Trump and Xi have a chat in advance of G20 meeting; Xi and the Party embrace private entrepreneurs; Fourth Plenum speculation and timing; RMB; EU pressures China to deliver on reform promises; PRC Internet management going global

President Trump and Xi Jinping had a phone call earlier today. Trump announced it via Twitter:

Not long after that tweet the PRC issued a readout, but only in Chinese so far so I have included a lazy Google translation--习近平应约同美国总统特朗普通电话 | 每经网:

习近平表示,很高兴再次同总统先生通电话。中方已就中美关系多次阐明原则立场。希望双方按照我同总统先生达成的重要共识,促进中美关系健康稳定发展。我也重视同总统先生的良好关系,愿同总统先生在出席阿根廷二十国集团领导人峰会期间再次会晤,就中美关系及其他重大问题深入交换意见。我们两人对中美关系健康稳定发展、扩大中美经贸合作都有良好的愿望,我们要努力把这种愿望变为现实。

习近平指出,中美经贸合作的本质是互利共赢。过去一段时间,中美双方在经贸领域出现一些分歧,两国相关产业和全球贸易都受到不利影响,这是中方不愿看到的。中国即将举办首届国际进口博览会,这显示了中方增加进口、扩大开放的积极意愿。很高兴众多美国企业踊跃参与。中美双方也有通过协调合作解决经贸难题的成功先例。两国经济团队要加强接触,就双方关切问题开展磋商,推动中美经贸问题达成一个双方都能接受的方案。

Google translate:

Xi Jinping said that he was very happy to talk to Mr. President again. China has stated its principled position on China-US relations many times. It is hoped that the two sides will promote the healthy and stable development of Sino-US relations in accordance with the important consensus reached by me with the President. I also attach great importance to the good relations with the President. I would like to meet with the President again during the summit meeting of the G20 leaders of Argentina to exchange views on China-US relations and other major issues. Both of us have good wishes for the healthy and stable development of Sino-US relations and the expansion of Sino-US economic and trade cooperation. We must work hard to turn this desire into reality.

Xi Jinping pointed out that the essence of Sino-US economic and trade cooperation is mutual benefit and win-win. In the past, China and the United States have had some differences in the economic and trade field. The relevant industries and global trade between the two countries have been adversely affected. This is what China does not want to see. China is about to host the first international import fair, which shows China’s positive will to increase imports and expand openness. I am very pleased that many American companies are actively involved. China and the United States also have successful precedents for resolving economic and trade problems through coordination and cooperation. The economic teams of the two countries should strengthen contacts, conduct consultations on issues of mutual concern, and push for a mutually acceptable solution for China-US economic and trade issues.

My thoughts:

  • It sounds like a Trump-Xi meeting at the G-20 will happen;

  • It also sounds like the two sides are still far apart on a deal;

  • This may be an indication that there could be a framework deal at the end of November that involves a tariff cease fire and a roadmap for talks. That seems to be what the Chinese side sees as the most realistic positive outcome even though it could conceivably look like a ZTE-style cave by Trump;

  • But, even if we see a trade expect it to be a short-term, superficial salve to the fundamentally deteriorating US-China relationship, and that Xi et al will see it and leverage it as a delaying action while China ramps up its efforts to reduce reliance on the US and build up its comprehensive national power to better compete with the US.

As I wrote last week, the trade dispute is just one dimension of the fundamental resetting of the US-China relationship, and even if there is a trade deal some time in the future, the other issues, including but not limited to Taiwan, South China Sea, and interference/influence have little prospect of resolution any time soon.

Thanks for reading.

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The Essential Eight

1. Xi and the Party embrace private entrepreneurs

Xi stresses unswerving support for development of private enterprises - Xinhua:

Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, said Thursday that the country will unswervingly encourage, support and guide the development of the non-public sector and support private enterprises to develop towards a broader stage.

Xi...made the remarks while presiding over a symposium on private enterprises.

Top 12 minutes of the Thursday CCTV Evening News on the meeting - 习近平主持召开民营企业座谈会强调 毫不动摇鼓励支持引导非公有制经济发展 支持民营企业发展并走向更加广阔舞台

习近平指出,民营经济是我国经济制度的内在要素,民营企业和民营企业家是我们自己人。民营经济是社会主义市场经济发展的重要成果,是推动社会主义市场经济发展的重要力量,是推进供给侧结构性改革、推动高质量发展、建设现代化经济体系的重要主体,也是我们党长期执政、团结带领全国人民实现“两个一百年”奋斗目标和中华民族伟大复兴中国梦的重要力量。近来,一些民营企业在经营发展中遇到市场、融资、转型等方面的困难和问题,成因是多方面的,是外部因素和内部因素、客观原因和主观原因等多重矛盾问题碰头的结果。这些困难是发展中的困难、前进中的问题、成长中的烦恼,一定能在发展中得到解决。

Xi also promised all sorts of goodies and better policies, including local "assistance" funds:

