Tariffs But The Trade War "Lost Many Years Ago"; Wang Yi And Wei Fenghe Go To Moscow; Anbang Bailout ; Social Credit; Vatican Deal Not Imminent; Caltech "Rival"

The trade guns of April are in position. 

The US Trade Representative released the list of proposed tariffs under Section 301 and China responded with their list almost immediately.

The tariffs will not come into effect for at least a couple of months, leaving plenty of time for negotiation, so there is a chance lobbying and concessions will water them down significantly. However, even if there is some sort of “settlement” over this specific trade spat the structural forces driving the two countries towards a much more difficult future will remain unchanged.

Trump has said consistently for decades that China is ripping America off. Now he is surrounded by advisors who agree and, as the New York Times reported today "on foreign policy, President Trump reverts to candidate Trump". Trump, like Peter Navarro and others around him, deeply believes China has been waging a unilateral trade war against the US for many years. The President made that point in two tweets this morning:

Donald J. Trump@realDonaldTrump

We are not in a trade war with China, that war was lost many years ago by the foolish, or incompetent, people who represented the U.S. Now we have a Trade Deficit of $500 Billion a year, with Intellectual Property Theft of another $300 Billion. We cannot let this continue!

April 4, 2018
and

Donald J. Trump@realDonaldTrump

When you’re already $500 Billion DOWN, you can’t lose!

April 4, 2018
China is trying to play the global rules-abiding victim, and next week at Boao Xi Jinping will know doubt try to present China as the responsible power with an inclusive vision of trade and development for all. That of course is more propaganda than substance but Trump has so alienated allies and other countries that more and more people may be willing to buy what Xi will be selling. 

The Chinese leadership would prefer not to have a trade war with the US. They know surplus countries usually lose in these situations and they do not want any more stresses on their economy than already exist. China is willing to make some concessions, though none that jeopardize its Made in China 2025 plan, and those expecting Beijing to just crumple in the face of US pressure will likely be very disappointed. There could be a nationalistic propaganda win for the CCP as this gets spun as yet another attempt by the evil American hegemon to keep China down and prevent the Great Rejuvenation.

This is not a battle with America’s ally Japan in the 1980s, an experience that seems to be the guide for some in the Trump Administration.

Meanwhile, China sent a general and its top diplomat, both State Councillors, to Moscow, where General Wei Fenghe said he wanted to “let the Americans know about the close ties between the armed forces of China and Russia”.

Maybe history has not ended?

On a housekeeping note, you can now change your email address at https://nb.sinocism.com/account/ instead of having to email support to do it for you. 

China is on holiday Thursday and Friday for the Qingming Festival. Unless there is something really interesting to write Thursday the newsletter will be on holiday as well, though the Friday Axios newsletter will come out as normal. 

Thanks for reading.


The Essential Eight

1. Tit for Tat Proposed Tariffs

Under Section 301 Action, USTR Releases Proposed Tariff List on Chinese Products | United States Trade Representative:

Following USTR’s Section 301 investigation, President Trump announced in March that the United States will impose tariffs on approximately $50 billion worth of Chinese imports and take other actions in response to China’s policies that coerce American companies into transferring their technology and intellectual property to domestic Chinese enterprises. These policies bolster China’s stated intention of seizing economic leadership in advanced technology as set forth in its industrial plans, such as “Made in China 2025.”

The proposed list of products is based on extensive interagency economic analysis and would target products that benefit from China’s industrial plans while minimizing the impact on the U.S. economy. Sectors subject to the proposed tariffs include industries such as aerospace, information and communication technology, robotics, and machinery.

The proposed list covers approximately 1,300 separate tariff lines and will undergo further review in a public notice and comment process, including a hearing. After completion of this process, USTR will issue a final determination on the products subject to the additional duties.

The full list is here 

The full list of China's response 

China Strikes Back at the U.S. With Plans for Its Own Tariffs - The New York Times:

The American products come largely from Republican-dominated states, where lawmakers might be expected to have some influence with President Trump and could persuade him to back down from his latest trade demands.

“China has never succumbed to external pressure,” Zhu Guangyao, vice minister of finance, said at a news briefing on Wednesday. He added, “External pressure will only make the Chinese people more focused on economic development.”

China Threatens U.S. Cars, Planes and Soy in Response to Trump - WSJ:

“Both sides have put their lists on the table,” Finance Vice Minister Zhu Guangyao told reporters. “Now it’s time for negotiations.”

Neither the U.S. nor Chinese tariffs take effect immediately. Mr. Zhu said whether or when China will enforce its penalties would depend on “the outcome of negotiations between the two sides.” Under the U.S. plan, companies have until May 22 to object to the proposed tariffs, and the U.S. government then has at least 180 days to decide whether to go ahead, providing ample time for negotiations...

Messrs. Wang and Zhu pointed to past experiences of solving trade frictions through dialogue and expressed disappointment that Washington was opting for unilateral measures to pressure Beijing. “Frankly speaking, we’re facing huge challenges today,” Mr. Zhu said.

