Trade deal tease; Xinjiang; Intensifying overseas online propaganda work

President Trump is just a trade deal tease now:

In all seriousness, his comments may point to yet another extension if the two sides can not reach a deal by December 15. I am sure the Chinese side would have no issues working through the upcoming holidays.

Speaking of holidays, if you are looking for the perfect for the China person in your life please consider giving them a year of Sinocism. Thanks.

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The Essential Eight

1. US-China

China gives little indication US trade talks are progressing - CNBC

“China believes if both sides reach a phase-one agreement, relevant tariffs must be lowered,” Gao Feng, Ministry of Commerce spokesman, said Thursday, according to a CNBC translation of his Mandarin-language remarks.

U.S.-China trade talks are 'on track': Mnuchin - Reuters

“We’re working as hard as we can. But the President said, we’re going to get the right deal and we’re not going to be confused about an arbitrary deadline. But the talks are progressing,”

China’s man in Washington says US building ‘Berlin Wall’ against Beijing | South China Morning Post

China has ramped up its rhetoric against the United States, with its top envoy to the US accusing Washington of building a “Berlin Wall” between the two sides after its leaders looked to Russia for cooperation in the face of “interference”.

Speaking at the US-China Business Council’s annual gala in Washington on Wednesday, ambassador Cui Tiankai said “obstinate prejudice” was behind criticism directed at the Chinese government for its policies on trade and investment, Hong Kong and the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region.

Comment: I was at the event, his speech was unfortunate, especially the bit at the end about Hong Kong, Xinjiang and "fake news". I am not sure what he and his folks are thinking, those kinds of comments to a crowd of business execs do not give them confidence in doing more with and in China.

As I tweeted over the summer I understand Cui has own audience back home, but you would think that a top diplomat would be able to at least subtly tailor a message for a key foreign audience. But increasingly it looks like the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has become an external arm of the Propaganda Department.

Also, accusing the US of building a "Berlin Wall" is ironic considering that China started the tech decoupling when it walled off its Internet from the rest of the world over a decade ago with the "Great Firewall".

China tightens diplomatic protocol in latest tit-for-tat since passage of US acts | South China Morning Post

A report by Guancha.cn [美国限制我外交官行动,中方反制措施来了] said that, with immediate effect, US diplomats based in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Shenyang and Wuhan should notify the foreign ministry five working days before any such meeting.

The report said this was in response to a US requirement imposed in October, under which Chinese diplomats had to notify the US state department before meetings with local or state officials and with educational and research institutions.

新闻联播 - 12.5 CCTV Evening News

8 items today slamming the Uighur Act

China urges U.S. to learn lessons from 9/11 attacks, stop double standards on anti-terrorism - Xinhua

U.S. politicians are talking about "conscience" with China on ethnic minorities. "What ignorance, what brazenness, what hypocrisy!" Hua said.

"Have they forgotten? The two-century long American history is tainted with the blood and tears of native Indians, who were originally masters of the continent."

She said that starting from the 19th century, the U.S. army occupied millions of square kilometers of land and grabbed countless natural resources by expelling and slaughtering native Indians through the Westward Expansion.

Apart from that, the U.S. also conducted forced assimilation of native Americans, killing, expelling and persecuting them and denying them their due civil rights.

Commentary: Xinjiang-related bill again reveals U.S. true nature of hegemony - Xinhua

In October, at the Third Committee session of the 74th UN General Assembly, more than 60 countries also commended in their statements the tremendous human rights progress achieved in Xinjiang.

When it comes to terrorism, the United States should be among those who have felt the worst pain. The terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001 have not faded from the memories of people worldwide and we have also witnessed how resolute the United States has been in countering terrorism.

Commentary: Meddlesome Washington's malicious farce on Xinjiang - Xinhua


2. Xinjiang

Documentary with rare footage chronicles China's arduous fight against terrorism in Xinjiang - Global Times

The nearly one-hour-long documentary, Fighting Terrorism in Xinjiang, which was streamed on CGTN, China's state broadcaster, has four parts. It begins with explicating the formative years when extremism began evolving in Xinjiang, followed by the grueling fight against terrorism. It also illustrated the interactions of terrorists with overseas forces accompanied by audio and video evidence. The documentary winds up highlighting international cooperation on anti-terrorism.

