Trade talks; US DoJ announces two new China-related cases; Sports industry gets more policy support
|Bill Bishop||Sep 17, 2019|| 2|
China officially announced the vice-ministerial level trade delegation to the US. It will be lead by Liao Min, deputy director of the Office of the Central Commission for Financial and Economic Affairs and vice Finance Minister and Liu He’s right-hand man. The official announcement made no mention of Vice Minister of Commerce Wang Shouwen, so my comment yesterday that “Vice Minister of Finance Liao Min and Vice Minister of Commerce Wang Shouwen are leading the PRC delegation” was incorrect. Apologies.
This is the first time Liao has led a delegation at this level for the talks, it is possible this designation for him may be a sign of preparations for some of the significant purchases President Trump wants. We shall see. As I wrote yesterday there is increasing chatter about an interim deal by October that relieves some of the political pressures on both sides, but I am still very skeptical of any major breakthroughs.
Thanks for reading.
The timing of the meeting was unclear — the CCTV report said China’s delegation would visit the U.S. on Wednesday, but Reuters cited U.S. trade officials as saying that deputy-level talks would commence Thursday.
Upon invitation from the U.S. side, Liao Min, deputy director of the Office of the Central Commission for Financial and Economic Affairs and vice Finance Minister, plans to lead a delegation to visit the United States on Wednesday for trade consultations.
Upon the invitation from the US side, Liao Min, deputy director of the Office of the Central Commission for Financial and Economic Affairs and vice finance minister, plans to lead a delegation to visit the US on Wednesday for trade consultations, the Xinhua News Agency reported on Tuesday. The visit will pave the way for the 13th round of high-level economic and trade consultations between China and the US in October in Washington. The Office of the Central Commission for Financial and Economic Affairs is in charge of drawing up China's economic plans, and Vice Premier Liu He is the director...
A Beijing-based business affairs commentator surnamed Li told the Global Times on Tuesday that while the vice commerce minister headed the high level talks during previous preparatory meetings that led to formal trade talks, the change to the vice finance minister could underline hopes to inject some fresh air into the meetings.
He Weiwen, an executive council member of the China Society for World Trade Organization Studies, said that Liao's appointment as the delegation head could signal the preparatory meeting will be focused on tariff issues rather than trade policies, as the Finance Ministry is in charge of tariffs.
Comment: And purchases
Liao is also a deputy director of the Office of the Central Commission for Financial and Economic Affairs, a Communist Party organ in charge of supervising economic work. It will be the first time he has taken a lead role in high-stakes trade talks.
Taoran Notes wrote last Friday in 陶然笔记：求同存异是中美磋商“破冰”的关键一步_新浪财经_新浪网 of the need for the US and China to 求同存异 Qiu1TongCun1Yi4 seek common ground while putting differences aside. I read it as another sign of a real desire for an interim, small deal as part of China’s approach of “fighting and talking, talking and fighting”, as opposed to any expectations for a real breakthrough.
Tom Donohue, chief executive of the US Chamber of Commerce, said he had detected a desire for de-escalation both in Washington and Beijing, with “people in both places thinking ‘let’s calm down, let’s start making positive statements’”. But he said he did not see any ironclad, formal truce emerging in the near term.
Wu Xiaoqiu, an economist and vice president of Renmin University, said in a speech that he is very worried about China’s situation today. He didn’t spell out his concerns and criticism but said it is crucial for China to have a “tolerant environment” where people can liberate their thoughts and try different things in reforms. On the trade war, he said China should prepare “financial war” with the US, and the designation of currency manipulator may be just the start of something far worse.
In a latest speech, former mayor of Chongqing and also a finance expert, said China should slow down its reform on free capital flow as China now faces different shocks amid the trade war and financial war with the US. On the other hand he suggests China continue to push for internationalization of RMB and use RMB more in the trade settlements with other Belt and Road countries.
The state-run Reference News lists the US measures that it said are all designed to contain China, including the trade war, the actions against Huawei and Made in China 2025, the report on China’s influence in the US, freedom of navigation operations in South China Sea, arms sales to Taiwan and so on.
2. Hong Kong
Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.), the commission’s chair, added Tuesday: “It is time we put the Chinese government on annual notice that further erosion of autonomy or a crackdown on Hong Kong will cause the city — and by extension mainland China — to lose its special economic and trade arrangement with the United States.”