China Hits Soybeans, Aircraft in Counter-Punch to Trump Tariffs - Bloomberg:

"The U.S. has this vicious intention to strangle China’s high-tech innovation," said Wei Jianguo, former vice commerce minister and now an executive deputy director of the China Center for International Economic Exchanges, a government-linked think tank. "China won’t submit to the U.S. bully. Our countermeasures will hit their soft spots."

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross: China tariffs amount to 0.3% of US GDP - CNBC:

China's "response should not surprise anyone," Ross said, adding he didn't think anyone expected that the Chinese "would do nothing" in response to the United States tariffs. "I'm frankly a little surprised that Wall Street was so surprised by it. This has been telegraphed for days and weeks," Ross said.

Trump is a "lifelong deal maker" and China's tariffs are not the "first controversy he's gone into," Ross said. "This is not World War III."

Trade lobbyists, start your engines - POLITICO:

USTR’s list avoids many everyday items like cellphones and clothing, but targets motor vehicles, some home appliances and an assortment of electronics — ranging from color TVs to cassette players. However, USTR did not provide product-by-product information on the value of the targeted imports, making it hard to spot the biggest items.

The United States imported $505.6 billion worth of goods from China in 2017. The largest category was "cellphones and other household goods" ($70.3 billion), followed by computers ($45.5 billion), telecommunications equipment ($33.5 billion), computer accessories ($31.6 billion), and toys, games and sporting goods ($26.7 billion)....

U.S. business groups were all on the same page about the need to address China’s trade policies, but reiterated their misgivings about the tariffs.

China’s ambassador to the US explains why the country is striking back:

"We certainly don't want to have any trade war with anybody, but people have to understand who started all this," said ambassador Cui Tiankai...

the ambassador left the door open for a deescalation between the world's two largest economies: "We are always ready to continue and intensify our dialogue and communication with the U.S. side on any possible economic or trade issues, but we need reciprocity. Our goodwill has to be met by the same degree of goodwill."

我国宣布对美反制措施 朱光耀:现在是谈判的时间了--财经--人民网:

朱光耀指出,目前这些产品目录都还没有生效,中美双方已经把问题摆到桌上,现在是谈判合作的时间了。他表示,分歧只能通过建设性对话、务实协商加以解决。协商的前提要互谅互让,而不是漫天要价。他认为,我们要回到谈判桌,以务实和建设性的态度解决好贸易分歧,并使得中美互利共赢的经济关系更加巩固,造福我们两国人民,其中就包括我们中美两国种植大豆的农民。

China says it initiates WTO dispute procedure against U.S. 301 probe - Reuters

三大部委同日重磅发声 都是为了这件事|贸易战|关税|中美_新浪新闻

王受文:打,奉陪到底!谈,大门敞开!
朱光耀:我们不希望贸易战 但不会屈服于外部压力
外交部:对话协商妥善解决问题的最佳机会被美方一再错过

After the leadership activity reports, the tariffs story had 7 items on the Wednesday CCTV Evening News-我国决定对美部分商品加征关税_CCTV节目官网-CCTV 

Nice set of capital markets you have there?—China a "responsible investor" in int'l capital market: Vice FinMin - Xinhua:

Zhu reiterated the stance at a press conference when asked whether China will reduce its U.S. government debt holdings as a countermeasure against proposed additional tariffs by the United States on Chinese exports.

"China manages its foreign exchange reserves via market operations in accordance with market rules, specific market principles and the principle of diversified investment," he said, citing remarks made by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on forex reserves management last month.

Trump’s Trade War Isn’t About Trade. It’s About Technology. - MacroPolo:

As my colleague Evan Feigenbaum has written on MacroPolo, China’s pro-active approach to technological upgrading is nothing new and dates back to the 1950s, with the Chinese government consistently viewing cutting-edge technology as key to national power. But three things have changed the U.S. reaction to this round of Chinese industrial policymaking: (1) China now has the money to simply buy up cutting-edge American firms; (2) Made in China 2025 aims for Chinese firms to dominate not just domestic markets, but also global markets that America counts on; and (3) after decades of doubting China’s innovation potential, the United States now fears the rapid pace of China’s technological catch-up, and sees Chinese technology as a major (perhaps even existential) threat to U.S. economic competitiveness.

Two Can Play at Trade War - WSJ:

The Trump Administration says it is using tariffs against China as bargaining chips to get a better deal for American exporters. And at least U.S. and Chinese officials are now talking about a new trade understanding. But in the meantime there will be significant collateral damage to innocent business bystanders, American consumers, and the overall U.S. economy.

Mr. Trump risks undermining the policy gains from tax reform and deregulation that have teed up the economy for faster growth. That’s the anxiety investors are showing as they sell stocks. Is anyone in the White House paying attention?

China's Financial Opening Isn't Quite What It Seems - Bloomberg

Back in November, China's announcement that it was planning to scrap limits on foreign ownership of its banks was met with much caution and skepticism. But we should take Chinese officials at their word on this one: They really do plan to move forward. That's because such caps are no longer needed to safeguard China's interests, and if removing them helps to diffuse a trade war, then all the better.


