total mortality seen during the outbreak.
The official toll translates to 1.17 deaths daily for every million people in the country over the course of five weeks, according to a Bloomberg analysis. That’s well below the average daily mortality rate seen in other countries that initially pursued Covid Zero or managed to contain the virus after relaxing their pandemic rules.
China’s nationwide Covid infections could remain high for another two to three months, with severe case numbers staying elevated for even longer, the former chief epidemiologist at the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Zeng Guang, said.
According to Jiao Yahui, an official with the National Health Commission, these medical institutions are taking multiple measures to augment their workforce and stock up on medicines.
Health authorities are assisting the medical institutions in better equipping themselves, Jiao said. She noted that 1.17 million finger pulse oximeters were distributed to village clinics across the country.
Jiao noted that third-grade hospitals in urban areas were directed to establish 24-hour telemedicine service connection with county hospitals. They were also demanded to dispatch personnel to county hospitals to assist them during special periods, including the Spring Festival holiday, she said.
The latest MIIT data shows that supported by the government, some 462,000 medical oxygen generators were offered to regions in need between Dec. 5, 2022, and Jan. 13, 2023
The drug that was given conditional market approval in the Chinese mainland on December 29 has been officially delivered to the Second Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou Medical University, Nanfang Hospital of Southern Medical University, Shenzhen Third People's Hospital, and Peking University First Hospital in Beijing.
In a Jan 13 notice, the finance ministry said it would step up spending toward COVID control measures, promising to offer “temporary subsidies” for patients and hospital staff. The ministry is also urging local finance authorities to “further optimize the structure of fiscal spending and raise funds through multiple channels.” “Covid control should never be affected by funding issues,” the ministry said. 决不能因为经费问题影响疫情防控。
China’s finance ministry said on Monday it will boost funding for COVID-19 prevention and control, urging local fiscal departments to step up transfer payments to rural and poor areas, it said in a statement...
The country will set up “green channels” for the government, which will facilitate the purchase of medical supplies, vowing “COVID prevention and control must not be affected by funding issues,” said the statement.
"WHO recommends the monitoring of excess mortality, which provides us with a more comprehensive understanding of the impact of COVID-19," the U.N. agency told Reuters in a statement when asked about China.
A number of Chinese intellectuals, former officials, business leaders and prominent academics have died in recent weeks. Their life stories parallel and reflect the momentous and rapid changes that China underwent in the last century. Here’s a look at the lives of three — the father of China’s rocket program [Sun Jingliang], the engineer who set the nation’s time [Li Tianchu] and a central banker who contributed to the opening of the financial system [Qiu Qing].
A surge in severe Covid cases across China has led to panic buying of an antibody-based medication used to ward off infection, Intravenous Immunoglobulin (IVIG), causing supplies to tighten and prices to skyrocket, patients and medical sources told Caixin.
WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus spoke with Minister Ma Xiaowei, director of China’s National Health Commission, about the COVID-19 situation in the country. WHO appreciates this meeting, as well as the public release of information on the overall situation...
WHO will continue to work with China, providing technical advice and support, and engaging on analysing the situation. On the call today, Dr Tedros also reiterated the importance of China’s deeper cooperation and transparency on understanding the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic, and in carrying out the recommendations detailed in the report of the Strategic Advisory Group for the Origins of Novel Pathogens.
2. Zheng Yanxiong is the new head of the Hong Kong Liaison Office
Zheng, with a security background, said the “liaison office cherishes the presence of order, and is eagerly looking forward to Hong Kong further unleashing the driving force of prosperity so as to facilitate a shift from order to prosperity”.
Zheng Yanxiong was appointed director of the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), and national security adviser to the Committee for Safeguarding National Security of the HKSAR, replacing Luo Huining.
Luo was removed from the post as deputy director of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council.
Zheng was removed from the post as director of the Office for Safeguarding National Security of the Central People's Government in the HKSAR.
He is best known for stamping out anti-corruption protests that erupted in Wukan, a Guangdong village, in 2011 after an activist died in police custody.
Hong Kong media outlets quoted Zheng during the Wukan riots as saying villagers were “colluding with foreign media to create trouble”.
Luo, the outgoing Liaison Office chief, is expected to retire, Hong Kong media reported.
Mr. Zheng warned during a 2021 interview that the city’s courts must reflect China’s will and its national interest or risk losing its powers granted by Beijing, comments that some legal observers said threatened the city’s independent judiciary and the rule of law...
Past leaders of the liaison office have come from backgrounds in provincial government, diplomacy or Hong Kong policy before taking the appointment. Mr. Zheng is the first director coming into office from a national-security job and his promotion means three of the city’s top official posts are now held by law enforcers.
Zheng Yanxiong, director of the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), on Sunday underlined efforts to further unleash the driving force of prosperity in Hong Kong.
During the past year of 2022, the practice in Hong Kong of "one country, two systems" has arrived at a new historical starting point, Zheng said when delivering a Chinese New Year speech.
The liaison office cherishes the presence of order, and is eagerly looking forward to Hong Kong further unleashing the driving force of prosperity so as to facilitate a shift from order to prosperity, he said in the online speech.
"To further unleash the driving force of prosperity, it is imperative that we avail ourselves of the tremendous opportunity arising from Chinese-style modernization, and keep contributing to the historical process of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation," Zheng said.
A top Beijing official overseeing Hong Kong affairs has urged the city government to actively amend local laws to align them with “overriding” national security legislation.
Xia Baolong, director of the State Council’s Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, on Friday also underscored the dual mechanism of the national security law that Beijing imposed on the city more than two years ago.
He said a recent Beijing ruling had spelled out ways for Hong Kong to tackle issues arising from law’s implementation, while the central government would help the city solve “intractable problems”.
Xia delivered the remarks virtually at a closed-door seminar in Hong Kong on the application of the law. Among the guests were Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu, Luo Huining, head of the central government’s liaison office in Hong Kong, and some of the city’s most prominent Beijing loyalists.
US Treasury Secretary Yellen and outgoing Vice Premier Liu He will meet in Davos this week.
US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen will hold her first face-to-face meeting with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He on Jan. 18 in Zurich, making a detour on her way to talks in Africa.
The pair “will exchange views on macroeconomic developments and other economic issues,” the Treasury Department said in a statement.
With both the export controls that are in place and the potential outbound investment restrictions, some Treasury officials are concerned that the steps could slow China’s access to technology for ordinary commercial purposes as well. Ms. Yellen, who has pushed for U.S. companies to become less reliant on China, is concerned that China could retaliate against the U.S. economy, according to people familiar with her thinking. If Chinese officials see U.S. policies as too punitive, they could cut off U.S. access to goods such as solar panels, for example.
The remarks were made on Thursday when Commerce Minister Wang Wentao met with U.S.-China Business Council President Craig Allen via video link.
China and the United States have extensive common interests and space for cooperation, Wang said, adding that bilateral economic and trade cooperation is beneficial to the well-being of the two peoples and plays a pivotal role in global economic growth.
Wang pointed out that the U.S. government has defined China-U.S. relations by "strategic competition" and adopted a series of trade and investment restrictions and protectionist practices against China, which have harmed the interests of businesses and people of both countries...
He hoped that the U.S. side will correctly view the opportunities China's development brings to the United States and the world, saying that the modernization of China, with a population of more than 1.4 billion, means great opportunities for global companies, including U.S. firms.
