US-China Relations, Party Congress, GDP Target Scrapped-Sinocism 10.26.17

Happy Thursday, day 2 of the Xi Era (XE?)…

Apologies for a typo in yesterday’s newsletter. I put Li Keqiang’s Chinese name next to Li Zhanshu 栗战书 in the list of new PBSC members. I corrected it almost immediately on my Twitter stream but did not think it was worth clogging your inboxes with a resend. That Twitter stream is worth watching for corrections and other announcements about the newsletter.

And a reminder, the publishing schedule for this subscription version of the newsletter is “at least” four issues a week. This week has been exhausting so will likely just be four, with a free version and another book review excerpt over the weekend for everyone.

Some of you may be sick of the Party Congress and so today’s commentary focuses on President Trump’s November 8-10 visit to China. Trump called Xi Thursday to congratulate “Chinese President Xi Jinping on being re-elected general secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC)” and “for the successful conclusion of the 19th CPC National Congress” (Xinhua English report) or, per the White House’s shorter readout, “on the occasion of the closing of China’s Party Congress”. A report of the call between the two was the only non Party Congress-related item on the extraordinary October 26 People’s Daily Front page.

Trump also told Fox News host Lou Dobbs that Xi is “a powerful man. I happen to think he's a very good person…People say we have the best relationship of any president-president, because he's called president also…Now some people might call him the king of China. But he's called president”.

And China is a complicated place but fortunately President Trump, according to The Global Times, “has transformed from green to skilled in comprehending China and dealing with Sino-US relations, and has basically formed constructive conceptions of China.”

Trump’s China visit could be quite fraught. The US is facing the most confident China and Chinese leader in decades and it is not clear Trump has fully prepared to maximize this trip. A source with knowledge of the trade preparations for the visit tells me that the US does not have large, specific asks but instead is taking a “you know what you need to do” approach with Beijing. That is unlikely to go over well but may be part of a strategy to set up much harsher enforcement actions. Expect some deals to be announced, those are easy, but structural movement looks much less likely right now and the US may have less leverage than it had even a few months ago.

Politico published a story Thursday on the Trump Administration China policymaking process and the shrinking role of Javanka—Kushner will take a diminished role on Trump's China trip—that includes details of a secret meeting during the transition:

Back in December 2016, the Chinese foreign minister traveled to Manhattan to meet privately with Jared Kushner for emergency discussions after President-elect Donald Trump’s unorthodox phone call with the president of Taiwan.

Those secret transition meetings — which also included former chief strategist Steve Bannon, former national security adviser Michael Flynn and trade adviser Peter Navarro — unfolded inside the Kushner family flagship property at 666 Fifth Ave., rather than at the transition headquarters inside Trump Tower, according to a person familiar with the planning…

Politico reports that there are “15 people on the frontline of the [US-China] relationship” and that so far trade hawk Peter Navarro is not going on the Asia trip:

But national security adviser H.R. McMaster, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, senior policy adviser Stephen Miller, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross are expected to serve as the main faces of a trip that will focus primarily on the North Korean nuclear threat and trade issues. Deputy National Security adviser Dina Powell is also expected to go on the trip, as well as Matt Pottinger, who has been serving as the administration’s top Asia policymaker.

North Korea will of course be at the top of the agenda. It is very interesting that Kim not only did not test anything during the Party Congress but also sent congratulatory messages to Xi. If Xi can engineer a peaceful solution to this crisis soon after the 19th Congress wouldn’t that help with his more forcefully articulated vision of China stepping into the center of the world stage?

Xi will be pleased to learn that President Trump is skipping the East Asia Summit in the Philippines to return home early. Staffers apparently think that "the president did not want to stay in the region for so long and worried he could get cranky, leading to unpredictable or undiplomatic behavior."

No wonder the Marxist theoreticians in Beijing think their time for global advancement has arrived…

The Essential Eight

1. More On The Party Congress

Observations on the 19th Congress Report | China Media Project:

The following preliminary observations on the political report to the 19th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party of China were offered by an expert on Chinese politics who wished not to be identified by their real name...

