Trump China Prep; Supervisory Commission Expansion; PLA Loyalty To Xi; Singles Day; Spies Among Us-Sinocism 11.06.17
|Bill Bishop||Nov 6, 2017|
Happy Monday...two more days until President Trump lands in Beijing.
From everything I am hearing and reading it should be a fairly harmonious visit, though as Josh Rogin writes in today's Washington Post the long-rumored "much tougher" approach may come soon after- A more hawkish Trump approach to China is coming soon - The Washington Post:
After months of what officials and Asia experts saw as a somewhat disjointed and contradictory approach to Asia’s rising power, officials say the administration is coalescing around a strategy that will attempt to define the Indo-Pacific chessboard on America’s terms and respond to the threat that China’s activities pose to the United States and its regional allies.
The shift is the result of the increasing influence of China hawks inside the administration, officials and experts close to the Trump team say. “While everyone’s been paying attention to the distractions, the traditional Republican Asia hawks are moving China policy in a direction that would be recognizable in most Republican administrations,” a White House official said...
The subtle but steady shift in the Trump administration’s China approach is partially credited to the fact that Trump is filling his Asia policy team with China hawks inside the national security agencies and around the region. Bush administration official Randall Schriver is being nominated for the Pentagon’s top Asia job. Adm. Harry Harris has been offered the post of ambassador to Australia. Former White House official Victor Cha is set to be ambassador to South Korea. And National Security Council senior director for Asia Matthew Pottinger, who advocates a harder line on Beijing, is leading the Indo-Pacific strategy review.
Pottinger is the right person for this role. He has more firsthand experience of China than most of his predecessors and from my interactions with him over the years I am confident he has a very realistic and clear-eyed view of the challenges China poses the US and the West. Soon after his appointment there was a funny joke going around Wechat, blaming the security services for his hawkishness because of how they treated him while he was a journalist in Beijing:
Of course any strategy will only work if the President is on board.
A quick housekeeping note, most of you probably saw the news that the free, weekly version of Sinocism will now publish in partnership with Axios. You need to do nothing and that partnership will have no impact on the paid version, other than I hope bring me lots more subscribers...
As always, comments/suggestions and tips welcome. Signal +13012460858 or Wickr billbishop are the best electronic methods for tips.
Thanks for reading.
The Essential Eight
1. Trump China Trip Two Days Away
Comment: I am still hearing not to expect anything structurally substantive, but we are starting to find out some of the deals that will be announced. The Wall Street Journal broke the story that China's sovereign wealth fund CIC and Goldman Sachs are teaming up on a fund "to help the giant Chinese sovereign-wealth fund invest in U.S. manufacturing and other sectors".
By collaborating with a top Wall Street firm, CIC is seeking to diminish the chances its investments will be blocked, one of the people familiar with the matter said. CIC went to Goldman with the idea for the fund, a second person said.
China is worried that India, United States, Japan and Australia will work together to undermine its international influence with the revival of their quadrilateral dialogue.
The first meeting of the dialogue would take place after a break of nearly a decade on the sidelines of the East Asia Summit in Manila on November 13. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to attend the summit.
“China, for the first time, is not in a humble position regarding the United States,” said Yan Xuetong, a professor of international relations at Tsinghua University in Beijing. “Usually the American president has the advantage. This is the first time there is an equal relationship between the two leaders.”
Mr. Xi is now the unquestioned paramount leader of China, Professor Yan added, while Mr. Trump only “represents himself.”
Comment: "Represents himself" is a dangerous calculation for the Chinese side to make, wonder if Yan reflects any official judgements?
US Trade Representative Ambassador Robert Lighthizer discussed US trade policy and China’s economic goals on Friday’s “Ingraham Angle” on the Fox News Channel. Partial Transcript:
“We’re not starting a trade war at all. We have exactly the same objective as the Chamber of Commerce, exactly the same objective. The question is how do we get there? We’ve tried it their way for 25 years. Since at least 1995, we tried it their way. All I am saying is let’s try a different route for a little bit. The result of their way, I would suggest, is a $750 billion goods deficit, and an overall goods and services deficit of $500 billion. I mean, these are staggering numbers. We ought to try something else.