“I uphold this principle of accountability, but at the moment it is all for us to see that Hong Kong is undergoing a very difficult situation,” Lam said Tuesday at a regular media briefing before a meeting of the city’s Executive Council. “And sanctions or punishment are not going to help lift Hong Kong out of this very difficult situation.”
This hearing will examine developments in Hong Kong and the future of U.S.-Hong Kong relations in light of the ongoing demonstrations and the escalating tensions caused by police violence and threats by the Chinese government against Hong Kong’s autonomy. Witnesses will provide first-hand testimony about current events in Hong Kong, discuss the Chinese government’s role in Hong Kong’s political crisis, and offer recommendations for the U.S. Administration and Congress
Speakers: Joshua Wong; Denise Ho; Sunny Cheung; Sharon Hom; Dan Garrett
Hong Kong lawmakers and media on Tuesday slammed the US for colluding with Hong Kong secessionists to pass the so-called Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, saying it is absurd and interferes in the city's internal affairs.
Ahead of the weekly Executive Council meeting on Tuesday, she told reporters that dialogue platforms will be launched in three forms, including a version in which residents can take part. Each session will host up to 200 participants, with the first one beginning next week.
据“橙新闻”17日报道，在“918”88周年前夕，香港唯一一个国家级抗战遗址乌蛟腾抗日烈士纪念碑，被发现有多处地方被涂污，喷上“反送中”、“反送中列(烈)士”等字 Hong Kong's only memorial to the martyrs from the war to resist Japan was vandalized, on the eve of the 88th anniversary of the Mukden incident that led to the Japanese invasion of northeastern China
Multiple Chinese media outlets attacked George Soros, saying he has been collaborating with Hong Kong activists to fund the protests and start a color revolution in the city, so he can benefit from shorting stocks.
The city’s tourism industry, a pillar of the economy, is experiencing its sharpest downturn since the Sars epidemic in 2003. A 5 per cent year-on-year drop in tourist arrivals in July rapidly accelerated to a 40 per cent plunge in August, the steepest decline since May 2003...
the number of tour groups from the mainland – which usually account for almost 80 per cent of arrivals – plummeted 63 per cent year on year in August, and fell 90 per cent in the first 10 days of September.
Comment: The National Day Holiday Week will likely see a massive drop in tourism from the mainland
3. US DoJ announces two more China-related cases
"Zhongsan Liu broke the law by seeking visas for employees of the government of The People's Republic of China to enter the United States under false pretenses. Individuals obtained visas under the guise of research scholars, but in reality their assignment was to recruit top U.S. talent to benefit the government of China," said Assistant Director John Brown of the FBI's Counterintelligence Division. "The FBI recognizes the immense benefit of academic freedom in our open society, and we will investigate those who break our laws in an effort to take advantage of that freedom.”..
From approximately 2017, up to and including September 2019, Liu participated in a conspiracy to fraudulently procure U.S. visas for employees of the government of the People’s Republic of China (PRC Government). Liu operates the New York office of the China Association for International Exchange of Personnel (CAIEP-NY). CAIEP-NY is a PRC Government agency that, among other things, recruits U.S. scientists, academics, engineers and other experts to work in China.
Liu worked with others, including other PRC Government employees in the United States, to fraudulently procure J-1 Research Scholar visas for a CAIEP-NY employee (CC-1) and a prospective CAIEP-NY employee (the CAIEP-NY Hire). The J-1 Research Scholar visa program permits foreign nationals to come to the United States for the primary purpose of conducting research at a corporate research facility, museum, library, university or other research institution.
The fascinating full complaint, says that China Association for International Exchange of Personnel is the overseas arm of the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs (SAFEA), so a feeder for the Thousand Talents program.
Remember the Attorney General's China Initiative announced in November 2018? The FBI is very busy.
According to the indictment, Yu Zhou, 49, and Li Chen, 46, currently of San Diego, California, conspired to, attempted to and did steal scientific trade secrets related to exosomes and exosome isolation from Nationwide Children’s Hospital’s Research Institute for their own personal financial gain...
The husband and wife allegedly founded a company in China in 2015 without the hospital’s knowledge. While Zhou and Chen continued to be employed by Nationwide Children’s, they marketed products and services related to exosome isolation through their Chinese company.
The indictment also alleges that in 2017, Zhou and Chen helped co-found an American biotechnology company. As of 2019, the company’s website advertises multiple products and services related to exosome isolation, including a kit that was developed from a trade secret created at a Nationwide Children’s research lab.
