Trump threatens next round of tariffs in December; RIP Jin Yong; US bans exports to Jinhua Integrated Circuit Co.; 12th National Women's Congress; Grumblings from unhappy elite?; More support for stock market and economy

On Monday Bloomberg published a story citing "three people familiar with the matter" that the US is prepared to announce the next round of tariffs on Chinese imports in early December if the mooted Trump-Xi G20 meeting does not go well.

If this is a coordinated negotiating tactic to pressure the Chinese to offer detailed concessions in advance of the possible meeting it seems risky, Why would Xi agree to meet if this threat is out there? It would be far too humiliating for him to take the meeting and then have the next round of tariffs come out while he is on the plane back to Beijing or soon after he lands. 

The US Department of Commerce has banned US technology exports to chipmaker Jinhua. The similar but short-lived ban on ZTE earlier this year did little for America but much for Xi and the CCP as it made indigenous innovation and over-reliance on the US a national rallying point in China. Will the US hold firm on Jinhua this time? Either way, the PRC’s drive for technological self-reliance, as hard and expensive and possibly futile as that may be, will only accelerate.

The move against Jinhua is yet another reminder, as if we needed one, that increasing tensions in the US-China relationship are about far more than trade, and those broader tensions will not go away no matter well a possible Trump-Xi meeting next month goes.

My Wechat and Weibo streams are full of discussions of Louis Cha, aka Jin Yong, the most influential Chinese martial arts novelist, who just died at age 94. I am at a loss to think of anyone in American literary culture as influential as Jin has been to so many generations of Chinese. 

Thanks for reading. 

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The Essential Eight

1. US-China 

U.S. Plans More China Tariffs If Trump-Xi Meeting Fails, Sources Say - Bloomberg:

The U.S. is preparing to announce by early December tariffs on all remaining Chinese imports if talks next month between presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping fail to ease the trade war, three people familiar with the matter said.

An early-December announcement of a new product list would mean the effective date -- after a 60-day public comment period -- may coincide with China’s Lunar New Year holiday in early February. The list would apply to the imports from the Asian nation that aren’t already covered by previous rounds of tariffs -- which may be $257 billion using last year’s import figures, according to two of the people.

U.S. officials are preparing for such a scenario in case a planned Trump-Xi meeting yields no progress on the sidelines of a Group of 20 summit in Buenos Aires in November, according to two of the people, who declined to be identified to discuss internal deliberations. They cautioned that final decisions had not been made.

Trump says he expects 'great deal' with China, but more tariffs if not | Reuters:

“I think that we will make a great deal with China and it has to be great, because they’ve drained our country,” Trump told FOX News Channel’s “The Ingraham Angle” on Monday.

With a gun to their head - Politico Trade:

The prospects that trade tensions could ease after an upcoming meeting between President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping got a lot more uncertain after it was reported that the White House could escalate tariffs in short order if the gathering on the sidelines of the G-20 doesn’t produce some results. But sources cautioned Morning Trade that it’s all in flux and subject to different views from within the administration.

“USTR definitely seems to be seeking ways to continue to increase pressure and create more leverage, and other agencies seem to be interested in using leverage that they have already created,” said one source close to the process. “None of this is a strategy. This continues to appear to be a series of tactics.”

美又威胁对中国产品加税,外交部:要谈就好好谈,威胁没用 _中国经济网——国家经济门户:


In U.S.-China trade war, foreign students and tourism could be next front - The Washington Post:

“We have expected that they will try a whole range of things to encourage us to back down,” said a senior administration official, who requested anonymity to discuss internal deliberations. “It’s not going to work. But we would hope China wouldn’t do that.”

Comment: If Beijing starts wielding this against the US it is a sign that the bottom has fallen out of the relationship, same with any boycotts on US goods/services...I think we are still far from this, but if these kinds of boycotts started and I were still living in Beijing I would be very nervous...

The Sino-American Rift - Project Syndicate:

In this Big Picture, Brahma Chellaney argues that America’s new hard-line approach to China is long overdue, and will likely outlast the Trump administration. But Stephen S. Roach warns that a zero-sum conflict between the US and China cannot end well for either country, owing to their deep-seated economic codependency. Joseph S. Nye, meanwhile, points out that if the Trump administration wants to contain China, it will have to stop alienating America's regional allies.

