Trump sees a win in China trade fight; Wang Huning "Reappears"; El Salvador dumps Taiwan; "No one knows the size of overall local government liabilities"; Inspections for local officials not implementing policy
|Bill Bishop||Aug 21, 2018|| 8||5|
Good morning...I am still in near delirium from jet lag and so the lead is from reporting this AM by Mike Allen and Jonathan Swan of Axios on Trump's views of the trade conflict with China--Axios AM - Trump sees a war he can win:
With China’s economy cooling, President Trump and his aides are emboldened on the hardline tariffs strategy that they increasingly believe is jamming President Xi Jinping, officials tell Jonathan Swan and me...
Based on news reports out of China.., some administration officials believe Trump is winning his fight with Beijing.
"They're shaken up," one senior official told us.
Sources who have spoken to White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow marvel that the famous free-trader is an unapologetic "China hawk" (although he has been confrontational with China going back to his CNBC days).
A senior administration official said: "The president is all-in, 100 percent on China."
After an administration negotiating trip to China, there was internal speculation that there might be what the hawks called "an appeasement deal" where China bought off Trump with an agreement to buy more soybeans and other American products.
But that's now off the table, in part because the White House feels China has made no changes in practices the U.S. objects to, including its theft and heavy-handed acquisition of American companies' intellectual property and technology.
My note over the weekend about my recent Beijing trip tried to give a sense of where it looks like Xi has come out:
I believe that Xi has decided the US is intent on keeping China down, and while there may be some exploratory efforts to see if a palatable deal exists that mitigates some of the worst of the trade tensions for as long as possible, I do not expect the PRC side to make concessions approaching those demanded by the US in May, even if they are now being slightly watered down. Assuming President Trump holds firm, the tariffs and other measures will likely only increase in intensity over the coming months, perhaps until one or both sides have felt enough pain to reconsider.
If anyone has any optimism pills (or sleep aids) I could use a few right about now...
Thanks for reading, please send me tips and/or comment through the button below.
The Essential Eight
1. More on US-China
ON WHETHER HE HAS A TIME FRAME TO END TRADE DISPUTES WITH CHINA
“No. No time frame. I’m like them, I have a long horizon.”
ON POSSIBLY MEETING WITH CHINESE PRESIDENT XI IN NOVEMBER
“Maybe. I’m not sure that it’s been set up yet. We’ll see.”
ON CHANCES FOR PROGRESS IN TRADE TALKS WITH CHINA THIS WEEK
“I don’t anticipate anything coming out of it.”
ON CHINA HELPING THE UNITED STATES WITH NORTH KOREA
“They helped very much initially. They’re helping much less now. Because of trade.”
The twin administration initiatives—pursuing tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods while relaunching talks to scrap tariffs—underscore a split within the U.S. administration, with negotiators in the U.S. Treasury Department offering a carrot, while the office of the U.S. trade representative threatens with a stick, both with the approval of President Trump, according to people familiar with the administration’s internal deliberations.
“Trump is a deal guy,” said one person closely following the talks. Until the Chinese make a concrete offer, the person said, Mr. Trump will continue to encourage the dueling agencies about what action to take.
President Trump, a Republican, continues to take a skeptical, hawkish view toward Beijing, said U.S. officials. At a fundraiser on Friday in the tony Hamptons section of New York’s Long Island, he focused on China, said two participants. The message was: “They better pay attention because we’re not done with those guys yet,” said one of the participants.
The Chinese yuan strengthened for the third straight trading day against the U.S. dollar on Tuesday, cementing a rebound that came after a week-long slip and mitigating worries about further fluctuations amid rising global uncertainty.
The central parity rate of the yuan hit 6.836 against the U.S. dollar Tuesday, the strongest since Aug. 9, according to the China Foreign Exchange Trade System.
With a rate change of 358 basis points from a day earlier, the currency also saw the largest appreciation in a single day since July 26.