U.S. Attorney for Ohio's Southern District Ben Glassman spoke to ABC6/FOX28 about the case against the married couple, 49-year-old Yu Zhou and 46-year-old Li Chen Monday. "They allegedly stole cutting edge technological research related to exosome isolation," said Glassman, "which is a method that was developed by the Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital and really nowhere else in the world, and that is used in order to treat pre-mature babies for serious conditions such as liver fibrosis and cancer,"
Of course Yu and Li are presumed innocent. But if they are found guilty of stealing from a Children’s Hospital I hope they get more than a slap on a wrist.
4. Sports industry gets more policy support
China's State Council on Tuesday unveiled a document entitled "Opinions on Promoting Mass Sports, Sports Consumption and High Quality Development of Sports Industry," laying out measures in 10 aspects in a bid to turn the industry into one of the pillars of the national economy.
According to the plan, national sport associations will undergo a deepening reform while management of the public stadiums will also be reformed to better serve various sporting events.
Sports industry-related financial policies will be refined and improved, said the document, and more exercise sites will be made available to the public.
The government is also studying the creation of a Chinese sports industry investment fund, to be drawn from the private sector.
The document also called for the promotion of interscholastic tournaments and winter sports as well as introducing professional sports training into schools.
The circular- 国务院办公厅关于促进全民健身和体育消费推动体育产业高质量发展的意见（国办发〔2019〕43号）_政府信息公开专栏
In recent years, China’s sports industry has gradually become more market-oriented. This has helped to develop the industry and stimulate the economy. More importantly, it allows for sports to return to the values of fitness, entertainment, and challenging oneself. Sport authorities and even the public should treat the results of sporting events as an ordinary event and avoid the excesses of “championism.” We should also avoid the idea of reviving the old national system.
International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach wrote on page 3 of the People’s Daily praising China’s preparation for the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing and said the IOC looks forward to deepening its friendship with China.
Mascots for the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games unveiled on Tuesday by Beijing Organising Committee namely "Bing Dwen Dwen" and "Shuey Rhon Rhon".
5. US Congressional committee investigating Elaine Chow
The request by the committee in the Democrat-controlled House relates to actions Ms. Chao has taken that potentially benefited Foremost Group, a New York-based shipping company owned by her family. Foremost has received hundreds of millions of dollars in loan commitments from a bank run by the Chinese government to help build ships that Foremost has purchased from government-owned shipyards there...
The committee also asked for copies by the end of this month of all documents related to a trip that Ms. Chao planned to take to China in October 2017. The trip was canceled after State Department officials raised ethics concerns about her plan to include members of her family in meetings with Chinese government officials, as was reported in June by The Times.
6. Beijing threatens Taiwan over remaining official allies
Beijing has warned Taipei that it will lose all of its diplomatic allies if Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen is re-elected in 2020.
The ominous message from Xiakedao – a social media account run by the overseas edition of Communist Party mouthpiece People’s Daily – was part of an article posted on Monday after the Solomon Islands became the sixth country to cut ties with Taipei for Beijing during Tsai’s presidency.
The Xiakedo post - 侠客岛：“只要民进党还在台上，台湾早晚‘零邦交’”:
US Senator Marco Rubio is not pleased with the switch:
Reuters Top News @ReutersSolomon Islands votes to cut ties with Taiwan amid China tension: official media https://t.co/crD5dRVCRt https://t.co/8UyjmDNSVl
I am not sure though that this approach would help the US in its increasing with China in the South China Sea. Offering more carrots to those countries who do not switch might be more effective.
CCTV wechat account “Yuyuan Tantian” said having relations with China could give a boost to Solomon Islands’ economy as its fishing, timber, mineral and tourism resources would now be able to gain access to the China market.
Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密) founder Terry Gou (郭台銘) last night announced he will not join next year’s presidential election as an independent.
7. China holds UN Afghanistan political mission hostage over BRI
China and the United States are deadlocked over a United Nations Security Council resolution to extend the world body's political mission in Afghanistan, with Beijing signalling it will cast a veto because there is no reference to its global Belt and Road infrastructure project, diplomats said on Monday...
China was then planning to propose a vote on a short draft resolution, known as a technical rollover, to allow the mission to keep operating, diplomats said. But they added that it could fail to get the nine votes needed to pass because several council members were considering abstaining.
The UN mission, which was established in 2002, is helping Afghanistan prepare for September 28 elections and is pushing for peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban.