But Ngaire Woods sees Trump's strategy as more narrowly defined, and expects that it will lead not to a cold war, but to a more chaotic fragmentation of the international order. Minxin Pei notes that, whatever the nature of the new conflict, it does not augur well for global efforts to combat climate change or drive economic development. And Michael Spence traces the conflict's long-term implications for the structure of the global economy

EU should brace for U.S. standoff over China, ex-WTO chief warns | Reuters:

As they weigh up a response to renewed U.S. sanctions against Iran, which have forced an exodus of European companies, EU governments should consider the prospect of similar extraterritorial measures penalizing China trade, Lamy told an international investment conference in Paris.

“If the U.S. were to step further in not only hitting China with trade measures but with sanctions, if they were to deal with China the way they did with Iran, then we would all have a big problem,” he said.

2. Another ban on US tech for a PRC firm

U.S. Blocks Exports to Chinese Chipmaker as Tensions Simmer - Bloomberg:

Jinhua, backed by the government of its home province of Fujian, is one of several companies China is trying to mold into a world-class semiconductor industry player. The country is trying to reduce its heavy reliance on chip imports while building capabilities in a technology that underpins everything from computers to smartphones and connected devices in the home.

But it needs American components and manufacturing equipment to fulfill that vision. As a result of the Commerce Department action, a license is now required for all exports, re-exports and transfers of commodities, software and technology, subject to the Export Administration Regulations. Such license applications will be reviewed but with a presumption of denial, the agency said.

Addition of Fujian Jinhua Integrated Circuit Company, Ltd (Jinhua) to the Entity List | Department of Commerce:

Effective October 30, 2018, the Department of Commerce has taken action to restrict exports to Fujian Jinhua Integrated Circuit Company, Ltd. (Jinhua) by adding them to the Entity List (Supplement No. 4 to Part 744 of the Export Administration Regulations (EAR)), because Jinhua poses a significant risk of becoming involved in activities that are contrary to the national security interests of the United States.

Jinhua is nearing completion of substantial production capacity for dynamic random access memory (DRAM) integrated circuits. The additional production, in light of the likely U.S.-origin technology, threatens the long term economic viability of U.S. suppliers of these essential components of U.S. military systems.

“When a foreign company engages in activity contrary to our national security interests, we will take strong action to protect our national security. Placing Jinhua on the Entity List will limit its ability to threaten the supply chain for essential components in our military systems,” Secretary of Commerce Ross said.

U.S. to Restrict Chinese Chip Maker From Doing Business With American Firms - WSJ $$:

During August trade talks, U.S. negotiators pressed Beijing about coerced technology transfers and cited the issues surrounding Micron, according to officials familiar with the talks. But Chinese negotiator Commerce Vice Minister Wang Shouwen dismissed the concerns. Micron and Jinhua “are like brothers,” Mr. Wang said, according to the officials, “and brothers fight.”

U.S. to Block Sales to Chinese Tech Company Over Security Concerns - The New York Times:

“China’s state-owned & directed companies lie, cheat & steal at government’s behest,” Senator Marco Rubio, a Republican from Florida, said on Twitter on Monday. “Fujian Jinhua must be held accountable for being part of that illegality. This was the right move today to protect our tech knowledge.”

China urges U.S. to stop 'wrong actions' after semiconductor firm targeted | Reuters:

China’s Commerce Ministry on Tuesday urged the United States to “stop its wrong actions” after U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration took action to cut off a Chinese state-backed chipmaker from U.S. suppliers

Some Background from June 2018--Inside a Heist of American Chip Designs, as China Bids for Tech Power - The New York Times:

Micron’s accusations focus on efforts by Fujian Jinhua Integrated Circuit, a state-backed chip maker, to build a $5.7 billion factory in China’s Fujian Province. Two years ago, Jinhua tapped UMC, a Taiwanese company, to help it develop technology for the factory. Instead of going through the lengthy steps required to design the technology, Micron said in its suit, UMC and Jinhua decided to steal it.