"The yuan’s exchange rate is decided by the market," Li Bo, director of the People’s Bank of China’s monetary policy department, said at a press conference in Beijing. He said the currency has more flexibility this year and the central bank is confident of keeping the rate "basically stable at a reasonable equilibrium level."
Interesting timing for the market to strengthen the RMB to the US, sending a signal of what they can do on either side if the RMB/USD rate to the US ahead of the talks in DC this week?
2. Wang Huning "Reappears"
I remain unconvinced by the rumors that swirled over the last month that Wang was in trouble. It is certainly possible he is, and I am wrong, but I have seen zero real evidence of issues, and given Wang's political flexibility and survival skills as he moved from serving Jiang Zemin to Hu Jintao and now Xi Jinping, it is likely something big would have to happen for him to fall out of favor in a meaningful way...
Senior Communist Party of China (CPC) official Wang Huning held talks with Tran Quoc Vuong, Politburo member and permanent member of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) Central Committee's Secretariat, in Beijing on Monday.
Wang, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and member of the Secretariat of the CPC Central Committee, said China and Vietnam should turn consensus reached by the leaders of the CPC and the CPV into concrete actions.
Xi also met with Vuong - Chinese president meets senior Vietnamese official
3. No room for old Dengs in the Xi Era?
It is now the Xi Era, no need to focus on the Deng Era...but blurring/erasing Deng's role will be a challenge given all the inculcation in schools and popular culture about Deng the architect of reform and opening. I still think we are going to start hearing much more about Xi and Jinjiang, as this newsletter has noted several times. Li Zhanshu did not visit there recently because he likes the scenery...
Efforts to repackage recent economic history around Mr. Xi gathered pace in June, when the party launched a publicity drive for the reform anniversary. The aim, a party directive said, is to encourage people to unite around the party leadership, with Mr. Xi “as the core.”..
A state publisher released a 371-page book titled “Research Into Xi Jinping Thought on Reform and Opening-Up.” State media credited Mr. Xi’s stints as a regional leader for development successes in Fujian and Zhejiang provinces. Those commentaries often omitted Deng, even though Mr. Xi—as a provincial official—had cited the late leader’s policies as a guide for his own.
In Shenzhen, where Deng is exalted for engendering the former seaside town’s transformation into a metropolis, officials are preparing a reform-anniversary exhibition that will include items related to president’s father, Xi Zhongxun, who was Guangdong party chief from 1978-80.
4. El Salvador dumps Taiwan for a richer, stronger model
How much longer until Beijing picks off all of Taiwan's remaining 17 diplomatic allies? Why would any resist Beijing's enticements? Countries only have interests, not friends after all…
The governments in Taipei, Beijing and San Salvador all confirmed the development Tuesday, just days after Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen visited Central and South America to cement ties with the island's remaining allies.
The loss of the Central American country reduces the number of Taipei's formal diplomatic allies to just 17. Both Burkina Faso and the Dominican Republic cut ties with Taiwan in May.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with his Salvadoran counterpart in Beijing on Tuesday morning and signed a joint communique to establish formal diplomatic relations.
Taiwan Foreign Minister Joseph Wu told reporters earlier that Taipei was not willing to engage in "money competition" with its giant neighbor.
He said El Salvador had been continuously asking for "massive funding support" since last year for a port development, but Taiwan was unable to assist with the "unsuitable project" after assessment.
"Pressure from China would only make Taiwan more determined to continue our path of democracy and freedom," he said.
"China's rude and unreasonable behavior will certainly have negative impact to cross-strait relations. This is also not how a responsible country should behave."
China is willing to join hands with El Salvador to achieve their joint development, press ahead with China-Latin America cooperation as a whole, and contribute to the collective rejuvenation of the developing countries.
Castaneda said that forging diplomatic ties with the People's Republic of China is a strategic decision made by El Salvador and a historic event for the country.
El Salvador has cut its so-called "diplomatic ties" with Taiwan, and it will no longer have any official relations or any official exchanges with Taiwan in any form, he pledged.