习近平指出,在我国经济发展进程中,要不断为民营经济营造更好发展环境,帮助民营经济解决发展中的困难,变压力为动力,让民营经济创新源泉充分涌流,让民营经济创造活力充分迸发。当前要抓好6个方面政策举措落实。一是减轻企业税费负担。抓好供给侧结构性改革降成本行动各项工作,推进增值税等实质性减税,对小微企业、科技型初创企业可以实施普惠性税收免除,根据实际情况降低社保缴费名义费率,清理、精简行政审批事项和涉企收费。二是解决民营企业融资难、融资贵问题。改革和完善金融机构监管考核和内部激励机制,扩大金融市场准入,拓宽民营企业融资途径,对符合经济结构优化升级方向、有前景的民营企业进行必要财务救助,省级政府和计划单列市可以自筹资金组建政策性救助基金,纠正一些政府部门、大企业利用优势地位以大欺小、拖欠民营企业款项的行为。三是营造公平竞争环境。打破各种各样的“卷帘门”“玻璃门”“旋转门”,在市场准入、审批许可、经营运行、招投标、军民融合等方面,为民营企业打造公平竞争环境。鼓励民营企业参与国有企业改革。四是完善政策执行方式。加强政策协调性,制定相关配套举措,推动各项政策落地落细落实,让民营企业从政策中增强获得感。去产能、去杠杆要对各类所有制企业执行同样标准,在安监、环保等领域微观执法过程中避免简单化、“一刀切”。五是构建亲清新型政商关系。各级党委和政府要把构建亲清新型政商关系的要求落到实处,把支持民营企业发展作为一项重要任务,花更多时间和精力关心民营企业发展、民营企业家成长,经常听取民营企业反映和诉求,特别是在民营企业遇到困难和问题情况下更要积极作为、靠前服务,帮助解决实际困难。要加强舆论引导,正确宣传党和国家大政方针,对一些错误说法要及时澄清。六是保护企业家人身和财产安全。纪检监察机关在履行职责过程中,既要查清问题,也要保障合法的人身和财产权益,保障企业合法经营,让企业家卸下思想包袱,轻装前进。

Ten private entrepreneurs spoke at the session, top tech leaders like Robin Li and Pony Ma also attended--习近平主持的民营企业座谈会,都有谁参加?: 

中共中央总书记、国家主席、中央军委主席习近平1日上午在京主持召开民营企业座谈会并发表重要讲话。座谈会上,刘积仁、鲁伟鼎、王小兰、孙飘扬、卢勇、汤晓鸥、刘汉元、谈剑锋、刘屹、耿哲等10位企业家代表先后发言。BAT大佬如李彦宏、马化腾,民营企业代表娃哈哈集团宗庆后等人也出席了座谈会。

The message appears to be: We love private enterprises as long as they know their place in the system and listen to the Party...

China Investors Convinced Policy Is ‘Turning Left,’ Citigroup Says:

China’s domestic investors are more bearish than their overseas counterparts because confusing policy signals have convinced them the government is favoring state enterprises over private companies.

That’s according to a Citigroup Inc. report from Oct. 31 which says entrepreneurs see government policies "turning left" in favor of state enterprises even as officials profess to "turn right" in support of private companies and further reform and opening up. Whether intended or not, a series of policy measures has unsettled the confidence of domestic entrepreneurs and recent attempts to turn around bearish sentiment have fallen short, said analysts led by chief China economist Liu Li-gang in Hong Kong...

Recent policy statements and policy actions also rekindled the fear of the early stages of nationalization of private firms in the 1950s, sending a chilling feel among private entrepreneurs," the analysts said.

They conclude the bearish sentiment is unlikely to change for a while. They suggest the Communist Party’s 4th Plenum, to be held before the end of the year, needs to send a strong message to reassure domestic investors that is followed by concrete actions

Comment: Xi and the leadership understand the concerns of the entrepreneurs, whether or not the flurry of recent statements and meetings will assuage them remains unclear. 


2. Will there be a 4th Plenum in 2018?

The Third Plenum ran from February 26-28 this year and was seemingly out of cycle. It dealt with term limits for Xi and at least as importantly passed the massive Party-led bureaucratic reorganization. That Third Plenum was announced just a day before it was held (CPC Central Committee to hold third plenary session - Xinhua 2.25.18 ).

So far there has been no announcement of a Fourth Plenum, and the fact that the most recent Politburo meeting did announce once is again leading to the inevitable speculations about delays and problems for Xi.

In fact, there has been no obvious delay because they never set a date. There are at least monthly Politburo meetings and so it is quite possible the Fourth Plenum, if it is to be held this year, could come in late November right after the November Politburo meeting and just before Xi goes to the G-20. It could also happen in December, with December 18-22 as symbolic dates of the exact 40th anniversary of the Third Plenum that launched reform and opening. Or it could happen next year...The latest I am hearing is expect it to be held in late November. As always, CCP opacity leads to all sorts of speculation and guesswork...

