Trade war response; Talking up the stock market; Party influence on overseas Chinese newspapers; Does your Air China pilot smoke in the cockpit?
|Bill Bishop||Jul 12, 2018|| 7||8|
So France-Croatia it is...I have to admit I was hoping England would get through to the World Cup final but Croatia earned it.
Some of the things about China I am watching today:
China official media's relative restraint towards the trade war escalation may signal concern and a desire to talk, or it may signal that the speed of the escalation surprised Beijing and the response strategy has not yet been fully formed;
Regulators are working to prop up the stock market and propaganda organs are doing their part to fluff the markets;
The sudden descent of an Air China flight from Hong Kong to Dalian may have suddenly dropped nearly 20,000 feet because the pilots were smoking in the cockpit and pushed the wrong buttons.
Thanks for reading.
The Essential Eight
1. US-China Trade
Measures being rolled out include holding up licenses for U.S. firms, delaying approval of mergers and acquisitions involving U.S. companies and ramping up inspections of American products at borders, the officials said. A Commerce Ministry statement on Wednesday described Beijing as “shocked” by the U.S. action and said China “has no choice but to take necessary countermeasures.” It didn’t elaborate.
Behind the scenes, however, officials described the mood as more cautious. Senior Chinese officials are weighing how far to press the retaliation without hurting other national interests, according to the officials. The retaliatory measures are the kind of nontariff barriers that U.S. and European businesses have long complained about, and Beijing is actively courting allies in Europe and elsewhere to fight what officials call U.S. “trade bullying.”
The source, who requested anonymity as he was not authorised to speak publicly about Beijing’s strategy, told the South China Morning Post that China was trying to put the trade row into a global context, by illuminating whether the world should uphold the multilateral system under the World Trade Organisation, as China has suggested, or let US President Donald Trump’s unilateralism prevail.
While the former Soviet Union aimed to defeat capitalism during the cold war, Beijing is trying to convince governments, organisations and companies – including US firms – that it is a champion of free trade, and send a message that, in contrast to Trump’s “America first” policy, China is “still open for business” and wants to keep globalisation on track...
“The US is sabotaging the global free-trade system which was initiated by Washington decades ago. This is a new cold war which threatens world peace and global development,” the source said. “China is committed to further opening up … to bring opportunities to the world.”
“We hope U.S. firms can do more to lobby the U.S. government, and work hard to defend their own interests,” Chinese commerce ministry spokesman Gao Feng told a media briefing.
Some in the U.S. business community, while rueing the damage caused by Trump’s tariffs, privately say Beijing’s recent emphasis on accelerating reforms may not be a coincidence.
“Tariffs are biting. The Chinese are less confident internally than externally. They have never been tested this way,” a U.S. industry source told Reuters, asking to not be named given the sensitivity of the matter.
AmCham Shanghai’s 2018 China Business Report shows continued profitability and revenue growth among foreign companies, despite anxiety over trade tensions and discriminatory regulatory practices. The number of U.S. companies achieving profit was consistent with last year (both 77%), while 77% of companies reported revenue growth, up 3% from the previous survey. Eighty-one percent expect revenue growth in 2018, but only 53% of companies increased their investment in 2017, lower than the levels observed a few years ago of 64-65%, and 74% in 2013. Five-year optimism levels remained at 80%, or 10% below the levels observed several years ago.
The view from Shanghai always seems better than that from Beijing
2. The propaganda tea leaves
Repeating a warning that China will retaliate if Trump’s proposed tariffs come into effect, Commerce Ministry spokesman Gao Feng said the government will take “necessary” steps to hit back. Pressed for details, he stopped short of repeating a previous pledge to respond with measures of equal size and didn’t outline specifics about which measures China will retaliate with.
Comment: Maybe a subtle shift, also maybe because there are not another 200B of US imports to China it can target so the next round of retaliation is much trickier? It takes a while for the system to get the responses decided upon, but meanwhile there certainly are some angry words in official Party media.