5. Malaysia cancels sketchy BRI deals
Is the apparent corruption involved in the now canceled deals an anomaly in BRI deals in multiple countries? Is China harboring Jho Low because he knows too much about the deals in Malaysia? Beijing is running significant risk not only of not getting repaid but also of fueling local political scandals and possibly government changes if it is bribing local officials as part of the BRI projects. And if they are expect competitors to work to expose and publicize the corruption...
At the end of a five-day visit in Beijing, Malaysia’s new leader, Mahathir Mohamad, said on Tuesday that he was halting two major Chinese-linked projects, worth almost $16 billion together, amid accusations that Mr. Najib’s government knowingly signed bad deals with China to bail out a graft-plagued state investment fund and bankroll his continuing grip on power.
His message throughout his meetings with officials, and in public comments, has been unambiguous.
“We do not want a situation where there is a new version of colonialism happening because poor countries are unable to compete with rich countries,” Mr. Mahathir said on Monday at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing after meeting with Premier Li Keqiang.
"Both sides are aware of the Malaysian side's reassessment of some Chinese infrastructure projects but that won't affect the comprehensive strategic partnership, which is characterized by deep and enduring mutual trust," Xu Liping, an expert on Southeast Asian Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), told the Global Times on Monday.
Zhou Fangye, associate research fellow at the National Institute of International Strategy under the CASS, said that "Mahathir focuses more on practical win-win cooperation, which is consistent with the general idea of the Belt and Road initiative."
Xu believes that the projects, which are beneficial to the livelihood the Malaysian people and the country's development, will resume after the country fixes its fiscal problems. China will help Malaysia.
6. Inspections to get local officials to do their jobs
Is the CCDI involved? If not it is hard to see how behaviors will change; this is a problem that has bedeviled governments across thousands of years of Chinese history...
China will conduct targeted inspections this year to make sure major policies are effectively implemented, Xiao Jie, state councilor and secretary-general of the State Council, said Monday at a mobilization meeting on the inspections.
It is of vital significance to conduct nationwide inspections on how local governments have implemented major policies from the State Council and the Communist Party of China Central Committee, said Xiao.
The targeted inspections will focus on winning the "three tough battles" of controlling risk, reducing poverty and tackling pollution, the implementation of the rural revitalization strategy, expanding domestic demand and promoting opening-up, advancing innovation-driven development and improving people's well-being, he said.
7. "No one knows the size of overall local government liabilities"
Several local governments are planning to bring down by large margins their debts taken off the books within five to 10 years, according to official documents the authorities published over the past few months. The time frame is in line with the central government’s target listed in a circular issued recently by the ruling Communist Party and the State Council, China’s cabinet, to local authorities, Caixin has learned.
Meanwhile, many provinces have sped up the issuance of local government bonds since late last month, as they follow the State Council’s order (link in Chinese) to accelerate fundraising for infrastructure investment to support economic expansion amid increasing external headwinds linked to intensified trade frictions with the U.S...
No one knows the size of overall local government liabilities because cash-strapped authorities, who were in the past prohibited from issuing bonds to fund their spending, turned to a range of fundraising channels, including the establishment of financing vehicles, and kept the debts off their books.
Regulators will remove a requirement that banks hold provisions against the possible default of provincial and municipal government debt that they purchase, state-run China Securities Journal reported on Tuesday, citing several unnamed sources.
Currently, banks are required to hold reserves equal to 20 per cent of the value of such debt.
The move effectively reduces banks’ costs to purchase such bonds, freeing up funds that will allow them to buy more, the newspaper said.
8. Son with cancer flees to avoid bankrupting parents
Heartbreaking story by Sui-Lee Wee and Elsie Chen.
Tang Chunwu set off from his room in a ramshackle inn just after sunrise, the beginning of Day 92 in his search for his son.
Winding through a route calculated to take him through the busiest parts of town, Mr. Tang stopped to put up posters asking if someone, anyone, had seen the round-faced young man with glasses. The poster described his son in clipped phrases: named Tang Gongwei, 26 years old, about 5 feet 7 inches tall.