‘The biggest story in Chinese politics right now’ – silence over Communist Party’s autumn meeting | South China Morning Post  

As China’s ruling Politburo wrapped up its October meeting on Wednesday, there was still no word on a key autumn meeting of the Communist Party, which according to party convention should be taking place soon if not convened already...

Analysts said the likely delay of the Central Committee meeting – expected to focus on mid to long-term economic policies – might suggest a lack of consensus among the Chinese leadership over how to battle the growing headwinds facing the world’s second-largest economy.


3. US-China

US Department of State - Sec. Pompeo Interview With Laura Ingraham of The Laura Ingraham Show:

SECRETARY POMPEO: Laura, China is probably, over the long term, the biggest challenge, national security challenge that faces our country. You saw the indictments of 10 Chinese persons for the alleged theft of intellectual property, aviation-related intellectual property. This is a story that’s been going on for years. This is the first administration that has been prepared to push back against China, and we’re doing so on all fronts. So where the semiconductor piece fits in is it’s part of a mosaic of our strategic effort to push back against this continued Chinese effort. It begins with trade. We want, the President has demanded fair and reciprocal trade with China. We’ve demanded that they not steal our intellectual property. We talk with some frequency about the enormous violation of religious freedom that’s taking place against the Uighurs in China. We’re very worried that China will put the people in many countries around the world, in Africa and Central America and Latin America, in a debt trap that will cause those countries decades of pain.

It is a multipronged effort on behalf of all of the United States Government, at the President’s direction, to convince China to behave like a normal nation on commerce and with respect to the rules of international law.

BlackRock's Fink says U.S., China on path to full-fledged trade war | Reuters:

“If the path remains the same in the next few weeks, we’re going to have a full-fledged trade war,” Fink said at the New York Times Co’s DealBook conference.

“China is a very strong, very proud nation. I think they’re going to stand pretty firm.”

China slashed its imports of U.S. sorghum, soybean, and corn in September - Reuters:

China imported 80 percent less U.S. sorghum in September and upped its Brazilian imports of soybeans by 28 percent, according to new data from China's General Administration of Customs.

This is the first time that China has provided data on the country of origin for its commodity imports since the month of March.

China typically buys most of its soybeans in the fourth quarter from the United States but has sharply reduced its purchases of American beans amid an ongoing trade war.

US senator says China, US 'competitors but not adversaries' - AP:

Coming a week ahead of the U.S. midterm elections, the visit by Alexander at the head of a seven-member delegation of Republican senators and congress members seemed all the more extraordinary. All are strong supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump, who has slapped tariffs on $250 billion in Chinese products and threatened much more.

“Your country and our country are competitors but not adversaries and we believe that with mutual respect we can continue to prosper together,” Alexander said. While he said the delegation wished to discuss trade, he offered no specifics in opening remarks before reporters were ushered from the room.


4. Will RMB:USD soon have a 7 handle?

And if it does will it matter?

Goldman Says Yuan Will Hit 7 as China Avoids Heavy Meddling - Bloomberg:

While the authorities may guide sentiment by issuing stronger fixings, they won’t likely sell the dollar heavily to defend the currency as they did in the aftermath of a shock devaluation three years ago, according to MK Tang, a senior China economist at Goldman in Hong Kong. That is because the conditions for the yuan to hit 7 are "more mature" than in the past as capital outflows remain contained, he added.

Central Bank Steps Up Measures to Defend Yuan - Caixin:

The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) said (link in Chinese) on Wednesday it would raise 20 billion yuan ($2.87 billion) in Hong Kong on Nov. 7 through the sale of 10 billion yuan of three-month bills and 10 billion yuan of one-year bills...

By absorbing yuan funds in the offshore market, the issuance of central bank bills can reduce the amount of yuan commercial banks have available to lend, thus helping push up short-term interest rates and the cost of shorting the yuan, Zhou Hao, senior emerging markets economist at Germany-based Commerzbank, said in an opinion article (link in Chinese) published by Caixin.

Caixin Explains: Why 7 Is the Yuan’s Unlucky Number - Caixin Global:

The 7-yuan barrier therefore largely matters, slightly circuitously, because everyone thinks it does. If the yuan breaks 7, the market could panic, believing more weakening is on the way. Traders would probably sell more yuan over such concerns, putting even more pressure on the currency. Wealthy individuals and businesses might start to pull their money or assets out of China before they lose even more value — dragging down the yuan further.