8. Albania and China in the New Era
Interesting new article by Anne-Marie Brady.
United front work plays an important role in Xi Jinping’s “New Era” foreign policy. Like water on limestone, united front work will seek out the cracks and weak spots in each society. As each society has different fault lines, so the vectors of united front work may be different. Albania is an interesting case study for understanding how CCP united front work adapts, but also, how societies respond to it. Albania and China were famously close in the Mao and Hoxha years, until an ideological split in 1977 ruptured relations....
China’s united front work efforts may have succeeded to some extent, by creating a more positive atmosphere for investment and trade. Albania is partnering in economic cooperation beneficial to both China and Albania. But so far, Albania is holding back on strategic links such as permitting Huawei 5G in Albania or a Beidou ground station. Despite being a Muslim-majority nation, Albania did not join other Muslim-majority nations in signing a recent 37-country letter of support for China’s policies in Xinjiang. Albania sent a delegation to attend the Trump administration’s 2018 and 2019 Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom, which built links with like-minded states via religion. The Albanian government has offered to host a follow-up “religious-freedom-focused conference” in the near future.
The words and actions of successive Albanian government’s over the last twenty-five years show that Albania’s core alignment lies in multilateralism, focused on NATO and the EU. Albania is not the only small state to have strong economic interests with China while its political interests lean elsewhere. If this is what the CCP calls a “traditional friendship”, then Albania-China relations in the Xi era are transactional at best.
Business, Economy and Trade
China August factory deflation deepens, prices fall most in three years; pork prices soar - Reuters China’s producer price index (PPI) dropped 0.8% from a year earlier in August, widening from a 0.3% decline seen in July and the worst year-on-year contraction since August 2016, National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) data showed on Tuesday. Analysts polled by Reuters had expected the index to have shrunk by 0.9%, the second straight month of outright declines.
China to Release Pork From State Reserves Ahead of Holidays - Bloomberg China will sell 10,000 tons of pork from state reserves on Sept. 19 in a bid to cool down surging prices of the staple in the world’s largest consumer before National Day holidays.
Yicai Global - China Logs Third Month of Decline in Number of Cities Where New Home Prices Rose Fifty-five of the 70 major cities surveyed reported price gains last month, down from 60 cities in July, the National Bureau of Statistics said today. Overall the real estate market remained stable last month, according to Kong Peng, a chief statistician at the NBS.
Central Bank Bucks Expectation of Key Interest Rate Cut - Caixin Bucking market expectations of a cut to a key interest rate, the central bank announced on Tuesday that its latest injection of cash into the financial system through the one-year medium-term lending facility (MLF) would be offered at the same rate as its previous batch.
Boeing Sees $2.9 Trillion China Splurge on Jets and Services - Bloomberg The estimate, released Tuesday in Boeing’s annual outlook on China’s commercial aviation market, is 7% higher than last year’s forecast.
Hainan Pledges No Letup in Property Curbs - Caixin China’s tropical island of Hainan has no plans to relax its stringent controls on the local property market despite the slump in investment, home sales and tax revenue caused by policies aimed at reining in house prices, the province’s governor said on Monday.
Innovative China : New Drivers of Growth - World Bank This report proposes a reform agenda that emphasizes productivity and innovation to help policymakers promote China's future growth and achieve their vision of a modern and innovative China. The reform agenda is based on the three D's: removing Distortions to strengthen market competition and enhance the efficient allocation of resources in the economy; accelerating Diffusion of advanced technologies and management practices in China's economy, taking advantage of the large remaining potential for catch-up growth; and fostering Discovery and nurturing China's competitive and innovative capacity as China approaches OECD incomes in the decades ahead and extends the global innovation and technology frontier.
Amid trade war and local opposition, Chinese chemical firm Wanhua drops plan to build plant in Louisiana | South China Morning Post The retrenchment for a project that has been on the drawing board since 2014 comes as Chinese firms operating in the US face growing headwinds amid a grinding tariff showdown, mutual recriminations and mounting visa and security restrictions as the world’s two largest economies battle for pole position.
Chinese groups turn seller to shed $40bn in global assets | Financial Times $$ Chinese companies have agreed to sell about $40bn in overseas assets so far this year, up from $32bn for the whole of last year, according to data from Dealogic. At the same time, Chinese groups have bought just $35bn of overseas assets this year, making the country a global net seller. Divestments in the US, where Chinese corporate buyers are now viewed with increased scrutiny, have soared to over $26bn this year, up from just $8bn for all of 2018.