It also described why he went missing. He discovered he had stomach cancer. He didn’t want to burden his parents. His only option, he felt, was to vanish.
Business, Economy, Finance And Trade
China says won't resort to strong stimulus but will keep liquidity ample | Reuters The rare central bank news conference follows a spate of weaker readings from the world’s second-largest economy in recent months, a sharp drop in its yuan currency against the dollar and a plunge in Chinese stock markets. The PBOC said it will “effectively ease” companies’ financing problems and improve coordination with other agencies to ensure monetary policy measures are being transmitted into the broader economy. // 央行：把好货币供给总闸门 绝不搞“大水漫灌”|界面新闻 Zhu Hexin's comments
Central Bank to Turn Clock Back to 1998, Give Each Province Own Branch - Caixin Global China’s central bank will revamp its local management system by the end of the year, abolishing the nine regional branches that each oversees several provinces and officially restoring provincial-level oversight, multiple informed sources told Caixin. The changes that will take place in the coming months will be part of broader efforts to redraw the financial supervisory landscape, which aims to make supervision over the rapidly evolving industry more effective... The move will also turn the clock back by 20 years on the central bank’s regional supervision mechanism. Before 1998, the PBOC had a branch in each province. But it found that local governments could easily intervene in these branches’ implementation of monetary policy and financial resource allocation.
Beijing Summons Officials from Chinese Cities Posting Rapid Home Price Growth - China Banking News On 17 August the Ministry of Housing and Urban Rural Development (MOHURD) convened meetings with senior officials from five cities including Haikou, Sanya, Yantai, Yichang and Yangzhou, demanding that they strictly clean up and address the problems of property hoarding and housing speculation, as well as contain increases in home prices. The move comes just after the Chinese politburo emphasised the need to “strictly contain gains in housing prices” at the end of July, signalling that the local real estate market controls first launched at the outset of 2017 are set continue.
Chinese developers rush into rising NEV sector, but risk overcapacity and lack of talent - Global Times Since the beginning of this year, investment of more than 10 billion yuan ($1.46 billion) has moved into the NEV industrial chain from Chinese property developers including Evergrande Group and Vantone Holdings Co, according to a report of domestic news site cs.com.cn on Monday. Amid tougher regulation of domestic real estate markets, developers are seeking growth opportunities by diversifying their business lines, and the government-backed NEV industry has turned out to be an alluring target, experts told the Global Times. // Comment: hope the construction quality is better than that of their buildings...
Experts Predict Rise in Infrastructure Spending as Construction Machinery Sales Soar | Yicai Global emand for construction machinery has boomed in the first half as firms in the sector look to upgrade their equipment to adhere to stricter environmental policies and prepare for rise in infrastructure spending, according to experts interviewed by Yicai Global. Excavator sales were a top performer, growing 58.7 percent from a year earlier to 131,246 units over the first six months, according to data from the China Construction Machinery Industry Association. The figures were extracted from 25 mainstream manufacturers.
Regulator Tightens Scrutiny of Real Estate Trust Business - Caixin Global Regulators ordered several Chinese trust companies to stop issuing new trust products to finance real estate projects as China aims to direct more financing support to the real economy. Caixin confirmed with separate sources that China Credit Trust Co., Xiamen International Trust Co., Western Trust Co., Chang’An International Trust Co. and Shaanxi International Trust Co. were ordered by local bureaus of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC) to suspend new real estate trust business, which provides financing to property developers.
China’s Stats Chief Defends Quality of Data - Bloomberg China’s problems with dodgy data are all in the past, according to the man in charge of government statistics. China’s growth this year will probably exceed its annual target of about 6.5 percent, Ning Jizhe, the head of the National Bureau of Statistics, said in an interview last week, adding that this feat will be based on accurate data.