Here it is on Youtube:

Uighur journalist Gulchehra Hoja on exposing China’s detention camps | Financial Times $$

While we do not have evidence of mass killing, acts such as the forced transfer of children and forced sterilisation are already being perpetrated. The Chinese state is banning our language, destroying books, arresting intellectuals and demolishing mosques, homes and even graveyards.

Families are being separated, with children sent away for indoctrination. These tactics pose an existential threat to the survival of the Uighur people. It is up to all of us across the world to decide how this crisis will end.

Gulchehra Hoja is a journalist working for Radio Free Asia in Washington DC

Missing Uyghur Tech Company Owner Confirmed Held in Xinjiang Internment Camp - RFA

Guljamal Ebeydulla, who is in her 30s and originally from Aksu (in Chinese, Akesu) prefecture’s Kuchar (Kuche) county, founded the Xinjiang Iqbal Technology Company—a electronics and computer hardware producer and retailer—in the XUAR capital Urumqi in 2010

China’s Genetic Research on Ethnic Minorities Sets Off Science Backlash - The New York Times

Two publishers of prestigious scientific journals, Springer Nature and Wiley, said this week that they would re-evaluate papers they previously published on Tibetans, Uighurs and other minority groups. The papers were written or co-written by scientists backed by the Chinese government, and the two publishers want to make sure the authors got consent from the people they studied.

Springer Nature, which publishes the influential journal Nature, also said that it was toughening its guidelines to make sure scientists get consent, particularly if those people are members of a vulnerable group.

The statements followed articles by The New York Times that describe how the Chinese authorities are trying to harness bleeding-edge technology and science to track minority groups.

This Twitter thread on BGI by Mara Hvistendahl is worth reading:

China ‘world’s worst’ for invasive use of biometric data | South China Morning Post

In its report released on Wednesday, Comparitech analysed how biometric data was being collected, used and stored using a 25-point system to measure its prevalence in areas such as passports, banks, identity cards, and voting systems, as well as whether laws were in place to protect the information.

Grassley questions World Bank on Xinjiang loan - Axios

In 2015, the World Bank launched a $50 million loan program to fund technical and vocational training schools in Xinjiang.

Opinion | Stop Investing in China’s Brutality - The New York Times - By Danielle Pletka and Derek Scissors

It’s time for pension funds and others to stop supporting companies that abet Beijing’s crackdowns on China’s Uighurs and Hong Kong’s protesters.

Opinion: The U.S. should boycott Beijing's 2022 Winter Olympics - Los Angeles Times

The Trump administration, with congressional support, should begin working now to build an international coalition that will call on the IOC to move or cancel the Games unless China closes the camps and ends abuses in Xinjiang.


3. “Propaganda beyond the Great Firewall”

Propaganda beyond the Great Firewall | Mercator Institute for China Studies - Mareike Ohlberg

While China experts may find much of this propaganda crude, it is clear that these people are not the target audience. As Liz Carter, a former translator at China Digital Times, said recently: "The point is not to convince everyone, but to convince enough people to win a public opinion war and drown out voices of reason. This is an often-overlooked aspect of CCP strategy, because those who know enough to care about it are the least likely to be affected by it, and the most likely to underestimate its harmful impact."

Looking at only the official accounts gives limited information on the resources the Chinese party-state can draw on to promote its messages through Western social media. Party-state media’s accounts on Western social media are just one part of the CCP’s attempts to gain more influence over global public opinion, and they are part of a long-term initiative to change how people globally talk about China.

It is difficult to draw conclusions about the success, or otherwise, of these media in influencing public opinion outside China. However, it is clear that they add to the overall asymmetry in the information environment, where Chinese media can spread their messages while western media are cut off from access to Chinese audiences.

Then there was this earlier today, now deleted, though they confused the US Capitol with the White House:

And in another example that just pooped into my Twitter feed here is the Counsel General in Kolkata, India today:

I have created a list of PRC officials on Twitter, it is a work in progress.


4. WeChat overseas

Censored by a Chinese tech giant? Canadians using WeChat app say they’re being blocked | National Post

As publisher of one of Canada’s few Chinese-language newspapers that dares to cover Beijing critically, Jack Jia feels he has a duty to give his readers balanced, skeptical reporting.