My overall assessment is that the political report to the 19th Party Congress is a document bearing the clear mark and brand of Xi Jinping, and that it amounts to a declaration of Xi’s intent to hold on to power for an extended period of time...

This language is not carried forward in the report to the 19th congress. If we take the language in successive Party congress reports together for comparison, we notice something quite noteworthy in the 19th congress report. While upholding and strengthening the leadership of the Party remains a fundamental and consistent position, the 19th congress report diverges from reports of recent decades on the question of why and how the Party leads — and there are indications, it seems, of a return to the Mao era.

People's Daily Editorial on the successful close of the 19th Party Congress, seizing the great victory of the new era of socialism with Chinese characteristics--夺取新时代中国特色社会主义伟大胜利(社论)--观点--人民网

Xinhua explains the process for selecting the new leadership, makes it sound like politics were not involved, notes the straw poll was dumped. It had been prone to abuses and may in part explain Li Yuanchao’s fall.. An interesting look-领航新时代的坚强领导集体——党的新一届中央领导机构产生纪实--十九大专题报道-人民网

On front page of China's flagship paper, Xi gets Mao-like prominence - Reuters:

Xi’s official portrait dominated the People’s Daily’s front page report on the unveiling of the party’s new top leadership. Below that was a smaller group photograph of the new top leadership - the seven members of the Politburo Standing Committee including Xi.

Take A Look: The front page on the People's Daily site ,whole issue celebrating the new leadership lineup is only two pages...

Western media is wrong. China will continue to rise. - The Washington Post--Eric X. Li is back:

All in all, the party’s ability to adapt to changing times by reinventing itself is extraordinary. Five years ago, corruption was seen as the biggest threat to its hold on power. The 18th Party Congress then engineered a strict anti-corruption campaign, with a breadth and depth few anticipated. China does not have multiparty elections — the Chinese Communist Party is China’s political system. The health of the former is the barometer for the future of the country. All indications at this point are that it remains vital. We have now come to the space where writers of op-eds like this one tend to hedge bets. I could write a long list of what could go wrong — like a list of risk factors in an IPO prospectus that no one reads. But I will skip it. Given the track record of the party and that of The Economist, my bet is that Xi will indeed “change China, and the world, for the better.”


2. Xi Shrinks, Stacks the Central Military Commission And Addresses PLA Leadership

Xi Jinping shakes up China’s military leadership ... what changes at the top mean for world’s biggest armed forces | South China Morning Post:

The body will be led by a seven member group, down from the 11 who oversaw its operations previously...

PLA Air Force General Xu Qiliang and General Zhang Youxia - both Xi loyalists - have been appointed commission vice-chairmen.

Comment: The committee members are Wei Fenghe, Li Zuocheng, Miaohua and PLA discipline head Zhang Shengmin

General Zhang Youxia: Xi Jinping’s ‘sworn brother’ now his deputy on China’s top military body | South China Morning Post:

The former director of the CMC’s Equipment Development Department is widely considered one of the men party chief and CMC chairman Xi trusts most. Military experts said his family background had made him a hot tip for a CMC vice-chairmanship in Xi’s second five-year term.

Both Xi and Zhang are Shaanxi natives and “second-generation reds” – the children of revolutionaries. Their fathers were comrades from the 1940s.

“Xi once saw Zhang, who is three years older than him, as his elder brother, and so did Xi’s sisters,” a Shanghai-based retired People’s Liberation Army (PLA) senior colonel told the South China Morning Post.

Xi's Comments: Xi meets with leading PLA cadres, makes important speech-习近平出席军队领导干部会议并发表重要讲话 - 中国军网 . The top ten minutes of Thursday CCTV Evening News on his speech 习近平出席军队领导干部会议并发表重要讲话强调 为实现党在新时代的强军目标 把人民军队全面建成世界一流军队而奋斗


3. Scrapping The GDP Target?

Comment: Change will only occur if hard growth targets are no longer part of the cadre evaluation system. Is that going to happen soon?