The translation of this People's Daily commentary on page 2 of Thursday's edition is abridged—U.S. bullying practices are a global provocation:
Washington has lost its rationality, and its bullying practices are a provocation against the world...
It’s been proven throughout history that irrational trade wars are precarious, and the country initiating a trade war is likely to end up shooting itself in the foot. However, this warning has fallen on deaf ears in the White House. Some have even adopted blind optimism, dreaming of an easy win.
It’s not the first time that China has faced the U.S. in this way, and so far China has not been a country to sit back and become compromised. To make China take a step back is the largest strategic mistake that the U.S. could make...
China will keep working with the international community to safeguard trade liberalization and multilateral trade systems, and fight back the bullying tactics of the U.S.
Among the phrases it leaves out is “lunatic ravings of the White House 白宫这种痴人说梦”…
The original commentary-美国升级贸易战是霸凌主义对世界的挑衅--观点--人民网
This one from "sharp commentary" by the China Media Group 中央广播电视总台 concludes by saying that "more Americans may start to wonder where a government that has lost reason and is nearly insane is taking its country..."-国际锐评：白宫贸易大棒举得越高，美企来华谈合作的越多_新闻_腾讯网:
Chinese public sentiment toward the US is becoming more sensitive after the latter announced it planned to impose tariffs on additional imports from China. Some restaurants and hotels in China have already showed their willingness to "always stand with the country in face of a coming trade war provoked by the US" by taking real action.
"Modern Classic Hotel Group plans to charge 25 percent more to US guests. The US provoked a trade war; we vowed to accompany it to the end," read a noticeboard at the Shenzhen-based Modern Classic Hotel Group in South China's Guangdong Province.
"We put up the notice last Friday. Our boss was really angry about the endless tariffs the US planned to impose on China, so we decided to stand with the country and show our support," a spokesperson of the hotel surnamed Yang told the Global Times on Thursday.
3. WTO Review
Led by Wang Shouwen, China's vice minister of commerce and deputy China international trade representative, a team of 30 officials from 14 Chinese government agencies, as well as the head of the Chinese mission to the WTO, Ambassador Zhang Xiangchen, participated in the session.
According to Wang, since China's accession to the WTO in 2001, significant changes have taken place but one thing remains unchanged - China's consistent pursuit of opening up for cooperation and mutual benefit with all countries.
Addressing the session, he said China has provided tremendous market opportunities for world goods and services.
Dennis Shea, the US ambassador to the WTO, accused China of causing “serious harm” by failing to live up to free-trade principles...
“Given China’s very large and growing role in international trade, and the serious harm that China’s state-led, mercantilist approach to trade and investment causes to China’s trading partners, this reckoning can no longer be put off,” he said.
“It is clear, moreover, that the WTO currently does not offer all of the tools necessary to remedy this situation,” Shea told the two-yearly WTO review of China’s trade policies on Wednesday.
U.S. President Donald Trump’s assault on China’s trade policies will garner several high-profile advocates on Wednesday, as some of the world’s largest commercial regions will meet in Geneva to thresh out the ramifications of Beijing’s entrance into the World Trade Organization 17 years ago.
Chinese representatives will say things are going well and that the nation is taking steps to open up its vast economy, according to people familiar with their stance. The U.S., the European Union, Japan and others will disagree and are expected to criticize China’s failure to embrace market-based principles and reform its intellectual property and subsidy regimes, said the people, who asked not to be named because the meeting hasn’t happened yet.
4. Jawboning the stock market with Communist Party characteristics
The Shanghai Composite Index climbed 2.2 percent at the close, notching up its second 2 percent plus move this week. Xinhua News Agency said moves in financial markets were within a controllable range and valuations for some industries had fallen to lows.
The commentary- 新华社：A股估值处于历史底部，人们还在担心什么？
No surprise there is a coordinated approach. Tuesday's newsletter discussed the CSRC's efforts:
Liu Shiyu and Yan Qingmin, head and deputy head of the CSRC respectively, convened meetings on July 8 ad 9 to talk about stock market stability, sounds like the message has been given that stock valuations are low though not every attendee is in agreement that it is time to start buying...yet. More meetings are planned. Expect more buybacks and fewer insider sales as part of an broader plan to prop up the market?