A UMC spokesman denied the allegations and declined to comment further. Jinhua did not respond to requests for comment.

3. RIP Jin Yong

Chinese literary giant Louis Cha dies in Hong Kong after long illness, aged 94 | South China Morning Post:

Cha was a world-renowned Hong Kong journalist, community leader and literary giant. In 1955, he published his first martial arts novel The Book and the Sword, in the New Evening Post, under the pen name Jin Yong.

The novel was an instant success and he went on to create 14 popular martial arts novels, ending with The Deer and the Cauldron in 1972. He was highly regarded as the most influential Chinese martial arts novel writer in the 20th century, with readers across the globe.

The Gripping Stories, and Political Allegories, of China’s Best-Selling Author | The New Yorker April 2018:

Louis Cha, who is ninety-four years old and lives in luxurious seclusion atop the jungled peak of Hong Kong Island, is one of the best-selling authors alive. Widely known by his pen name, Jin Yong, his work, in the Chinese-speaking world, has a cultural currency roughly equal to that of “Harry Potter” and “Star Wars” combined. Cha began publishing wuxia epics—swashbuckling kung-fu fantasias—as newspaper serials, in the nineteen-fifties. Ever since, his fiction has kept children, and their parents, up past their bedtimes, reading about knights who test their martial-arts mettle with sparring matches in roadside ale-houses and princesses with dark secrets who moonlight as assassins. These characters travel through the jianghu, which literally translates as “rivers and lakes,” but metaphorically refers to an alluvial underworld of hucksters and heroes beyond the reach of the imperial government. Cha weaves the jianghu into Chinese history...

“Of course, there were other wuxia writers, and there was kung-fu fiction before Jin Yong,” the publisher and novelist Chan Koonchung said. “Just as there was folk music before Bob Dylan.”

#金庸去世# Jin Yong has died is top trending term on Sina Weibo

4. 12th National Women's Congress opens in Beijing

China's 12th National Women's Congress opens - Xinhua:

President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, attended the opening of the congress at the Great Hall of the People.

The meeting was also attended by other leaders of the CPC and the state including Li Keqiang, Li Zhanshu, Wang Yang, Wang Huning and Han Zheng, all of whom are members of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee.

Zhao Leji, also a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, delivered a speech on behalf of the CPC Central Committee.

A total of 1,637 delegates from all walks of life and 79 specially-invited delegates from the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) and the Macao SAR, attended the congress...

Xi's discourses about women and the work of women have provided fundamental rules for the cause of women and the work of women's federations in the new era, he noted.

Zhao called on Chinese women to have firm ideals and convictions, act under the guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, contribute to the new era, advance the great cause, and continue their efforts to achieve the two centenary goals and the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation.

Question? Why did Zhao Leji give the speech?

People's Daily editorial on the event - 谱写新时代的巾帼华章(社论) 

And this long front page People's Daily piece on everything the Party Center with Xi as the core has done for women - 巾帼心向党 奋进新时代——以习近平同志为核心的党中央关心重视妇女事业和妇联工作纪实 

A very abridged China Daily translation of that long piece - How Xi promotes women's all-round development 

There is still much work to be done:

‘Ban women drivers’: China’s sexism surfaces after bus plunges into river | South China Morning Post:

Social media users began attacking women drivers after early reports from local media like People’s Daily cited an eyewitness account that a woman wearing heels driving in the wrong direction caused the accident in the southwestern city of Chongqing...

It was later reported that the woman was driving normally. She suffered minor injuries and was hospitalised. However, the woman was briefly held by police after the accident, her husband told

Comment: The bus crossed inter her lane and hit her, then plunged into the river

China’s kills sexist make-up promotion after online backlash | South China Morning Post:

‘If you do not put on lipstick, how are you different from a man?’ backfires amid accusations of making fun of women

If you are in New York this week, NüVoices, an international editorial collective gathering veteran and emerging writers, journalists, translators and artists to celebrate and support the diverse creative work of self-identified women working on the subject of China, is launching its New York chapter with an event in Brooklyn on November 1.