Comment: I believe the US Chamber of Commerce has recently been clamoring for a much tougher, strategically coherent approach to addressing the challenge from China.
Stephen K. Bannon, Mr. Trump’s former chief strategist and an ally of Mr. Navarro’s, lobbied to get him a seat on the plane. Leaving Mr. Navarro at home, he has told colleagues, undercuts the president’s talk of confronting China with a tough message on trade...
While the White House has talked about pressing China and other Asian countries on trade, it is not asking the Chinese for any major steps during this trip. Administration officials said the White House wanted to avoid accepting incremental measures when it is seeking a more wholesale change in the trade relationship.
Don’t negotiate a joint statement;
2. Don’t leave Trump alone with Xi:;
3. Don’t shy away from areas of friction:;
4. Don’t overstate the wins;
5. Ditch the flattery:;
6. Leave “America First” at home:;
7. Don’t slouch
2. Supervisory Commission Going Nationwide
Comment: Whoever becomes head of the National Supervisory Commission will be a very powerful person. There has been some talk that Wang Qishan might get it even though he has retired from the Standing Committee but it seems to me that new CCDI and Standing Committee member Zhao Leji is a more logical candidate.
Xinhua said in a report published late on Saturday China’s top legislature adopted a decision calling for new supervisory commissions to be set up by the People’s Congresses at provincial, city and county-levels to “supervise those exercising public power”.
The NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) just released the draft Supervision Law (监察法, formerly titled 国家监察法, or State Supervision Law) for public comments. The draft was the version that was first considered by the NPCSC back in June. The comments period runs from November 6, 2017 to December 5, 2017.
Supervision commissions will be established at each of the three levels of local governments
The powers of the following bodies will be transferred to the supervision commissions:
Within the people’s governments: supervision departments (bureaus) and corruption prevention bureaus;
Within the people’s procuratorates: departments that investigate corruption, bribery, dereliction of duty, and malfeasance; and those responsible for preventing crimes abusing public office (职务犯罪)...
The supervision commissions will supervise all persons holding public offices and exercising public powers (行使公权力的公职人员) within the corresponding administrative region..
The supervision commissions are authorized to take the following measures when fulfilling their duties: conducting interviews and interrogations, making inquiries and searches, freezing [assets], retrieving [data/evidence], seizing and searching, conducting inquests and inspections, appraising, and detaining (谈话、讯问、询问、查询、冻结、调取、查封、扣押、搜查、勘验检查、鉴定、留置
Some regulations of relevant laws, such as the laws on administrative supervision and criminal procedure, would be temporary adjusted or suspended during the reform.
CCDI Infographic on the results of the supervisory pilot reforms-一图读懂国家监察体制改革试点工作成效及经验—中央纪委监察部网站
3. PLA Again Pledges Absolute Loyalty To Xi
Comment: More centralizing leadership under Xi, seems to be a trend...
The Chinese military will be absolutely loyal, pure, reliable, and resolutely follow the orders of Central Military Commission Chairman Xi Jinping, China's highest military authority has said.
The CMC recently issued a document on fully implementing the chairperson's responsibility system in the People's Liberation Army.
The amendment to the CPC Constitution clarified that the chairperson of the Central Military Commission assumes overall responsibility for the work of the commission and that the CMC is responsible for Party work and political work in the armed forces.
Page 1 PLA Daily commentary "Striding forward under the guidance of Xi Jinping "strong military Thought" by PLA Daily commentator 解辛平, apparently a pseudonym for a PLA Daily commentary group that weights in on very important issues-在习近平强军思想指引下阔步前进 - 中国军网
Members of the standing committee of the National People’s Congress — China’s politicians — have been handed a bill to shift control of the PAP, the country’s prime domestic security force, away from the State Council or cabinet. The force will become solely accountable to Mr Xi as chairman of the Central Military Commission that formerly shared that responsibility with the State Council that leads the government side of China’s power structure.