"If they continue to intensify their technology embargo on China ... Then, I believe, we should fight back. We also have trump cards. We could, for instance, ban the export of rare earths to the US."
From the Chaoyang Shaoxia account, rumored to be run by the Ninistery of Foreign Affairs - "Some people in the United States have taken the lead in stigmatizing China's epidemic prevention, and there are four conspiracies behind it" - 朝阳少侠：美国有人挑头污名化中国防疫转段，背后藏着四个阴谋 |病毒|德国_网易政务
First, trace the source of the virus? I want to shift the blame! 搞病毒溯源？想甩锅推责！
The lie of "China virus theory" has been debunked for three years. Why can it fool people now? The words of Josef Goebbels, who was called a "propaganda genius" in Nazi Germany, may be applicable: "If your lies are wide enough and repeated, people will eventually begin to believe them."..
2. Speak for justice? Engage in containment and suppression! 二、为正义发声？搞遏制打压！
3. Thinking about the world? Engage in isolation and exclusion! 为世界考虑？搞孤立排挤！
4. Help China fight the epidemic? Work for capital! 帮中国抗疫？为资本打工
4. US-Japan on China
The US-Japan meetings last week were not well-received in Beijing. If past practice holds do not be surprised to start seeing punishments meted out to Japanese interests, even if that goes against the seeming tactical shift towards appearing more pragmatic.
President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. of the United States and Prime Minister Kishida Fumio of Japan meet at a historic moment for our Alliance, the Indo-Pacific, and the world. Our cooperation today is unprecedented, rooted in our shared vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific and a peaceful and prosperous world, guided by our shared values including the rule of law…
Our cooperation today is unprecedented, rooted in our shared vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific and a peaceful and prosperous world, guided by our shared values including the rule of law. At the same time, the Indo-Pacific faces growing challenges, from actions inconsistent with the rules-based international order by China to provocations by North Korea...
We emphasize that our basic positions on Taiwan remain unchanged, and reiterate the importance of maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait as an indispensable element of security and prosperity in the international community. We encourage the peaceful resolution of cross-Strait issues...
We also call on China to report adequate transparent epidemiological and viral genomic sequence data regarding the spread of COVID-19, to enable public health officials around the world be prepared to reduce the spread and identify any potential new variants.
Beijing not a fan of the US-Japan announcements last week - Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin’s Regular Press Conference on January 16, 2023
CCTV: US President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida held talks in Washington D.C. on January 13 and released a joint statement, which claims that the Indo-Pacific faces growing challenges including from actions inconsistent with the rules-based international order by China. They also stressed the commitment to strengthening the US-Japan alliance and the US’s commitment to Japan’s defense and criticized China on issues relating to the East China Sea and Taiwan. What’s China’s response?
Wang Wenbin: The ugly playbook jointly used by Japan and the US to tarnish China’s image, interfere in China’s internal affairs and suppress China’s development is packed with danger and hypocrisy. We firmly reject it and have conveyed strong démarches.
Japan’s militarist past, marked by devastating wars of aggression and brutal crimes against humanity, brought untold suffering on this region and beyond. Instead of drawing serious lessons from its past, Japan has displayed a dangerous tendency of rearming itself, with sharp rises in its annual defense spending for the 11th year running and constant readjustment of its defense policy aimed at military breakthrough. To justify its aggressive military build-up, Japan has been falsely hyping up regional tensions. It is even seeking to bring NATO into the Asia-Pacific. All of this makes people wonder whether Japan is tearing itself away from post-war peaceful development and fear the growing danger of history repeating itself. Our message for Japan: anyone seeking to jeopardize and risk the security and stability in the Asia-Pacific will be rejected and pushed back by countries across the region.
The US preaches the so-called “rules-based order”, but is second to none when it comes to undermining the international rules and order. From unwarranted invasion of other countries to arbitrary unilateral sanctions, from owing large arrears to the UN’s regular budget to deliberately impeding the appointment of new judges to the WTO’s Appellate Body, from coercive diplomacy to piecing together exclusionary blocs, from muscle-flexing in the Asia-Pacific by deploying warships and military aircraft to opening Pandora’s box on nuclear proliferation, facts prove time and again that the US does not really care about rules or order. It cares about only one thing - the perpetuation of US hegemony. Any existing rule that stands in the way of US interests will be ignored, replaced or even thrown out of the window, even if it was proposed and written by the US itself.
It must be pointed out that China will stay firmly committed to the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics. No country or force can hold back China’s development. We will do what is necessary to resolutely defend our sovereignty, security and development interests.
We call on the US and Japan to step out of the Cold-War mentality, quit the obsession with containing and suppressing China, stop dangerously ramping up military build-up and propagating chaos in the world and return to the right path of peace, friendship and cooperation.
5. Liu Jianchao on Party diplomacy
Liu Jianchao, head of the International Liaison Department of the Chinese Communist Party, has an essay in the latest issue of the ILD publication "Contemporary World 当代世界" titled “Strive to write a new chapter in the party's external work in the new era and on the new journey” It is an interesting official look at how the ILD sees its role. Liu writes that Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era is a “is a major ideological public good provided by our Party to the world”.
The new realm of the Sinicization of Marxism deepens the understanding of the laws of human social development. The report of the 20th Party Congress profoundly expounds the worldview and methodology of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, further revealing the fundamental political position, profound theoretical views and scientific ideological methods contained therein. With the power of truth of contemporary Chinese Marxism and twenty-first century Marxism, Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era has opened up a new realm of Marxism for the modernization of China and provided the Party and people with a guide for action to advance the great task of national rejuvenation, as well as Chinese wisdom for political parties of all countries to govern the country and Chinese solutions to address the common risks and challenges faced by mankind. It is a major ideological public good provided by our Party to the world. Throughout the history of the world, only those countries and nations that insist on independent and continuous theoretical and practical innovation have been able to win the initiative and advancement in development and progress. The Party's insistence on combining the basic principles of Marxism with the concrete reality of China and the excellent Chinese traditional culture, and constantly promoting theoretical and practical innovations that meet the reality of China, the requirements of the times, the objective laws, and the needs of the people, is of great significance to all countries, especially the vast number of developing countries...
We should actively devote ourselves to safeguarding world peace and development and strive to promote the cause of human progress. The changes unseen in a hundred years contain complex and severe risks and challenges, as well as historic development opportunities. The most important thing for the international community at present is to strengthen confidence, unite and cooperate to jointly cope with risks and challenges. Under the new situation, the Party's external affairs work should give full play to its own characteristic advantages, take the initiative to have in-depth exchanges with political parties and political organizations of various countries on major issues related to the future and destiny of mankind, clear the fog for a turbulent and changing world, and provide path guidance for global development. We must advance hand in hand with all progressive forces in the world, adhere to the correct direction of economic globalization, adhere to true multilateralism, seek peace rather than war, development rather than poverty, unity rather than division, cooperation rather than confrontation, justice rather than power, tolerance rather than exclusion, openness rather than closure, integration rather than estrangement, progress rather than retrogression, and jointly push the wheel of human history toward a brighter future...