5. Grumblings from unhappy elite?

Deng Xiaoping’s son urges China to ‘know its place’ and not be ‘overbearing’ | South China Morning Post:

An influential son of Deng Xiaoping, the former Chinese leader who steered the country toward decades of economic growth, urged his government to “keep a sober mind” and “know its place”, delivering a counterpoint to Beijing’s increasingly ambitious foreign policy and military assertiveness.

“We must seek truth from fact, keep a sober mind and know our own place,” said Deng Pufang, the eldest son of Deng Xiaoping, said in a recent speech that was not made public but was recently obtained by the South China Morning Post. “We should neither be overbearing or belittle ourselves.”

Later in the speech, Deng urged China to embrace a “cooperative and win-win international environment”...

The speech by Deng last month seemed an effort to preserve his father's legacies as Beijing seeks to reinterpret them, said Christopher Johnson, a China specialist at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington-based think tank.

“The speech is definitely an effort to put the ‘democratic’ back in democratic centralism by encouraging debate and questioning the current policy line,” Johnson said. “It’s a brave act, but I’m doubtful it’s more than a one-off in elite circles.”

I am with Chris Johnson on this, I doubt this will have much real impact and if anything will only increase the pressure on the Deng family if it is seen as at all critical of Xi. Yes there is lots of grumbling but who, to paraphrase Xi, is "man enough to stand up and resist’ Xi and his supporters, especially those in the security services and the PLA?

Sheng Hong: Sino-US Relation Is the Foundation of the International Environment for China’s Reform and Opening - Unirule:

Regarding Mr. Pence’s address, even though we could criticize him for being incorrect and inaccurate with his historic accounts, we should not take it overthink it. Our best policy is to take his address as benevolent advice. He said explicitly that he hoped China would still undertake Deng Xiaoping’s reform and opening up that featured further market reforms, more political freedom and freedom of speech, and more constitutional democracy and rule of law. This is not difficult to do for the Chinese government. That is because the Chinese society today is a result of Deng’s reform and opening-up. There is a countercurrent at the moment. However, it should not be very difficult to resist the countercurrent and maintain Deng’s vision for further reform and opening-up. 

I wonder if this will be the final straw for Unirule?

6. Taiwan having a hard time transitioning to a volunteer military

For Taiwan youth, military service is a hard sell despite China tension | Reuters:

...many listening students showed little interest, arguing national service was a “waste of time” and prospects of the self-ruled island standing up economically or militarily to an increasingly aggressive China were slim.

“China could simply crush Taiwan with its economic power. There’s no need for a war, which wastes money,” said 18-year-old Chen Fang-yi, an engineering major. “I do not have much confidence and expectation for the national army.”...

Taiwan vowed in 2011 to phase out conscription to cut costs and boost the professionalism of its forces as it tries to better deter the Chinese threat through enhanced cyber warfare capabilities and other high-tech weapons.

The island’s defense ministry said it will be able to reach a target of enlisting 81 percent of the estimated 188,000 volunteer troops needed to defend against any attack by Beijing by year-end. It hopes to raise that to 90 percent by 2020.

7. Strengthening the CCDI/NSC bureaucracy

China to upgrade central-level disciplinary, supervisory network - Xinhua:

A new directive was published Tuesday to deepen reforms and enhance efficiency of accredited agencies of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI).

According to the directive issued by the General Office of CPC Central Committee, the accredited agencies are under the direct leadership and unified management of CCDI and National Supervisory Commission (NSC) that shares offices and staff with the CCDI.

They will not only enforce Party discipline but also supervise all state functionaries within their jurisdiction, the document said.

Their priority is to oversee the implementation of the Party Constitution and disciplinary rules, the Constitution and laws and the Party's policies, as well as to ensure the smooth delivery of policies and orders of the CPC Central Committee.

Comment: Clearly the "smooth delivery of policies and orders" is still a huge problem, as it has been for millennia in China, is there a chance that the combination of enhanced Party control, bureaucratic restructuring and technology might significantly mitigate this problem?