Chinese investors protest in Shanghai's financial district over P2P woes | Reuters About 300 investors in PPMiao crammed into the lobby of Shanghai’s International Finance Centre (IFC) shopping mall, which also houses the office of HuaAn Future Asset that was registered as a shareholder in PPMiao’s former operator, Hangzhou Fuqian Network Technology. // Comment: small protests tolerated in Shanghai, not in Beijing..I have to say I met no one on my Beijing trip who was at all sympathetic to the P2P investors who have lost money...活该 they deserved it for chasing impossibly high yields was the common refrain...
In-Depth: Police Launch Global Hunt for ‘Solar King’ Caught Up in P2P Bust - Caixin Global Peng Xiaofeng was once China’s youngest billionaire and a rising star in the solar industry. But the founder of now-bankrupt LDK Solar has been put on China’s most-wanted list, hunted by law enforcement agencies for illegal fund-raising by his peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platform Solarbao.com. Police in the city of Suzhou, where Solarbao.com is registered, want Interpol to issue a Red Notice against 43-year-old Peng, who is accused of swindling more than 5,000 investors and leaving a trail of debt amounting to 220 million yuan ($32.1 million). They have also branded the platform, a subsidiary of Nasdaq-listed SPI Energy Co. Ltd., a fraud.
Japan, China seek to restart FX swap line in sign of warming ties - Kyodo | Reuters A Japanese finance ministry official confirmed the two sides were in talks but said the amount had not been decided yet. Previously, Japan and China had a smaller currency swap in place, but it was allowed to expire in September 2013 amid a low point in Sino-Japanese relations
独家披露大公“买卖评级”细节：31家发行人交钱就能改评级-新闻-上海证券报·中国证券网 Shanghai Securities News has more details on dirty Dagong and its ratings for sale, says 31 issues paid to have ratings upgraded... // 上证报记者从接近监管人士处独家获悉，大公评级此次受罚主因是大公及其关联公司向13家债务融资工具发行人（含10家民营企业和3家政府平台公司）提供大额咨询服务，合计金额超过7800万元；向18家公司债发行人提供大额咨询服务，合计金额超过1.2亿元。收费后，相关企业评级迅速调升。
Politics, Law And Ideology
China names former internet tsar Xu Lin as new international propaganda chief | South China Morning Post Xu, 55, a former aide to Xi when the latter was the Shanghai party boss, had been the head of the Cyberspace Administration of China, the chief online watchdog and censor, since June 2016. He was replaced earlier this month by Zhuang Rongwen, 57, another former aide to Xi. The changes are part of Beijing’s efforts to fix a propaganda and censorship system plagued by corruption scandals, including the downfall of Lu Wei, Xu’s predecessor at the CAC whom Beijing labelled “tyrannical” and “shameless”. // Is a big promotion coming for CCTV head Shen Haixiong 慎海雄?
国务院任免国家工作人员-新华网 Announcement of appointment of Zhuang Rongwen as head of the office if the Central Cyberspace Affairs Commission, Xu Lin as head of the State Council Information Office // 任命庄荣文为国家互联网信息办公室主任、国务院新闻办公室副主任（兼）；任命徐麟为国务院新闻办公室主任；任命田玉龙为国家国防科技工业局副局长；任命吴世忠为国家保密局副局长；任命夏更生为国务院扶贫开发领导小组办公室副主任；任命周长奎为北京2022年冬奥会和冬残奥会组织委员会副主席。
China's Changchun mayor resigns after vaccine scandal: state media | Reuters The People’s Daily reported on Tuesday mayor Liu Changlong’s resignation had been accepted by the Standing Committee of Changchun’s People’s Congress. The state-run paper did not directly link Liu’s decision with the vaccine scandal.
Former Staffers of Guo Wengui Confess in Coercive Takeover - Caixin Global According to prosecutors, Guo Wengui in 2008 instructed Beijing Zenith investment consultant Guo Hanqiao to work with Minzu Chairman Zhao to seek a takeover of Minzu. Guo Wengui told Guo Hanqiao and Zhao that his “good friend” Ma Jian, the vice minister of national security at the time, would help them remove hurdles and competitors in the deal, according to court testimony by Guo Hanqiao and Zhao. To secure the takeover, Guo asked Ma to threaten and force Minzu shareholders and potential bidders to yield to Beijing Zenith, according to a statement by prosecutors.