Tell the story of the Communist Party of China deeply and thoroughly. We should continuously enhance our ability and level of telling the story of China and the CPC to the outside world, fully demonstrate the most ambitious and unique theoretical and practical innovation in human history that China is undergoing, and lead the international community, especially political party figures and think tank scholars, to deeply understand the theoretical and practical logic behind the "China Miracle". We will combine the values and concerns of different political parties to enhance the relevance of our work, innovate the discourse and narrative system in a way that is understandable, acceptable and resonant to the other party, enlighten the mind and warm the heart, fully demonstrate our Party's advanced ideas and governing achievements, speak deeply about our Party's sincere desire to maintain world peace and promote common development, and lead in shaping the objective, positive and correct view of China and the Chinese Communist Party in the international community. Carry out foreign exchanges around the party's major ideological, theoretical and practical innovations, and make good use of mechanisms and platforms such as the CPC delegations, foreign propaganda groups, special briefings, local special presentations, and visiting delegations to China, not only to talk to "influential people" but also to walk into "ordinary people's homes", and continue to transform the truth of Xi Jinping's socialist ideology with Chinese characteristics in the new era into the international influence and appeal of our Party.
In recent years the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has stepped up its global outreach. Since Xi Jinping became General Secretary in November 2012, the CCP has significantly intensified its efforts to brief foreign political players on key policies and major meetings. It has done so through conferences in China and through sending official delegations to dozens of countries...
This new initiative is coordinated by the CCP’s International Liaison Department (ILD), a ministerial-level agency that manages the Party’s relations with foreign political parties, international political organizations, and overseas political elites. The ILD maintains ties with over 600 such groups from 160-plus countries and has enjoyed a markedly higher profile under Xi’s advocacy of a “new type of political party relations” (xinxing zhengdang guanxi).
6. Three Body series
The new series based on the best-selling series was released Sunday, there is already n English-subtitled version on Youtube.
On the evening of January 15, a Chinese-made TV show adapted from “The Three Body Problem,” a popular sci-fi novel series that won its author Liu Cixin a Hugo Award in 2015, was broadcast on CCTV-8, Tencent Video and Migu Video, receiving widespread online praise.
The drama broke Tencent Video’s record in terms of the popularity generated by a drama on its debut day, according to the platform
Business, Economy and Trade
Chinese provinces set sanguine economic goals for 2023-Xinhua The 2023 GDP growth targets range from 4 to 9.5 percent for China's provincial-level regions. More than half of them expect their GDP to grow by 6 percent or higher, according to government work reports delivered at the annual sessions of the local people's congresses. Hainan, a southern island province and a tourist hotspot, targeted the GDP growth at 9.5 percent, the highest among Chinese provincial regions, as it expects a strong revival of its tourism this year. // GDP release us Tuesday
2023年全国GDP增速或高于5.5% 多位首席经济学家预判经济回暖趋势明确-证券日报网 Seven prominent Chinese economists told the Securities Daily that China’s economic growth in 2023 is likely to top 5.5%. According to a tally of the newspaper, at least 28 provinces have announced their GDP target for 2023, averaging around 6%.
Star Macro Fund Casts Doubt on Key Theme of China Stock Rally - Bloomberg Expecting a strong recovery in China’s consumption after the dismantling of its Covid curbs based on what happened overseas is “problematic,” Shanghai Banxia Investment Management Center, which manages more than 10 billion yuan ($1.5 billion), said in its December investor letter. // Comment: And hard to juice consumption without an improvement in the real estate market
CSI 300: Foreigners Return to China Bluechips as Stocks Near Bull Market - Bloomberg Anticipating a demand rebound, foreign investors have bought about 12 billion yuan ($1.8 billion) of liquor firm Wuliangye Yibin Co. via a trading link with Hong Kong in 10 weeks through Jan. 10, followed by more than 10 billion yuan worth of spirits maker Kweichow Moutai Co., according to data compiled by Bloomberg. They also bought a similar amount in Ping An Insurance Group Co. of China during the period given expectations of benefits from Beijing’s property rescue efforts.
China Evergrande's auditor quits on disagreement around 2021 audit-related matters | Reuters Embattled property developer China Evergrande (3333.HK) on Monday said that its current auditor, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), has resigned as the parties disagreed over the timeline and scope of work surrounding the firm's status as a going concern and other audit-related matters for fiscal 2021.
China Bad-Debt Companies Plan Property Support of Up to $24 Billion - Bloomberg Under the plan first announced on Friday with little details, the People’s Bank of China will channel 80 billion yuan of loans through China Huarong Asset Management Co. and its peers to selected developers at an annual rate of 1.75%, the people said, asking not to be identified because the matter is private. The distressed debt firms are encouraged to match the amount from their own coffers, the people added.
China’s Central Bank Puts to Bed Rumor About List of Quality Developers - Caixin Chinese banks can determine which developers qualify for credit support under a new government plan to improve quality property firms’ balance sheets, a central bank official said. The remarks are seen as a response to rumors that financial regulators have compiled a list of firms that qualify for the plan.
Construction Resumed on One-Fifth of Stalled Housing Projects by Year End, Survey Finds - Caixin A survey of 290 housing projects found that just 62 had restarted full construction at December-end, while 126 remained suspended and 102 were partly resumed, meaning builders were working intermittently or on only some of the buildings in a complex, consultancy China Real Estate Information Corp. (CRIC) said in a Wednesday note. Policymakers and local governments have pledged to resume stalled projects’ construction as soon as possible. The People’s Bank of China has launched a 200 billion yuan ($29.8 billion) relending program and policy banks have issued 200 billion yuan in special loans for local governments to inject into stalled projects.
China Home Prices Slump After Covid Outbreaks Dampen Property Market Rescue - Bloomberg New-home prices in 70 cities, excluding state-subsidized housing, declined 0.25% from a month earlier, the same pace as November, National Bureau of Statistics figures showed Monday. For the full year, prices dropped 2.3%, according to Bloomberg calculations.
滴滴出行：即日起恢复“滴滴出行”的新用户注册_10%公司_澎湃新闻-The Paper Didi Chuxing announced that it would resume new user registrations after the company said it cooperated with the government on a cybersecurity review for over a year.
China moves to take ‘golden shares’ in Alibaba and Tencent units | Financial Times The Chinese government has responded to a stuttering economy by backing away from the tough fines and sanctions that were a hallmark of its campaign to rein in the country’s largest tech groups, but which also scared off foreign investors. While the heavy-handed crackdown has ebbed, the government is increasingly snapping up small equity stakes in the local operations of big tech companies, as it recently did with TikTok owner ByteDance.
As China Tech Stocks Roar Back, a New Normal Will Test Upside - Bloomberg “Chinese tech shares were once the easiest bet, and for most of the past decade you were able to win and see outperformance without doing much,” said Chen Da, managing director at Fortune Hill Asset Management Ltd. “It’s possible we’ll never see those times again.”
Tencent Shares Nearly Double From October Low as Crackdown Eases - Bloomberg The online giant has risen about 95% in Hong Kong since Oct. 28, as approvals for industry funding and new games have begun to trickle in again.
Alibaba Seeks to Boost Sales Abroad With Buy Now, Pay Later - WSJ $$ Chinese internet giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. BABA 3.41%increase; green up pointing triangle started allowing shoppers in Europe to pay for purchases on its international e-commerce platform only after receiving their merchandise, in an attempt to boost global sales as growth at home slows.