Global Macro Views – Fear and Floating in EM Asia November 1, 2018 - IIF:

We have been arguing that market fixation over the 7.00 threshold for $/CNY reflects an outdated view of the RMB, one that still treats China’s currency as a quasi-peg. The reality is quite different, as we have discussed on a number of occasions. Official intervention relative to moves in the exchange rate has fallen substantially, moving the RMB closer to a freely floating currency. This decline in the “fear of floating” is a broader phenomenon across EM Asia, with many other countries tolerating more exchange rate moves. We update our Exchange Market Pressure Indices to document this trend across Asia, which show that China has led the move towards exchange rate flexibility, followed by Korea, Singapore and India. Thailand and Malaysia are at the other end of the spectrum, still exhibiting relatively more “fear of floating.” Where this is relevant is that – with China growth weakening even before adverse effects from US tariffs are fully felt – it moves the needle in favor of more RMB depreciation sooner rather than later


5. Economy

Deleveraging Left Off the Agenda of Top Political Meeting - Caixin Global:

“In general, we feel there been a change of tone in the Politburo’s policies,” Hua Changchun, analyst at Guotai Junan Securities, said in a note. “The party acknowledged the increasing downward pressure on the economy, and also ceased to mention ‘deleveraging’ and home prices, which used to be mentioned in every seasonal meeting.”

The fact that deleveraging wasn’t mentioned by the Politburo may create more political space for looser policies, according to a note by Goldman Sachs’ economists. “This does not mean there’s no concern about leverage anymore, but it’s less of a priority,” the note said.

Home prices were also off the agenda because the property market has been cooling down in recent months, and additional nationwide tightening measures are unlikely to be rolled out, according to the same note.

Caixin China PMI: October manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index - CNBC:

Chinese factory activity expanded sightly in October despite an ongoing trade dispute with the U.S., a survey of small and medium-sized enterprises in China showed.

On Thursday, Caixin and IHS Markit reported October Purchasing Managers' index (PMI) was 50.1 for October, beating analysts' expectations. Analysts polled by Reuters had expected the reading to have dipped slightly to 49.9 from 50.0 in September

China Likely to Rely on Fiscal Stimulus Measures for Economy - Bloomberg:

Economists expect China’s government to rely more on fiscal stimulus to boost the economy out of the current slowdown, due to the limitations faced by the central bank.

"The restrictions on monetary policy are obvious," Guo Lei, analyst at GF Securities Co, wrote in a note, pointing to widening yield spreads with the U.S. and clogged policy transmission in the domestic market. "For fiscal policy, there’ll be but two directions. One is tax reduction, the other is resuming fiscal spending and infrastructure."


6. More on the Xinjiang re-education archipelago

Mapping China’s ‘re-education’ camps: the power of open-source intelligence | The Strategist:

Over the past few months, ASPI’s International Cyber Policy Centre (ICPC) has leveraged its cyber, technical and Chinese-language skills to consolidate and expand on the rich and growing body of work that is shedding a brighter light on the Chinese state’s network of ‘re-education’ camps in Xinjiang province.

Our contribution includes a newly released ICPC report and an associated public database.

The report: Mapping Xinjiang’s ‘re-education’ camps 

The database 

ABC News (Australia) report - China’s frontier of fear: 

An investigation by ABC News using new research collated by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) think tank, identifies and documents the expansion of 28 detention camps that are part of a massive program of subjugation in the region of Xinjiang.

Analysis of the data shows that since the start of 2017, the 28 facilities have expanded their footprint by more than 2 million square metres. In the past three months alone, they’ve grown by 700,000 square metres - that’s about the size of 35 Melbourne Cricket Grounds.

Comment: No one can pretend they can't see what is happening, in near real-time.

China’s Surveillance Laboratory | Dissent Magazine - by Darren Byler and Timothy Grose:

Reeducation camps, mosque monitoring, an extensive network of security checkpoints—these are just a few features of the surveillance apparatus China is developing to police Uyghur Muslims. A report from Xinjiang...

Since 2014 Ürümchi has become the nerve center of Xinjiang’s police state. This lengthy and expensive process required an overhaul of the city, complete with large-scale urban development projects, population relocation, high-tech surveillance systems, and conspicuous propaganda campaigns aimed to “civilize” the autonomous region’s capital. Although Ürümchi was not a cultural or intellectual center for Uyghurs historically, when Uyghur migrants began to arrive in the city in large numbers in the 1980s and 1990s they transformed sections of the cityscape into native or “yerlik” spaces, much like other cities in Xinjiang. Because of this, and the violence the state associated with the populations living in these spaces, the state determined that it must re-engineer them—a process Jay Dautcher calls “desettlement.”

UK says reports of internment camps in China's Xinjiang 'broadly accurate' - CNN:

British diplomats who visited Xinjiang, in China's remote northwest, have confirmed reports that large numbers of Muslims are being held in so-called "vocational education centers."

UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt told Parliament earlier this week that London had viewed the reports which began emerging in recent months "with a lot of concern."

"We had our own diplomats visiting the Xinjiang province in August and they concur that those reports (of internment camps) are broadly accurate," he said.


7. Increasing global appeal of China's Internet management model

Freedom on the Net 2018 | Freedom House:

Governments around the world are tightening control over citizens’ data and using claims of “fake news” to suppress dissent, eroding trust in the internet as well as the foundations of democracy, according to Freedom on the Net 2018.

At the same time, the regime in China has become more brazen in providing like-minded governments with technology and training that enable them to control their own citizens.