To that end, he tries to spread the reach of Chinese News by posting its articles on WeChat, the ubiquitous Chinese communications app used extensively by the diaspora here.

But that practice hit a sudden obstacle last month, when WeChat began restricting his use of the site, blocking access to his account and delivering an ominous message. Jia had been reported for “multiple instances of non-compliance,” it said...

It has become essential, too, in Canada and other countries with large mainland-immigrant populations, one of the only ways to communicate online with friends and relatives in China, where Western messaging and social-media apps are banned.

Comment: It is also a hugely important channel for the consumption of Chinese language news by the diaspora. The CCP has been successful in controlling and co-opting the vast majority of overseas Chinese news outlets, and through Wechat the Party also has an effective stranglehold on the digital distribution of Chinese language news to the diaspora, and governments paying attention appear to have no idea what to do about it. That is one of the main reasons I argued in an issue last month that for all handwringing in the US and other countries about TikTok it is actually a sideshow compared to Wechat.


5. AI

Yes, China is probably outspending the US in AI—but not on defense - MIT Technology Review

new estimates from the Center for Security and Emerging Technology (CSET) show that China is likely spending far less on AI than previously assumed. Additionally, most of its AI money seems to be going to non-military-related research, such as fundamental algorithm development, robotics research, and smart-infrastructure development. By contrast, the US’s planned spending for fiscal year 2020 allocates the majority of its AI budget to defense, which means it will likely outspend China in that category. In other words, the numbers directly oppose the prevailing narrative.

The researchers at CSET approximated the upper and lower bounds of China’s AI investments for the year 2018 by cross-referencing its ministry of finance’s national expenditure report with other government agencies’ descriptions of their spending. The findings are still preliminary, given that they are based on several assumptions. But the researchers have high confidence that their analysis at least confirms that China’s spending is nowhere near existing claims.

The report: Chinese Public AI R&D Spending: Provisional Findings

Fu Ying - Why the US should join China in future-proofing AI technology | South China Morning Post

Worsening US-China tensions cannot but have an impact on how we are going to deal with the challenges down the road. Will we work to make technology symbiotic to humans, help the world avoid technological risks and ensure technological advances to make our civilisations prosper? Or will we go our separate ways and use the technology to undermine, even hurt, the other side?

The US and Soviet Union went through many crises during the cold war, some threatening to doom mankind, before arriving at an arrangement for self-constraint and coexistence. The world today is more complicated and there is more at stake. Do we need a bigger crisis to help us find the right path? Can China and the US resolve their differences and coexist peacefully, or decouple, as some in Washington seek, and therefore tear the world apart?..

for China, the preferred outcome is an interdependent community with a shared future, international conversations to encourage collaboration, and common rules for safe, reliable and responsible AI. As Chinese President Xi Jinping said, China is willing to work with the international community to create an age of intelligence and share the achievements of the intelligence.

Comment: I have to say Fu Ying is better at messaging than most of China's current and former diplomats. I have only met her once, for tea in Beijing last year, she is quite charming in person, dished on some well-known US China watchers, but the whole time I was waiting for the hammer to drop.


6. Latest economic reform dashboard still not encouraging

Fall 2019 — The China Dashboard Fall 2019 — Asia Society Policy Institute and Rhodium Group

In the main, we find reform in five of ten policy areas has regressed since the 2013 Third Plenum, two areas are stalled, and three areas have improved slightly. In the aggregate neither the outcomes we see at present nor the specifics of the green shoots described above are proof of a change of season – yet. However, actions that would start to bend our indicators in the right direction may be within reach, and the tone and frankness of many policy signals are helpful. If the countervailing indications that are just as readily found – some of them tit-for-tat in response to American moves, some of them, like further enshrinement of the role of Party committees in corporate management, more structural reforms – can be pruned from the policy tree, then the prognosis for China’s engagement with the advanced market economies will brighten.


7. 1 year since China took Canadian prisoners for Meng Wanzhou

Why China must send Michael Kovrig home - The Washington Post

Just under one year ago, on Dec. 10, China arrested our colleague Michael Kovrig in Beijing. Since that time, Michael — who is the International Crisis Group’s North East Asia adviser — has remained in detention without being allowed to see a lawyer or family member.

