Trade deal talk; Hacking; US visa troubles for PRC scholars; Racist AI

Happy 4th National Security Education Day 全民国家安全教育日!

Today is the 30th anniversary of the death of Hu Yaobang, a reformist leader who was sacked in January 1987 from his position as General Secretary in the wake of student protests. His death set off an outpouring of grief and remembrances that ultimately helped spark the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests.

Few in the current generation of students may know much about him, but today’s anniversary is just one in a series over the next several months that have the authorities even more paranoid and twitchy than normal.

Last week’s credit data seems to indicate policymakers are adding credit growth to all the other stimulative measures like tax cuts, infrastructure spending and preferential policies to keep the economy stable. Q1 GDP is out later this week but I think we know they will hit the target.

More interesting than the official GDP number is that the Chinese appear increasingly confident they have mitigated the effects of US tariffs and have managed the economy onto a relatively stable path again, at least for the near-term. I keep hearing that President Trump and some of his top advisors still believe that the trade war has China’s economy on the ropes and that they will have to cave soon to stave off huge problems. The US may have passed its maximum point of leverage, possibly back when Trump backed away from the March 1 deadline, and so while the Chinese would prefer a deal they may not be in as a much of a hurry, or under as much pressure, as they once were.

Thanks for reading.

The Essential Eight

1. US-China trade

US-China trade: Washington tempers demand that Beijing curb subsidies - Reuters:

In the push to secure a deal in the next month or so, U.S. negotiators have become resigned to securing less than they would like on curbing those subsidies and are focused instead on other areas where they consider demands are more achievable, the sources said.

US willing to face ‘repercussions’ from China on trade — Mnuchin | Financial Times $$

In recent days, Mr Mnuchin had already said that “enforcement offices” would be set up both in the US and China to monitor the deal, another indication that some reciprocity would be included on the enforcement side of the agreement.

Question: Where in the Chinese bureaucracy will this office live, and which poor China official will be tagged for this thankless job? If I were on the US side I would push for it to be in the office of the Central Comprehensively Deepening Reform Commission, or at least in the NDRC. Putting it in the Financial Stability and Development Committee, which Liu He chairs, or in the Ministry of Commerce would be a bad sign for the future efficacy of this office. 

It’s also worth noting that talk is going around DC that the US and China may keep the original $50B in tariffs, but that the Trump Administration has asked the Chinese to move theirs away from targeting the GOP base to less politically sensitive sectors, even proposing alternative industries to the Chinese side.

U.S.-China Trade Pact Takes Aim at Currency Manipulation - WSJ $$

A senior Treasury official said the U.S.-China agreement on currency has similarities to the North American Free Trade Agreement revamp that the Trump administration signed last year with Canada and Mexico. The forex deal also has “certain aspects that go beyond” the new, unratified Nafta deal, known as the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA.

A trade deal might help China’s needed reforms | Financial TimesEditorial $$

More equal competitive conditions would surely promote economic growth. So, increasingly, would better protection of intellectual property. While US insistence on reducing the bilateral deficit is ridiculous and the proposed one-sided monitoring of Chinese behaviour unacceptable, the argument for revisiting the terms of — and behaviour under — China’s accession to the World Trade Organization in 2001 makes sense. China could find giving up its claim to be a developing country helpful to itself, just as WTO accession proved to be back then, even though many officials resisted the idea at that time. 

In its own interests, China needs to embrace a new round of pro-market reforms. Foreign pressure may be pushing China in that direction. But China will end up the main beneficiary.

Applied Materials halts work for red-flagged Chinese chip maker - Nikkei Asian Review

California-based Applied Materials, the world's top chip and display equipment maker, has ordered staff to halt all deliveries and servicing for China's biggest LED chip maker, who was named on a red flag list issued by the U.S. government last week. 

Xiamen San'an Optoelectronics is one of at least three Chinese customers of Applied Materials who were identified on the U.S. government's "unverified list," people with knowledge of the situation told Nikkei Asian Review.