2. Wang Yi And Wei Fenghe Go To Moscow

US take note: Chinese, Russian militaries are closer than you think, China’s defence minister says | South China Morning Post:

“I am visiting Russia as the new defence minister of China to show the world the high level of development of our bilateral relations, and firm determination of our armed forces to strengthen strategic cooperation,” Wei Fenghe was quoted as saying on Tuesday by Tass, Russia’s state news agency.

In talks with his Russian counterpart, Sergei Shoigu, Wei said he wanted it made clear that his visit was a signal to “let the Americans know about the close ties between the armed forces of China and Russia”.

Wei was accompanied on his trip by China’s foreign minister and senior diplomat Wang Yi, both of whom are newly appointed State Councillors.

魏凤和出席第七届莫斯科国际安全会议 - 中华人民共和国国防部:

魏凤和说,顺应世界潮流是发展之道安全之基。当前,和平与发展的时代潮流不可逆转,多极化全球化发展是大势所趋,合作共赢理念深入人心,互信与包容是国家相处的正确选择。在党的十九大和今年“两会”上,习近平主席向世界表明中国坚持和平发展道路,推动构建人类命运共同体的决心意志。中国致力于做世界和平的建设者、全球发展的贡献者、国际秩序的维护者,为维护世界和平安宁贡献更多中国智慧、中国力量。

魏凤和提出防务安全领域合作倡议,表示愿与各国携手,树立共同安全理念,和平解决矛盾分歧,加强防务领域合作,构建共赢共享的国际安全环境,让人类命运共同体建设的阳光普照世界。他指出,中俄全面战略协作伙伴关系“稳如泰山”,中俄两军加强各领域务实合作,为维护地区乃至世界和平稳定作出了贡献

Three reasons why this year's Moscow security conference is special - CGTN:

"China and Russia are developing closer ties not only due to their previous good cooperation but also because of changes in the international environment," Gao Fei, a professor of Russian studies at the China Foreign Affairs University, told the Global Times. "Western countries are putting political pressure on Russia and the US is provoking China into a trade war."

Nevertheless, Beijing and Moscow will not form an alliance, Gao said. "The premise for forming an alliance is a shared enemy and China does not consider any country an enemy."


3. Anbang Bailout 

Bailout Fund Injects $9.66 Billion Into Anbang - Caixin Global:

The state-run China Insurance Security Fund (CISF) has injected 60.8 billion yuan ($9.66 billion) into the debt-ridden Anbang Insurance Group, the country’s insurance regulator announced Wednesday.

The capital injection aims to ensure Anbang has “adequate” ability to repay its debts so as to stabilize its operations and protect the interests of policyholders, the China Insurance Regulatory Commission said in a statement. With the injection, which the commission approved, Anbang’s registered capital will remain at 61.9 billion yuan.

CISF is a state-run bailout fund that monitors risks inside the insurance industry and provides assistance when a default risk emerges, according to its official website. CISF also participates in the liquidation of an insurance company when it is dissolved or declared bankrupt.

Anbang Insurance gets US$10 billion rescue bailout from Beijing after ex-chair Wu Xiaohui admits fraud | South China Morning Post:

Anbang will start to select strategic shareholders soon and introduce private capital to participate in its equity restructuring, especially those “big privately owned companies” that have collaborative resources with insurance businesses in the pension, health care, and internet technology sectors, the regulator added.

“As a non-government industry rescue fund, the Insurance Protection Fund only temporarily holds stakes at Anbang. Next, the fund will transfer its stakes methodically and let Anbang remain a privately owned company,” the CIRC said in the statement.

Comment: Like Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent and maybe Huawei and Xiaomi?


4. Another Look At The Social Credit Plans

Life Inside China’s Social Credit Laboratory – Foreign Policy:

But it has been hard to distinguish future promises — or threats — from the realities of how social credit is being implemented. Rongcheng is one place where that future is visible. Three dozen pilot systems have been rolled out in cities across the country, and Rongcheng is one of them. According to Chinese officials and researchers, it’s the best example of the system working as intended. But it also illustrates those intentions may not be as straightforward as they like to claim...

But even though the system, established in late 2013, theoretically extends to every part of people’s lives, many of the city’s residents don’t even know it exists yet...

In Beijing, Zhang Lili is one of the researchers designing the national social credit system. She works at Peking University’s China Credit Research Center, which was established more than 15 years ago for this purpose.

Zhang, wearing her hair in a ponytail, talks about how the idea for the system originated in China’s rapid economic expansion. It’s a narrative commonly put forward in China: Because the Chinese market economy didn’t take centuries to expand like in the West, people need the government to keep companies and businesspeople in check, as well as to ensure a smooth urbanization.

A good primer,--China through a glass, darkly - China Law Translate

Social credit documents focus more on information collection, consolidation, and aggregation than scoring. They actually seem to suggest that many different ratings be involved for different uses, including industry-specific regulation, lending, etc. Private credit investigation operations are encouraged to develop ratings that meet the needs of the market. 

The media emphasis on a universal score is probably the result of well-deserved vigilance against China’s surveillance ambitions together with confusion about the role of sesame credit and other private credit investigation systems, but terminology issues may to blame as well. 