Xi Jinping deliberately skipped GDP target during epic congress speech, admits aide | South China Morning Post:

“China’s growth has shifted from a high-speed growth phase to a high-quality growth phase,” Yang Weimin, a deputy director at the Office of the Central Leading Group on Financial and Economic Affairs, said a press conference in Beijing. “What is the most pressing problem? It is the issue of quality of growth,” he said.

Yang added that Xi’s silence on GDP targets for 2021, the 100th anniversary of the foundation of the Chinese Communist Party, or 2035 when China targets the nation’s “basic modernisation”, was intended to urge the party apparatus to better implement new ideas about growth and to focus on issues of “imbalance and inadequate development”...

Yang told the press conference China was 15 years ahead of its strategic development schedule.

“In the past, the Chinese Communist Party thought China would realise basic modernisation by the middle of this century, but now we can achieve that target by 2035. In other words, we are 15 years ahead of our original plan,” Yang said.

Yang Weimin's comments-杨伟民:基本实现社会主义现代化目标提前了15年

Full Transcript of Press Conference with Yang Weimin and others---十九大新闻发言人专题新闻发布会

Xi Shifts Focus to Tackling Growing China Income Inequality - Bloomberg:

“The message to the billionaires is: it’s wrong to simply get rich. One has to take more social responsibility,” said Hu Xingdou, an economics professor at the Beijing Institute of Technology. “The billionaires who’re calling for more social responsibility are the ones feeling a sense of crisis.”

China's Communist Party must fight inequality if it wants to survive - Washington Post - Yu Jie:

A close examination of Xi’s report suggests that the current party congress has focused on “principal contradiction,” a concept in communist dogma that defines the most pressing issue that needs to be addressed. The term suggests the party knows it needs to run a successful and sustainable economy because the conventional, highly polluting, investment-driven model has not only run out of steam, but has also created huge income disparities and a lack of social mobility.


4. Party Building Is Not Dinner Party; Xi's Cadre Cultural Revolution To Continue

Xi’s Next Step: Demand More Fervor From China’s Communist Party - WSJ:

Now that the party has given Xi Jinping five more years as leader and power on par with that of Chairman Mao Zedong, he will return to one of his top priorities in the past five years: restoring the party as a force in people’s lives and recapturing its revolutionary sense of mission.

Doing so, Mr. Xi says, will secure his nation’s transformation into a rich superpower in the coming decades, and deliver his “China Dream” of national rejuvenation.

Under Mr. Xi’s orders, mandatory political-study sessions emphasizing his speeches and policies were revived for all party members. So was the Mao-era practice of members criticizing others and themselves. A Communist Party directive on adjusting membership dues, barely enforced for most of a decade, was abruptly applied retroactively across the country last year.

Higher profile for anti-corruption watchdogs as China’s graft-busters rise up the rungs of power | South China Morning Post:

Among the seven members of the Politburo Standing Committee introduced to the public on Wednesday was Zhao Leji, the man set to take over from Wang as head of the party’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI). Supervision Minister Yang Xiaodu, one of Zhao’s eight deputies at the CCDI, was also elevated to the 25-member Politburo, a position neither of his two immediate predecessors attained in the position.

What The Disciplinarians Are Saying: CCDI Deputy Secretary Xiao Pei talks discipline work at press conference, reiterates that it will only intensify--肖培:要清除政治问题与经济腐败相互交织的利益集团_政经频道_财新网 


5. Financial Times Digs Into The United Front Work Department and China's "Soft Power" Efforts

Inside China’s secretive ‘magic weapon’ for worldwide influence - FT $$:

A Financial Times investigation into United Front operations in several countries shows a movement directed from the pinnacle of Chinese power to charm, co-opt or attack well-defined groups and individuals. Its broad aims are to win support for China’s political agenda, accumulate influence overseas and gather key information...