2. Chinese hacking

American Businesses Stayed Quiet On Chinese Hackers, Amid Concerns For Profits : NPR

Technology theft and other unfair business practices originating from China are costing the American economy more than $57 billion a year, White House officials believe, and they expect that figure to grow.

Yet an investigation by NPR and the PBS television show Frontline into why three successive administrations failed to stop cyberhacking from China found an unlikely obstacle for the government — the victims themselves.

In dozens of interviews with U.S. government and business representatives, officials involved in commerce with China said hacking and theft were an open secret for almost two decades, allowed to quietly continue because U.S. companies had too much money at stake to make waves.

Senators to the DC Metro: No more federal funding if you buy Chinese rail cars: 

Metro appeared to be relieved at the prospect that Congress might provide it with a legal basis to turn down a bid from CRRC and thus avoid being drawn into a political controversy. The agency issued a statement saying the proposed Metro legislation — and another Senate bill that would bar or discourage any U.S. transit system from buying from China — offers transit agencies “clear legislative intent.”

Metro has been under pressure from Congress, the Pentagon and the U.S. rail industry to guard against the risk that China might plant listening devices or malicious software in rail cars as a way to conduct surveillance or allow sabotage of trains traveling beneath or near the Capitol, Pentagon and White House.

3. China scholars having US visa problems

F.B.I. Bars Some China Scholars From Visiting the U.S. Over Spying Fears - The New York Times

The F.B.I. has mounted a counterintelligence operation that aims to bar Chinese academics from the United States if they are suspected of having links to Chinese intelligence agencies. As many as 30 Chinese professors in the social sciences, heads of academic institutes, and experts who help explain government policies have had their visas to the United States canceled in the past year, or put on administrative review, according to Chinese academics and their American counterparts...

Zhu Feng, one of the affected scholars: 

“China is, by its nature, a police state. When a national security official comes to my office, I have no way to kick them out,” he said.

The visa ban meant he could not travel to his son’s college graduation. He saw his inability to visit as a symbol of how Chinese attitudes toward the United States will shift.

“In the past four decades, my generation in China benefited a lot from good relations with the United States,” he said.

“But for my son’s generation, that will change. They think the U.S. is not helpful, is more unfriendly and is getting hateful.”

Longer-term subscribers may remember my notes about this trend, first on August 20 and then more recently in the January 31 issue:

I am not going to name names or places but I would expect to read about this in mainstream media at some point. Six months later, as US-China relations feel like they are on the precipice, my question remains “is limiting visits from PRC US experts at this moment helpful?”

I know there is the argument that this is reciprocal as the Chinese have done this to US scholars for years and playing nice got no results, so now the US has to change its approach. Maybe that will work, or maybe it will cause Beijing to double down.

Regardless of the answer to the wisdom of this approach, it is clear that the US government has shifted to a more aggressive stance to this class of PRC citizens, and that it is a symptom of the broader and likely accelerating deterioration in US-China relations, and I have no expectations that a trade deal will arrest that. The New Era of US-China relations may be akin to wrestlers fighting while in a tight embrace.

All of the scholars mentioned in the New York Times article are ones I had heard about, and as the article notes there are many others.

4. PBoC deputy governor’s comments

PBOC Deputy: Financial Opening-Up Is a Path China Must Follow

Excerpts from Chen Yulu's speech:

First, we will open up across the board and make sure the measures are properly implemented. Restrictions will be further eased on foreign investors’ holdings, business presence, shareholder qualification and business scope....

Second, China will push forward rule-based and systematic opening-up by gradually adopting the approach of pre-establishment national treatment and the negative list. The current practice of case-by-case approval will be changed....

Third, we will improve the business environment and increase transparency in policymaking. We will enhance coordination and communication in policymaking and promote convergence to international standards...

Fourth, greater opening-up will go hand-in-hand with better financial regulation. 

Comment: Saying all the right things, and likely will attract increasing accounts of foreign capital, which in turn will help cushion and lingering pain from US tariffs as well as help stabilize the economy and excite the financial markets.