Although China has never spelled out the reasons for Michael’s imprisonment, it is clear that he is merely a pawn in a larger geopolitical game. A Canadian citizen and former diplomat, he was detained — along with another Canadian, Michael Spavor — nine days after Ottawa, acting upon a U.S. request under an extradition treaty, arrested Meng Wangzhou, chief financial officer of Huawei, a Chinese telecommunications giant. She is unable to leave the country until her case is resolved, but that case, unlike Michael’s, is now before the courts. She is free on bail while it proceeds, and she has full access to legal representation.


8. The end of China’s “affirmative action”?

From Xinjiang to Ningxia, China’s ethnic groups face end to affirmative action in education, taxes, policing | South China Morning Post

Ethnic minority affairs have been at the centre of heated and controversial debates in China for several years, not least because Han Chinese have increasingly complained about what they see as unfair benefits and subsidies handed out to minorities. The South China Morning Post has learned that Beijing ran studies in the past two years to assess the impact and repercussions of the policy changes. Some provinces have already started to make the shift, especially in education fields...

The existing policies amount to “reverse discrimination” on Han Chinese, said Mei Xinyu, a researcher at the Ministry of Commerce. “[The ethnic minorities] receive bonus points in all national exams for entering high school, colleges, civil service and higher level education. From birth to death, they have so many privileges,” he said on Weibo, China’s Twitter-like social media platform.


Business, Economy and Trade

Exclusive: Founder Warns of ‘Extremely Tight’ Liquidity After Bond Default - Caixin Founder management attributed the worsening financials to graft scandals involving some of the company’s former executives and its long-running business disputes with Beijing Zenith Holdings, a property developer controlled by fugitive businessman Guo Wengui. Founder claimed 14 billion yuan of unpaid receivables from Beijing Zenith, which the company expected to be recovered in the first half this year but which wasn’t, according to Zhu Yuhai, Founder chairman.

This $1.2 Trillion China Bond Market Is Studded With ‘Fakes’ - Bloomberg Beijing started allowing some state-owned enterprises to go bust in 2015, yet not a single LGFV bond has failed to satisfy its obligations, despite scant cash flow and mounting debt. There have been some close calls, though. In August 2018 an organization attached to the army in China’s western Uighur region missed a deadline to repay its bond by two days. Such “technical defaults”—slightly delayed wire transfers—have become more common since.

Ministry of Commerce plans slew of tax, fiscal measures to boost border trade - China Daily The measures include value-added tax exemption policy and simplified declaration process for small-scale border trade exports at pilot areas, and properly increasing amounts of local government bonds in border areas, to support infrastructure construction in border (cross-border) economic cooperation zones and key development and opening-up pilot zones.

Yicai Global - Ping An's Beijing Asset Exchange Is Running Illegally, Local Watchdog Says Shenzhen Qianhai Financial Assets Exchange, a subsidiary of the world's biggest insurer Ping An Insurance, has not received regulatory approval in Beijing and any business activities conducted in the capital are illegal, the city's Municipal Bureau of Financial Work said yesterday

US dollar transfers cut back by Chinese bank as Beijing steps up scrutiny of capital outflows | South China Morning Post China Merchants notified customers on Thursday last week that new transfers under the bank’s “Overseas Remittance Programme” would no longer be accepted from December 2, and the entire programme would be shut down on December 30. On Friday, in response to a large market and customer reaction, it announced it would resume the services on January 2.

Sichuan Province Places Ban on P2P Activity within Its Borders - China Banking News On the evening of 4 De­cem­ber the Sichuan province fi­nan­cial reg­u­la­tor re­leased the “On­line Lend­ing Sec­tor Risk Re­minder” (网络借贷行业风险提示) via its of­fi­cial web­site.  The Re­minder states that none of the P2P on­line lend­ing en­ti­ties that Sichuan province has in­cluded within its “rec­ti­fi­ca­tion scope” were found to be fully com­pli­ant with reg­u­la­tions fol­low­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tions.