The Shenzhen Stock Exchange held a symposium with listed firms, part of the CSRC's efforts to keep the stock markets steady - 深交所召开上市公司座谈会-新闻-上海证券报·中国证券网
5. Ship coming in for Yuan bears?
There is sudden excitement in the Yuan bear world but I still not convinced we will see a significant fall any time soon. China can obviously control the direction of the RMB in at least the short to medium term, so interpreting the most recent moves as signaling to the US is not illogical. But is the threat of a significant devaluation in the face of a US-China trade war really credible, given the damage to domestic sentiment and subsequent increased capital flow pressure such a move with cause, as well as the fact that a competitive devaluation would damage the image China and Xi have worked so hard to cultivate since Davos 2017 of China as a responsible major economic power and upholder of the global trading system?
The yuan’s recent depreciation reversed a period of appreciation earlier in the year, but it hasn’t pushed the currency below its average 2017 levels. China’s reported intervention could signal a new commitment to bolstering its currency, or it could simply reflect concern about the speed of its depreciation over the past few weeks.
The big picture: On one hand, a weaker currency gives China a way of retaliating against the U.S. even after it maxes out on its ability to match U.S. tariffs dollar for dollar. On the other, additional depreciation might invite Trump to accuse China of starting a currency war — and it also runs the risk of triggering a reprisal of the capital outflows that followed the yuan’s surprise depreciation in 2015.
What’s next: It’s too soon to tell. China still has plenty of reserves, so it could block further movement in its currency, but it may not want to: On currency, unlike with tariffs, the ball is clearly in China’s court.
The yuan sank as much as 1.1 percent in overnight offshore trading to 6.7249, its biggest loss since January 2016, as a trade conflict with the U.S. worsened. When the Chinese currency last weakened past 6.7 earlier this month, central bankers vowed to keep it stable and not deploy it as a weapon in the dispute -- helping spur a rebound. On Thursday, the People’s Bank of China set the daily reference rate at 6.6726, stronger than estimates compiled by Bloomberg
6. Liu Xia
For the past year, China’s formidable security apparatus had guarded, watched and controlled the movements of Liu Xia, 57, widow of China’s most famous dissident, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo, who died of cancer last July under police guard.
Then, out of the blue, a security official telephoned her last week to say she could pick up a passport and leave the country, European diplomats said.
The decision by the Chinese government to release Ms. Liu days before the anniversary of her husband’s death sprung from the passionate interest in her fate by Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, who requested Ms. Liu’s release during a meeting with her Chinese counterpart, President Xi Jinping, an unusual move by a Western leader.
“She has been asked not to take any medicines prescribed in China,” Liao said, adding that she was suffering from a “major depressive disorder” and the doctors were concerned about what the impact of attending public events would be.
Citing what doctors had told her, Liao said it would be “hard to estimate how long it would take for her to regain her health”.
7. Overseas Chinese newspapers increasingly toe the Party line
A Financial Times investigation found that party-affiliated outlets were reprinting or broadcasting their content in at least 200 nominally independent Chinese-language publications around the world. Under such agreements, these publications now reach millions of readers outside China each year, rivalling the subscription pools for all of the world’s largest newspapers...
Outlets such as the party-run People’s Daily and China News Service supply free content that is then published under the masthead of the overseas news organisation. The articles are usually published with a small dateline identifying its source but can easily be mistaken for being native to the overseas publication. Sometimes these agreements also oblige the publishers to run the overseas edition of the People’s Daily as a separate insert.
Comment: I believe print readership among the overseas Chinese communities is declining. The channel with growing influence in the diaspora, and no restraints from local media laws, is Tencent's WeChat. And Tencent will do whatever the Party tells it to do
8. Barmé on reading the People's Daily
This contribution to our series Watching China Watching introduces and translates ‘Three Critiques of Inflatuation’ 人民網三評浮誇自大文風, a series of essays on writing style and media hyperbole published by People’s Daily in early July 2018. It also adds to our ongoing work on New Sinology 後漢學, that is an approach that takes seriously Official China while guiding students of China to find abiding elements of cultural value beneath the Communist farrago...