Mr Xi has expanded the scope of United Front work, adding the ninth bureau for work in Xinjiang, meaning that the organisation now oversees China’s fierce struggle against separatism in the region. He also decreed the establishment of a Leading Small Group dedicated to United Front activity, signifying a direct line of command from the politburo to United Front.

But perhaps Mr Xi’s most important step to date has been to designate United Front as a movement for the “whole party”. This has meant a sharp increase since 2015 in the number of United Front assignees to posts at the top levels of party and state. Another consequence has been that almost all Chinese embassies now include staff formally tasked with United Front work, according to officials who declined to be identified.

China: the soft superpower - FT $$:

China may be a superpower-in-waiting but it has struggled to appear as an attractive alternative to the US-led liberal world order. This series explores President Xi Jinping’s dream of boosting his country’s appeal and turning it into a soft superpower

Comment: Australia may be the most "woke" Western nation about CHinese Communist Party influence operations.

Australian spy chief warns universities about ‘foreign interference’ on campus in veiled reference to China | South China Morning Post:

Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) director general Duncan Lewis told politicians in Canberra late on Tuesday that espionage and foreign interference were an “insidious threat”.

Lewis said foreign powers were “clandestinely seeking to shape” the opinion of the Australian public, media organisations and government officials “in order to advance their countries’ own political objectives”.


6. China Offshore Bond Yields Low, Onshore Yields Soaring

Comment: Is there a sucker anywhere?

China Says First Dollar Bond Sets No Precedent - Caixin Global:

The yield curve of these notes will “reflect the pricing levels of sovereign credit and provide Chinese companies a key pricing matrix when they raise funds in the international market,” an unnamed official at the ministry’s finance department said in the statement.

Breakingviews - Beijing's dollar bonds seek to reprice China risk - Reuters:

Beijing’s dollar bonds show how Chinese risk has been repriced. The country is selling $2 billion of five-and 10-year sovereign dollar bonds, the first such issue since 2004. Despite recent downgrades by global rating agencies, these are likely to yield just 30 to 50 basis points above U.S. Treasury bonds. Local banks can guarantee demand if needed, but there is also a genuine reassessment of China risk underway.

Anticipation for US-dollar sovereign debt issue shows rating agencies’ errors - Global Times:

The government has yet to seek a rating for the issue from major credit-rating agencies such as US-based Moody's Investors Service, but analysts predict the sovereign deal will be massively oversubscribed due to soaring demand for Chinese issues of US dollar-denominated bonds. This may signal a counterblow by China against the rating agencies, whose actions have been ridiculed.

China Bond Yields Jump on Crackdown Speculation - Caixin Global:

Government bond futures slumped and yields surged on reports that financial regulators planned to impose stricter controls on borrowing by commercial banks in the interbank market, the main source of short-term funding for financial institutions and the biggest trading platform for bonds. Traders said the trigger was speculation that the government, starting in January, will lower the limit on interbank borrowing to 25% of a bank’s total liabilities from the current 33%.


7. An Interview With 1989 Student Leader Wang Dan

Comment: Wang now lives in the Washington DC area and is setting up a think tank. I met him 1989 on Tiananmen Square when I tried to translate for an interview with him on the Monument to the People's Heroes. Wang is the 1989 leader I respect the most. Times are getting harder and grimmer for those who oppose the Communist Party and want to change China...

Twenty-Eight Years After – An Interview With Wang Dan « China Change :

Yaxue Cao sat down with Wang Dan (王丹) on September 27 and talked about his past 28 years since 1989: the 1990s, Harvard, teaching in Taiwan, China’s younger generation, his idea for a think tank, his books, assessment of current China, Liu Xiaobo, and the New School for Democracy

Wang Dan: For example, the majority of ordinary citizens sincerely believe that if China becomes a democracy, there will be chaos. Even if they have not been brainwashed by the CCP, even if they loathe Communist Party members, they still feel this way. Why do they think this? We need to reason with them. For example, just because the 1989 movement failed, it does not mean that it wasn’t the right thing to do. If you don’t talk about issues like these, the majority of people won’t think about them, therefore we must reason with them. This ability to inspire people through reason has a great potential to mobilize society...