中共中央办公厅印发《关于深化中央纪委国家监委派驻机构改革的意见》 :


8. More support for stock market and economy

Chinese Equities Rally as Regulator Vows More Liquidity | Yicai Global:

Along with enhancing market liquidity, the CSRC said it will seek to boost the quality of listed companies by encouraging share buybacks as well as mergers and acquisitions.

The watchdog will also scale back intervention in trading and create a level playing field for insurance, social security, securities funds, asset management products and other institutional investors, it said.

The CSRC statement - 证监会声明:





China making fresh bid to boost loans to small firms as economy slows | Reuters:

China will encourage financial institutions to take full advantage of the latest monetary, fiscal and tax policy steps to increase lending to smaller firms, the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC) said in a news release ahead of a media briefing on Tuesday.

The CBIRC would support banks to issue special bonds for lending to small firms and apply favorable risk weighting to evaluate bank loans to smaller firms, it said.

China mulls bigger moves to cut taxes, fees - Xinhua:

The Chinese government is expected to step up tax and fee reductions for enterprises as part of efforts to bring down the burden on the real economy, according to China Securities Journal.

Finance Minister Liu Kun has said enterprises' cost is expected to drop by more than 1.3 trillion yuan (about 188 billion U.S. dollars) this year, adding that more large-scale and effective policies are in the pipeline.

Comment: But who will pay for all these proposed tax cuts? Many local governments are already in dire fiscal straits and are desperate to fine more revenue...will any tax cuts be borne solely by the central government, and will local governments still find ways to enhance revenue through fees and "better enforcement"?

Business, Economy, Finance And Trade

China Sets Yuan’s Central Parity Rate at Lowest in 10 Years | Yicai Global China’s central bank today fixed the yuan’s trading midpoint 197 basis points lower at 6.9574 versus the US dollar, the weakest level since May 2008. The redback’s recent slide is a short-term market fluctuation that won’t last in the long term, according to Li Honghan, a researcher at Renmin University of China’s International Monetary Institute. China's economic fundamentals are sound, financial risks are generally controllable, the balance of payments is stable, cross-border capital flows are balanced, and foreign exchange reserves are sufficient, he added.

Investors hedge their faith in China's faltering yuan | Reuters Eric Stein, Boston-based co-director of the global income group at Eaton Vance Management, who manages approximately $20 billion, said his team has been running short positions in the yuan for the past five months or so. “What China has right now is a policy preference for modestly weaker but not significantly weaker currency. That would probably be an impetus for increasing the short position,” he said.  //  Comment: Wonder if shorts are walking into another trap

Where Will the Yuan Go Next? China's Big Choice | Brad Setser - Council on Foreign Relations  I don’t have any great insight into what China will do. But I do have a sense of China’s options....One: Continue to manage the yuan against a basket, and defend the current band—which would mean no further depreciation against the basket. Any moves against the dollar then would be a function of the dollar’s moves against other currencies (at least so long as the yuan is at the weak edge of its band)....Two: Adjust the band, and allow the yuan to depreciate to the weak edge of a new band. This could be done slowly, or it could happen abruptly. The challenge would be to set the new edge of the band after a period of depreciation (slow or fast), and then to defend the new weak edge of the band in a way that convinces the market that the yuan won't fall further....Three: Let the yuan float down…until it finds a natural bottom.

Wanda Slinks Out of Theme Park Business - Caixin Real estate and entertainment conglomerate Wanda Group will sell the management arm of its former theme-park division to the division’s current owner, Sunac China Holdings Ltd., in its ongoing drive to pay down a heavy debt load after a multibillion-dollar spending spree.

China reiterates will treat Chinese and foreign companies equally | Reuters China reiterated it will treat domestic and foreign companies equally, according to a statement on the state planner’s website. The comments came after a meeting of a working team under China’s state council focusing on improving business conditions, the state planner said.//Comment: Given how the CCP treats domestic firms, are foreign firms ready to be treated the same way, in every aspect?

China's Hunger for Safe Food Attracts Tencent-Backer Hillhouse - Bloomberg The $50 billion investment fund has teamed up with San Francisco-based private equity firm VMG Partners to invest in emerging consumer brands and help them expand globally, especially in China, where increasingly wealthy shoppers are looking for more reliable products following a series of tainted-food scandals. The two firms have pledged as much as $100 million each to the partnership.