“Democracies are struggling in the digital age, while China is exporting its model of censorship and surveillance to control information both inside and outside its borders,” said Michael J. Abramowitz, president of Freedom House.

China remakes the world in its techno-dystopian image: 

This year, Beijing took steps to propagate its model abroad by conducting large-scale trainings of foreign officials, providing technology to authoritarian governments, and demanding that international companies abide by its content regulations even when operating outside of China. These trends present an existential threat to the future of the open internet and prospects for greater democracy around the globe.

Comment: And the messes on Twitter and Facebook's platforms make China's solutions increasingly attractive to many...


8. EU pressures China to deliver on reform promises

Imagine if there were a coordinated, united front of the US, EU and Japan and other major economies pushing China…

Ahead of import fair, EU calls for concrete opening steps from China | Reuters:

The European Union on Thursday called for China to take concrete steps to further open its market to foreign firms and provide a level playing field, saying it would not sign up to any political statement at next week’s major import fair in Shanghai...

“These measures should go beyond tariff adjustments and aim to address the many long-standing trade and investment concerns. Our expectation is a clear-cut statement by the Chinese government which lays out details and timelines for such measures,” it added.

The French and German Ambassadors to PRC wrote a joint OpEd in Caixin--Opinion: Will Shanghai Become Milestone for China’s Opening-Up?:

European businesses should have the same opportunities in China as Chinese industries enjoy in Europe. International businesses operating in China are awaiting a more holistic reform agenda to increase international investment and resolve the existing challenges. These expectations were formulated by President Macron and Chancellor Merkel during their visits to China this year, as well as at the EU-China Summit.

More than reducing the level of import taxes, China should take steps to enhance its reputation as an open and reliable export destination for producers...

With regards to stimulating FDI inflows in China, it would be a significant step to abolish joint venture requirements across all sectors....

Another important measure would be to ensure that the implementation of cybersecurity legislation follows the principle of proportionality and does not lead to market access barriers or discriminatory practices against foreign businesses.

A fourth example would be to replace provisions in technology import-export and joint venture regulations that restrict foreign ownership and freedom to exert IP rights, to lift burdens on IP rights holders suffering infringement and to show real commitment to preventing and fighting massive counterfeiting.

Finally, our companies would be gratified if the ongoing reform of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) were to take up their concerns about the preferential treatment of SOEs and existing competitive disadvantages for private companies.

The OpEd in Chinese 法德驻华大使:上海能否成为中国对外开放的里程碑 


Business, Economy, Finance And Trade

China's Stimulus Hints Prep Stock Traders for Year-End Recovery - Bloomberg Thursday’s gain in the CSI 300 Index was the most bullish start to any calendar month since January, breaking with a five-month trend of kicking off each period on a negative note. Boosting sentiment were hints from China’s leadership that additional stimulus measures may come soon, just hours after yet another set of data confirmed the country’s economy is deteriorating.

China's New Love of Imports Leaves Long Road to Trade Balance - Bloomberg Set to address the China International Import Expo in Shanghai on Nov. 5, Xi is putting his personal stamp on an event geared to demonstrate China’s willingness to open its economy. China is under pressure from Donald Trump and elsewhere to wind back its $423 billion goods trade surplus, and Xi has already pledged that China will import $24 trillion dollars of goods from abroad over the next decade and a half.

Chinese Miner Joins Scramble for Car Battery Materials With $1.28 Billion Indonesia Project - Caixin Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt Co. Ltd. said it will provide most of the money needed to set up a $1.83 billion Indonesian nickel smelting project, as mining companies scramble to secure the raw materials that will supply the expected new-energy vehicle boom.

After Rebuff, Top Chinese Marketing Firm Takes Second Shot at North America - Caixin BlueFocus, China’s largest public relations and marketing firm, said it will buy U.S. peer Eleven Holdings Inc. for up to $80 million, moving ahead with a global expansion despite Washington’s veto of a similar proposed purchase earlier this year. BlueFocus Intelligent Communications Group Co. Ltd. said its Vision 7 unit would pay $30 million up front for San Francisco-based Eleven Holdings, followed by performance-based payments over the next five years that could add as much as another $50 million to the purchase price, according to a stock exchange announcement on Tuesday.  //  CFIUS et al should be all over this deal

Justice Department to Charge Former Goldman Bankers in Malaysia 1MDB Scandal - WSJ Tim Leissner, former partner for Goldman Sachs GS +0.75% in Asia, is expected to plead guilty to conspiracy to launder money and conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the people familiar said. He will forfeit $43.7 million, they said. Roger Ng, the other former Goldman banker, and Jho Low, the Malaysian financier who allegedly masterminded the fraud, will be indicted, the people familiar said. Mr. Ng was arrested in Malaysia, while Mr. Low is at large and was last seen in China.

Foreign investments spark security fears among Nordic leaders - EUObserver "China is not the 'only' country - but it is one of the strongest," said Norway's prime minister Erna Solberg, following a meeting in Oslo on Wednesday (31 October) where leaders of five Nordic countries prime ministers agreed to increase scrutiny of foreign investments.