Chinese Police Threaten Muslim Poet Who Tweeted About Xinjiang Camps - RFA A prominent Muslim poet has been visited and threatened by police after tweeting about the mass incarceration of Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities in China's political "re-education camps." Cui Haoxin, a member of the Hui Muslim ethnic group known by his pen-name An Ran, received a visit from the local state security police after he sent and retweeted posts from his Twitter account about the detentions. "Chinese police raided my home and warned me not to use my social media account, such as Twitter and Facebook," Cui wrote in a blog post about the Aug. 16 visit. "Five policemen went into my home and talked with me for two hours. The threat is real!"
What Do “Low-Quality People” Watch on TV? | China Media Project China’s nightly official newscast, Xinwen Lianbo, is not generally the kind of programming that gets the blood flowing. Its regurgitation of the political news of the day is a political ritual, more about the Chinese Communist Party’s construction of power than about relevance to television viewers. But when Xiang Ligang (项立刚), chief executive of the telecom industry news site cctime.com, remarked on social media over the weekend that “those who don’t watch Xinwen Lianbo are generally low-quality people,” things got very heated indeed.
Harmony in Xinjiang is based on three principles | Financial Times - Amb Liu Xiaoming $$ China is able to achieve ethnic harmony, economic growth and social progress in Xinjiang thanks to three basic principles. The first is equality of all ethnic groups...The second principle is freedom of religious belief. ..The third principle is taking firm actions against religious extremism and terrorism, from which Xinjiang has suffered deeply...terrorism is the common enemy of all mankind and the infiltration of religious extremism is a common challenge to the whole world. Every country needs to tackle this challenge effectively. It is time to stop blaming China for taking lawful and effective preventive measures. // Comment: Wonder if anything to the whispers that Liu may move from London to DC to replace Cui Tiankai, whose tenure as Ambassador to to the US has far exceeded the normal term.
Chinese luxury car dealer Tony Liao Ruochen missing in US after kidnapping and US$2 million ransom demand | AP The FBI says Liao had clients who were ‘not often reputable’, and his three kidnappers are all believed to be Chinese
Foreign and Military Affairs
Chinese military set for capability boost with delivery of Russian Su-35 fighter jets | South China Morning Post The Russian government confirmed on Monday that the last 10 Sukhoi Su-35 multirole fighters would be delivered on schedule. News service Sputnik reported that Russia would supply the jets as well as missiles and other logistical support. China became the first foreign country to purchase the Su-35 – an upgrade to the Su-27 – when it agreed in November 2015 to pay US$2.5 billion for 24 planes. They are China’s first fighter jets powered by thrust-vectoring engines for super-manoeuvrability.
The PLA’s Unmanned Aerial Systems New Capabilities for a “New Era” of Chinese Military Power > Air University (AU) > China Aerospace Studies Institute Article Display Template he PRC is the world’s largest producer of UAVs at this time, and captures a vast portion of the commercial market, as well as the military one. While it is important to keep the commercial aspects in mind, this particular paper will focus on military UAVs, their development, deployments, and current and potential uses on the battlefield of today and tomorrow. The paper seeks to serve as a starting point to understand this growing field, and to give analysts a common baseline from which to work, and from which to judge growth, both rapidity and complexity, in the future. We hope you will find this foundational paper useful and timely, and welcome any feedback on its contents, or suggestions for further or future research in this field.
Beijing denies military presence in Syria - China Daily There is no Chinese military presence in Syria, and Beijing firmly supports the peaceful settlement of the Syrian issue, a Chinese envoy said on Monday. Some media reports on China's participation in military operations in Syria misunderstand and misinterpret Beijing's policies, Xie Xiaoyan, special envoy on the Syrian issue, said at a news briefing in Beijing after his visit to Syria, Saudi Arabia and Israel last month.