These essays contain various literary references, quotations from important traditional and modern works, and the use of historical analogy. These may well be overlooked by the careless reader or dismissed as mere affectation, nothing more than a crude effort by hack writers to appeal to sanctified tradition, a kind of pedantic footnoting or a phony display of ill-digested scholarship. However, for those familiar with modern Chinese prose more generally, such devices are par for the course. They are not necessarily a lazy quotational version of a Sinitic Reader’s Digest. This kind of literary-historical-intellectual 文史哲 usage adds both literary validation and strength to expository prose. To dismiss this practice, or to fail to appreciate the broader cultural ambience it reflects — one far beyond the limited purview of the Communists — is to overlook an essential part of Chinese cultural expression.
Business, Economy, Finance And Trade
ZTE Shares Surge With End in Sight to U.S. Sanctions - Caixin Global ZTE’s Hong Kong stock jumped 25% in Thursday trade, while its other main listing in Shenzhen rose by the daily 10% maximum. At its current levels, the Hong Kong shares are still about 46% below their levels before the company’s crisis began in April. The shares had lost as much as 62% after Washington cut off ZTE from its American suppliers in April as punishment for violating U.S. rules banning the sale of American-made products to Iran.
China’s plan to lure homegrown tech unicorns falters | Financial Times $$ In a bid to reduce the impact of CDR deals, the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) approved the launch of six mutual funds to raise a combined Rmb300bn ($45bn) earmarked for investment in CDRs. Advanced fundraising of dedicated CDR funds was designed to prevent these deals from drawing cash away from other shares. But fund company disclosures this week indicate that the six funds managed to raise only Rmb104bn, highlighting the lack of investor excitement for CDRs. “Investors look at companies like Alibaba and JD.com and see that they’re already very large. They don’t see an opportunity for high returns within a short period,” said Gary Liu, president of the China Financial Reform Institute.
Draft Amendment to Individual Income Tax Law Facing Resistance in NPCSC – NPC Observer n his 2018 Government Work Report, Premier Li Keqiang vowed to “raise the [individual] income tax threshold and create expense deductions for items like children’s education and treatment for serious diseases.” Fulfillment of this promise primarily falls on the Ministry of Finance (MOF) and the State Administration of Taxation (SAT), which managed to draft an amendment to the Individual Income Tax Law and submitted it to the NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) in under three months. But the bill did not fare particularly well in the NPCSC. According to reports by Caixin and the Legal Daily, legislators questioned certain main provisions of the draft amendment during group deliberations
ZTE clears another hurdle with escrow agreement, ban still in place | South China Morning Post Once ZTE has completed the $400 million escrow deposit,” the Commerce Department said in a statement on Wednesday, the agency will “issue a notice lifting the denial order.”
Another Rural Bank’s Credit Rating Slashed - Caixin Global Shandong Zouping’s difficulties reflect wider challenges across China’s rural banking sector, which is grappling with the impact of the new rules. Last week the Guizhou province-based Guiyang Rural Commercial Bank’s credit rating was also downgraded to A* from AA- after a similar increase in nonperforming loans across the wholesale, retailing, manufacturing and property sectors, to which it is significantly exposed.
Furongbao Investment by Guangdong Macro Collapses - Caixin Global A strategic investment in the online lending platform Furongbao fell through, leaving the Nanjing-based company to seek funding elsewhere amid extended central bank pressure and a wave of bad news in the peer-to-peer (P2P) lending industry. Furongbao, also known as frbao.com, said July 6 that it obtained an investment from Guangdong Macro Co., a household appliances maker-turned financial investor. But Tuesday night Macro issued a statement denying any investment in Furongbao.