Fintech Firm’s Bigwigs Caught Up in Predatory Lending Probe - Caixin Multiple senior executives including a founder of online lending platform Meili Finance Holdings Ltd. are assisting police with a predatory lending investigation involving the company, Caixin has learned. Just last month, police raided the offices of Meili Finance’s former auto loan arm, Meili Auto Holdings Ltd., in four Chinese cities as part of an investigation into alleged predatory lending cases linked to Meili Finance. Meili Auto was spun off from Meili Finance in 2017.

Couriers in Overdrive During ‘Double 11’ Shopping Fest - Caixin Package deliveries soared 22.7% during last month’s “Double 11” shopping extravaganza, with parcels processed touching an all-time daily high of 535 million on the busiest day of the world’s top online buying binge.

A dozen oil tankers have been idling off China’s coast for more than a month, holding the fate of global freight rates in their hands | Bloomberg The vessels are owned by a unit of Chinese shipping giant Cosco that was sanctioned by the US in late September for carrying Iranian oil. They’ve been floating off the coast for over a month, ship-tracking data show, in limbo as owners, charterers and potential customers await clarity over the sanctions

Huawei files appeal in U.S. court against FCC's rural carrier purchase ban - Reuters The FCC last month voted unanimously to designate Huawei Technologies Co Ltd and peer ZTE Corp as national security risks, barring their U.S. rural carrier customers from tapping an $8.5 billion government fund to purchase Huawei or ZTE telecommunications equipment. Huawei filed a petition with the Fifth Circuit Court in New Orleans challenging the FCC decision, the firm’s chief legal officer Song Liuping said in a statement on Thursday.

NY Judge Disqualifies Sidley's James Cole From Defending Huawei | National Law Journal A federal judge on Tuesday barred James Cole, a former deputy U.S. attorney general, from continuing to defend the Chinese telecom Huawei, siding with federal prosecutors who argued the Sidley Austin partner should be disqualified based on his role in an unspecified investigation during his tenure at the Justice Department.

Politics and Law

全国市域社会治理现代化工作会议发言摘登-中国长安网 Central Politics and Law Commission post the highlights from the "Modernization of municipal social governance 市域社会治理现代化" work conference

南平市政府党组召开“不忘初心、牢记使命”专题民主生活会 - 南平新闻 - 东南网 进一步强化政治建设,在思想上、政治上、行动上同以习近平总书记为核心的党中央保持高度一致,以实际行动维护党中央一锤定音、定于一尊的权威。//Comment: seeing a lot of "一锤定音,定于一尊 yi1chui2ding4yin1, Ding4yu2yi1zun set the tone for all and be the ultimate authority" again. China Media Project's "China Discourse Report 2018" discusses its usage, and its decline in 2018. It looks like it may be part of the standard language for meetings about the "stay true to the original aspiration" campaign

SCIO briefing on National Constitution Publicity Week- China.org.cn As Dec. 4 is National Constitution Day, we are delighted to invite Mr. Fu Zhenghua, minister of justice and head of the National Office for Law Popularization, to introduce issues related to the National Constitution Publicity Week, and introduce the work of law popularization and law-based governance. He will also answer some of your questions.

[视频]中央纪委国家监委通报对黄赌毒和黑恶势力听之任之 失职失责等问题专项整治阶段性成果_CCTV And the CCDI puts out a report on cases of officials not taking seriously the need to fight pornography, gambling, drugs and organized crime

Former Graft Buster Falls Under Graft Probe - Caixin A former graft buster is under investigation for what is thought to be corruption charges. China’s top anti-corruption agency announced Wednesday that Wang Limin, a deputy head of the financial research institute at government-backed think tank the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, is under an investigation for alleged “serious violations of (Communist Party) discipline and law.

广东省委常委、省委政法委书记何忠友调任海南省委常委 He Zhongyou, moves from Guangdong Provincial Party Committee and Politics and Law Commission Secretary to the Hainan provincial government.

Himalayan Buddhists Reject Beijing’s Claim of Control Over Tibet’s Dalai Lama - RFA Representatives of Buddhist communities across the Himalayan region have rejected Chinese claims of control over the succession of Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, supporting a resolution passed last week by senior Tibetan religious leaders at a meeting in India.