4. Xi Keeps Breaking Norms, Abandons Intraparty Democracy
Comment: Wang Xiangwei of the South China Morning Post writes on the process for selecting the 19th Party Congress leadership and how it sharply diverged from prior efforts at improving intraparty democracy. The reality is that the consensus-based approach was failing China and the Party, the country was a mess by the end of the Hu-Wen era and there were plenty of people in the senior ranks and the big families who believed that stronger, more centralized leadership was necessary. But do not assume this was all Xi; he looks to have had permission to undo at least some of this. Did Xi perhaps extend his mandate? Most likely.
A more important breakthrough came in September 2009 when the Central Committee held a plenary session to study how to strengthen the party’s legitimacy and declared that intraparty democracy was the “lifeblood of the party”. Meanwhile, many liberal thinkers close to the leadership began preaching that intraparty democracy was the best way forward for China’s political reform. The well-known article “Democracy is a Good Thing”, penned by Yu Keping, a party scholar, proved popular both with the elites and ordinary people.
But that optimism proved short-lived. Now with Xi’s decision to abandon the vote-based promotion system and effectively revert to the old method of picking new leaders, the much-hyped experiment with intraparty democracy appears to have run its course.
Sinocism published a translation of Yu Keping's work in 2013--[Yu Keping: How to Achieve Orderly Democracy ](http://https //sinocism.com/yu-keping-how-to-achieve-orderly-democracy/)
5. Chapters From The 19th Party Congress Study Guide Are Making News
Comment: The one getting the most attention is PBoC head Zhou Xiaochuan's chapter excerpt 守住不发生系统性金融风险的底线. He does not seem to be actually saying anything new but it is a reminder that the Party is very clear internally what the risks are. This guide is supposed to read by all Party members.
Latent risks are accumulating, including some that are “hidden, complex, sudden, contagious and hazardous,” even as the overall health of the financial system remains good, Zhou wrote in a lengthy article published on the People’s Bank of China’s website late Saturday.
All President Xi Jinping’s key speeches in over past five years can be summarised with one message: ensuring the leading role of the Communist Party in all aspects of life, according to his key ally Wang Qishan.
Politburo member and Organization Department head Chen Xi discusses cadre selection in his chapter and the 19th Party Congress Study Guide, quotes Mao that cadres need to be both red and expert.--中组部部长陈希谈干部选拔：这5类人绝对不能用|政治|干部|纪律_新浪新闻:
In the study guide Minister of Finance Xiao Jie discusses plans for introducing a property tax...still a ways off and much resistance remains, but a property tax definitely fits with the spirit of the new principal contradiction-财政部长透露：房地产税将这样收！谁最害怕？ _中国经济网
Sounds like the 19th Party Congress Work Report Study Guide 《党的十九大报告辅导读本》 is worth a read, so far I can not find it online.
6. Singles Day Approaches, Will Announced Volumes Drop On Fraud Crackdown?
Comment: Alibaba loves to tout its 11.11 event sales volumes but there are always questions about how real those numbers are. This new law, even though it does not take effect until January 1, may curtail some of the sketchier practices used to trick consumers into thinking they are getting a deal and to inflate gross sales volume.
Just days ahead of the country’s annual Singles’ Day internet shopping spree, the world’s biggest online consumer event, the standing committee of the National People’s Congress passed changes to the Anti-Unfair Competition Law. The new provisions ban false or misleading advertising about a product’s features, functions or quality, forbid falsifying sales data, user comments and awards, and prohibit “organizing fake transactions” that amount to false or misleading commercial publicity.
Violators will face fines of as much as 2 million yuan ($301,000) and could have their business licenses revoked, according to the full text of the law released by the National People’s Congress, China’s parliament, over the weekend. The amended legislation will take effect on Jan. 1.
The brainchild of Alibaba, Singles Day turned the anti-Valentine’s Day on November 11 into the biggest frenzy of consumption in the retail calendar. It worked: last year consumers spent $18bn, triple the $5.9bn spent on Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Thanksgiving combined in the US.
7. Spies Among Us; More Education For Kids To Spot Enemy Spies
Comment: This was building by the time I left in 2015 and was one of the reasons I felt really strongly it was time to go. Given the centralization of power, the "strong military dream", these campaigns about hostile foreign foreign forces, we really need to increasingly ask what exactly are Xi and the Party preparing China for?