Politics, Law And Ideology

统一战线在改革开放历史进程中不断巩固壮大--中国统一战线新闻网--人民网 You Quan has the lead essay in the latest issue of "Qiushi" on the United Front's role in and contributions to reform and opening

Xi Jinping's awkward relationship with Deng Xiaoping - Nikkei Asian Review Interesting speculation that Xi holds a grudge against Deng Xiaoping and the Deng family because his dad stood up for Hu Yaobang in 1987 and suffered for it...if true might explain some things //  Xi Zhongxun even indirectly told Deng: "If you insist on dismissing Hu Yaobang, let me step into his shoes as the Communist Party's general secretary." The elder Xi demanded something impossible from the paramount leader. Xi Zhongxun's vehement resistance significantly delayed the convening of an enlarged Politburo meeting to formally dismiss Hu. On Jan. 16, 1987, Hu was removed from his post. As a result, Xi Zhongxun was effectively purged by Deng later. The elder Xi's health deteriorated and he died in 2002 after enduring dark days. As the elder Xi's fate shows, power struggles in China are always grim affairs.

An Interview With Xu Youyu: ‘The Worst Is Yet to Come’ « China Change Note: Xu went to the China Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing in 1979 to become a grad student, and worked at CASS from then on until retiring in 2008. Xu now lives in New York. This is an interesting if disturbing interview, and yet another political prisoner who says when he was in prison cellmates and guards treated him with respect…//

I threw myself wholeheartedly into the Cultural Revolution--though I also reflected on it very deeply afterwards. I wondered why the Cultural Revolution happened, and from there wondered why the Chinese communist revolution took place in China and why it is that the CCP was able to seize power. I feel that I thought it through deeply and thoroughly, and began to understand just truly how sinister and cruel the Chinese Communist Party is. I think that I see these things a little more thoroughly than most. I especially appreciated the thoroughness of Liu Xiaobo’s thinking, and I also consider myself a thorough thinker. As for how evil the Communist Party can be, I’ve had the time to psychologically prepare — this is what sets me apart from others. Everyone now thinks that things are the worst they can possibly get, and they can’t bear it — but when you look back and understand the Party’s own operating principles and guiding ideology, and especially its own history, I think the most evil things it may do are already within my expectations. I don’t think that the fascist forces and tendencies in China have reached their extreme yet. The worst is yet to come. Under such circumstances, hoping for any kind of rapid change is impractical. As someone who loves thought and theorizing, the mission I gave myself is to tell the world just how this tragedy came to pass. There are no obstacles to the rise of fascism in China. I want to explain how it happened and why it happened and is still happening. These are the questions I’m observing and thinking over at present.

What significance does China’s updated court law have? | Supreme People's Court Monitor The National People’s Congress (NPC) Standing Committee recently revised the Organic Law of the People’s Courts (People’s Courts Law), the framework law by which the Chinese courts operate.  The NPC took the lead in drafting it, rather than the Supreme People’s Court (SPC). It retains the framework of the old law, incorporates legislative changes and many judicial reforms, leaves some flexibility for future reforms, and updates some of the general principles in the old law that apparently are on the dust heap of history (历史的垃圾堆).  Some of the principles newly incorporated reflect the reorientation of the Chinese courts, over the past 40 years while others represent long-term goals.Some provisions originally in earlier drafts have been deleted because the NPC Constitution and Law Committee considered that the time was not ripe for incorporating them.

President Xi Jinping reiterates China's goal to eradicate absolute poverty by 2020 - Global Times Chinese President Xi Jinping reiterated that the country will eradicate absolute poverty by 2020 in a congratulatory letter to an international forum on China's reform and opening-up and poverty alleviation, which opened in Beijing on Thursday. Since the start of China's reform and opening-up policy 40 years ago, over 700 million people have been lifted out of absolute poverty, Xi said, hailing it as a "miracle" in the history of mankind in poverty reduction. China will take a range of measures such as targeted poverty alleviation and further collaboration among regions to ensure the eradication of absolute poverty by 2020, he added.

China Media Bulletin: U.S.-China Tensions, upgraded police surveillance, Africa influence (No. 130) | Freedom House Skeletons in the Communist Party’s closet This seemingly innocuous image was shared 12,000 times on Sina Weibo within 11 hours on September 23 before being deleted by censors. The caption accompanying the image said it portrayed a caving expedition in Guilin, Guangxi Province, that discovered the skeletons of 93 people who were killed at the height of the Cultural Revolution:  “From October 2 to 3, 1967 … the militia battalion commander of Sanjiang Commune … pushed 93 local rich people into the bottomless sinkhole…. One of the big landlord families had a total of 76 people, young and old; all were all pushed into the pit, including married daughters and their children. The youngest one is less than one year old and the oldest is 65 years old." Weiboscope