China to Maintain Prudent Monetary Policy, PBOC’s Chen Says - Bloomberg

“Prudent monetary policy will be neutral in general,” the deputy governor said. “China will pursue a proactive fiscal policy with greater intensity and enhance its performance, focusing on cutting taxes and fees on a larger scale.”

5. Racist AI targets Uighurs

One Month, 500,000 Face Scans: How China Is Using A.I. to Profile a Minority - The New York Times

Now, documents and interviews show that the authorities are also using a vast, secret system of advanced facial recognition technology to track and control the Uighurs, a largely Muslim minority. It is the first known example of a government intentionally using artificial intelligence for racial profiling, experts said.

The facial recognition technology, which is integrated into China’s rapidly expanding networks of surveillance cameras, looks exclusively for Uighurs based on their appearance and keeps records of their comings and goings for search and review. The practice makes China a pioneer in applying next-generation technology to watch its people, potentially ushering in a new era of automated racism...

Yitu and its rivals have ambitions to expand overseas. Such a push could easily put ethnic profiling software in the hands of other governments, said Jonathan Frankle, an A.I. researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

“I don’t think it’s overblown to treat this as an existential threat to democracy,” Mr. Frankle said. “Once a country adopts a model in this heavy authoritarian mode, it’s using data to enforce thought and rules in a much more deep-seated fashion than might have been achievable 70 years ago in the Soviet Union. To that extent, this is an urgent crisis we are slowly sleepwalking our way into.”

Comment: And yet western investors and tech firms still seem to have little compunction working with these firms.

6. Asian Swine Flu

All the Pigs in Europe Can’t Make Up for China’s Hog Apocalypse - Bloomberg

The infectious disease has killed tens of thousands of pigs in China, which raises about half the world’s hogs. Worse still, stopping its spread has resulted in the culling of millions more, including breeding sows and piglets. Latest government predictions point to a loss of swine this year equivalent to the European Union’s annual supply. Zhao, 67, doesn’t see affected farms recovering anytime soon...

Domestic pork supply in China this year may fall at least 4 million metric tons below demand, according to Ma Chuang, deputy secretary general with Chinese Association of Animal Science and Veterinary Medicine. He estimates the total hog population may drop by as much as 30 percent in the “year of the pig” from 2018 -- a loss of about 128 million head.

Question: Does anyone know how big China's strategic pork reserve is?

A Deadly Pig Disease Is Reshaping Global Soybean Markets - Bloomberg:

“Today, African swine fever is the bigger story as it relates to demand,” said Corey Jorgenson, president of the grain unit of U.S. crop handler The Andersons Inc., which buys and sells corn, wheat and soybeans from American farmers. “It will impact us for a crop year or more. This is not a 2019 event.”

7. Chinese money and a Trump inaugural ball

Undisclosed cash flowed at Trump inaugural ball with ties to China, embattled Saipan casino - The Palm Beach Post

The committee’s executive director, Boca Raton tech entrepreneur Zhonggang “Cliff” Li, told The Post that he knows where the money went, “but I don’t want to tell you.”

“That almost sounds like an admission of a reporting violation,” said Erin Chlopak, a former Federal Election Commission attorney. “Political committees have to disclose all of their receipts and disbursements. There’s no ‘I don’t want to’ exception.”

Li has drawn international attention as an associate of Cindy Yang, the one-time head of fundraising for the committee that hosted the gala. Her access to Trump through his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach and involvement in groups linked to the Chinese Communist Party prompted top congressional Democrats to seek a federal investigation.

8. Podcast on China’s “state-led capitalism”

Ep. 17: Diagnosing China’s State-led Capitalism – Yasheng Huang | Center for the Study of Contemporary China

In this episode, Neysun Mahboubi discusses China’s state-led capitalism, and the prospects for reform, with one of the foremost scholars of China’s economic development, MIT political scientist Yasheng Huang, whose pathbreaking work has highlighted the contributions of private entrepreneurship to China’s “economic miracle” in the 1980s, and the various costs levied by the shift away from that approach.  The episode was recorded on April 27, 2018.