Recording & Review Pt. 6: NPCSC Launches Online Platform for Citizens to Request Legality or Constitutionality Review – NPC Observer On December 4, the NPCSC officially launched a new online platform for citizens, legal persons, and other organizations to submit requests for review. Previously, they must mail their suggestions to the LAC’s Office for Recording and Reviewing Regulations [法规备案审查室]. We tested the new platform and felt that it is relatively easy to use, though not without several significant limitations. Below we will offer a brief tour of the platform (with screenshots), after a quick introduction of the review process

Dui Hua Human Rights Journal: Sharp Drop in Number of Juveniles Convicted by Chinese Courts It should be noted that the statistics in the SPC volumes only cover juveniles convicted by courts. Juveniles can be held in various other carceral facilities without being tried by a court. Such alternatives include compulsory drug rehabilitation (qiangzhi jiedu 强制戒毒) centers, custody and education (shourong jiayu 收容教育) camps (for sex workers, including juveniles), “legal education” (fazhi jiaoyu 法制教育) campuses for “seriously poisoned Falun Gong practitioners,” “custody and rehabilitation” (shourong jiaoyang 收容教养) facilities for juveniles under the age of 16 who commit mostly minor offenses, and “work-study schools” (gongduxuexiao 工读学校) for juveniles who “engage in serious misbehavior.”

China Has Invited 600 International Lawyers and Judicial Officials to its ‘Global Lawyers Forum,’ But These Chinese Lawyers Won’t Be Welcome « It should be immediately noted that the Chinese name of this “Global Lawyers Forum” is misleading. Instead of “quanqiu lüshi luntan”/ 全球律师论坛,” its Chinese name could easily give the impression that this is something comparable to the “World Bar Conference,” which is also translated into Chinese as shijie lüshi dahui. We believe this is a deliberate choice on the part of the Chinese government hosting this conference. The International Bar Association’s website does not include this gathering on its list of upcoming international lawyers’ meetings, so this meeting in Guangzhou appears to be China’s own “World Bar Conference.”

Foreign and Defense Affairs

Boris Johnson uses Huawei phone for selfie after hinting at UK ban | Bloomberg After TV interview, British PM posed with anchors holding what appeared to be P20 Pro in shimmering Twilight colour scheme

Portugal resists US appeal to bar Huawei from 5G network | AP Chinese companies will not be excluded from supplying technology, officials tell US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo

NATO will try to push China on arms control - defenseNews NATO leaders will attempt to move China into an international arms control regime, as the alliance pins down its approach to the communist country somewhere between hopeful and wary, according to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. “We have started to address how we can include China in relevant arms control arrangements in the future,” Stoltenberg told journalists at his closing news conference for the NATO leaders’ meeting outside London. “That process is not over.”

China hits out at ‘unilateralism and bullying’ after Nato calls it a strategic challenge | South China Morning Post Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said despite the US efforts, some of Nato’s 29 members were against labelling Beijing as an adversary. “In fact the biggest threat and challenge the world is facing now is unilateralism and bullying behaviour, of which even US allies have become victims,” she said.

China’s Economic Growth Welcomed in Emerging Markets, but Neighbors Wary of Its Influence | Pew Research Center even in the nations that welcome China’s economic growth, few feel similarly about its growing military might. Rather, most tend to view China’s growing military as something bad for their own countries. Second, China’s neighbors generally take a much more negative stance toward China’s military and economic growth than other countries surveyed

Chinese VP calls for enhancing people-to-people exchanges with Russia - Xinhua Wang made the remarks when meeting with participants in the 12th plenary session of the China-Russia Friendship Committee for Peace and Development (CRFCPD), held Thursday in Beijing...The current complex international situation presents new requirements for China and Russia to further support each other to realize common development, he said.

Maldives wants to restructure debt to China - AP The Maldives foreign minister says his country needs to restructure its massive debt to China, which he says has put the Indian ocean archipelago in a difficult situation.

Peru and U.S. close to signing deal to counter Chinese influence in region: diplomat - Reuters So far, the United States has signed memorandums of understanding within the Growth in the Americas framework with Argentina, Chile, Jamaica and Panama. Chile, Jamaica, Panama and Peru have also signed MOUs with China to join the BRI.