Economists Cut China GDP Estimates as Trade War Trumps Stimulus - Bloomberg Gross domestic product will probably increase by 6.4 percent on a year-over-year basis in the final quarter of 2018 before growth decelerates to 6.3 percent in the first quarter of 2019, according to 65 economists surveyed by Bloomberg. Those forecasts, collected Oct. 22-29, were marked down from the estimates of 6.5 percent and 6.4 percent, respectively, collected in September’s survey.

工信部:“限制2018年下半年的稀土产量”相关报道不实_中国经济网——国家经济门户 MIIT says reports China is restricting rare earth production in second half of 2018 are incorrect

Executive Chairman Jack Ma's 2018 Letter to Shareholders | Recently, the global economy has found itself in a state of turmoil. Uncertainties abound in trade relations, consumer trends, stock markets and the manufacturing industry. US-China trade tensions create increased risk of instability. This is the third time in Alibaba’s 19-year history that we have encountered a setback in the global economy. But our past experience tells us there are huge opportunities behind the anxiety and friction. The only question is how we should pivot. Monumental challenges give rise to monumental opportunities, and Alibaba is well-positioned because we are adept at weathering adversity.

Politics, Law And Ideology

New Peking University leader former state security official - AP Qiu’s lengthy official resume says that from the end of 2013 to the end of 2014, he was party secretary of Beijing’s State Security Bureau. That is the local branch of the ministry responsible for espionage and counterespionage. Qiu graduated from Peking University in 1983 with a law degree and also served as secretary general of its party youth league branch. After a career in the Beijing party apparatus, he most recently served as a high court judge in the northern province of Shanxi.

这两人在北京多次搭档 “空降”山西后都升副部(含视频)_手机新浪网 邱水平在京“完成多次重大安保维稳任务”--A 2017 report on Qiu Shuiping's promotion to Shanxi notes that while working in Beijing he completed many important security and social stability assignments.

Young Xinjiang players train at top Chinese clubs in boost for national unity - Global Times Talented young soccer players from Xinjiang are training and studying in China's best soccer clubs ○ After adapting to a new lifestyle and studying Putonghua, some go on to play leading roles at youth and even national level ○ The Xinjiang players positively influence their communities and contribute to national unity, say authorities // Really ramping up the positive energy propaganda about Xinjiang

China Rolls Out Facial Recognition Scans on Guangzhou Subway - RFA Anyone wishing to use the Guangzhou Metro has to have a facial scan for the pilot scheme, which is likely to be rolled out nationwide in future, state media reported. According to the Guangzhou Daily newspaper, passengers will get a QR code for their smartphone containing their personal information when they pass the security gates, before passing through the facial recognition machine. Passengers with a higher social credit score will be able to fast-track through the system, the paper said, as the facial imprint is linked to big data about individual behavior and "trustworthiness" held by various government departments and law enforcement agencies, the paper reported.

Foreign and Military Affairs

Ban on Chinese mobile giants for 5G 'needed to protect critical infrastructure' - Sydney Morning Herald In the strongest comments by a government official since the ban was handed down on Chinese companies in August, Mike Burgess, the director-general of the Australian Signals Directorate, said the stakes in 5G "could not be higher"... Mr Burgess did not specifically mention Huawei or ZTE, but said it was no longer sufficient to confine "high-risk vendors" to the edges of a telecommunications network. "The distinction between core and edge collapses in 5G networks. That means that a potential threat anywhere in the network will be a threat to the whole network," he said.