China pushing ahead with controversial corporate social credit rating system for 33 million firms | South China Morning Post In a circular released on Monday, the NDRC said it had completed its initial assessment of the credit results, which will now be sent back to local authorities for further checks and updates. Firms will be labelled as having excellent, good, fair or a poor credit rating, with the initial assessment used as “basic proof” to allow the government to conduct varying degrees of supervision. For any business deemed to have a poor credit history, the management will be called in by local officials for a detailed review, which will include plans to correct the problems.
The $24 Billion Online Casino Boom China Is Struggling to Halt - Bloomberg Many platforms also allow gamblers to use popular online payment systems from Tencent Holdings Ltd. and billionaire Jack Ma’s Ant Financial Services Group. The payment systems have been willing to talk about how they’re helping the government’s effort to curb online gambling. In recent weeks, some virtual operators have warned gamblers that Tencent’s WeChat app and Ant Financial’s Alipay have tightened controls. In a statement, Tencent said it takes measures to help identify transactional risks and act against those attempting to use its system for illegal gambling. Ant Financial says it uses an AI-powered risk engine to intercept suspicious transactions and has zero tolerance for online gambling
Politics and Law
Xi inspects manufacturing enterprise, Yellow River ecological protection in central China - Xinhua Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, inspected a manufacturing enterprise and ecological protection of the Yellow River during his tour in Zhengzhou, central China's Henan Province on Tuesday afternoon.
Xi calls for remembering where "red political power" comes from - Xinhua This year marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. During the education campaign on the theme of "staying true to our founding mission," said Xi, all CPC members and cadres should constantly receive education on the red traditions to consolidate and enhance their ideals and convictions.
率先垂范, 春风化雨——习近平总书记和中央政治局其他同志调研指导“不忘初心、牢记使命”主题教育纪实 Xinhua writes a feature story of how Xi led the “staying-true-to-the-founding-mission” study campaign within the politburo, and said it sets a good example for officials and cadres across the country. In one of the group sessions, Xi again told the rest of the Politburo that the party is still “not pure” enough in its politics, its ideology, its organization and its way of doing things, and there is still a long way to go for the party to achieve a full “self-revolution”.
思考和探索中国自己的路 Peoples’ Daily (page 4) reviewed Mao’s speech in 1956 “On 10 relations”, which told the party not to follow the path of Soviet Union. The article goes on to say China made successful efforts that year in exploring its own path. That includes respecting intellectuals and Mao’s speech on “let a hundred flowers bloom”. It seems to be part of a series that list things the party did every year in the early days.
Security measures enhanced for National Day - Global Times An employee of the Shanghai-based Sto Express Beijing branch, who only gave his surname as Li, told the Global Times that many goods are banned from being delivered into Beijing now due to enhanced security checks before the 70th anniversary. Banned goods include small aircraft and aircraft parts, "remote-controlled landmine toys and bomb-alarm clock toys," according to a statement published by China's State Post Bureau on August 13.
China Focus: 42 individuals awarded national medals, honorary titles - Xinhua The eight honorees of the Medal of the Republic are deceased nuclear physicist Yu Min, longtime national legislator Shen Jilan, aerospace engineer Sun Jiadong, war veterans Li Yannian and Zhang Fuqing, "father of hybrid rice" Yuan Longping, nuclear submarine designer Huang Xuhua and Nobel Prize winner Tu Youyou who led the discovery of malaria drug artemisinin. Six foreigners were awarded the Friendship Medal for their great contributions to supporting China's socialist modernization, promoting exchanges and cooperation between China and foreign countries and safeguarding world peace. They are Cuba's Raul Castro Ruz, Thai Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, Tanzania's Salim Ahmed Salim, Russia's Galina Kulikova, France's Jean-Pierre Raffarin and Canada's Isabel Crook. The national honorary titles, including "the people's scientist," "the people's artist," "the people's hero" and "the people's role model," were granted to 28 prominent figures who have made great contributions and enjoy prestige in various fields. // the list 国家主席习近平签署主席令 在庆祝中华人民共和国成立70周年之际授予42人国家勋章和国家荣誉称号
Political advisors shoot short videos to celebrate CPPCC's founding anniversary - Xinhua More than 2,100 Chinese political advisors have produced short videos to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC). The CPPCC National Committee launched a campaign to solicit songs and short videos on the theme of "Our CPPCC and I" for the anniversary celebrations.