China's Amb. calls on certain state party to stop blocking BWC negotiations - China Military Amb. Li Song said at the meeting that a certain State Party is exclusively blocking the negotiation of a protocol that comprehensively enhances the effectiveness of the convention, while at the same time pointing fingers at other countries' compliance of the Convention

ICC prosecutor junks complaint vs Xi Jinping on West Philippine Sea dispute | ABS-CBN News The International Criminal Court's (ICC) Office of the Prosecutor has junked the communication filed by 2 former government officials and Filipino fishermen against Chinese President Xi Jinping over alleged destruction of natural resources in the West Philippine Sea.

Anonymous pro-China letter and a fight at Richmond high school prompt district-wide meetings | CBC News Senior staff at the Richmond School District met with principals after tensions over China-Hong Kong relations led to two separate confrontations among students at one school on the same day. On Nov. 25, a fight broke out between a group of students and an open letter was posted on another student's locker in support of China at Richmond Secondary School.

朱锋:“百年大变局”的决定性因素分析_爱思想 Zhu Feng gives his take on "Major changes unseen in a century" -”The evolution and change of world political and economic activities have their cycles. As a "long cycle" in the span of a century, the international political and economic situation will inevitably undergo major changes. Looking back on the history of the modern and contemporary world, "the great changes unseen in a century" is "the change of the century". When such a shift begins, the implications will be long and far-reaching, and will inevitably lead to major changes in the global distribution of power, wealth and benefits. More importantly, the "unprecedented changes" in the world development process coincide with the historical process of China's great national rejuvenation. For China and the world, this is a time when "crisis" and "crisis" coexist. It is also a historic moment for deepening major changes and adjustments in the international landscape and system.”

CGTN Think Tank launched in Beijing - Xinhua The institute, revealed at the third CGTN Global Media Summit, will establish cooperative relationships with 50 renowned think tanks worldwide, with goals to offer insights on world development and promote communication among different cultures, said a statement from the CGTN.

N. Korean official in charge of external trade seen in Beijing | Yonhap News Agency External Economic Affairs Minister Kim Yong-jae was seen leaving the airport after arriving in Beijing on an Air Koryo flight from Pyongyang. Further details were not available.

Hong Kong and Macao

HK police chief to pay courtesy call to Beijing - Global Times Hong Kong Police Commissioner Chris Tang Ping-keung will travel to Beijing on Friday for an expected visit to the Ministry of Public Security and the State Council. A spokesperson with the Hong Kong Police Force confirmed the trip to Beijing with the Global Times on Thursday, but did not provide further details on the commissioners' itinerary. This will be his first trip to Beijing since being named police commissioner on November 19.

Hong Kong must enhance education, implementation mechanism for national Constitution, Basic Law: HKSAR chief executive - Xinhua At a symposium to mark China's sixth Constitution Day, Lam said that the Constitution and the HKSAR Basic Law together form the constitutional basis of the HKSAR government, and Hong Kong citizens must clearly understand that "one country" is the premise and basis for the implementation of "two systems". "We must enhance the education about the Constitution and the Basic Law, so as to strengthen the national identity in the whole society, especially among public servants and young people," Lam said.

Hong Kong gives protesters green light for big march on Sunday - Reuters The Civil Human Rights Front, the group that organized million-strong marches in the China-ruled city in June, said it had received permission from police for a planned Human Rights Day rally on Sunday. During the past six months of increasingly violent anti-Beijing demonstrations, authorities had denied requests from the group to hold rallies

Hong Kong residents living with tear gas worry of effects - AP Hong Kong police have fired more than 10,000 tear gas canisters to quell violent protests that have rocked the city for six months. The movement’s demands include fully democratic elections and an investigation into police use of force, including tear gas. Its heavy and prolonged use in Hong Kong — one of the world’s most densely populated cities and known for its concrete jungle of high-rises — is unusual and has sparked health fears.

Taiwan

Taiwan Presidential Contender Cries Foul Over ‘Pro-China’ Label - WSJ $$ Han Kuo-yu, the opposition Nationalist Party candidate for president, trails Ms. Tsai by hefty margins across a range of opinion polls with just weeks left before the Jan. 11 vote—a deficit widely attributed to his perceived leanings toward Beijing, which regards Taiwan as its territory. In an interview on the campaign trail this week, Mr. Han rejected claims that he is a pro-China candidate and blamed his rivals for creating such a perception. Ms. Tsai and her ruling party “can’t produce a good scorecard so they have to resort to using dual weapons to win the election,” Mr. Han said. “The first is ceaseless smears. … The second is opinion polls.”