“Spies are those sent by enemies to collect information about us,” his grandfather replies with a stern face. “In peaceful times, the information is used to damage our development. In wartime it can kill numerous compatriots.”
That’s the plot of a cartoon viewed by young Chinese children in the past month to prepare them for what the government says is a growing espionage threat...
There are two videos, one designed for primary pupils and one for secondary pupils, and the course also includes a quiz featuring questions like “what number should you dial when you spot spying activities?”
In the video for secondary school pupils, actors and actresses demonstrate three kinds of espionage: leaking government data, taking photos of a military base for foreign spies, and breaches of cybersecurity protocols.
8. Citizen Lab Report On Online Censorship Around The 19th Party Congress
WeChat censored keywords related to the 19th National Communist Party Congress over a year prior to the event and updated blocked content as the event approached.
Surprisingly, we found that even neutral references to official party policies and ideology were blocked in addition to references to the Congress, party leaders, and power struggles within the Communist Party of China.
Business, Economy, Finance And Trade
Legislature Eliminates Accounting Accreditation in China - Caixin Global Lu Wei, a member of the legislature that passed the change, said the test provided a way to ensure accountants are qualified and that its elimination will make hiring competent accountants more difficult for businesses.
Recent IPOs Prove Chinese Companies Lie About VC Funding Rounds – China Money Network As more Chinese companies go public it’s becoming increasingly clear that many of them have lied about the level of funding they received as private companies, and thus their pre-IPO valuations.
Does China’s new policy regime threaten the global upswing? - FT $$ It is worth noting that the contribution of China to the global growth rate in this expansion phase has been “only” around one-sixth of the total, which is much less than the one-third to one-half contribution that had become customary in earlier years. As the graph below shows, while China has been growing at roughly its trend rate since March 2016, both the US and, especially, the Eurozone have been growing at above trend. China has not been a drag on the global growth rate, but nor has it been the locomotive.
How to Dissect a Chinese Bond-Market Selloff - WSJ Faced with redemptions, nonbanks have needed to sell something, and quickly. Offloading highly liquid government bonds has proven the easiest option. Meanwhile, the nonbanks have held on to their higher-yielding corporate bonds, which at least have the benefit of helping them to maintain high returns.
China offers tax-free interest income in bid to spur lending to small firms - Reuters China will exempt banks’ interest income from loans to small firms and rural households from value added tax, authorities said on Monday, in the latest step to address a long-standing issue of lack of financing to small firms.
China's Shadow Banking Halts as Regulation Bites, Moody's Says - Bloomberg For the first time since 2012, China’s gross domestic product grew faster than shadow banking assets in the six-month period, Moody’s said in a statement Monday. Following last month’s Communist Party Congress, further regulation will continue to rein in shadow banking and address some of the key systemic imbalances, Moody’s said.
China may impose licenses for online consumer lenders, dousing the explosive growth in fintech | South China Morning Post The discussion among regulators involves the issuing of licences to eligible fintech groups, and taking a harder line on the charging of annualised interest above the legal maximum limit of 36 per cent, sources close to the matter told the South China Morning Post.
Auto Financier Yixin Launches $900 Million IPO - Caixin Global Yixin is a unit of New York-listed Bitauto, an online auto specialist. A year ago Bitauto announced a deal that saw Yixin receive $550 million from a group of new investors that included Baidu Inc., Tencent Holdings Ltd. and JD.com Inc., three of China’s leading internet companies. Bitauto said it would continue to hold 47% of Yixin’s shares at that time.
Retirement Mutual Funds Get Draft Guidelines - Caixin Global On Friday, the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) issued draft guidelines on retirement mutual funds. These rules aim to balance the goals of improving investment returns and controlling risks, as the country grapples with an aging population and pension deficit.
Lotte gets approval for China property project as bilateral tensions ease - Reuters Lotte Corp (004990.KS) said on Monday that a major property development in China had received approval from local authorities to start a second phase of construction - the latest sign that tension between Beijing and Seoul is easing.
Shenzhen Renters Offered Low-Interest Loans - Caixin Global To qualify, borrowers must agree to use the low-interest loans to pay their rent in one lump sum based on the length of their rental contracts. The bank stands to gain because landlords can invest the lump sum they receive in investment plans.