Business, Economy and Trade

Chinese premier confident economy will meet annual growth target - Reuters China is confident that it will meet its 2019 economic growth target of six percent to 6.5 percent, premier Li Keqiang said on Friday.

Yicai Global - China's First-Tier Cities Sold 30% More Homes in First Quarter The number of houses sold in China's first-tier cities from January through March rose 30 percent annually as new top-rank metropolises issued preferential policies to lure in talent.

Yicai Global - Chinese Phonemakers Claim Ericsson Has IP Monopoly in China Swedish telecom equipment giant Ericsson has confirmed that China's central market regulator has launched a probe into its patent licensing business in China due to complaints about an alleged monopoly, state-backed The Paper reported yesterday

In Depth: The Local Government Debt Crisis That Just Won’t Go Away (Part 2) “The moral hazard is too great,” a source with the ministry told Caixin. He said it would create “endless trouble” if a new round of debt swaps was introduced to bring the hidden debt of local governments onto their books. Turning implicit debt into explicit debt would send China’s government debt ratio way above the international warning line, he said.

The $18 Billion Electric-Car Bubble at Risk of Bursting in China - Bloomberg There are now 486 EV manufacturers registered in China, more than triple the number from two years ago. While sales of passenger EVs are projected to reach a record 1.6 million units this year, that’s likely not enough to keep all those assembly lines humming, prompting warnings that the ballooning EV market could burst and leave behind only a few survivors.

China's Secret Weapon in the Electric Car Race - Bloomberg Local automakers are hoarding the country’s “new-energy vehicle” credits, giving them leverage when renegotiating joint ventures with western rivals.

Volkswagen unveils fully-electric SUV for China market - AP The German automaker said Sunday the ID. ROOMZZ will be unveiled at the upcoming Shanghai Auto Show and will be available in 2021.

Chinese actress Zhao Wei urges 'understanding' over French chateau name changes - Global Times Shanghai-based cultural critic Li Qian also called for French people not to be too culturally sensitive. "It's common practice for Chinese businesspeople to change enterprises' names to reflect their hopes for good fortune in future operations. It does no harm to local culture," Li told the Global Times.   "On the other hand, we have seen an increasing number of Western-style residential districts and towns in recent years in China, and most Chinese are pleased to embrace the trend and consider it as cultural exchanges between the East and the West," Li noted.

Public slam lack of work-life balance - Global Times Jack Ma Yun, founder of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, posted another comment about the "996" culture on his Sina Weibo account on Sunday, saying that the key to the issue is to think about whether you truly like your career and know what your goals are in life. "Most successful entrepreneurs, artists, scientists and politicians are basically on a schedule of more than 996," Ma said. Ma's new post came after a backlash from tech workers against the culture of long hours and no paid overtime in the industry, which led to a wider discussion among Chinese society. The hashtag "996 work schedule" on Weibo attracted 310 million views. Echoing Jack Ma, Richard Liu Qiangdong, founder and CEO of Chinese e-commerce giant, said on Friday that in his company "slackers are not my brothers." He added that JD would never force employees to adopt the "996" culture.

Private Chinese power companies buying Australian coal import restrictions - Sydney Morning Herald Chinese private power companies have started to buy contracts for Australian thermal coal, which could signal an end to China's import restrictions that have sent prices plummeting.

China's Savers Ignore Efforts to Cool $3 Trillion WMP Market - Bloomberg While there’s no official data on the number of people who buy WMPs, industry reports show that small savers raised holdings to a record 19 trillion yuan ($3 trillion) last year. If anything, the crackdown seems to have driven away institutional investors even as individuals increased their exposure.