Crackdown Turns China From Bitcoin’s Epicenter to a Wasteland - Bloomberg Yuan-denominated trading in Bitcoin has dropped to below 1 percent of the global volume, according to China’s state-run Xinhua News Agency, which cited the country’s central bank. China accounted for the majority of trading in Bitcoin before the government shut down the nation’s cryptocurrency exchanges last year. Japan, which introduced a licensing system for digital-asset venues in 2017, is now taking over China’s role as a cryptocurrency trading hub. The yen accounts for more than 44 percent of global volume, according to CryptoCompare.com.
Politics, Law And Ideology
Xi asks central, state organs to uphold central leadership - Xinhua Xi urged Party committees and their members in the central and state organs to stay in line with the CPC Central Committee and fully carry out its decisions and policies. The working committee of the central and state organs should show political responsibility in enhancing centralized leadership, prioritize political building and fully enforce strict governance of the Party, he said. Xi's instruction was read at the meeting by Ding Xuexiang, a member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, member of the Secretariat of the CPC Central Committee, and secretary of the working committee for central and state organs. 习近平对推进中央和国家机关党的政治建设作出重要指示
Media watchdog to provide fund for pro-martyr programs - Global Times The State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SAPPRFT) issued a notice on Tuesday, pledging to provide special fund and give policy preference to television dramas on heroes or martyrs' stories. SAPPRFT said the notice aims to better implement the law on protecting the reputation and honor of heroes and martyrs, which took effect in May. It requires television broadcasters and internet video platforms to air these works on important memorial days and also give special attention to producing shows for minors, strengthen education on patriotism, collectivism and socialism.
新思想开辟马克思主义新境界（深入学习贯彻习近平新时代中国特色社会主义思想）--观点--人民网 深化对“三大规律”的认识 习近平新时代中国特色社会主义思想作为当代中国马克思主义、21世纪马克思主义，深化了对共产党执政规律、社会主义建设规律和人类社会发展规律的认识，深刻回答了当今世界共产党执政、社会主义国家改革发展、整个人类社会发展中的重大理论和实践问题。
China Focus: A small city's rise to prosperity - Xinhua | Covering just one two-hundredth of Fujian's area, Jinjiang created over 6 percent of the province's GDP in 2017. It has 46 listed companies and 50,000 private enterprises...The path of economic development, with a market-led and export-oriented economy and a booming private manufacturing sector, has been called the "Jinjiang Model."When Xi Jinping worked in Fujian between 1985 and 2002, he inspected Jinjiang seven times. Summarizing Jinjiang's success story in 2002, he said the city's achievements were due to a localized market-oriented economy, hard-working locals, honest market players and effective local government.
Senior provincial official under investigation - Xinhua Zeng Zhiquan, member of the Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Guangdong Provincial Committee and head of the provincial United Front Work Department, is under investigation by the CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) and National Supervisory Commission for "suspected serious violation of Party disciplinary rules and law," according to a Wednesday CCDI statement.广东省委常委、统战部部长曾志权接受 中央纪委国家监委纪律审查和监察调查
通过妻子攀附周永康 曾被色情设局的他有了新消息|张越|周永康_新浪新闻 Zhang Yue, Zhou Yongkang crony and former Hebei official and head of the provincial politics and law commission gets 15 years in jail // 7月12日，江苏省常州市中级人民法院公开宣判中共河北省委原常委、政法委原书记张越受贿案，对张越以受贿罪判处有期徒刑十五年，并处罚金人民币五百万元；对张越受贿所得财物及其孳息予以追缴，上缴国库。张越当庭表示服从判决，不上诉。
Foreign and Military Affairs
Chinese President to visit five Arab and African countries, attend BRICS summit - CGTN Chinese President Xi Jinping will pay state visits to the United Arab Emirates, Senegal, Rwanda and South Africa from July 19 to 24, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang announced on Thursday. Xi will stay on in South Africa's biggest city Johannesburg for the 10th BRICS summit from July 25 to 27, followed by a visit to Mauritius during a stopover, Lu said. The Africa leg will be the Chinese president's fourth trip to the continent.