Cover Story: Where to Now for Alibaba in the Post-Jack Ma Era? - Caixin Now it appears that just as Ma’s clash with the government and scrapped IPO heralded the start of Beijing’s crackdown, so too would his surrendering control of Ant signal its end, with regulators apparently satisfied they had brought to heel one of China’s business titans and the freewheeling internet sector along with him...An Alibaba employee disclosed to Caixin that the Double 11 sales grew just 1% year-on-year, compared with 14% for the same event in 2021.
Alibaba enlists academics in lobbying effort to restore reputation | Financial Times Chinese scholars involved in Alibaba’s lobbying operation published essays and submitted reports in support of the company to authorities in Beijing, including the State Administration for Market Regulation, which hit the group with a record fine for antitrust abuses in 2021. Alibaba provided the scholars with money, data, information and interview opportunities to bolster their research, according to more than 10 academics, government officials and company employees who spoke to the Financial Times. The company also promised to fund some scholars’ research projects...
Exclusive: Russian oil shipped to Asia in Chinese supertankers amid ship shortage | Reuters At least four Chinese-owned supertankers are shipping Russian Urals crude to China, according to trading sources and tracking data, as Moscow seeks vessels for exports after a G7 oil price cap restricted the use of Western cargo services and insurance.
South China city sees first 2023 China-Europe freight-train trip to Moscow-Xinhua A freight train carrying China-made construction machinery left the city of Liuzhou in south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region on Sunday heading for Moscow, marking the first 2023 trip of the Liuzhou-Moscow freight train service.
China Runs Record Trade Deficit With Russia as Energy Costs Jump - Bloomberg The world’s second-largest economy purchased $114.1 billion worth of goods from Russia in 2022, up 44% from a year earlier, figures from China’s General Administration of Customs showed Friday. By comparison, China’s total imports from around the globe were up just 1.1% for the year.
Interview: China's COVID-19 response will contribute to global growth, says WEF president-Xinhua The new response of China "will lead to stronger and more prosperous growth, even if this immediate situation is a bit challenging," Brende said ahead of the WEF's annual meeting to be held on Monday in Davos, Switzerland.
Yicai - Levdeo Founder Accuses Chinese Local Gov’t Official of Forcing EV Maker to Fake USD700 Million in Sales Li Guoxin said through Levdeo’s WeChat account on Jan. 14 that the secretary of the Communist Party of China’s committee for Changle county in Weifang, Shandong province, where Levdeo is based, forced the automaker to report CNY6.7 billion in sales last year to make the local economy’s report card look better. The actual figure was CNY2 billion, Li said. The provincial government has launched an investigation into the matter. // 突发！雷丁汽车实名举报县委书记！官方已展开调查_澎湃号·媒体_澎湃新闻-The Paper
Yicai - Tesla Bears Down on Chinese Rivals as Orders Surge on Price Cuts Orders for Tesla cars have surged by as much as 500 percent in some cities since last month, according to industry figures. That is putting Chinese producers under great strain, the boss of one auto company told Yicai Global.
Yicai - PBOC Adds Funds to Banking System Before Lunar New Year; Analysts See Rate Cuts as Soon as This Quarter China's central bank has injected CNY933 billion (USD139.2 billion) into the country's financial system to balance liquidity ahead of a peak of withdrawals before the Spring Festival
扩内需增活力 地方绘制经济发展“施工图”-新华网 A number of provincial governments have unveiled plans to stimulate consumption and increase infrastructure investments. Some, including Tianjin, Yunnan and Chongqing, have pledged to bolster the private sector. Yunnan said it plans to increase the proportion of the private sector’s contribution to the local GDP to over 52%.
就业是民生之本，多个省市提出“确保零就业家庭动态清零” Some cities and provinces have vowed to implement a “dynamic Zero unemployment policy” among households with people currently in the labour market. Shanghai mayor Gong Zheng told reporters on Jan 15 that “as long as one person in the family is working, that family will have hope.” Local governments that have announced 结业家庭动态清零include Shanghai, Shanxi, Dalian, Tianjin and Wuhan.
Indonesia deploys security forces after nickel smelter protest turns deadly | Reuters An Indonesian and a Chinese worker were killed during the clashes at the PT Gunbuster Nickel Industry (GNI) smelter, owned by China's Jiangsu Delong Nickel Industry, which involved protesters, workers and security guards, said Didik Supranoto, a spokesperson for Central Sulawesi police.
Chinese exports suffer sharpest fall in 3 years as Covid pain spreads | Financial Times Exports declined 9.9 per cent year on year in dollar terms in December, according to official data released on Friday by China’s general administration of customs, worse than November’s 8.7 per cent fall but slightly outperforming expectations of an even greater contraction. Imports slid 7.5 per cent last month, up from a 10.6 drop the month before. For the full year, China’s trade surplus hit a record of $878bn on the back of a pandemic-era boom that boosted its exports.
China Includes Digital Yuan in Calculating December Money Supply - Caixin The central bank’s estimate of M0, a measure of the amount of money in circulation, included 13.6 billion yuan ($2 billion) of the digital currency at the end of December, accounting for 0.13% of total currency in circulation, according to the PBOC.
Guangdong Racks Up $22 Billion Bill Funding ‘Zero Covid’ - Caixin In 2020, governments of all levels in the South China province allocated 30.3 billion yuan to Covid-19 containment measures. That figure increased to 45.4 billion yuan in 2021 and 71.1 billion yuan last year, according to reports published by the provincial finance department.
China-Australia relations: envoy’s rock lobster visit raises hopes of further easing of trade bans | South China Morning Post Long Dingbin, China’s envoy at its Perth consulate, visited the world’s largest exporter of Australian rock lobsters after reports an unofficial ban on coal will be lifted Visit took place on the same day Beijing’s ambassador said that China and Australia will ‘come back to a normal kind of relationship’ amid an easing of tensions
铁矿石价格飙升 发改委降低涨价预期 The National Development and Reform Commission has summoned some iron ore trading firms and warned them not to distort pricing. Since Nov, iron ore prices have surged 50%. //15日，国家发改委官方公众号发文，称近日个别铁矿石资讯企业转载不实旧闻，混淆视听，对市场造成不良影响。 据记者了解，发改委不仅在咨询传播方面发力以降低涨价预期，还计划召集铁矿石贸易商、期货公司开会降低涨价预期
Iron ore prices: China’s latest attempt to temper a surge - Sydney Morning Herald At the weekend, China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), its key economic planning agency, said it would “pay close attention” to changes in the iron ore market. In a statement issued on Sunday, the agency said it would work with relevant departments to “severely crack down on illegal activities such as fabricating and disseminating information on prices increases, hoarding and price gouging, so as to effectively ensure the smooth operation of the iron ore market.”
Commodity Markets: China Summons Iron Ore’s Traders Amid Sharp Gains - Bloomberg At least five domestic iron ore traders or brokerages are set to meet Tuesday with officials from the National Development and Reform Commission to discuss the market, according to people with knowledge of the matter. The NDRC requested the firms’ recent trading records for physical and futures markets ahead of the talks, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the information is private.
Covid Workers in China Clash With Police Over Unpaid Wages, Layoffs - The New York Times Companies that reaped windfalls helping the government implement strict ‘zero Covid’ controls are now struggling to pay and keep workers.