Foreign publishers help promote China's reform experience - Xinhua A foreign expert symposium on the China Book International (CBI) project was held Monday in Beijing to pool wisdom on how to share China's experience of reform and opening up with the world. The event was attended by experts and scholars from research institutions and publishing houses from China and abroad. Four senior publishers from the Peter Lang Publishing Group, Sage Publishing, Springer Nature and Paths International Ltd. were employed as CBI foreign experts at the event.
Pentagon report: China’s space program ‘continues to mature rapidly’ - SpaceNews.com China is strengthening its military space capabilities despite its public stance against the militarization of space, DoD says. “Space operations are viewed as a key enabler of PLA campaigns aimed at countering third-party intervention.” One of its goals is to develop a “real-time surveillance, reconnaissance, and warning system and is increasing the number and capabilities of its space systems, including various communications and intelligence satellites and the Beidou navigation satellite system.” The report raises concerns about China’s counterspace weapons, including kinetic-kill missiles, ground-based lasers and orbiting space robots. China also is expanding surveillance capabilities that can monitor objects across the globe and in space and “enable counterspace actions.”
Turkey to 'More Actively' Join China's One Belt, One Road After U.S. Sanctions - Breitbart According to Beijing, Foreign Minister Wang Yi discussed greater economic ties with his Turkish counterpart Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu on Saturday, and the latter agreed that Turkey would “more actively” participate in the Chinese One Belt, One Road (OBOR) initiative.
West sows discord between Pacific island nations and China over loans: analysts - Global Times Yu Lei, a research fellow at the Australian Studies Center of Beijing Foreign Studies University, told the Global Times on Tuesday that South Pacific nations were bewitched by Western countries, including Australia and the US, who simply want to gain political leverage in the region. By inciting South Pacific nations to come up with the idea of writing off loans, Western countries are attempting to sow discord between China and South Pacific nations, Yu said.
Chinese defense minister to visit India - China Military At the invitation of India's Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Chinese State Councilor and Defense Minister General Wei Fenghe will pay an official good-will visit to India from August 21 to 24.
A Brief Thesaurus of Beijing's Taiwan Vocabulary – American Citizens for Taiwan Mainland. Reunification. Chinese. Retrocession. There’s a whole vocabulary that shapes the way people think and talk about China’s drive to annex Taiwan. // Is American Citizens for Taiwan a new foundation? Any idea who started it and who funds it?
China's Residence Card Offer Brings 'Risks' in Surveillance State: Taiwan - RFA Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) warned that the offer is part of China's "united front" strategy to neutralize potential threats to Communist Party rule, and will expose its residents to comprehensive surveillance and monitoring. "This council considers it to be the first among a series of measures known as 'united front through equal treatment'," the MAC said in a statement on its website, adding that the scheme is part of a deliberate strategy "to pull people in.
Tech And Media
China's Biggest User Data Theft Case Exposes 3 Billion Traces of Online Life in Wrong Hands | Yicai Global China's authorities have busted the biggest online data rip-off in the country's history, as a criminal gang snatched 3 billion items of user records to reap profits worth CNY30 million (USD4.4 million) through marketing businesses. The police worked with the security department of Alibaba Group Holding and caught the hackers in the city of Shaoxing in eastern Zhejiang province after they had stolen user data from over 90 internet companies including Baidu, Tencent, Alibaba, and Toutiao, China's official media CCTV reported.
China Makes WeChat’s 1 Billion Users a Tempting Target for Tencent - Bloomberg China has frozen approvals for game licenses in general. So, while Tencent isn’t alone, it’s still the biggest name in games, and what looks like an internal reshuffle of Chinese regulatory departments could mean a prolonged delay in the release of new titles. // Comment: Expect the regulatory constipation will clear fairly soon and approvals to start by early q4 at the latest...and as soon as the market thinks things are back on track Tencent may become popular among investors again...