Axios AM - 1 big thing ... Exclusive: Trump to terminate birthright citizenship Not clear Trump can do this on his own, will likely take a long time to work through the courts, PRC baby businesses in the US will not be pleased

重大突发!特朗普要终止“在美出生即获公民权”的政策 而一旦这个计划得到落实,这也就意味着通过赴美生孩子移民美国的套路,以及唐人街大量的的华人月子中心将彻底完蛋……  //  Global Times on Trump's comments about ending birthright citizenship, notes the problems it will cause fo birth business in the US catering to PRC mothers who come to the US to have a child..I know several who have done so, even with visa in hand the immigration agents at the port of entry have the ability to refuse them entry and will do so if they know they are pregnant

Malaysia as a New Vortex of Regional Resistance against China | Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative For decades, Kuala Lumpur maintained “quiet diplomacy” in the South China Sea, shunning open criticism of China’s coercive actions in the area in exchange for large-scale Chinese investments. True to his campaign promise, the new Malaysian government under Mahathir is revisiting the foundations of its bilateral agreements with China. They are currently reviewing the cancellation of up to $40 billion in Chinese infrastructure investments, while Mahathir’s senior advisors say they are exploring greater “minilateral” coordination with other Southeast Asian claimant states such as Vietnam and the Philippines in the South China Sea amid China’s militarization of the disputes. In a strange twist of events, Malaysia has thereby emerged as a new regional vortex of resistance against Chinese hegemony in Southeast Asia.

Wolf Warrior comment backfires on Chinese doctor caught in Super Typhoon Yutu destruction | South China Morning Post Sun Hongtao, a verified user on China’s Twitter-like service Weibo, was on the US commonwealth island in the western Pacific as it was struck by the full force of the typhoon, when he posted a comment that has not been well received back home. “I called the Chinese embassy in Los Angeles (this is under their jurisdiction), but they ignored the calls,” he wrote on Friday. “There’s no such thing as ‘Wolf Warrior’ in real life, don’t even think about it,” he added, referring to the popular Chinese action movie series which features heroic military evacuations of Chinese nationals trapped in other countries.

China to Give Pakistan 'Grant' as UAE Mulls $6B in Aid - VOA China plans to provide an unspecified financial "grant" to Pakistan while the United Arab Emirates is actively considering Islamabad's request for a fiscal relief package of up to $6 billion to help the country deal with a looming balance-of-payments crisis, Chinese and Pakistani officials say. News of the anticipated financial aid came days after Prime Minister Imran Khan secured more than $6 billion in immediate financial support from Pakistan's close ally, Saudi Arabia, during an official visit to Riyadh.

China Tries To Woo A Sprawling Global Chinese Diaspora : NPR In a recent government reshuffle, the Communist Party's United Front Work Department took over responsibilities of a cabinet office in charge of overseas Chinese affairs. Critics accuse the party department of masterminding foreign influence operations. To the young students on the roots-tracing tours, though, the intricacies of policy are nowhere to be seen, and there is no overtly political content in the events. And that's just as well, says Suryadinata. His advice to Chinese officials trying to attract foreign nationals of Chinese ancestry is simple: Focus on the Chinese culture — but skip the politics.  //  Comment: NPR makes the UFWD efforts sound almost innocuous

Okinawa’s new governor says Tokyo ‘disrespects democracy’ by allowing new U.S. base - The Washington Post Last week, the Okinawan assembly voted to hold a nonbinding referendum on the issue, and Tamaki confirmed that the vote will occur within six months. “I believe this is a great opportunity for all of Okinawa to show our will,” Tamaki said. Provided the referendum attracted at least 25 percent of registered voters, he vowed to respect its outcome and “carry the result” to Abe and to the U.S. government.  //  Any PRC money /efforts going towards the referendum?

Tech And Media

The Chinese Farmer Who Live-Streamed Her Life and Made a Fortune | The New Yorker With a hundred and twenty million daily active users, Kuaishou is one of the largest live-streaming platforms and the fourth largest social-media platform in China, behind WeChat, QQ, and Sina Weibo, which are preferred by users in the nation’s major cities. Ask any suited-up yuppie from Beijing or Shanghai about Kuaishou, and they will likely be quick to dismiss its content as tuwei—“earthy,” i.e. lowbrow and uncouth. But, away from China’s cosmopolitan centers, Kuaishou has a following. The broadcast jockeys on Kuaishou are mostly poor, uneducated, and live in rural areas. Eighty-eight per cent of Kuaishou users have not attended university, seventy per cent earn less than three thousand yuan (four hundred and thirty U.S. dollars) per month, and a majority live in the nation’s smaller, less economically-developed cities. Many, like Liu Mama, hail from Dongbei, the Chinese equivalent of the Rust Belt.  //  i think they make @300m/usd revenue a month now, crazy big business, IPO likely soon if market holds and the regulators don't constrain them too much