Beijing's Daxing Airport: Giant new facility tries to keep pace with crowded skies - The Washington Post The new airport is to serve passengers from 28 cities, who would be able to reach the airport within three hours via high-speed rail. It has four runways and a 3.37 million-square-foot terminal building, with plans to accommodate 72 million passengers and 2 million tons of cargo annually by 2025. Long-term plans are to handle more than 100 million passengers and 4 million tons of goods annually, with six runways in operation.

China to include businesses in credit score database plan | Financial Times $$ This database will be shared with commercial banks “to improve information asymmetry of banks and to improve the credit scores and loan availability of small and medium-sized enterprises with good credit scores”, the regulation said. The government has already compiled credit scores for about 400,000 companies, according to an official at the National Development and Reform Commission, China’s state planner. // See the excellent report from MERICS - China's Social Credit System: A big-data enabled approach to market regulation with broad implications for doing business in China

China Plans Third Review of Revisions to Securities Law, But With No Final Agreement in Sight - Caixin it is unlikely that this month’s reading will reach a final agreement, a source who will participate in the meeting told Caixin. Some proposed amendments are too “controversial and immature” to be approved, the source said.

Politics and Law

To spur rural development, China to send millions of students on 'volunteering' trips - Reuters In a March 22 document, the Communist Youth League (CYL) said it aimed to organize more than 10 million volunteering trips by 2022 for students pursuing technical degrees, seeking to deepen a “rural rejuvenation” drive christened by Xi. Students taking such trips, mostly during summer holidays, will spread knowledge on topics from science to finance and environment protection, besides joining in cultural activities and helping in educational and medical services, it added. // Isn’t this just more a ramping up of the Sanxiaxiang 三下乡 policy that has been around for a while, rather some sort of Cultural Revolution-style sending down youths that some have been claiming? From a 2018 paper:

In fact, in the early 1980s, the central committee of the communist youth league proposed that college students carry out social practice of "San Xia Xiang" in their summer vacation and spare time. At the end of 1996, ten ministries, including the Propaganda Department, the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Culture of the Central Government, jointly issued the notice on carrying out "San Xia Xiang" activities of culture, science, technology and health. The next year, the "San Xia Xiang" activities were officially launched nationwide. The so-called "San Xia Xiang" actually refers to the three going to the countryside: culture, science and technology, and health.

一个国家、一个民族不能没有灵魂-新华网 "One country, One nation can not have no soul" - latest issue of Qiushi is running excerpts from Xi's March 4, 2019 comments at his CPPCC breakout session with representatives from cultural, art and social sciences sectors.

Yicai Global - China's Cyberspace Watchdog Has Culled Over 30,000 Mobile Apps This Year The web regulator has also censored more than 24.7 million lewd messages on social media and closed 3.6 million accounts for rules violations, it said in a statement today, without disclosing details on the apps or accounts shut down.

NPCSC Session Watch: Securities Law Revision, Civil Code & Foreign Investment Law Implementation – NPC Observer The Council of Chairpersons met last Friday and decided to convene the 10th session of the 13th NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) from April 20 to 23. The Council also approved the NPCSC’s 2019 legislative and oversight plans, which we expect to be released after the session.

National security education for youth significant: expert - Xinhua "Youth who live in a peaceful, stable environment for long are prone to think that national security is far away from them," Wu Yujun, professor at Beijing Normal University, told Xinhua ahead of the country's 4th National Security Education Day, which falls on Monday.

China’s war on organised crime, corrupt officials sees 79,000 people detained | South China Morning Post Heading the latest effort is Chen Yixin, secretary general of the Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission, which oversees all law enforcement authorities, including the police.

Politically Incorrect Twitter Browsing Cost Suzhou TV Station Editor His Job | 高大伟 David Cowhig's Translation Blog The Suzhou City Main Television Broadcasting Station in its administrative notice of April 4, 2019, announced that Zhu Chengzhuo had been removed from his post as Deputy Director of the All Media Editorial Center of the station. The Administrative notice is translated below.