The Social Credit documents do call for ‘a unified social credit code’ but this isn’t a rating. It refers to an identification number for associating all credit information so as to facilitate the compatibility and exchange of information. For humans, this code will be their national identification number; organizations will be assigned a new number under this system.


5. Hong Kong Pressure

Beijing Blows Hot Against Hong Kong Scholar – Asia Sentinel:

Official Beijing attacks on Tai will put further pressure on the Hong Kong government to contain dissent and in particular enact a specific law against treason, sedition, secession and subversion. This has been a requirement under the Basic Law, the territory’s mini-constitution, but an attempt to enact it in 2003 met such strong opposition, with more than 500,000 people taking to the streets in protest, that it was abandoned. It remains to be seen whether the wording of the legislation when eventually put forward will be as in 2003. It could well be more restrictive. Subversion can mean almost any kind of criticism of an authoritarian, one-party state.

Chief Executive Carrie Law has committed to enactment, but made it clear that this is not a priority. However, she may well come under intense pressure to move on it, or find some other way of prosecuting Tai on weightier charges those he currently faces.

If you see me at a border crossing, ask if I'm leaving Hong Kong voluntarily, says embattled academic Benny Tai | Hong Kong Free Press HKFP:

“Let me make a statement: If you see me leaving Hong Kong ports or entering mainland China or Macau on my own, or with someone, please ask me if I am voluntarily leaving Hong Kong,” he added. “If you see me in mainland China or Macau, I did not go there voluntarily, because I have no intention to go there.”

“If you see some video of me saying that I voluntarily returned to mainland China or Macau, I must have said that under pressure or threats.”

These days it seems like anyone doing anything sensitive needs to have an “open in case of detention in the PRC” letter…


6. Vatican Deal Not Imminent

Despite speculation, no Vatican-China deal anytime soon - ucanews.com:

Speculation that a Sino-Vatican agreement covering the appointment of bishops and other thorny issues would be reached in March have proved unfounded.

A Vatican spokesman said on the eve of Holy Thursday that no deal was imminent.

Fears of the underground Catholic Church in China that it would come under state control have eased a little, but reaching an agreement between the Vatican and Beijing has not been shelved or cancelled, only delayed until at least June.

China opposes using religion as tool of infiltrate: official - Xinhua:

You Quan, head of the United Front Work Department of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, said China will resolutely guard against such acts.

He said the country will stop and deal with illegal religious activities of any sort.

You, who made the remarks during a two-day work inspection in east China's Anhui Province, stressed the importance of taking practical but effective measures to safeguard state security and maintain social harmony and stability.

China cracks down on online Bible selling - Inkstone:

The source told Inkstone that Christian bookstores are subject to regular inspections from the Ministry of Culture. But one Christian bookstore in Beijing was inspected on Tuesday and officials warned that “foreign” books - Christian books published outside of China – could no longer be sold...

The Bible is only available at points of sale under the China Christian Council (CCC) and the National Committee of the Three-Self Patriotic Movement of the Protestant Churches (TSPM), the two government-sanctioned bodies overseeing Protestant churches in the country.

The Bible has long been categorized as “for internal distribution,” meaning that it cannot be widely sold.


7. New School In Hangzhou Designed To Rival CalTech

China is setting up its own version of America’s Caltech to rival US in innovation | South China Morning Post:

Shi Yigong, who will become a full-time Westlake faculty member in January, after stepping down as Tsinghua University’s vice-president, raised eyebrows in Western academic circles when he left a US position as a tenured professor at Princeton University a decade ago to teach at Tsinghua, a highly respected Beijing-based research institution.

Westlake is to have four institutes, covering biology, basic medicine, natural sciences and advanced technology. ..

Although state authorities just this week gave Westlake the green light to open, plans for the institution have been in the works for years.

It already has held six global recruitment drives to fill 58 teaching positions, hiring 34 people so far out of more than 2,500 applicants, it said. ..

Among the leading Chinese entrepreneurs who have donated to the institute are Pony Ma and Chen Yidan, founders of technology giant Tencent; Wang Jianlin, chairman of property developer and cinema chain conglomerate Wanda Group; Wu Yajun, chairwoman of property developer Longfor; and Zhang Lei, founder of investment company Hillhouse Capital.

In Hangzhou, but no support from Jack Ma?

China Approves Tencent-, Wanda-Backed Private University - Caixin Global:

Shi, who is well-known in China, made national headlines earlier last month when he dismissed many Chinese-authored academic papers as rubbish used in flawed appraisals of doctors, engineers and academic researchers.

The Zhejiang provincial government offered Shi and his six fellow co-founders a one-time 100 million yuan ($15.9 million) grant each to launch the school.


8. Limp Spines In London As Theatre Self-Censors Over Tibet Play

No wonder the PRC feels so emboldened globally, everyone is walking on eggshells out of fear of upsetting Beijing...

Royal Court dropped Tibet play after advice from British Council | Stage | The Guardian:

The Royal Court theatre pulled a play about Tibet after the British Council privately advised that it would coincide with “significant political meetings” in China and could jeopardise the theatre’s ability to work there.

The West End venue – which had been criticised by the play’s award-winning Indian author, who claimed the play had been shelved – said in February it had had to postpone and then withdraw the production for “financial reasons” in 2017 and that it was now committed to producing the play in spring next year.