Now it is very difficult, we must admit. But we shouldn’t give up just because some difficulties exist and sink into despair. Nietzsche said the disadvantaged don’t have the right to be pessimistic. You’re already underprivileged, if you’re then also pessimistic, your only option is to give up. I believe now is the darkness before the dawn. It truly is the most difficult time, but it is also the time when we have to persist the most. Like me, traveling around giving talks, oftentimes there aren’t many people at each talk,  maybe 20 or so, but I feel it’s worth it.


8. Is Beijing Building A Nationwide Voice Recognition Database?

China: Voice Biometric Collection Threatens Privacy | Human Rights Watch:

Authorities are collaborating with iFlytek, a Chinese company that produces 80 percent of all speech recognition technology in the country, to develop a pilot surveillance system that can automatically identify targeted voices in phone conversations. Human Rights Watch wrote to iFlytek on August 2, 2017, asking about its business relationship with the Ministry of Public Security, the description on its website of a mass automated voice recognition and monitoring system it has developed, and whether it has any human rights policies. iFlytek has not responded.

“The Chinese government has been collecting the voice patterns of tens of thousands of people with little transparency about the program or laws regulating who can be targeted or how that information is going to be used,” said Sophie Richardson, China director. “Authorities can easily misuse that data in a country with a long history of unchecked surveillance and retaliation against critics.”


Business, Economy, Finance And Trade

Newly Listed China-Concept Stocks Dive in New York - Caixin Global following the latest sell-off, Rise shares now trade 16% below their IPO price. Qudian has given back most of its initial gains, including a 20% decline earlier this week on questions about its bad-debt ratios. But it is still 10% ahead of its IPO price. Secoo, which has struggled since its trading debut last month, is now down by nearly half from its IPO price.

Regulators Eye Illegal Price-Setting in Property Market - Caixin Global The announcement of the greater oversight came a day after the conclusion of a twice-a-decade national party congress, which sets the tone for the country’s development. The inspection will take aim at fraudulent price-setting by real estate developers and agencies, in a bid to prevent them from providing false or misleading information to homebuyers, according to a joint statement from the National Development and Reform Commission and the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development.

Soho Sells Shanghai Asset to Gaw Fund for $754M | Mingtiandi Beijing-based developer Soho China is selling a Zaha Hadid-designed project on the western edge of Shanghai to a fund managed by private equity house Gaw Capital for a total consideration of RMB 5.01 billion ($754.1 million), as the company owned by mainland power couple Pan Shiyi and Zhang Xin continues to feast on China’s bull market.

HNA and Fosun stocks jump on political speculation - FT $$ Investors now say that the departure of Mr Xi’s ally Wang Qishan from his position on the elite seven-member Politburo Standing Committee will ease pressure on the groups.  //  Comment: Expect that investors are wrong...

郭广昌沈国军等企业家悼念鲁冠球:鲁老爷子是浙商的传奇-虎嗅网 Tributes stream in for Lu Guanqiu, founder of Wanxiang Group, who recently died at age 72

McDonald’s Changes Its China Company Name to ‘Golden Arches’ - Sixth Tone Chinese media reported on Wednesday evening that McDonald’s Chinese business changed its company’s name from Maidanglao, a loose transliteration of the English name, to Jingongmen, or Golden Arches, on Oct. 12. Although the fast food chain reassured its fans on its Weibo microblog that stores in China will still bear the old name, the new moniker was immediately ridiculed by net users for sounding unsophisticated.