Foreign and Defense Affairs

Japanese, Chinese ministers discuss key economic issues - Nikkei Asian Review The so-called high-level economic dialogue, co-chaired by Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi, took place in Beijing at a time when the Asian powers are seeking to boost cooperation following years of political tensions. The dialogue, the first to be held in China since 2010, comes about two months before Chinese President Xi Jinping's possible visit to Japan

China's love for old Yugoslav war movie fuels Balkan tourism boom — Quartzy Hundreds of millions of Chinese have watched Walter Defends Sarajevo, making it one of the most-viewed war movies of all time. Bosnia–Herzegovina is looking to capitalize on that history—and its generally positive relationship with China—to lure in Chinese tourists, whose numbers are already swelling.

Palace tells China: Stop disrupting peace in SCS | “It is our principled stand that the peace in the West Philippine Sea should be maintained and that China should avoid performing acts that will place at risk the Filipino fishermen fishing in the disputed areas,” presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said. He was reacting to a declaration by Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Lu Kang that the Spratly Islands have always been part of China’s territory that it calls Nansha.

Beijing tried to block Philippine military facilities on disputed island ‘over fears US could use them’ | South China Morning Post Xu Liping, a director for Southeast Asia studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing, agreed with the suggestion that the US military could use those facilities after the repairs and upgrades.

China Yields on Malaysia Rail Project as Global Infrastructure Program Is Re-Examined - The New York Times The rail project, meant to connect ports on Malaysia’s east and west coasts, is now expected to cost $11 billion, roughly two-thirds of the most recent projected price tag of $16 billion. “This reduction will surely benefit Malaysia and lighten the burden on the country’s financial position,” Mr. Mahathir’s office said in a statement on Friday.

Malaysia says revised China deal shows costs were inflated -AP Malaysia’s prime minister said Monday a Chinese company building a rail link across the Southeast Asian nation will jointly help to manage and operate the network...Mahathir said Monday the government chose to renegotiate the deal rather than pay compensation of 21.78 billion ringgit ($5.3 billion). He said the fact that the project cost can be reduced sharply by 21.5 billion ringgit ($5.2 billion) showed that the cost had been inflated

Indonesia polls bring battle over China's Belt and Road push - CNA Trailing by double digits in the polls, Subianto has leaned on a fiery nationalist ticket and pledged to re-evaluate Chinese investment, even as Jakarta courts huge contracts from Beijing's US$1 trillion Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). "All (BRI) initiatives should be reviewed," Irawan Ronodipuro, foreign affairs director for Subianto's campaign, told AFP.

China warns Australia at WTO about 5G restriction - Reuters China told Australia at the World Trade Organization on Friday that Australia’s restriction on Chinese 5G telecoms technology was “obviously discriminative” and appeared to break global trade rules, according to a transcript seen by Reuters.

Woman accused of being Chinese influence agent tells her story for the first time - Sydney Morning Herald Australian Sheri Yan served 20 months in jail for bribing the United Nations president. She expressed remorse and wrote a novel. She says allegations of spying, though, are a different matter.

Interview With Gisella Lopez of El Comercio - US Department of State SECRETARY POMPEO:  Make no mistake, if China’s here to compete and offer their goods for service through private enterprise, we welcome that.  That’s not problematic.  United States does a great deal of commercial business with China.  The challenge with China is when private entities show up, they’re coming for a malign activity all too often, and that’s what we’ve asked every country to be aware of.  State-owned enterprises, companies deeply connected to the Chinese Government that want to put infrastructure, telecommunications infrastructure inside of your country – we want to make sure everyone has their eyes wide open that there’s real risk to the Peruvian people.  If those systems are installed, if those networks are placed with Huawei technology or Chinese technology, your information is in the hands of President Xi and the People’s Liberation Army in China.

Chinese envoy to Chile slams Pompeo’s accusations of China, calls him 'a hypocrite' - Global Times Chinese ambassador to Chile Xu Bu slammed US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's allegations against China during his visit to Latin America, saying Pompeo is "losing his mind" and is a "hypocrite."