Correspondence released under the Freedom of Information Act now reveals details of discussions about the play, Pah-La, between the theatre and the British Council, the UK government’s cultural diplomacy arm.


Business, Economy, Finance And Trade

China's Alarming Debt Pile Could Finally Stabilize This Year - Bloomberg Total debt will be 260 percent of gross domestic product at the end of 2018, the same as it was 12 months earlier, according to the median estimates of 21 economists surveyed by Bloomberg in March. In nominal terms, that would mean the growth in debt is slowing to roughly the same pace as the economy.

The Chinese economy is rebalancing, at last - Martin Wolf - FT $$ The past three years have witnessed change at last: investment has fallen by 3 per cent of GDP, while public and private consumption have risen by much the same proportion. As a result, consumption has become a more important source of additional demand than investment. Thus, in 2017, notes a background paper to this year’s China Development Forum, final consumption contributed 59 per cent of GDP growth. As investment growth has declined at long last, the rise in indebtedness has also (apparently) stopped.

发展转向高质量(在习近平新时代中国特色社会主义思想指引下——新时代新气象新作为)--时政--人民网 Page 1 People's Daily on how China's is already shifting towards "high quality" development //  新时代我国经济发展的特征,就是已由高速增长阶段转向高质量发展阶段。“扎实推动经济高质量发展”“发展是第一要务,人才是第一资源,创新是第一动力”“我国经济正处在转变发展方式、优化经济结构、转换增长动力的攻关期”……全国两会期间,习近平总书记的重要讲话高屋建瓴、深入人心,神州大地正掀起贯彻落实讲话精神、推动高质量发展的磅礴热潮。

Xinjiang halts all government projects as crackdown on debt gets serious | South China Morning Post The blanket suspension of government-sponsored investment projects in Xinjiang – an area bigger than France, Germany and Spain combined – is the most dramatic move by a Chinese province or region to act on calls from the top to curb borrowing. The Xinjiang Development and Reform Commission said in a statement published last week that local authorities must “comb through” every single government-funded project started after January 2017, especially those started after July 2017, to find out whether they have enough funding to ensure completion.

Once Feared, China Capital Raising Fast Becoming Bank Elixir - Bloomberg Agricultural Bank of China Ltd. last month announced a $16 billion private placement, the biggest additional equity sale by any Chinese company ever. The result? Thanks to the way the sale was constructed, with government entities providing the cash, the stock surged. Other lenders from Ping An Bank Co. to China Citic Bank Corp. have also announced plans this year to sell convertible bonds. The case for capital raising, especially for joint-stock banks, is clear. Loans are expanding, accounting standards are tightening, and credit previously hidden from the loan book is finally getting the risk-weightings it deserves.

China Clamps Down on Online Asset Management Businesses - Caixin Global China’s top internet finance watchdog banned unlicensed companies from issuing and selling asset management products on the internet. All online asset management companies without a proper license should clean up their existing businesses by the end of June, said the circular by the Leading Group of Internet Financial Risks Remediation.

Financing Arm of Embattled CEFC Halts Bond Sale - Caixin Global The main financing arm of embattled CEFC China Energy has dropped a plan to issue bonds to raise up to 5 billion yuan ($795 million), raising fresh concerns about deepening troubles for China’s largest private energy conglomerate. In a statement Tuesday, the Shanghai Stock Exchange said CEFC Shanghai International Group had halted the plan, which was designed to raise money to repay debts and supplement working capital. CEFC Shanghai’s board and shareholders approved the bond issuance last year. 

China's Caixin services PMI drops unexpectedly in March The Caixin China General Services Business Activity Index fell to 52.3 in March from 54.2 in Februar

2.39 Trillion Yuan in Public-Private Partnership Projects Shelved - China Banking News An estimated 2407 public-private partnership projects worth approximately 2.39 trillion yuan have been put on the chopping block following a “clean-up” of the Chinese government’s PPP project library.In November last year the Ministry of Finance issued the “Notice Concerning Standardisation of Public-Private Partnership Integrated Information Platform Project Library Management” (关于规范政府和社会资本合作(PPP)综合信息平台项目库管理的通知) (Circular No. 92), which mandated a “clean-up” of the PPP project library by local governments by the end of March 2018.

Strong SOEs make headway in China's reforms - Xinhua So far, 503 out of 984 non-financial SOEs listed in China have filed their 2017 annual reports with the Shanghai and Shenzhen stock exchanges, according to Wind Info, a financial information service provider. Their total revenue rose 17 percent to 14.72 trillion yuan (2.34 trillion U.S. dollars), while the combined net profits surged 54 percent to 593.5 billion yuan last year. Among them, 111 SOEs, mainly from the non-ferrous metal, chemical, coal and transportation sectors, saw net profit growth of more than 100 percent. Meanwhile, 26 firms suffered losses, down from 40 in 2016.