Qihoo 360 chairman cites national interest in Shanghai backdoor listing - Reuters Zhou [Hongyi] told reporters in Shanghai on Monday that delisting in the United States and moving to China would allow it to become “a key member” of the country’s national cybersecurity strategy.
China Expects Fed to Stay Course Under New Chief - Caixin Global Several sources within the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) told Caixin that they expect Powell to continue the policy of his predecessor, Janet Yellen, of gradually increasing U.S. interest rates while shrinking the central bank’s balance sheet. Also, potentially less-stringent regulations on U.S. financial institutions, which Powell and the White House are appearing to pursue, won’t create pressure on China, which is tightening its oversight over its own sprawling financial system, the sources said.
Politics, Law And Ideology
What’s New About Such Thinking? – China Heritage - Geremie R. Barmé Translates Lee Yee And, what of ‘Xi Jinping’ himself? Do I really have to say this? To put an individual’s name ahead of a pile of dogmas reminds me of something that [the former Chinese Party General Secretary] Hu Yaobang said [at the end of the Cultural Revolution as the personality cult of Mao Zedong was being dismantled]: As soon as you create a personality cult, there is no room for democracy, no place to seek truth from facts, no hope for the liberation of thinking; what is inevitable is the restoration of feudalism. There is nothing more pernicious than this.
Raising the Bar in China's Legal Profession - Caixin Global the Justice Ministry has partnered with the Supreme People’s Court and the Supreme People’s Procuratorate to draft the details of the new system, including rules about applicants’ qualifications and testing methods. Eventually, qualifications will be granted only to those with a law degree or at least three years of work experience in legal institutions, according to Jia. The new qualification system will not only cover judges, prosecutors, lawyers and notaries, but also individuals who conduct administrative adjudications or reviews, as well as legal consultants and arbitrators, according to the reform plan.
No cult of personality around Xi, says top China party academic - Reuters Xie Chuntao, the director of the Central Party School’s academic department, said the “respect and love” ordinary Chinese felt for Xi was “natural” and “heartfelt” and bore no similarities to a cult of personality. “The Chinese Communist Party has had a cult of personality before,” Xie told a news briefing. “This lesson has long been had, and I believe this will not recur.”
读懂新时代！新华社九论党的十九大精神 Xinhua's 9 commentaries discussing the spirit of the 19th Party Congress.
China warns on overseas content after Springer Nature pulls some articles - Reuters Chinese distributors of overseas publications must verify that the content is legal in China, Beijing said late on Sunday, after a major western publisher blocked access to some content in the country citing local regulations. Springer Nature, which publishes science magazines Nature and Scientific American, said last week that it had pulled access to less than 1 percent of its articles in China
New detention center law is further move to protect human rights - Global Times China's top legislature has adopted a decision to list the country's first law on detention centers in the legislature plan of the next National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee on Saturday, a further move to protect human rights. Putting forward a law on detention centers, together with amending the People's Police Law, was suggested in a report that was adopted at a bi-monthly session of the Standing Committee of the NPC that closed on Saturday in Beijing.
刘云山：深入学习贯彻习近平新时代中国特色社会主义思想--党建-人民网 Comment: Liu Yunshan pens long essay on page 2 of the 11.6,17 People's Daily on "thoroughly studying and implementing Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism With Chinese Characteristics for a New Era"...wonder if Liu is concerned about investigations of him or his family...
Foreign and Military Affairs
全球治理中国方案的世界意义-人民网 Comment: All of Page 8 in the 11.5 People's Daily is dedicated to a discussing the meaning for the world of the "China Plan" for global governance
Xi Jinping and Trump meet in China with an Iowan as their common link - Des Moines Register The Iowan who has the ear of the leaders of two world superpowers stepped up to a lectern inside a crowded living room of his sumptuous new home — half a world away from where he had spent most of his 70 years. On a late September evening, Terry Branstad, Iowa's longest-serving governor and the United States' newest ambassador to China, addressed an elite cocktail-party crowd of more than 100 Chinese dignitaries, expats and visiting Americans**.// Comment: I think the idea that Branstad has Xi's "ear" is wildly overstated. My understanding is that he got one nice meeting with Xi when he arrived but was then told to go through normal channels for everything else...**
Why former Chinese soldiers are sceptical about president’s promise of better treatment | South China Morning Post China’s ruling Communist Party, focused on ensuring stability and concerned about mass protests by military veterans, has announced plans for an administrative body similar to the US’ Department of Veteran Affairs to take better care of the country’s 57 million veterans.