Shanghai pledges tax cuts, government subsidies for ailing small businesses as city sharpens focus on economic recovery in 2023 | South China Morning Post That commitment was made on Sunday by Mayor Gong Zheng, who said economic sweeteners like tax cuts and government subsidies are in the works in line with the city’s goal this year to achieve a gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate of 5.5 per cent. “Local companies are the cells of the Shanghai economy and they lay the foundation for economic growth,” Gong said at a press conference after the close of the Shanghai People’s Congress. “We are studying a series of policies to address the problems that local small firms now face, including difficulties in securing orders, accessing capital and managing raw material costs.” // Question: But how to stimulate demand?
HSBC’s £1 Billion Buyout Fund With China Falters as Strains Grow - Bloomberg The fund closed money from its anchor investors CIC, HSBC and Charterhouse later that year and a regulatory filing shows that China Life Insurance Company has also backed the fund. But the vehicle, which is still open to investors, has only raised around £500 million, the person familiar, who asked not to be identified discussing private matter, said.
The lure of Singapore: Chinese flock to ‘Asia’s Switzerland’ | Financial Times $$ Investment migration consultancy Henley & Partners has had a significant spike in migration inquiries from Chinese nationals in 2022, which are up 83 per cent by end of November compared to the full year 2021. In the top two positions were Greece and Portugal, which offer “golden visas” that grant residence without having to spend time there. Singapore was in third place.
Marking 40 Years: Roberta Lipson and Tim Stratford Discuss their China Journeys – AmCham China For the past 40 years, Roberta Lipson and Tim Stratford have been two of the pillars of the expatriate business community in Beijing. The AmCham China Quarterly shares some of their reflections from a conversation they had earlier this year as the two sat down for an expansive discussion about their personal and professional journeys in China.
Politics and Law
Magazine to publish Xi's speech for group study session of CPC leadership-Xinhua speech...at the first group study session of the Political Bureau of the 20th CPC Central Committee...will be published in this year's 2nd issue of the Qiushi Journal //The speech - 在二十届中央政治局第一次集体学习时的讲话--党建-中国共产党新闻网
Xi calls on non-CPC members to better pool strength, serve overall interests of country-Xinhua On behalf of the CPC Central Committee, Xi extended congratulations to the newly-elected leaderships of the central committees of eight non-CPC political parties and the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce (ACFIC), and sent greetings to people from non-CPC political parties and the ACFIC, personages without party affiliation, and members of the united front... Wang Yang, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, attended the gathering. Wang Huning and Ding Xuexiang, who are both members of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, were also present.
习近平同党外人士座谈并共迎新春时强调 以更加奋发有为的精神状态履职尽责 在凝心聚力服务大局上发挥更大作用 CCTV Evening News on Xi's annual gathering with non-CPC personages/ Per the readout, Chen Xi is still the head of the Organization Department - 中央组织部部长陈希
Xi Faces Dilemma as China Quietly Detains Young Covid Protesters - Bloomberg People with knowledge of the detentions confirmed to Bloomberg that at least 12 people are in custody. Most are in their twenties and recently started their careers. Several graduated from top educational institutions, including Tsinghua University, Xi’s alma mater. One worked at a party-backed media outlet and another at a multinational accounting firm. Others were writers, photographers and artists.
Comment: One of them recorded a video to be released if she were arrested. She was:
China plans new law to restrict business activities of civil servants | South China Morning Post A senior Chinese anti-corruption official has announced that new legislation is planned to restrict the business activities of current and former civil servants. “[We will] push forward national legislation on fighting corruption, and stipulate restrictions on civil servants … [from engaging in] part-time work, business activities, and employment after [they leave the job],” Xiao Pei, deputy director of top anti-graft body the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, wrote in state-run People’s Daily on Monday. // Xiao Pei in People's Daily - 坚持不敢腐、不能腐、不想腐一体推进 推进反腐败国家立法，明确公职人员任职回避以及兼职、商业行为、离职从业限制等管理制度。
为全面建设社会主义现代化国家、全面推进中华民族伟大复兴凝聚强大精神力量 - 求是网 Page 6 of the Monday People's Daily carries a long article by "闻言 Wenyan", pen name for the 中央文献研究室 Party Literature Research Center of the CPC Central Committee, titled "Gather strong spiritual strength in order to build a socialist modern country in an all-round way and comprehensively promote the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation- Study "Excerpts of Xi Jinping's Exposition on the Construction of Socialist Spiritual Civilization". That book came out last September. Some highlights:
1. Adhere to and strengthen the Party's leadership over the construction of socialist spiritual civilization 坚持和加强党对社会主义精神文明建设的领导...
We should put ideological propaganda in an important position in our overall work, and strengthen the analysis and judgment of major issues and the overall guidance of major strategic tasks. We must firmly hold the leadership, management and discourse power of ideological work in our hands at any time; otherwise, we will make an irreparable historic mistake. No matter how the times evolve and the media landscape changes, the Party's principle and system for managing the media will remain unchanged. We should strengthen political leadership and guidance for the work of philosophy and social sciences, focusing on prosperity and development as well as guidance and management. To strengthen and improve the Party's leadership over literature and art work, we must, first, firmly rely on the broad masses of literary and art workers, and, second, respect and follow the laws of literature and art...
2. Build a socialist ideology with strong cohesion and leading force 建设具有强大凝聚力和引领力的社会主义意识形态...
Propaganda and ideological positions, if we don't occupy them, others will occupy them ... The Internet has become the forefront of the current ideological struggle. It is necessary to take maintaining the safety of Internet ideology as an important mission of doing our duty, control the dominant position of Internet ideology, adhere to both management and prevention, strengthen and improve the positive propaganda on the Internet, and resolutely win the ideological struggle on the Internet. Colleges and universities are the forefront of ideological work, so we should master the leading role of ideological and political work in colleges and universities and ensure that colleges and universities will always be a strong position to train builders and successors of socialist cause.
3. Actively cultivate and widely practice socialist core values 积极培育和广泛践行社会主义核心价值观...
4. Carry forward the great spirit of the founding of the Party and use China's fine traditional culture, revolutionary culture, and advanced socialist culture to cast our souls and enlighten our minds 弘扬伟大建党精神，用中华优秀传统文化、革命文化、社会主义先进文化培根铸魂、启智润心...
5. Promoting the common prosperity of people's spiritual life 促进人民精神生活共同富裕
Symposium held on book about Xi's visits to people's homes-Xinhua A symposium was held in Beijing on Thursday on the book about the interactions between Xi Jinping and the people during his domestic inspection tours. Attending the symposium, Shen Yueyue, vice chairperson of the National People's Congress Standing Committee and president of the All-China Women's Federation, stressed the thorough study and implementation of the guiding principles of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China and the sound understanding of the book, in a bid to inspire a strong driving force for striving in unity to build a modern socialist country in all respects.