Cemetery Giant Is Cashing In on High-End Funerals in China - Bloomberg Fu Shou Yuan International Group Ltd., which runs graveyards from Shanghai to Chongqing, has jumped more than 60 percent in the past year, almost three times the pace of Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index. All seven analysts covering the stock have a buy rating, while they project the shares will gain a further 22 percent over the next 12 months, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Rising incomes in China are fueling demand for upscale funeral services. Fu Shou Yuan, whose 2013 initial public offering was almost 700 times oversubscribed, offers pre-need contracts and an online portal where clients can purchase everything from headstones to burial plots and flowers. A funeral package can cost up to 500,000 yuan ($80,000) according to state media reports.

China names seven vice chairmen for new banking and insurance regulator - Reuters The seven vice chairmen are Wang Zhaoxing, Chen Wenhui, Huang Hong, Cao Yu, Zhou Liang, Zhu Shumin and Liang Tao.

 

Politics, Law And Ideology

国务院任免国家工作人员-新华网 State Council appoints, removes officials - Xinhua  "Zhang Yesui is no longer vice foreign minister."// 任命许甘露为公安部副部长、国家移民管理局局长,孙力军为公安部副部长;任命袁曙宏、熊选国、赵大程、刘志强、刘振宇、刘炤为司法部副部长;任命库热西·买合苏提、曹卫星、凌月明、王广华、赵龙为自然资源部副部长,王宏为国家海洋局局长;任命余欣荣、韩俊、张桃林、屈冬玉、于康震为农业农村部副部长;任命李金早、李群、项兆伦、张旭为文化和旅游部副部长;任命崔丽(女)、王贺胜、曾益新为国家卫生健康委员会副主任;任命聂辰席为国家广播电视总局局长,周慧琳、张宏森为国家广播电视总局副局长;任命刘结一为国务院台湾事务办公室主任;任命谢伏瞻为中国社会科学院院长;任命慎海雄为中央广播电视总台台长,阎晓明为中央广播电视总台副台长;任命郭树清为中国银行保险监督管理委员会主席,王兆星、陈文辉、黄洪、曹宇、周亮、梁涛、祝树民为中国银行保险监督管理委员会副主席;任命尹成基为国家移民管理局副局长;任命张建龙为国家林业和草原局局长,张永利、刘东生、彭有冬、李树铭、李春良为国家林业和草原局副局长。  免去傅政华的公安部副部长职务;免去张志军的国务院台湾事务办公室主任职务;免去王伟光的中国社会科学院院长职务。


陈一新任中央政法委秘书长(图/简历)--组织人事-人民网 Team Xi member Chen Yixin is now the Secretary General of the politicas and law commission

Wife of detained Chinese lawyer ‘silent’ for 1,000 days begins 60-mile march in search of answers | Reuters Li Wenzu says her husband, Wang Quanzhang, went missing in 2015 during a sweeping crackdown on rights activists

甘肃省委回应16亿扶贫路刷涂料整改:衙门作风严重|甘肃|公路|整改_新浪新闻 Gansu provincial leaders sweating hard over the botched tunnel construction  //  甘肃省委认为,折达公路问题性质严重,社会影响恶劣,是一起十分典型的不作为不尽责、官僚主义、衙门作风严重的案例。折达公路2008年开始修建,2013年投入运行,发现质量问题后不认真整改,施工方、业主方、管理方层层不负责任、推诿扯皮,特别是记者采访时,相关部门干部的衙门作风、官僚作派令人震惊和气愤。在全国上下深入贯彻落实习近平新时代中国特色社会主义思想、党的十九大和十九届二中、三中全会精神以及全国“两会”精神的背景下,发生折达公路这样严重的问题,反映出我省一些地方、部门和党员干部“四个意识”还不够强,政风、作风方面的顽症痼疾还没有得到彻底根治,以人民为中心的理念还没有真正树立起来,对党和国家事业履职尽责还不到位,必须高度重视、坚决整改。

人民日报:深刻理解党的基本方略的科学内涵--观点--人民网 祝黄河-作者为中央马克思主义理论研究和建设工程专家、中国科学社会主义学会副会长)《 人民日报 》( 2018年04月04日 07 版)-  党的十九大报告提出了新时代坚持和发展中国特色社会主义的基本方略,这是我们党根据马克思主义基本原理和时代发展要求作出的重大理论创新。深刻理解党的基本方略的科学内涵,对于决胜全面建成小康社会、夺取新时代中国特色社会主义伟大胜利、实现中华民族伟大复兴的中国梦具有重大意义。

 

Foreign and Military Affairs

Defence Department scientist had separate role with China-linked firm - Sydney Morning Herald The Defence Department is reviewing business dealings between one of its senior scientists and the Chinese government’s missile development agency amid ongoing concerns about Beijing’s effort to recruit western scientists and officials. In a separate development, Fairfax Media can also reveal that Australia's peak scientific research agency, the CSIRO, spent tens of millions of dollars upgrading its cyber-security and information systems after a data breach linked to an employee who was a Chinese national. The man disappeared after the apparent breach in November 2013.