The long reach of China’s United Front Work-Lowy Interpreter Against this background of an increasing international profile, one notable feature of the 19th Congress was the 21 October press conference on 'united front work and the external work' of the Party, attended by the UFWD’s Executive Vice-Ministers Zhang Yijiong, Ran Wanxiang, and Guo Yezhou of its International Department. In Australia, a key aspect of this press confererence was reported as 'United Front boss tells Chinese in Australia to respect the law'. This injunction neatly sidestepped the key issue of increasing UFWD activity in Australia; the same report also made clear that 'overseas Chinese were "all sons and daughters of the Chinese nation bounded by Chinese blood" and United Front worked to support them.'
Another Chinese provocation: Beijing objects to Nirmala Sitharaman's Arunachal Pradesh visit - Times Now Beijing on Monday objected to Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's first visit to Arunachal Pradesh. The Chinese Foreign Ministry said Sitharaman's visit to the "disputed area" was not conducive to peace and tranquility in the region.
Why South Korea’s promises on THAAD and a US-Japan alliance are so important to China | South China Morning Post China’s biggest worry was that THAAD would move the US, South Korea and Japan one step closer to a Nato-like regional alliance, and eventually create a “mini Asian version of Nato” to counter China, according to retired Chinese army colonel Yue Gang. “China is desperately trying to avoid this because the military threat then would be much more than just a ballistic missile defence system,” he said.
海归梦，中国梦——中国最大留学人才“归国潮”启示录 Comment: Xinhua on the "magnetic effect" of China's rise that is drawing records numbers of Chinese who have studied overseas to return to China
China's aircraft carriers to get new propulsion system - Global Times A research team led by the country's top naval engineer, Ma Weiming, have developed a medium-voltage, direct-current transmission network to replace the older alternating current system for the country's second domestically-built Type 002 carrier, which could provide more power for its electromagnetic aircraft launch system (EMALS), Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post reported on Wednesday.
Premier Li to attend East Asia summit, visit Philippines - SCIO Chinese Premier Li Keqiang will visit the Philippines and attend a series of high-level meetings including the 12th East Asia Summit from Nov. 12-16 in the Philippine capital Manila.
Hong Kong, Macao
Hongkongers must stop walking and stand still for China’s national anthem, Beijing delegate says | South China Morning Post “When the law takes effect, [people] have to stand up and show respect when the national anthem is played. That’s for sure,” Ip Kwok-him, a Hong Kong deputy to the national body and an executive councillor, said on Saturday.
Tech And Media
China to hold 4th World Internet Conference in December - Xinhua Comment: December 3 to 5 in Wuzhen. Who will be the foreign Internet executive get this year?
Top cyberspace watchdog promotes spirit of 19th CPC Congress to Internet firms - Global Times // Comment: CAC head Xu Lin went to Baidu 中央网信办负责人进网站宣讲党的十九大精神|网络安全|精神|徐麟_新浪新闻 .
Society, Art, Sports, Culture And History
Is Shanghai’s Driving Handbook a Sexist Wreck? - Sixth Tone In a move ostensibly aimed at keeping women safe, the Shanghai Municipal Government has devoted an entire chapter in its newly released driving safety handbook to female drivers, warning them against wearing heels over 4 centimeters in height, using strong perfumes in the car, hanging fluffy decorations on the rearview mirror, and wearing their hair loose.
Energy, Environment, Science And Health
China’s FDA Says 650,000 Vaccines Failed National Standards - SixthTone According to Friday’s announcement from the China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA), batches of DPT vaccines from two companies did not meet the national standard. A total of 653,120 substandard vaccines were sold to disease control and prevention centers in the eastern province of Shandong, the northern province of Hebei, and the southwestern municipality of Chongqing...parents can go online to check whether their children were inoculated with the substandard vaccines, and, if so, arrange for them to get new injections.