Shen called Xi People’s Leader at this symposium - 沈跃跃在《习近平走进百姓家》出版座谈会上强调 深刻感悟领袖为民情怀 凝聚奋进新征程的磅礴力量--时政--人民网 1月12日，《习近平走进百姓家》出版座谈会在京召开。全国人大常委会副委员长、全国妇联主席沈跃跃出席，强调要深入学习贯彻党的二十大精神，学好《习近平走进百姓家》，深刻感悟人民领袖爱人民、人民领袖人民爱，坚定拥护“两个确立”、坚决做到“两个维护”，激发为全面建设社会主义现代化国家团结奋斗的强大动力。她指出，本书是习近平新时代中国特色社会主义思想真理力量和实践伟力的生动写照，要把学好用好这本书作为思想政治引领的重要抓手、深化家庭家教家风建设的重要载体、开展妇联工作的重要推动，更好服务“国之大者”，凝聚妇女人心、汇聚家庭力量，跟党奋进新征程。
More coverage of the book about Xi’s visit to homes includes People’s Leader - 从万家灯火中感悟领袖为民情怀_新华报业网 在深入学习贯彻党的二十大精神，全国人民喜迎新春佳节之际，《习近平走进百姓家》一书编辑出版，这本书通过32个家庭的真情讲述，以万家灯火映照习近平总书记“我将无我，不负人民”的大情怀，真实记录了非凡十年具有里程碑意义的大变革，是送给亿万家庭沉甸甸的春节厚礼。我们要学好《习近平走进百姓家》，深刻感悟人民领袖爱人民、人民领袖人民爱，激发为全面建设社会主义现代化国家团结奋斗的强大动力。
Sports Administration holds meeting to study the spirit of the 20th Party Congress, some fawning involved, including “People’s Leader” - 体育总局党组理论学习中心组（扩大）举行“学习党的二十大精神”专题学习_国家体育总局 高志丹在总结讲话中指出，要从新时代10年伟大变革的根本原因中进一步领悟“两个确立”的决定性意义。新时代的10年，我们战胜前所未有的困难挑战，取得前所未有的伟大成就，迎来前所未有的光明前景，这一切都是党和人民一道拼出来、干出来、奋斗出来的。在这个过程中，习近平总书记作为党中央的核心、全党的核心，在风云变幻中举旗定向，在惊涛骇浪中力挽狂澜，不愧为党的核心、人民领袖、军队统帅，不愧为“中华号”巨轮的掌舵者、中华民族伟大复兴的领航人。实践证明，新时代10年体育事业取得的一切成就，最根本的原因是有以习近平同志为核心的党中央对体育工作的全面领导；最坚强的保证是有习近平总书记关于体育的重要论述领航定向；最重要的经验是把“两个确立”的政治要求转化为“两个维护”的实际行动，始终在思想上政治上行动上同以习近平同志为核心的党中央保持高度一致。
Tibetans in India, dwindling in numbers, struggle to see a future beyond an aging Dalai Lama - The Globe and Mail Since China’s annexation of Tibet, Dharamshala has been a home to those who fled – but in recent years, far fewer refugees have arrived to join them. Now, their movement is waiting to see what the Dalai Lama’s eventual death will bring next
The Year 2022 in Censorship: A Selection from the "404 Archive" - CDT Arranged together, the essays are modest rather than incendiary, still less revolutionary: a pandemic diary, a compilation of visual art, a list of those who died during Shanghai’s lockdown, an archive of 33 attempts to disguise a censored video, a report on a bank depositor, a poem about cicadas, a policy proposal, a cri de coeur, a list of 10 questions, and a photo essay of a vigil. None passed censors’ muster. These essays are not the “most censored” essays of the year, but rather a selection of notable pieces that were scrubbed from the web. A selection of each has been excerpted and translated into English below.
Two truck drivers from NE China’s Liaoning sentenced to 4 years each for violating COVID-19 prevention and control measures apply for retrial - Global Times after China downgraded its COVID-19 management from Class A to Class B and stopped convicting and punishing behaviors that violate the prevention and control measures for COVID-19 infection and border health quarantine regulations.
人事观察｜中宣部副部长孙业礼兼任国新办主任_政经频道_财新网 Sun Yeli, a Vice Minister of Publicity Department of the Communist Party of China, now concurrently serves as Director of the State Council Information Office.
Prisons in China Ease Rules for Visiting Inmates - Caixin Provincial prison administrations in Eastern China’s Anhui and Ningxia Hui autonomous region in the northwest, issued statements this month to allow family members to visit inmates in person as long as they have a valid 48-hour negative PCR test result. A negative rapid antigen test result upon arrival is also acceptable in Anhui. Masks are required during visits.
Ex-New China Life Chairman Has Been Unreachable Since November, Sources Say - Caixin Wan Feng, 64, has been unreachable since around mid-November, which is likely related to how the state-owned insurance major invested its funds during his tenure as chairman from 2016 to 2019, industry insiders said.
Foreign and Defense Affairs
王毅同法国总统外事顾问博纳通电话_凤凰网 Wang Yi had a phone conversation with French President's Diplomatic Advisor Emmanuel Bonne. Per the PRC readout, no mention of Ukraine:
Wang Yi said that the current world situation is full of turmoil and changes, and the healthy and stable development of Sino-French relations is of special significance. As permanent members of the UN Security Council and independent powers, China and France should strengthen strategic communication and play an important role in coping with global chaos and changes. China is willing to have close high-level exchanges with France, deepen strategic mutual trust and open up new prospects for China-France comprehensive strategic partnership. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the establishment of China-EU comprehensive strategic partnership. China is willing to work with France and other EU member states to adhere to mutual respect, dialogue and cooperation, and win-win results, thus injecting new impetus into China-EU comprehensive strategic partnership.
王毅表示，当今世界形势充满动荡和变革，中法关系的健康稳定发展具有特殊意义。同为联合国安理会常任理事国和独立自主大国，中法应加强战略沟通，为应对全球乱局、变局发挥重要作用。中方愿同法方密切高层交往、深化战略互信，开辟中法全面战略伙伴关系新前景。今年是中国欧盟建立全面战略伙伴关系 20 周年，中方愿同法方和其他欧盟成员国一道，坚持相互尊重、对话合作、互利共赢，为中欧全面战略伙伴关系注入新动力。
Bonne said that France attaches great importance to France-China relations and is willing to strengthen high-level exchanges with China, deepen cooperation in innovation, science and technology, and jointly draw a blueprint for future development. France opposes the cold war mentality and bloc politics, and is willing to play an active role in expanding the EU-China dialogue, safeguarding multilateralism, promoting global economic recovery and cooperating to deal with climate change. The French side understands and supports the anti-epidemic measures taken by China, and believes that China will surely overcome this round of epidemic.
China pledges efforts to contribute to peace talks between Russia, Ukraine - World - TASS Authorities in China are working on effective ways out of the Ukrainian crisis and will contribute to a peace settlement between Russia and Ukraine, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Xie Feng said on Monday. Addressing a forum hosted by the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies currently underway in Beijing, the senior Chinese diplomat said, "As for the Ukrainian problem...China has taken the right action to seek to promote [Russia-Ukraine] peace talks. We are working on settlement projects that could address the root causes and consequences of the Ukrainian crisis.
US-Japan pact may increase global tension - China Daily Da Zhigang, director of the Institute of Northeast Asian Studies at the Heilongjiang Provincial Academy of Social Sciences, said that what Washington and Tokyo are doing will feed a regional arms race, which will increase regional and geopolitical tensions. "The move can curb or even undermine interregional cooperation on many fronts, including climate change and marine pollution," Da said. "Besides that, the ongoing efforts of the US and Japan to intensify regional groupings have a significant negative impact on the development of the entire Asia-Pacific region."