Tech and Media

Yicai Global - Everbright Bank, Kaola Apps Among 100 Culled for Illegal Data Harvesting Mobile apps from Alibaba's e-commerce platform Kaola and banking giants China Everbright Bank and Bank of Tianjin were among 100 so far removed from app stores for illegally collecting user data.

Chinese Chip Design Firm Goodix Given Nod to Acquire NXP’s Voice and Audio Solutions Business - Caixi The deal will enable Goodix to acquire an industry-leading NXP engineering team, employees based in Europe and Asia as well as relevant intellectual properties. The move should help the Chinese firm to increase its position in the mobile and internet of things (IoT) industries and boost its research and development capabilities in audio applications.

Liu Cixin’s sci-fi works to be adapted into graphic novels - People's Daily The series will be launched by the end of June 2021, according to Li Yun, presenter of the works. The books will be published in more than eight countries, Liu Cixin said in a video. French graphic novel author Thierry Robin and Italian artist Stefano Raffaele, as well as renowned Chinese graphic novelists including Zhang Xiaoyu, Wu Qingsong and Liu Wei will be invited to join the production.

This Silly Piggy goes to market, and earns a fortune - SHINE News When Silly Piggy appeared in China’s popular social media app WeChat, the sticker became an instant hit, with people using it more than 30 million times in its first month to express their feelings.

Society, Arts, Sports, Culture and History

Fear for young death grips netizens after basketball star dies at 33 - People's Daily Online Former captain of the Beijing Ducks basketball team, Ji Zhe, died of lung cancer at the age of 33, just days after actor Godfrey Gao died from a heart attack at 35, adding to Chinese netizens’ fear of dying young.

"In addition to Ji Zhe, lung cancer has killed many people" - 除了吉喆,肺癌还带走了许多人 - 数据新闻 - 新京报网

Hungary apologizes for athlete's offensive social media post - China Daily The Hungarian National Skating Federation has apologized after one of its athletes made an insulting remark about China that prompted the team's Chinese coach to resign. Olympic champion short-track speed skater Csaba Burjan is facing disciplinary action for the offending social media post, the Hungarian governing body said on Tuesday.

Shanghai’s Fading Graffiti Scene Writes One Final Chapter - SixthTone In early November, 33 artists descended on a quiet backstreet in central Putuo District to cover a plastic construction fence with street art. For the organizers, the event was a chance to add a splash of color and hype to the 1,000 Trees complex — a futuristic, flora-covered building set to open in 2020. But for the artists, the gathering represented something else entirely: a final chance to paint on their beloved street, Moganshan Road.

China Spends $29 Billion on Pampering Pets as Birthrate Slows - Bloomberg urban pet owners are on track to spend 202 billion yuan ($28.6 billion) on their pets this year, 19% more than 2018, according to a study by Goumin.com, a Chinese social network for pet-owners. China’s falling birthrate is matched by its mounting pet love. The Asian nation now has the world’s largest dog and cat population of 188 million and surpassed the U.S. in pet numbers in 2018, according to data compiled by Euromonitor International. This was the same year that child birth steeply declined.

Energy, Environment, Science and Health

Yicai Global - 4.5-Magnitude Earthquake Strikes China's Tangshan; No Casualties Reported Tremors could be felt in Tianjin and as far as Beijing, around 180 kilometers away from the industrial town of Tangshan, which suffered one of the 20th century's most destructive earthquakes in 1976 when a 7.7-magnitude quake killed around 250,000

Hebei Govt To Investigate ‘Clean Coal’-Related Deaths - SixthTone Authorities in Hebei will start a province-wide inspection of boilers and encourage local awareness of winter heating safety precautions following a spate of deaths from carbon monoxide poisoning, according to an official statement Thursday.

China Adds to Calls Seeking Extended Life for UN Carbon Credits - Bloomberg China was the biggest generator of emission credits for the UN’s Clean Development Mechanism, a market that helped cut costs for factories and power stations in the European Union after it started the world’s biggest carbon market almost 15 years ago