叶选平同志逝世_CCTV Ye Xuanping dead at 95
China Vitae : Biography of Ye Xuanping Ye served in engineering and scientific administrative capacities in Shenyang and Beijing before returning to his native place in the 1980s and becoming successively vice-governor of Guangdong Province, mayor of Guangzhou, deputy secretary of the CPC Guangdong Provincial Committee, and governor of Guangdong Province.
与人民一道前进（逐梦70年）——新中国文艺的初心和使命 Writer Tie Ning wrote a full-page article in People’s Daily discussing in the past 70 years how Chinese arts have been working to serve the Chinese people under the auspices of Chinese leaders especially Xi Jinping, and how Chinese artists would always keep Xi’s speech in mind so to contribute their part for the China Dream.
中国共产党自我革命的内在逻辑 Editor in chief of Study Times Xu Baojian wrote on People’s Daily to talk about why the continuous the “great self-revolution” is necessary for the party, and that it must face up to its problems and keep adapting to new realities and new challenges.
Foreign and Defense Affairs
PLA's second shot in Russian strategic drill is highly expected - China Military According to Russian media reports, in addition to the Russian armed forces, there are 2,250 military personnel from seven countries participating in the exercise. Among which, the Chinese officers and soldiers account for the largest proportion. According to the Chinese Ministry of Defense, the Chinese joint drill command and participating troops were dispatched by the PLA Western Theater Command and its units, consisting of about 1,600 participating troops, more than 300 pieces of weapons and equipment, and nearly 30 fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters.
Tsentr 2019 maneuvers kick off in Armed Forces of Russian Federation : Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation To develop joint actions, the military contingents of the People’s Republic of China, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Republic of India, the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Republic of Tajikistan, and the Republic of Uzbekistan are involved in the exercise. The maneuvers involve in total over 128,000 servicemen, over 20,000 pieces of hardware, some 600 aircraft and up to 15 ships and vessels.
China condemns attacks on Saudi oil facilities - Reuters “China condemns this attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities and opposes any attacks on civilians or civilian facilities,” she told a daily news briefing. However, Hua also reiterated her Monday call for the “relevant parties to avoid taking actions that bring about an escalation in regional tensions”
The Global Expansion of AI Surveillance - Carnegie Endowment for International Peace China is a major driver of AI surveillance worldwide...But China is not the only country supplying advanced surveillance tech worldwide. U.S. companies are also active in this space. AI surveillance technology supplied by U.S. firms is present in thirty-two countries. The most significant U.S. companies are IBM (eleven countries), Palantir (nine countries), and Cisco (six countries).
China and Trump Are Making Japan Nervous - WSJ OpEd - Walter Russell Mead $$ The view from Tokyo is that the U.S. has begun to put the Indo-Pacific at the center of its foreign policy but hasn’t yet developed a coherent strategy for success. Asia, meanwhile, is changing rapidly as Beijing becomes bolder and more powerful. Japan is threatened by North Korea’s missile program and facing the full force of Chinese economic and political assertiveness. The great question is whether the U.S. can get its act together before China changes the rules of the game.
2020 misinformation threats extend beyond Russia - Axios Chris Johnson, a former top CIA China analyst now at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, says there's no evidence China plans to intervene in the U.S. election on the scale of Russian in 2016, though. He says we're more likely to see "the usual" from China, meaning efforts to influence Chinese-language audiences and the business community without taking drastic measures. That's in part because Chinese leaders want to avoid the type of backlash Russia now faces, but also because they seem "ambivalent" about the prospect of Trump's re-election, Johnson says.