“China is deeply worried” about the recent escalation of tensions between Israel and Palestine, Qin said in the Egyptian capital Cairo – his last stop on a five-nation African tour and first overseas trip since taking office in December.
“Israel should stop all incitement and provocation and avoid any unilateral actions that might lead to aggravation of the situation,” the Chinese diplomat said at a joint press briefing on Sunday with Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry.
El-Sisi asked Qin Gang to convey his sincere greetings to President Xi Jinping and he extended congratulations again on the success of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China. He noted that China is a great country and its development is unstoppable. The Egypt-China friendship has been historically "unbreakable". Egypt will continue its firm adherence to the one-China principle and resolutely oppose any external forces to interfere in China's internal affairs. Egypt and China have achieved fruitful results in jointly advancing the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and Egypt welcomes more Chinese enterprises to invest and set up businesses in the country. In light of China's recent improvement and recalibration of the COVID-19 prevention and control measures, the Egyptian people warmly welcome the Chinese people to visit Egypt as soon as possible. Egypt is willing to strengthen coordination with China on international and regional affairs and promote Arab-China and Africa-China cooperation.
Qin Gang Holds Talks with Secretary-General of the LAS Ahmed Aboul Gheit Qin Gang expressed that the first China-Arab States Summit successfully concluded last month with fruitful outcomes. Both sides agreed to build a China-Arab community with a shared future in the new era, charting the course for the development of China-Arab relations in the new era. It is of milestone importance. China is ready to work with Arab states to implement the summit's outcomes in the spirit of China-Arab friendship and speed up the implementation of the eight major cooperation initiatives proposed at the summit, so as to deliver more benefits to the Chinese and Arab peoples. Qin Gang called on the two sides to strengthen the building of mechanisms under the framework of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum in order to elevate bilateral cooperation.
Angolan President João Lourenço Meets with Qin Gang - MoFA China appreciates Angola's commitment to the one-China principle and its support for China's legitimate proposition. China will, as always, support Angola in opposing external interference, independently choosing its development path and safeguarding national sovereignty, security and development interests. China is ready to work with Angola to implement the important common understandings reached between the two heads of state and upgrade pragmatic cooperation, so as to bring more benefits to the two peoples.
Beninese President Patrice Talon Meets with Qin Gang - MoFA Qin Gang said that China has always adhered to the leadership of the Communist Party of China in its reforms and development, stayed committed to independence, and never simply copied the models of any other countries. China is ready to strengthen experience-sharing on state governance with Benin, and support Benin's pursuit of a development path suited to its national conditions. China will continue to work in solidarity and cooperation with African countries, including Benin, to achieve common development based on the spirit of China-Africa friendship and cooperation and in line with the principles of sincerity, real results, amity and good faith, and a commitment to the greater good and shared interests.
Benin, China sign MoU on partial debt cancellation, strengthen bilateral ties | Africanews During Qin's visit a memorandum of understanding on partial debt cancellation was signed by both countries.
China promotes Ma Zhaoxu to top deputy for new Foreign Minister Qin Gang | South China Morning Post The promotion will see Ma, 59, a former foreign ministry spokesman and ambassador to Australia and the United Nations, take on full ministerial duties and oversee the department’s daily affairs. It also makes him the top deputy to Qin Gang, China’s new foreign minister. Ma is now the ministry’s third-ranking diplomat after Qin and its Communist Party chief, Qi Yu, according to the ministry website.
Liu He to Attend the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2023 and Visit Switzerland At the invitation of Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, and the government of the Swiss Confederation, Vice Premier of the State Council Liu He will attend the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2023 and visit Switzerland from January 15 to 19.
China urges Japan to safely dispose of nuclear-contaminated water-Xinhua China once again urges Japan to take the reasonable concerns of relevant parties seriously and dispose of its nuclear-contaminated water in a science-based, open, transparent and safe manner, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said on Monday. Wang made the remarks at a daily news briefing here in response to reports that Japan would pipe nuclear-contaminated water from the Fukushima nuclear power station into the ocean during the spring and summer this year.
South China Sea: PLA strike group holds live-fire drills after US warships enter region | South China Morning Post The flotilla is led by the Shandong, China’s first domestically built aircraft carrier, and includes a Type 055 stealth guided-missile destroyer and three guided-missile destroyers. The strike group began a series of confrontational drills in the South China Sea last week, the PLA Navy said on its WeChat account on Sunday.
India's Growing Antagonism Towards China as Viewed by SIIS Analyst Liu Zongyi "For the next 10 years at least, India will continue to pursue pro-US policies and will continue to adopt a primarily confrontational approach towards China, with cooperation as a secondary priority." by
US nears new cooperation deals with Pacific Island nations | AP News the U.S. signed memorandums of understanding with the Marshall Islands and Palau that administration officials hope will pave the way for the quick completion of broader agreements that will govern the islands’ relations with Washington for the next two decades. Those ties grant the U.S. unique military and other security rights on the islands in return for substantial aid. The administration believes that extending those so-called “Compacts of Free Association” agreements will be key to efforts to retain American power and blunt Chinese assertiveness throughout the Indo-Pacific.
Interpreting China’s Diplomatic Shifts – The Diplomat While Chinese diplomacy has certainly shifted in tone, rhetoric, and even in stances on matters deemed to be of secondary, non-substantive importance, such shifts should not be construed as a fundamental pivot. Beijing has certainly opened itself to more rapprochement, engagement, and constructive collaboration across economic and strategic matters (spanning climate change, public health, and civil society exchanges) with an increased number of allies – yet such transitions should not be misinterpreted as a sign of its abandoning long-standing commitments and what Beijing dubs as “baselines” (dixian).
Islamic State Khurasan Criticizes Taliban-China Relations, Alleges IEA Complicit in Suffering of Uyghur Muslims The Islamic State Khurasan Province (ISKP) has markedly intensified their criticism of Taliban foreign relations in recent months with one of the primary targets being China. ISKP seeks to undermine the Taliban’s credibility amongst hardliners by pointing out the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’s (IEA) cordial dealings with a nation the Islamic State (IS) considers a primary enemy of Islam. Such narratives frame the Taliban as derelict on matters of East Turkistan, drawing a stark demarcation with ISKP fighters who are persistently speaking out and acting in defense of suffering Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang.
Chairman of World Muslim Communities Council impressed by visit, says ‘important for Muslim world to understand Xinjiang’ - Global Times Led by Ali Rashid Al Nuaimi (Al Nuaimi), chairman of The World Muslim Communities Council from the UAE, a delegation including more than 30 Islamic figures and scholars from 14 countries visited Northwest China's Xinjiang region starting on January 8. They went to mosques, the Xinjiang Islamic Institute, bazaars and many other places to communicate with local residents and religious groups in Urumqi, Altay and Kashi and to get a better understanding of the region's development and protection of religious freedom. On the last day of their visit in Kashi, Al Nuaimi was interviewed by Global Times reporters Liu Xin and Fan Lingzhi (GT).
GT survey: More Europeans unsatisfied with US-EU relations since Russia-Ukraine conflict breaks out - Global Times The Global Times Research Center conducted a survey in 13 countries in Europe and Turkey to learn about Europeans' opinions on their relations with the US since the outbreak of the Russian-Ukraine conflict in February, 2022, as well as their concerns over the security situation of the continent and the energy and food crises. Data from 7,536 samples show that more Europeans are unsatisfied with their ties with the US and are concerned that US actions against Russia will bring negative impact to Europe's economy.