China expected to launch carbon trading scheme at climate summit - FT $$: Xi Jinping, China’s leader, said two years ago that Beijing would launch an emissions trading system in 2017 that would almost certainly become the largest of its type, eclipsing that of the EU. With time running out, government officials, industry experts and researchers at Chinese think-tanks say Beijing could announce the scheme at the two-week Bonn climate change meeting that opens on Monday.
As climate wars rage in Australia, China hits Paris target a decade early | afr.com: "China's CO2 emissions may have peaked more than a decade ahead of its Paris Agreement commitment," said the NGO Climate Action Tracker on its website. It's a view shared by Australian economist Ross Garnaut, who compiled the country's first climate change review for the Rudd labour Government in 2008. "It now seems peak coal use [across China] in volume came in 2013," he said in an email.
How China and Environmentalists Became Unlikely Bedfellows - Bloomberg China surpassed the U.S. as the biggest emitter of carbon dioxide in 2006 and is now responsible for 27 percent global pollution, according BP Plc. As the U.S. and Europe retire their dirtiest power plants, China by 2040 will install 26 percent of all the new coal-fired generation, according to International Energy Agency data.
Domestic producers clean up as air purifier market on track to pass RMB 100 billion - TechNode The market for air purifiers in China is predicted to pass the RMB 100 billion mark ($15 billion) this year, with existing electronics brands moving into the sector as well as suppliers of the technologies involved expected to benefit as the market heads towards RMB 300 billion by 2020. A German company is part of a group that has just made the biggest ever single investment in a Chinese air purifying company.
Pressures Mount for Steel Makers in China’s War on Pollution - Caixin Global: “The government is under enormous pressure to reduce pollution in the second half of this year,” Xu Dongdong and Zhong Zhengsheng, analysts with CEBM Group, a subsidiary of research firm Caixin Insight Group, said in a note last month. “We believe the production curbs during this year’s heating season for environmental protection purposes will be executed in a more draconian manner than in previous years.” // Comment: But brunt falling on private firms as SOEs get to keep producing?
Agriculture And Rural Issues
Dim Sums: Rural China Economics and Policy: China Wants to Certify Food Safety in Global Market While the article appears to be the opinion of a local official, it probably signals a new campaign to boost China's influence in the setting and enforcement of international standards for food safety. The communist party leadership's "document no. 1" on rural policy issued in January included exhortations for China to "actively participate in the setting and revision of international trade rules and international standards" and to work toward achieving "mutually recognized certifications for agricultural products." The no. 1 document also called for expanding exports of agricultural products--language that has appeared in most of the rural policy documents since 1984.
Drama’s Portrayal of British University Shocking, Says Provost The University of Nottingham Ningbo is seeking legal advice following its unflattering depiction on a Chinese TV series.
Food And Travel
Paris robbery dents Chinese enthusiasm for tour to France - Global Times A group of 40 Chinese tourists were attacked and robbed on Thursday by four men in the parking lot of the Kyriad Hotel in the Val-de-Marne suburb of Paris at about 8.20 p.m., local newspaper Le Parisien reported. The assailants sprayed tear gas at the tourists just as they returned to the hotel from a tour in the French capital, stealing nine bags believed to be stuffed with luxury goods, the report said.
Books And Literature
Finished – China Channel In Finished, Han Song takes one of the major causes of civil unrest in China today, the refusal of employers to pay migrant workers, and creates a dark allegory for the human condition. Like Washington Irving’s Rip Van Winkle, Wang Gu awakes en media res, a man out of time. Surrounded by the fruits of his labor, Wang Gu finds himself unable to enjoy them, unable even, to secure the payment owed to him.
Beijing builds 160-kph airport transit rail - Xinhua The 41.36-kilometer new airport line will allow trains to run at maximum 160 kph, the fastest intra-city rail transit in the country. The line will have just three stations. Passengers can check-in to their flights at the starting station -- Caoqiao -- located by the Third Ring Road and reach the airport terminal in just 19 minutes.