Intelligence Chiefs from Iran, Russia, China, Pakistan Discuss Islamic State Threat “The conference reached understanding of the importance of coordinated steps to prevent the trickling of ISIS terrorists from Syria and Iraq to Afghanistan from where they would pose risks for neighboring countries,” Sergei Ivanov, chief of Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service’s press bureau, reportedly said, according to Iran’s state-run Tasnim news agency.
China's latest quantum radar could help detect stealth planes, missiles | Popular Science On June 22, China Electronics Technology Group Corporation (CETC), China's foremost military electronics company, announced that its groundbreaking quantum radar has achieved new gains, which could allow it to detect stealth planes.
Pacific leaders sign on to Australian internet cabling scheme, shutting out China | Reuters Pacific nations Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands have signed on to a joint undersea internet cable project, funded mostly by Australia, that forestalls plans by Chinese telecom giant Huawei Technologies Co Ltd to lay the links itself.
Global Religion and the United Front: The Case of Mongolia - Jamestown ‘Sinified’ religion has a role to play in Xi’s elevation of the United Front (UF) into a foreign policy tool. Informed by Qing imperial policy, CCP voices highlight the potential of state-managed Buddhism to advance PRC policy in Mongolia, where it has become a salient component of UF activity. Attention has been paid to the ongoing Jebtsundamba Khutugtu succession process, a sensitive issue, as it is perceived as a challenge the CCP’s neo-imperial reincarnation management system, which will undergo a major test when it comes to the selection of the next Dalai Lama reincarnation.
Chinese vice president meets Chicago mayor - Xinhua Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan on Wednesday met with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel in Beijing and exchanged views on China-U.S. relations and local cooperation.
Tech And Media
Google Helps Chinese Military, Why Not US? Bob Work « Breaking Defense - Defense industry news, analysis and commentary Google’s withdrawal from Project Maven, which applied artificial intelligence to military intelligence, was dangerous and naïve, the former deputy secretary of defense said. While using AI to analyze surveillance video might help the US find terrorists and kill them, Bob Work acknowledged, it could also save lives by preventing terrorist attacks or errant strikes by US forces. What’s more, Work told the DefenseOne technology conference at the Newseum here, despite its ethical objections to helping the Pentagon, Google indirectly and inadvertently assists the Chinese military, which has tentacles into the tech giant’s ventures in China.
China’s Technology Sector Takes On Silicon Valley - Bloomberg Nanjing is on the front line of the government’s effort to compete with Silicon Valley, and the city is playing a brash role in the clash among global trading superpowers. One sunny June morning, a crowd gathers in Building B of the Nanjing park to celebrate the arrival of a startup. “Please put your hands on the screen to officially ignite the opening of our business,” the emcee says to government officials and executives invited onstage. “Three, two, one, ignite!” Simulated lightning shoots up 5 meters from each person’s palm, converging in a phantasmagoria. Music blares.
The Third Wave | FactorDaily A new wave of Chinese entrepreneurs– young, intrepid and spirited, are starting to make their way to India, as they see a growing market where a few Chinese companies have started tasting success. With access to Chinese capital, an undying appetite for growth and a playbook that’s perfected in China, they’re in it to win big. “We’re too naive about what’s going on. They can sweep up the whole market,” says Gurpreet Singh, Beijing-based founder and CEO at ATM Ventures tells me over a WeChat call (Pro tip: for you to get any reporting done on China, you need to have WeChat). “They’re asking if Xiaomi has become number one…if Newsdog has become number one, then why can’t we?”
Tiger Global Leads $150M Round In Consumer Electronics Recycle Start-up Aihuishou – China Money Network Tiger Global Management has led a US$150 million round in Aihuishou, a Shanghai-based smartphone and consumer electronics recycle start-up. JD.com also participated in the round, valuing the company at more than US$1.5 billion, according to Aihuishou’s announcement. Founded in 2011, the company adopts a C2B model, collecting electronics from consumer and sells them to businesses. Aihuishou has 260 physical stores and near 2,000 auto recycling machines and also provides pick-up service to collect the electronics
Society, Art, Sports, Culture And History
China Studies Paying for Kids to Boost Population, Report Says - Bloomberg China’s National Health Commission has organized experts to explore using tax breaks and other benefits to reduce the cost of having children, the Paper, a Shanghai-based news portal, reported Wednesday. The study would assess the effects of rewarding families based on the number of children they have, the report said, without saying where it got the information.