Politics, Law And Ideology

茅台股价突破600意味着什么?_第一财经 Moutai shares hit a record high Thursday

“50后”挑重担 成中共十九届中央委员主体_政经频道_财新网 Caixin breaks down the new 204 member 172 alternate memberCentral Committee. 62% turnover, up from 56% at the 18th Party Congress, no one born earlier than 1950

Not too old, but none too popular: Three senior politicians lose their seats at China’s top table | South China Morning Post Vice-President Li Yuanchao, propaganda tsar Liu Qibao and ex-boss of Xinjiang Zhang Chunxian ousted from Politburo for no obvious, or official, reason

Out with the technocrats, in with China’s new breed of politicians | South China Morning Post Only a decade ago, eight of the nine top Communist Party leaders studied engineering or natural sciences – the most sought-after majors when the country was struggling to industrialise. But no one in the newly appointed Politburo Standing Committee, unveiled on Wednesday, belongs to the so-called technocrats, who worked as engineers or natural science researchers before entering the political arena.

Chinese state firm executives frozen out of Central Committee as Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption plan bites | South China Morning Post No executives from state-owned enterprises (SOE) made it to the Chinese Communist Party’s newly elected Central Committee as full members – a dramatic change from 2012 when five top managers of state firms were among more than 200 full members on the party’s elite decision-making body.

Aerospace Experts in China’s New Leadership – China Policy Institute: Analysis What is the overarching trend of Xi Jinping’s appointments? Put simply, the technocrats are back and have taken over key positions in China’s economic development strategy. But this time they no longer come from traditional industries such as the petroleum or mechanical engineering, but from high-tech industries or the so-called strategic new industries. These officials aim to create a new engine force for the coming decade by applying advanced military technology to civilian fields and integrating the military industry into local economic development

China says it has freed Swedish bookseller, his whereabouts still unknown - Reuters The whereabouts of Gui Minhai, a Chinese-born Swede, could not be confirmed, however, and he has yet to contact his family. Gui was abducted in Thailand while on holiday in 2015, one of five Hong Kong booksellers who went missing that year and later appeared in mainland Chinese custody. The four others have returned to Hong Kong.

The low-key but powerful protector of China’s leaders and their secrets | South China Morning Post The General Office is a largely behind-the-scenes administrative body that handles paperwork, logistics, health care and security for top leaders and is also tasked with ensuring the implementation of top-level decisions. It also manages encrypted communications within the party and the government, and its head has access to all passwords...The General Office is in charge of the security of China’s top leadership and commands several thousand elite Central Security Bureau troops dedicated to protect the leaders and their families. The head of the General Office is the political commissar of the force, whose commander is the deputy head of the office.

迅速兴起学习宣传贯彻十九大精神热潮 - 综合 - 新京报网 Beijing Party Secretary Cai Qi promises to quickly launch 19th Party Congress propaganda campaign in Beijing

Foreign and Military Affairs

It’s a good day for China’s diplomats as foreign policy chief lands seat on Politburo | South China Morning Post Ma Zhengang, a former Chinese ambassador to Britain, said it was good for China’s diplomats to see the official directly responsible for diplomatic affairs being promoted as it highlighted the importance the top leadership placed on foreign affairs. “It’s recognition of Yang personally and the entire foreign policy establishment in the cause of China’s rise to global importance,” he said.

Xi Jinping’s Inner Circle Offers Cold Shoulder to Western Officials - The New York Times 2013 They and other Western officials say that this icy remove is true not only of Mr. Wang [Huning], but also of other advisers with whom Mr. Xi travels, including Li Zhanshu, essentially Mr. Xi’s chief of staff, and Liu He, his top economic adviser. The problem presents a huge challenge for the United States and other nations. By some standards, Mr. Xi’s administration is the most secretive in 66 years of Communist rule.

National Strategy Institute Tsinghua University Comment: Think tank run by Wang Huning's ex-wife Zhou Qi

China's Communist party has come of age – the west should wake up | Richard McGregor | World news | The Guardian For all those qualifications, the sheer, overwhelming triumphalism in Beijing this week should finally provide a wakeup call to those in the west who have long believed not just that China would fail. Many were convinced that, as an authoritarian state, that it must fail. For the moment, however, China is succeeding. If it continues on its current path, the world as we have known it will never be the same again.