WeChat Pay gives out free money in Malaysia - TechInAsia Between August 21 and 28, WeChat’s localized wallet for Malaysia – which launched in June – is rewarding users with virtual money packets worth between US$0.95 and US$21.70.
Ant Financial IPO plans pushed back again | Financial Times $$ A blockbuster listing of Ant Financial, the fast-growing electronic payment affiliate of China’s leading tech group Alibaba, has again been delayed as it continues to burn through cash and come under pressure from Beijing’s crackdown on non-traditional financial institutions.
Chinese vendors are refusing to accept cash and it’s becoming a problem · TechNode In the 10 months from January to October 2017, mobile payment transactions on the mainland surpassed $12.8 trillion. But for those that prefer cash, this is becoming a problem. Many have noticed that parking lots, small supermarkets, food street stalls have become reluctant to accept Chinese yuan bills and the anecdotal evidence has now been confirmed by Chinese authorities. In Anhui province, China’s central bank, the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) has set up a Working Group on Reception of Renminbi Cash, Xinhua reports. Its task is to rectify renminbi cash rejection to maintain normal circulation and protect consumer interests.
China's live streaming sites facing another attack on porn and illegal content · TechNode Online streaming services in China are taking another hit from regulators. The National Office Against Pornographic and Illegal Publications—a government body tasked with cleaning up China’s web—has issued a new notice laying out rules to regulate one of the country’s favorite pass-times. Live streaming platforms will be required to “implement the real-name system for users, strengthen the management of online streaming anchors, establish a blacklist system for anchors, and improve the monitoring and censorship system for live broadcast content as well as measures for dealing with illegal and harmful content.”
Former Tokyo-based engineer emerges as big winner from China’s love affair with the QR code | South China Morning Post Wang Yue is one of the big winners of China’s love affair with the QR code. His Beijing-based company makes 70 per cent of the point-of-sale scanners used in the country to process transactions using the jigsaw puzzle-like digital labels.
Crazy Rich Asians gives China’s hip-hop queen Vava international exposure | South China Morning Post Sometimes described as the Rihanna of China, rapper Vava is receiving global exposure thanks to the Crazy Rich Asians film. The former Rap of China contestant’s single My New Swag features on the film’s soundtrack
The MV of My New Swag:
Energy, Environment, Science And Health
Plan to Transform Health Care Plagued by Shortage of Local Doctors, High Prices - Caixin Global Under the Healthy China 2030 plan issued by China’s State Council in 2020, the country has been trying to move away from merely treating diseases toward preventing them through promoting general health, Luo Xiaobin, vice president and chief medical officer of mobile health care platform More Health, said at an industry dialog at Beijing’s Penn Wharton Center recently. The shift is a response to the increasing prevalence of deaths caused by lifestyle-related, rather than contagious, diseases, Luo said.
Agriculture And Rural Issues
Rice paddies engineered by Chinese scientists expected to cover 10 percent of Dubai desert - Global Times The rice experiment was prompted by an invitation from the office of Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the vice president and prime minister of the UAE, and ruler of the Emirate of Dubai. According to the UAE newspaper Khaleej Times, the country is currently importing 80 percent of its food supplies, and aims to boost domestic production by 60 percent. In 2017, after the Dubai ruler learned that Yuan's trial saltwater-tolerant rice project succeeded in China, his personal office got in touch with Yuan's team and invited them to carry out rice experiments in Dubai's desert. "We couldn't believe it was true when we got the invitation. We were only certain after different sides verified this for us," Zhang Guodong, deputy director at the Qingdao research center in Shandong Province, told the Global Times.
Swine Fever Reported in Third Province - Caixin Global Pigs in a farm in Lianyungang fell ill on Wednesday, and 615 hogs have been confirmed as infected with the swine fever in the latest outbreak, the country’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs said in a statement on Sunday. The ministry did not identify the farm in Lianyungang's Haizhou district, but did say that 88 hogs at the farm have died from the virus and the outbreak’s cause remains unknown.