China Welcomes Its Newest Armed Force: The Coast Guard - Lyle Morris - War on the Rocks he United States Coast Guard, under the Department of Homeland Security, is one of America’s five armed forces and has an explicit defense readiness mission. The French have the Maritime Gendarmerie — a paramilitary police force under the operational control of the chief of staff of the French Navy. These are the exception rather than the rule. But China appears to have seen merit in the latter model, having recently transferred administrative control of its coast guard from civilian to military authority. The decision may have far-reaching consequences for the command and operations of the China Coast Guard, and is arguably one of the most important reforms to take place since its creation in 2013.

China receives first regimental set of S-400 systems, says report | Jane's 360 “Two vessels have delivered the first regimental set of S-400s from the port of Ust-Lug, Leningrad Region, to China within the time limit established by the contract,” an unnamed military-diplomatic source was quoted by the state-owned media outlet as saying.

China, Zimbabwe agree to establish comprehensive strategic partnership of cooperation - Xinhua Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Zimbabwean counterpart Emmerson Mnangagwa on Tuesday agreed to establish a comprehensive strategic partnership of cooperation between their countries. The two heads of state reached the agreement during their talks at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. Xi said the Zimbabwean people have started a new journey in building their country since Mnangagwa took office last November.

 

Taiwan

Man Booker prize reverses nationality decision on Taiwanese author | Books | The Guardian The Man Booker International prize has backed away from its decision to change a Taiwanese author’s nationality to “Taiwan, China” after it was criticised for bowing to pressure from Beijing. Author Wu Ming-Yi, who has been longlisted for his novel The Stolen Bicycle, was originally described by award organisers as a writer from Taiwan, when his nomination was announced in March. Following a complaint from the Chinese embassy in London last week, his nationality was changed on the prize’s website to “Taiwan, China”.

中國駐美大使崔天凱:一定會統一台灣,不信走著瞧 | 兩岸要聞 | 兩岸 | 聯合新聞網 PRC Ambassador to the US Cui Tiankai discusses the Taiwan Travel Act with Yang Rui on CGTN, reiterates that "nobody can stop China's reunification...our goal is to have peaceful reunification of course, but we will achieve reunification one way or another"...in English, not new but just another message to Taiwan

 

Tech And Media

China's Meituan Near Deal for Bike-Sharing Firm Mobike - Bloomberg Meituan has agreed to buy full control of Mobike, whose current chief executive officer will keep operating the business as an independent entity, Meituan said Wednesday without divulging details. The deal values the bike-sharing firm’s equity at about $2.7 billion, and Meituan will assume roughly $700 million in debt, said one of the people, asking not to be identified because the matter is private. Sixty-five percent of the purchase will be in cash, mostly to Mobike management, and 35 percent will be in stock so Mobike investors become Meituan shareholders, the person said.

Meituan's acquisition of Mobike will deepen the rivalry in China for consumer movement data — Quartz The deal, when completed, means the rivalry to watch most closely in coming years is the one between Meituan and Didi Chuxing, China’s answer to Uber, both of whom want to become powerful brokers for transportation and delivery.

China’s Didi Chuxing confirms it has launched a food delivery business | TechCrunch The company, which acquired Uber’s China-based business in 2016, confirmed today it is running a pilot food delivery service in Wuxi, a city in southern Jiangsu province, with a view to expanding further. The service began on April 1, and Didi claims to have captured one-third of the market since then.

Livestreaming App Apologizes After State TV Exposé of Teenage Mothers - Caixin Global Su Hua, chief executive of Tencent Holdings-backed Kuaishou, said users posting inappropriate content related to teenage pregnancy will have their accounts shut down. The company has also changed its algorithms so that they only recommend content that is “in keeping with the country’s laws and regulations, and with social norms.”

China is serious about cleaning up Jinri Toutiao and Kuaishou this time · TechNode China’s regulator for the media and entertainment sector, SAPPRFT (State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film, and Television), has just released a public statement (in Chinese) on their official WeChat account ordering Jinri Toutiao and Kuaishou to start cleaning up their sites and clamping down “inappropriate” content. The SAPPRFT said in the statement that the issue with vulgar content is regarded as “high importance” and that it has summoned and questioned the person-in-charge at both Jinri Toutiao and Kuaishou. 广电总局:严肃处理今日头条、快手传播有违社会道德节目等问题 

Huawei’s Advances in Chips, Patents Threatens Former Ally Qualcomm — The Information $$ While Qualcomm remains powerful, Huawei is expanding its influence. The Chinese company, which makes network components for telecom carriers, unveiled its first commercial 5G chipset at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February, and is conducting early 5G trials with carriers around the world. Huawei also has played a major role in shaping the global standards for so-called narrowband IoT, a wireless connection technology for low-power, data-light devices such as smart utility meters and smart bicycles. Chinese bike-rental app Ofo, for example, uses Huawei’s narrowband IoT technology.

Much ado about Huawei (part 2) | The Strategist Ultimately, the ‘much ado’ about Huawei is arguably justified, not so much because Huawei is Huawei but rather because of nature of the CCP and the framework for Chinese intelligence operations. In this regard, the anxieties and uncertainties about Huawei are similarly applicable to any Chinese company operating with this system, absent rule of law and without full transparency. Going forward, the trend towards fuller fusion between the party–state apparatus and commercial enterprises—and the ways in which that fusion might be leveraged to support intelligence work—should be taken into account in business and governmental assessments of risk. These dynamics rightly provoke concern in the case of Huawei but must also be taken into account in assessing the activities of other Chinese companies operating worldwide.