China’s Pursuit of Space Power Status and Implications for the United States | U.S.-CHINA This report examines China’s space goals and national space strategy; its progress toward those goals, including an examination of China’s progress in its advanced launch vehicle, long-term crewed space station, and lunar exploration programs; and the primary entities involved in setting and implementing its space policy.

‘We Got Them’: A U.S. Destroyer Hunts for North Korean Oil Smugglers - WSJ As it rounded the peninsula, the North Korean ship was also being monitored by a South Korean P-3 surveillance plane, while a Chinese destroyer followed the American and Japanese ships from a distance of around 12 miles. U.S. Navy officials say Chinese warships commonly shadow U.S. naval vessels in international waters in the East China Sea.

China releases new syllabus for military courses in universities - China Military Military courses are compulsory for college students, it said, adding that the courses should be included into the national education supervision system and inspection on the development of such courses should be conducted on a regular basis. The new syllabus adds courses on defense skills and protection training in wartime in addition to previous courses, such as military technologies and war information.

Tech and Media

Visual China Group Under Fire for Claiming to Own Copyrights to Black Hole Image, National Flag, and Practically Everything | What's on Weibo The Visual China Group’s website has been temporarily shut down after controversy over the company claiming the copyrights of the black hole image and the Chinese national flag in its library of stock photos and illustrations.

Apple faces backlash from US politicians over censorship of Apple Music in China - 9to5Mac “It’s disgraceful to see one of America’s most innovative, influential tech companies support the Communist Chinese government’s aggressive censorship efforts within China as we near the Tiananmen Square Massacre’s 30th anniversary,” Rubio said.

Japan Display inks deal for ¥80 billion bailout by Chinese and Taiwanese firms | The Japan Times Japan Display, a key supplier to Apple Inc., said Friday China’s Silk Road Fund and Harvest Tech Investment Management, as well as Taiwan’s TPK Holdings and Fubon Financial Holdings, will together own 49.8 percent of its shares once the payment, due by Dec. 30, is made.

Society, Arts, Sports, Culture and History

Joe Tsai wants China fans to better know both his teams, the Nets and Liberty - NetsDaily “This year, the Nets will come to China to participate in the (NBA China Games 2019) competition, and there will be more exchanges with Chinese fans,” Tsai said according to a Google translation of his interview. “We hope that Chinese fans will know more about the Nets ... and the Liberty...The Liberty, who Tsai bought from James Dolan’s MSG Companies, got a lot of attention in China this week by drafting Han Xu, a 6’9” center, in the WNBA Draft.

China’s Anime and Cosplay Obsession – China Channel Wu is just one of the hundreds of millions wrapped up in what young Chinese call the “second dimension” (二次元). The closest English parallel is the ACG, or animation-comic-gaming sector, the market’s favorite acronym for a certain class of Japanese pop culture exports

Energy, Environment, Science and Health

China unveils guideline for improving natural resource asset management - Xinhua By 2020, a system featuring confirmed ownership, clarified rights and responsibility, strict protection, smooth transfer and effective supervision should have been basically in place, reads the guideline released by the general offices of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the State Council. 为谁所有、归谁使用 ——自然资源资产产权制度改革要点解读

Gene-Edited Babies: What a Chinese Scientist Told an American Mentor - The New York Times Dr. Quake is facing a Stanford investigation into his interaction with Dr. He. That inquiry began after the president of Dr. He’s Chinese university wrote to Stanford’s president alleging that Dr. Quake had helped Dr. He. “Prof. Stephen Quake provided instructions to the preparation and implementation of the experiment, the publication of papers, the promotion and news release, and the strategies to react after the news release,” he alleged in letters obtained by The New York Times

Death of rare turtle leaves 3 remaining in the world -AP The animal was one of four Yangtze giant softshell turtles known to be remaining in the world. The Suzhou zoo, where the female turtle lived, also houses a male Yangtze giant softshell turtle. The other two live in Vietnam, but their genders are unknown.