Was This Powerful Chinese Empress a Feminist Trailblazer? - The New York Times Despite the scholarly ruminations about Cixi, many Chinese tourists seem more interested in her extravagant lifestyle and come to see what is left of the loot, much faded because of neglect by the Communist Party’s cultural administrators.
Energy, Environment, Science And Health
Archaeologists in China Discover the Oldest Stone Tools Outside Africa - The New York Times The oldest stone tools outside Africa have been discovered in western China, scientists reported on Wednesday. Made by ancient members of the human lineage, called hominins, the chipped rocks are estimated to be as much as 2.1 million years old. The find may add a new chapter to the story of hominin evolution, suggesting that some of these species left Africa far earlier than once believed and managed to travel over 8,000 miles east of their evolutionary birthplace.
New China space missions will watch for colliding black holes, solar blasts | Science | AAAS China's ambitious human space missions get most of the headlines, but its fledgling space science program is quietly gaining strength. The Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) last week confirmed plans to launch four new scientific satellites beginning in 2020. Coming on the heels of four successful missions, including one devoted to x-ray astronomy and another that demonstrated quantum entanglement over a record-setting 1200 kilometers, these "phase 2" projects will examine areas including solar physics and the hunt for electromagnetic signals associated with gravitational waves.
With U.S. trade under a cloud, China opens to Indian pharma | Reuters Indian firms are looking to fill gaps in Chinese demand for generic drugs, software, sugar and some varieties of rice, trade officials in New Delhi said. “We do feel that China is receptive at this time and it’s all about making prices competitive,” said a government official involved in the effort to promote trade with China. The official declined to be identified since he is not authorized to speak to the media.
Chinese students refuse to leave ‘best’ residence and allow foreigners to move in | South China Morning Post The dispute erupted between education authorities and students of Wuxi Institute of Technology, a vocational school in Wuxi, Jiangsu province, over what the undergraduates said was an order to evict them from the best residence building to make way for overseas students, ThePaper.cn reported. Teachers tried in vain to persuade them to move on Monday morning before returning on Tuesday afternoon to try again as tempers flared in a row witnessed by about 40 other students, the Yangtse Evening Post reported.
China's "University Counseling" Business: High School Graduates Pay over $7,500 to Pick the Right University | What's on Weibo University counseling services have become an especially hot business now that the gaokao, China’s national university entrance exams, are over. These kinds of counseling services help students to choose the best available institution based on their exam results, but they also include personality tests and the exploration of the potential future majors students could take on. Promising to help students through big data and one-on-one consultations with experts, these university counseling agencies charge high prices. Service prices range from a few thousand Chinese Yuan to as high as ¥50,000 (±US$7,550).
Food And Travel
Anger in China over Thailand's handling of deadly boat accident - CNN A huge backlash against Thailand ensued after the country's deputy prime minister, Gen. Prawit Wongsuwan, blamed Chinese tour operators in Phuket for the deadly accident. "This accident was entirely Chinese harming Chinese," Prawit was seen telling local reporters Monday in a widely circulated video. "The boats were theirs, and they ignored warnings and insisted on sailing out to sea. We weren't responsible for that -- they were. They have to resolve this themselves." Chinese social media and official newspapers responded harshly to Prawit's comments, forcing a hasty apology.
Smoking Air China pilots allegedly cause plane to drop 6,000 meters - CNN China's flag carrier is investigating claims a flight from Hong Kong to the Chinese mainland suddenly lost air pressure and dropped 6,000 meters (19,600 feet) because the pilots were smoking in the cockpit and accidentally pushed the wrong buttons. Air China flight CA106, en route from Hong Kong to the northeastern Chinese city of Dalian, descended from above 10,000 meters (32,800 feet) to below 4,000 meters (13,100 feet) in less than nine minutes Tuesday, according to phone GPS data shared with CNN by a passenger on board.