陕西省委常委、秘书长钱引安涉嫌严重违纪违法接受中央纪委国家监委纪律审查和监察调查————要闻——中央纪委国家监委网站 Shaanxi Province secretary general Qian Yinan under investigation

State Council issues new regulation on administrative division - Gov.cn The State Council has approved a new regulation on China’s administrative division management, according to a circular released on Nov 1. The whole national administrative division should be kept stable, with major changes being reported to the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, according to the new regulation. Any changes in the division should be beneficial to the national modernization drive, national governance system, administrative management, ethnic solidarity and strengthening national defense. //  李克强签署国务院令 公布《行政区划管理条例》

Courts target corruption at lower levels - China Daily Beijing judges vowed on Wednesday to increase their efforts to clean up corruption by intensifying punishments of officials at lower levels, where misconduct makes up the highest proportion of offenses. The Beijing No 1 Intermediate People's Court, located in the western part of the capital - where there are many government departments and colleges - issued a report on Wednesday saying that 2,306 officials had been punished for misconduct since 1995, when the court was established, and of those, 1,756 were at county or lower level.


Foreign and Military Affairs

Britain to sell China ‘unlimited’ amount of military radar equipment, technology | South China Morning Post Although the supplier has not been named, the “open individual export licence” (OIEL) has been in place since April – two months after British Prime Minister Theresa May visited Beijing – according to information from Britain’s Department for International Trade. Unlike previous deals involving British arms sales to China, which were capped by amount and value, under the new agreement the supplier can “export an unlimited quantity of goods”, including equipment, components, software and technology for military radar systems, the department said. Its strategic export control database described the equipment covered by the licence as “target acquisition, weapon control and countermeasure systems” for “aircraft, helicopters and drones”.

India Lodges 'Strong Protest' Against China and Pakistan's Bus Service Passing Through POK - The Wire India has lodged “strong protests” with China and Pakistan over the scheduled launch of a bus service from Lahore to Xinjiang in China which will pass through Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK). Pakistani media had reported that China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) bus service from Lahore to Tashkurgan in China will start on November 3.

China and Pakistan to start bus service from Xinjiang to Gwador Port under CPEC; route to be launched on 13 Nov - Firstpost The luxury bus service to be started by a private transport company will be officially launched on 13 November and will be operational between Lahore in Pakistan to Kashgar in China, the state-run Radio Pakistan reported. The 30-hour journey between the two destinations will cost Rs 13,000 while the return ticket will be for Rs 23,000. The bookings have already begun, it said.

China must stop making a mockery of the rights treaties it signs - The Washington Post - Prof. Margaret Lewis On Nov. 6, the United Nations Human Rights Council will review China’s record just as human rights in the country are under intensified attack. The review also comes one month after the 20th anniversary of China signing the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), a foundational treaty that sets forth a range of protections for freedom of speech, assembly and religion. China not only has failed to ratify the ICCPR but instead is increasingly undermining the rights therein. The international community should respond by calling on China to remove its signature.

Chinese development finance and the Andean Amazonian infrastructure boom – Asia Dialogue The Andean Amazon – the western Amazon basin and central Andean highlands of Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia – is experiencing an infrastructure boom with help from international DFIs.  This infrastructure boom is not only surging but also moving into more sensitive territory. From 2000 to 2015, 64 international DFI-financed infrastructure projects were completed in the Andean Amazon, including many hydroelectric dams in the Andean highlands on the edge of the Amazon basin. Since then, 58 new projects have already been completed or approved, about half of which are within the Amazon basin itself.

Picking Flowers - Making Honey. Publication launch. - YouTube Fergus Hanson, John Garnaut and author Alex Joske speaking at the launch of the new ASPI publication, "Picking Flowers - Making Honey. The Chinese military’s collaboration with foreign universities."

Xi Jinping vows to advance China-El Salvador cooperation steadily and rapidly - CGTN Xi made the remarks in Beijing during talks with his El Salvadoran counterpart Salvador Sanchez Ceren, who is paying his first state visit to China. During the visit, Sanchez will also attend the first China International Import Expo (CIIE). Xi also said China is willing to provide support to the Central American country on health, medical treatment, water supply and disaster prevention. For his part, Sanchez confirmed his country's commitment to the one-China policy and its willingness to further develop bilateral ties with China.

Mon Tulfo: If China won't recognize Hague ruling, what can we do about it? - CNN Philippines Ramon Tulfo, the new Special Envoy for Public Diplomacy to China, echoed the Duterte administration's stance on an international arbitral tribunal ruling favoring the Philippines' rights in the West Philippine Sea. "China doesn't recognize the ruling of the Hague. What can we do about it? We might as well talk business with China," Tulfo told CNN Philippines' The Source on Wednesday.