Kuaishou livestreamer detained for 15 days for mocking national anthem · TechNode In a very brief Weibo post on October 29, the public security bureau of Ningcheng County, Chifeng City in Inner Mongolia, announced that it had detained a Kuaishou live-streamer for 15 days after he disrespected the national anthem. The post contained only a single picture of what appeared to be a blurred-out screenshot of the live-streamer, whose last name is Wang. According to the bureau’s statement, the offense—singing “March of the Volunteers” mockingly—occurred in November of last year, although police didn’t receive a tip until this past month.

‘Crazy Rich Asians’ sequel to shoot in China | Page Six Producer John Penotti, president of SK Global, said that “China Rich Girlfriend” is targeting a shoot in Shanghai. He made the revelation Monday in Los Angeles at the Chinese American Film Festival’s Co-Production Summit.

China steps up VPN blocks ahead of major trade, internet shows | Reuters “This time, the Chinese government seemed to have staff on the ground monitoring our response in real time and deploying additional blocks,” said Sunday Yokubaitis, the chief executive of Golden Frog, the maker of the VyperVPN service. Authorities started blocking some of its services on Sunday, he told Reuters, although VyperVPN’s service has since been restored in China.

China’s King of Internet Fluff Wants to Conquer the World - The New York Times Instagram’s head of public policy for the Asia-Pacific region, Helena Lersch, recently resigned to become Bytedance’s director for global public policy. Facebook’s public policy leads in Indonesia and Japan recently left to join Bytedance, too. Before Douyin took off, China’s internet didn’t have a reigning social platform dedicated to short, easy-to-make videos. In the rest of the world’s internet, where Instagram, Snapchat and others are already popular, TikTok faces stiff competitio

American Tech Firms Are Winning the R&D Spending Race With China - WSJ U.S. firms, led by Inc. and Google parent Alphabet Inc., invested more than $5 in R&D for every $1 spent by Chinese companies, according to a new report from PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, which logged the top 1,000 spenders among publicly traded companies. PwC’s report tracked the year ended June 30

Jia Yueting's shares frozen due to unpaid debts · TechNode Although he no longer heads Leshi, as of October 26 Jia still held over 999 million company shares, making up more than 25% of total stock. However, according to a recent notice posted to the Shenzhen Stock Exchange website, a Chinese court has ordered all of Jia’s Leshi shares to be frozen. In addition, 5 million shares that Jia pledged to Orient Securities have been released due to an unpaid debt.

China Fingers Xiaomi, Suning.Com for Tax Dodges | Yicai Global China’s Ministry of Finance has flagged Xiaomi and Suning.Com other listed internet firms for tax evasion. The regulator's audit for last year found the internet sector features an asset-light business model, with equity and bond investments interwoven, separation of management structures from legal entities and no geographical limit to operations, with several internet firms funneling profits overseas and thereby evading taxes, according to an announcement on accounting information inspection for this year that the ministry issued.

Energy, Environment, Science And Health

China Reverses Ban on Rhino and Tiger Parts in Medicine, Worrying Activists - The New York Times The Chinese government, reversing a 25-year ban, announced on Monday that it would allow the use of rhinoceros horns and tiger bones in medicine, a move that environmentalists described as a significant setback for efforts to protect the animals from extinction. The State Council, China’s cabinet, said in a policy directive that it would legalize the use of rhino horns and tiger bones for “medical research or in healing,” but only by certified hospitals and doctors, and only from rhinos and tigers raised in captivity, excluding zoo animals

Agriculture And Rural Issues

China's super hybrid rice output reaches new high - Xinhua Yuan Longping, the "father of hybrid rice," and his team have set a new world record in super hybrid rice output, the science and technology department of North China's Hebei province said Monday. The new world record was set in test fields in the city of Handan, which achieved an average yield of 1,203.36 kilograms of rice per mu (about 0.07 hectares) of farmland. The tested rice variety was Xiangliangyou 900.