 

Society, Art, Sports, Culture And History

Kent auction house in row with Chinese over auction of looted vases from 1860s Opium Wars The Canterbury Auction Galleries have been criticised by Chinese state heritage collectors after it revealed it would be selling a rare Chinese bronze water vessel, believed to have been taken during the looting of Beijing’s Summer Palace in 1860.   The relic, which was discovered in Kent, is set to go on sale next Wednesday with an estimated value of £120,000 to £200,000, but China’s State Administration of Cultural Heritage has called out the auction house for selling “illegally-discharged cultural relics.”

Anna Chennault, Behind-the-Scenes Force in Washington, Dies at 94 - The New York Times She was known to have been a conduit for Nationalist Chinese funds for the Republican Party, and to have been a secret go-between for American officials and Asian leaders like Chiang Kai-shek, the Nationalist Chinese generalissimo, and President Nguyen Van Thieu of South Vietnam...Anna Chennault was born Chen Xiangmei in Beijing on June 23, 1923, one of six daughters of P. Y. and Isabelle Liao Chen, members of a prosperous family of diplomats and scholars.

Eileen Chang’s life in wartime Hong Kong and Shanghai laid bare in autobiographical novel   | Post Magazine | South China Morning Post Translated into English for the first time, Little Reunions recounts how familial strife and misguided passion endanger a writer’s struggle for modernity in time of war

MLB and Tencent form new strategic partnership to live stream MLB games in China | MLB.com Tencent, a leading provider of comprehensive Internet Services in China, also will support and broadcast MLB developmental events to help grow the sport of baseball in China.

Gilded Age - 2017 Made In China Yearbook - ANU According to the Chinese zodiac, 2017 was the year of the ‘fire rooster’, an animal often associated with the mythical fenghuang, a magnificently beautiful bird whose appearance is believed to mark the beginning of a new era of peaceful flourishing. Considering the auspicious symbolism surrounding the fenghuang, it is fitting that on 18 October 2017, President Xi Jinping took to the stage of the Nineteenth Party Congress to proclaim the beginning of a ‘new era’ for Chinese socialism. However, in spite of such ecumenical proclamations, it became immediately evident that not all in China would be welcome to reap the rewards promised by the authorities. Migrant workers, for one, remain disposable. Lawyers, activists and even ordinary citizens who dare to express critical views also hardly find a place in Xi’s brave new world. This Yearbook traces the stark new ‘gilded age’ inaugurated by the Chinese Communist Party. It does so through a collection of more than 40 original essays on labour, civil society and human rights in China and beyond, penned by leading scholars and practitioners from around the world.

Fear of Dying Alone Spurs Seniors to Plan Own Funerals - Sixth Tone Nowadays, when a person passes away without close family members to take care of their funeral arrangements, their distant relatives, warm-hearted neighbors, or former employers typically shoulder the responsibility, according to Liu Fengming, a manager at state-owned Shanghai Funeral and Interment Service Center (FIS). If there truly is nobody to handle matters, the subdistrict — the lowest level of government in Chinese cities — will organize a funeral. But in such cases, people worry that these relative strangers won’t organize a proper send-off and, perhaps worst of all, won’t know whom to invite to the ceremony. As a result, the practice of pre-planning one’s funeral is slowly gaining acceptance.

Chinese students’ first taste of democracy marred by corruption - Global Times In a school district of Zhengzhou, Central China's Henan Province, several elementary students were seen standing around holding 10 yuan ($1.59) or 20 yuan banknotes. One boy foisted the cash into a passing girl's hands, but she refused it. "Sorry, I already got 20 yuan from Hao, so I can't vote for anyone else." "Hao gave us 20-yuan. But look at him, 10-yuan is so stingy, he will never be the winner," another boy explained to a journalist from local Henan Business Daily. After talking to a few students, the journalist found out from them that "campus vote buying" is "very prevalent in the school." // Comment: Taking advice from their parents?

 

Energy, Environment, Science And Health

Why Does Lithium-Rich China Import So Much? - Caixin Global While China is home to the world’s fifth-largest volume of lithium deposits, the country’s electric car industry relies on imports to meet 80% of their needs, according to Fu Xiaofang, an engineer with the Sichuan Bureau of Geology & Mineral Resources. A combination of environmental concerns, inconvenient geographic conditions and immature lithium-extraction technology has pushed the country’s battery-makers and lithium processors to look abroad for steady supplies of the metal.

Pandas no longer endangerd; gorrilla numbers decline - CNN The improved status confirms that the Chinese government's reforestation and forest protection efforts are working, the IUCN said. But climate change still threatens to eliminate more than 35% of the panda's bamboo habitat in the next 80 years; hence the "vulnerable" designation, which means it's still at risk of extinction.

 

Education

Chinese student to be deported from US after ‘disturbing behaviour’ including buying two high-powered rifles | South China Morning Post Sun Wenliang, 26, legally bought two rifles – one with a sniper scope – and a car worth US$70,000 after a ‘dramatic change’ in his behaviour, police said