Federal parties being warned of efforts by 6 foreign countries to influence election: sources | CBC News Canada's intelligence services are carefully monitoring the threat of agents of the Chinese and Indian governments working with diaspora communities here to influence the upcoming federal election, according to a number of sources who have been briefed on their activities. Those sources — who spoke to CBC on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak on the record — also said intelligence services are monitoring efforts by Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Venezuela to influence the election campaign,
Recalling Jian Yang’s past: questions for him and his leader | croaking cassandra Jian Yang is still with us. Still not talking to the English-language media (except a few comments in his rather ineffectual service as National’s spokesman on Statistics), still sharing an office in Auckland with fellow list MP (and now National’s Finance spokesman) Paul Goldsmith, recently promoted to chair the (not overly important) Governance and Administration Committee of Parliament, still in business with National Party president (and regime cheerleader) Peter Goodfellow), and……most recently, accompanying Simon Bridges on his trip to the PRC, including that gruesomely awful fawning interview with CGTN (saying what so much of the rest of the New Zealand establishment only support in practice by their silence) and his meeting with Guo Shengkun, the Politburo member responsible for the entire apparatus of repression (“law and order”) in the PRC, including the concentration camps in Xinjiang. Yes, it was a big week for Jian Yang. If Simon Bridges wasn’t just regurgitating briefing notes from Jian Yang, he might as well have been. The Embassy will have been pleased. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Jian Yang was out in the media (Chinese language only) praising his leader for his praise of the CCP
ICAC: Huang Xiangmo's assets frozen as ATO pursues him for $140 million - Sydney Morning Herald Exiled billionaire Huang Xiangmo, a central figure in the NSW corruption watchdog's investigation into Labor Party donations, has had his Australian assets frozen as the Tax Office pursues him for $140 million.
Tech and Media
BYD Produces First Batch of Huawei Handsets After Trade War Bites Into Flex Contract - Caixin Global Chinese car- and electronics-maker BYD announced Monday that its handset-component arm has produced the first batch of Huawei smartphones since the embattled tech giant’s initial U.S.-based manufacturer Flex pared down business amid ongoing international trade tensions, local state-run newspaper Hunan Daily reported.
The U.S.-Trained Coder Helping NetEase Crack a $36 Billion Arena - Bloomberg Zhou Feng, chief executive officer of NetEase Youdao, is charged with helping NetEase escape from under Tencent’s enormous shadow and find life beyond video games. The U.S.-trained software coder handpicked by billionaire founder William Ding Lei is creating an all-in-one learning platform to tap the lucrative space where education and technology overlap. To bankroll that expansion, the company could float Youdao, last valued at $1.1 billion, as soon as this year.
Binance’s First Strategic Chinese Investment is a CoinDesk Rival - Bloomberg Investors in the round also included Ceyuan Ventures and Matrixport, the financial services startup created by Bitmain Technologies Ltd. co-founder Wu Jihan, Mars Finance said in a statement.
Shanghai issues China's first permits allowing passengers in self-driving cars · TechNode Chinese automaker SAIC along with BMW and Didi Chuxing were the first in China to win approval from regulators to offer robotaxi pilot services in the northwestern Jiading district of the city, a major milestone for Chinese players in the global autonomous driving race.
Society, Arts, Sports, Culture and History
Behind the scenes with Li Ziqi, the mysterious Chinese internet celebrity with 58 million fans | South China Morning Post The Chinese internet celebrity is famous for her videos in which she performs the work of a farmer with the grace of a fairy. Her fans on social media platforms, both in China and internationally, including YouTube and Weibo, number more than 58 million...While the videos have a cinematic quality to them, it’s her deep knowledge of food, nature, and Chinese culture that impresses viewers. She appears to make everything from scratch, going as far as hatching baby ducklings and raising them just to make a sauce from egg yolk...When she was 14, she went to the city in search of work, but she decided to return to the countryside in 2012 to take care of her grandmother.
Returned cultural relics highlighted at Beijing museum show - China Daily Numerous Chinese cultural relics became lost overseas in the continuous social havoc and wars in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. And, rampant tomb robberies in the 1990s also led to many Chinese relics being stolen and smuggled abroad. Nevertheless, the Chinese government has endeavored to repatriate lost treasures. According to the statistics of the National Cultural Heritage Administration, more than 150,000 Chinese cultural relics have returned to their home country since 1949
Energy, Environment, Science and Health
Nearly 3,000 Beijing villages go coal-free - Xinhua A total of 2,963 villages in Beijing had gone coal-free by the end of 2018, with around 1.1 million rural households switching to clean energy for winter heating, said the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Agriculture and Rural Affairs Tuesday. Beijing stepped up efforts to make villages coal-free as coal burning in the winter heating season challenges the city's commitment to achieving smog-free days.
Rural and Agricultural Issues
China says no more armyworm threat to major corn area this year - Reuters The armyworm has now settled in China, however, and after hibernating in the southwest this winter it will be back to threaten next year’s crop, Pan Wenbo, director of the planting administration at the ministry told reporters. The government is planning early deployment of prevention and control measures next year, Pan said, and will build a long-term strategy for controlling the pest.