Beijing, Hanoi send New Year greetings - China Daily Beijing is ready to work together with Hanoi to enhance the synergy of their development strategies, deepen practical cooperation in various fields, enhance communication and coordination in international and regional affairs, and make contributions to advancing the noble cause of peace and development of mankind, Xi added. In his message, Trong said he is ready to work with Xi to guide the departments and sub-national authorities of both sides to implement the agreements and consensus reached during his visit to China last year. He said he is prepared to conduct strategic communications on the theories and practices of socialist construction of the two countries, and chart the course and set out strategic plans to bring the relations between the two parties and the two countries to higher levels.
Indonesia deploys warship to monitor China coast guard vessel | South China Sea News | Al Jazeera Indonesia has deployed a warship to its North Natuna Sea to monitor a Chinese coast guard vessel that has been active in a resource-rich maritime area both countries claim as their own, the head of the country’s navy has said.
Synergies Between the Global Development Initiative and the Belt and Road Initiative - Interpret: China When Xi Jinping announced the Global Development Initiative (GDI) in late 2021, important questions were raised about the future of the Belt & Road Initiative (BRI). Here, two scholars from Renmin University argue that the GDI is an addition to, not a replacement of, the BRI. They tout the GDI and BRI as the “main drivers of global South-South cooperation” and useful tools to address the North-South gap and promote the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
‘Unrealistic expectations’ of Hong Kong judiciary may erode public confidence in judicial system and rule of law, chief justice warns | South China Morning Post Chief Justice Andrew Cheung says courts must respect and uphold the constitutional order of the city even as he stresses their independence In speech delivered at the opening of the legal year, he also emphasises that it is not the courts’ function to make laws, public policies or political decisions
Hong Kong Bar Assoc. chief urges use of legal power with 'caution' following Beijing interpretation - Hong Kong Free Press HKFP The city’s justice minister and a solicitors group defended Beijing’s recent ruling, saying that it had not granted new powers to the chief executive or national security authorities. The city’s courts were also urged not to “usurp” the legal functions of other government organs.
Hong Kong criticised for barring protest photographer Michiko Kiseki from city - Hong Kong Free Press HKFP Hong Kong’s Immigration Department barred freelance photographer Michiko Kiseki from the city last month, according to Japanese newspaper Nikkei. The award-winning photographer captured the 2019 pro-democracy protests and unrest, later hosting an exhibition in Japan of her shots.
Taiwan presidential contender sparks US concerns over China tensions | Financial Times Taiwan’s next presidential election is still a year away, but for Lai Ching-te, the vice-president and likely candidate of the ruling party, the campaign to convince the US that he is a safe pair of hands starts now. On Sunday, President Tsai Ing-wen’s ruling Democratic Progressive party elected Lai its chair, following Tsai’s resignation as party leader after the DPP’s defeat in local polls
William Lai vows to lead ‘honest’ DPP - Taipei Times Lai, who ran unopposed, was elected with 99.65 percent of the votes
Bureau probing secret files for sale on Web site - Taipei Times The Ministry of Justice Investigation Bureau is investigating a claim on an international online forum that offered classified Taiwanese intelligence files for sale. The bureau issued a statement about the probe yesterday after the Chinese-language Liberty Times (the sister paper of the Taipei Times) reported earlier in the day that the advertisement published on the forum was for confidential documents allegedly from the nation’s intelligence agencies.
Tech and Media
CMG unveils Spring Festival Gala lineup, tech innovation highlights - CGTN Xu Guangwen, director of CMG's arts program center, said the four-and-a-half-hour extravaganza that includes dance, language, drama, martial arts, acrobatics and other types of programs has been carefully arranged and strives to use innovative design to present the new era and the atmosphere of the new year. This year's Spring Festival Gala has made technological innovation breakthroughs again. There will be many "firsts" during the event; for example, a live broadcast in 8K Ultra HD + 3D Color Sound and an 8K Ultra HD camera independently developed by China will be used to produce the Spring Festival Gala.
Rural children choirs to perform Spring Festival gala's opening show-Xinhua Two rural children choirs will perform the opening show of the 2023 Spring Festival Gala produced by China Media Group, which is slated on Jan. 21, according to a press conference Monday. The choirs include the Malanhua Children's Choir -- an ensemble featured in both the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics -- from Fuping County in north China's Hebei Province.
Yicai - Tencent’s Anti-Graft Drive Brings to Light Over 70 Cases in 2022 More than 100 people were dismissed in 2022 for violating Tencent's internal regulatory requirements, the Shenzhen-based firm said in a statement today. Additionally, more than 10 people were handed to the police due to being suspected of crimes.
Chinese platform restricts streams after players use politically sensitive handles — Radio Free Asia Chinese entertainment platform Bilibili has imposed restrictions on livestream anchors playing “Goose Goose Duck” after users in China assumed politically sensitive handles referencing Chinese leaders, disgraced former officials and exiled dissidents.
TikTok Tries to Win Allies in the U.S. With More Transparency - WSJ $$ In recent conversations with Washington lawmakers and civil-society organizations, TikTok has revealed details of a complex, $1.5 billion plan to reorganize the company’s U.S. operations, according to people familiar with the discussions...As a part of its proposal, TikTok has said all of its systems related to serving content would be housed with Oracle. The code that runs these systems would be visible to both Oracle and third-party monitors, according to people familiar with TikTok’s proposal.
China trounces U.S. in AI research output and quality - Nikkei Asia China is the undisputed champion in artificial intelligence research papers, a Nikkei study shows, far surpassing the U.S. in both quantity and quality. Tencent Holdings, Alibaba Group Holding and Huawei Technologies are among the top 10 companies producing AI research, according to the study. The Chinese contingent is steadily gaining representation in an area dominated by U.S. players.
Society, Arts, Sports, Culture and History
Story of teens at a transgender clinic in Beijing - Ginger River Today's newsletter is about teen visitors at a transgender clinic in China, which sheds light on the group's needs, struggles, and hope. Doctors may provide professional knowledge, but as you will see in the piece, a successful treatment plan needs cooperation between professionals, transgender kids, and their parents, with the help of volunteers from non-profit communities. Through the progress made in the transgender clinic, we will get a clear route of how to build a warmer environment for the special group in China in the future. The article was originally published on Truman Story 真实故事计划, a WeChat blog focusing on telling touching stories in China.
Nian Guangjiu, China’s ‘hero of reform’ and private business trailblazer hailed by Deng Xiaoping, dies at 84 | South China Morning Post The man behind ‘Idiot’s Melon Seeds’, one of the first private entrepreneurs of communist China, is reported to have died on Wednesday Once jailed for his ‘capitalism’, Nian bore witness to the non-state sector’s rise under the Communist Party and named among 96 ‘heroes of reform’
Energy, Environment, Science and Health
China petrochemical plant shut after deadly explosion - sources | Reuters China's Panjin Haoye Chemical Co Ltd has shut down its entire oil refinery and petrochemical complex after an explosion on Sunday killed five people and left eight missing, according to trade sources and a local consultancy...The company is an independent refinery and chemical producer in the city of Panjin in Liaoning province