Sino-Russian expedition provides Arctic data - China Daily A recently concluded China-Russia joint Arctic expedition has yielded a more comprehensive and systematic understanding of the Arctic Ocean that will provide scientific support for the development of a Polar Silk Road, scientists from the two countries said on Tuesday. Eleven Chinese researchers and 19 Russians participated in the second joint Sino-Russia Arctic expedition, which started in Russia's eastern port of Vladivostok on Sept 6. After overcoming extreme weather and traveling 12,000 kilometers, they returned to the port of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky on Oct 21.

China successfully conducts carrier rocket's vertical landing flight test - Global Times The Space Intelligence Technology Innovation Center and a national key laboratory of aerospace intelligent control technology were responsible for the flight test and research.  The institute started the research and established a team for the project this year. The team designed and built a reusable small-sized test platform for vertical takeoff and landing to help carry out the tests.

Buddhist masters call for safeguarding peace in South China Sea - Global Times The masters, from countries and regions mostly surrounding the South China Sea, also signed a document of consensus at the South China Sea Buddhism Shenzhen Roundtable held on Thursday, calling for enhanced cooperation to sustain peace and promote prosperity in the region. "Some countries outside the region take disputes as an excuse to interfere with the issue for their own political and economical gain, so the Buddhist society should resist such disturbances to sustain peace in the South China Sea," said Yin Shun, deputy head of China's Buddhist Association.

Australia invests in developing Papua New Guinea naval base - AP Australia announced Thursday it will invest in redeveloping a Papua New Guinea naval base as concerns mount over increasing Chinese influence in the South Pacific. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his Papua New Guinea counterpart, Peter O’Neill, met in Sydney to sign the joint redevelopment agreement for the Lombrum Naval Base on Manus Island.

女外交官傅莹赴任清华园 迎来人生中又一重要岗位_网易新闻 10月30日,在清华大学工字厅东厅,傅莹受聘清华大学兼职教授、国际关系研究院名誉院长  //  Fu Ying now also a professor at Tsinghua and the honorary dean of its institute of international relations


Hong Kong, Macao

Macau casinos post highest monthly revenue since 2014 | Reuters This was the 27th time in a row when monthly revenue rose, although the rate of growth slowed as rising macro-economic concerns in China dented sentiment in the high-end VIP segment.


Tech And Media

Pony Ma sets out Tencent’s industrial internet ambitions as it looks to China’s future economy | South China Morning Post Tencent wants to enable greater connectivity across Chinese industry, leveraging the capabilities and expertise it has built to serve the billion-plus users of its consumer-facing platforms, enhancing products and services, Tencent CEO and founder Pony Ma Huateng wrote in an open letter on Wednesday ahead of its global partner conference in the eastern Chinese city of Nanjing, Jiangsu. “Tencent has always been talking about how to connect people with other people, objects and services. It became clear to us that if objects and services are not fully digitalised, the connection between them and people cannot be improved,” Ma wrote in the letter.

Briefing: Xiaomi demands that Lyft stop renting out its scooters · TechNode Xiaomi has sent a letter to US ride-rental company Lyft, demanding that it stop using its electric scooters for rental services. In the letter, Xiaomi complained that its brand had been associated with Lyft’s in advertising about the “shared scooters.” The smart device manufacturer also did “not condone Lyft’s unauthorized modification or retrofitting” of scooters, citing legal and consumer safety concerns.

Facebook creation of Tik Tok competitor signals Chinese companies’ leadship - Global Times Facebook is reportedly creating a Tik Tok competitor to win back the attention of teens, a move that an expert said signals Chinese internet companies' leading position in many areas of the industry. Facebook is working on a new app called Lasso that sounds a lot like Tik Tok, a rapidly growing Chinese social media app for creating and sharing videos as well as live broadcasting, TechCrunch, a US technology news outlet, reported on October 24.


Society, Art, Sports, Culture And History

CV for a Shanghai Kindergartener Prompts Mockery in China | Time A resume for a kindergartener who possesses “rich and varied experience” and “an independent personality” prompted ridicule on Chinese social media this week, but also called attention to the high-stakes pressure children in China can face from a young age.

China’s Seniors Seven Times More Likely to Take Their Own Lives - Caixin Fan Peizhen, an associate professor of psychiatry at Taiwan’s National Yangming University, presented the study to the Lancet-China Academy for Medical Sciences annual conference in Beijing on Saturday. The results of the study reflect fundamental changes in Chinese society brought about by the rapid urbanization that has left much of China’s rural population 65 and older lonely and depressed.

Boxing Shadows - Sixth Tone the film follows two female boxers and tells the story of their love for the sport, the big dreams they hold, and the friendships they forge outside the ring


Food And Travel

Sea cucumbers lead China's logistics blockchain charge · TechNode Introducing blockchain to sea cucumber production helps mitigate counterfeit risk and bolster food safety—which has become one of the most significant concerns among China’s 1.3 billion people. That’s why Chinese e-commerce giant JD is cooperating with sea cucumber producers to put information—such as where the sea creature came from, when it was raised, fished, and produced—on their food tracking blockchain. The company has even installed 24-hour cameras that live stream the fishing area and production factory in the northern Chinese port city of Dalian.