习近平总书记特使宋涛将出访越南、老挝-新华网 Xi sending ILD head Song Tao as his special envoy to Vietnam and Laos to brief them on the 19th Party Congress

China to broaden, deepen pragmatic cooperation with Philippines - Xinhua Chang Wanquan, Chinese State Councilor and Defense Minister, said in his talks with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte late on Wednesday that China is willing to broaden and deepen pragmatic cooperation with the Philippines.

Readout of Secretary Mattis' Meeting with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte > U.S. DoD Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis met Oct. 24 with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on the sidelines of the ASEAN Defense Ministers' Meeting-Plus (ADMM-Plus) that convened in Clark, the Philippines. They discussed the strength of the U.S.-Philippines relationship and Secretary Mattis reaffirmed our ironclad commitment to the U.S.-Philippines Alliance.

China and Asean to go ahead with first joint naval exercise in sign of greater engagement | South China Morning Post Details of the exercise were not given, but observers say it points to an emerging view among the 10-nation bloc that China ‘is not the enemy’

Good US-China ties vital to global security and prosperity, says PM Lee | TODAYonline Speaking at a joint press conference with President Donald Trump after both leaders held talks at the White House on Monday (Oct 23), he said that Singapore, like many other countries, watches US-China dynamics closely. “It is the most important bilateral relationship in the world,” Mr Lee added. “I expressed (to Mr Trump) my hope that the US will maintain a stable and constructive relationship with China, engaging each other at the highest levels, building trust and establishing institutional mechanisms.”

Inside the Ring: Jeff Sessions: Guo Wengui deportation to China would mean resignation - Washington Times Mr. Sessions made the resignation threat in the face of pressure from officials at the White House and State Department, who themselves have been the targets of an intense influence operation by China seeking the return of Mr. Guo, a real estate mogul who in January began revealing secrets on YouTube, Twitter and Facebook about what he says is widespread corruption among Chinese leaders.

North Korea Issues Travel Permits to China, Demands ‘Loyalty Offerings’ in Yuan - RFA Authorities in North Korea are issuing vast numbers of travel permits to citizens with relatives in neighboring China and requiring them to pay “loyalty offerings” in Chinese yuan, in a bid to obtain much-needed foreign currency for the sanctions-hit government, according to sources in the country.

China fears its top envoy in Pakistan might be killed, seeks more security - Times of India The Chinese Embassy made the request in a letter written to the interior ministry on October 19, saying a member of the banned terrorist group East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) has sneaked into Pakistan to assassinate its ambassador.

Hong Kong, Macao

Activist Joshua Wong freed on bail: We will 'fight together' for Hong Kong democracy | Hong Kong Free Press HKFP Wong, the secretary-general of the Demosisto Party, served 69 days in prison until he was released on bail on Tuesday. He walked out of the Court of Final Appeal at 4pm, alongside fellow activist and former Demosisto lawmaker Nathan Law.

Taiwan

Taiwan president calls for breakthrough in China relations - Reuters “Right now is a turning point for change. I once again call on leaders of both sides to ... seek a breakthrough in cross-straits relations and to benefit the long-term welfare of people on both sides and to forever eliminate hostilities and conflict,” Tsai told a forum.

Tech And Media

Baidu's Head Of Deep Learning Institute Lin Yuanqing Said to Resign In Blow to Company's AI Ambition – China Money Network The artificial intelligence ambitions of Chinese tech giant Baidu Inc. appear to have suffered another blow as Lin Yuanqing, head of Baidu’s Institution of Deep Learning (IDL), has left the company, according to media reports. The news follows the recent departure of three other high-profile members of Baidu’s artificial intelligence talent pool, undermining the search engine firm’s well publicized efforts to rebrand itself as an AI company

Baidu debuts simulator for Apollo autonomous driving platform | VentureBeat Baidu today announced more details about its open-source Apollo autonomous driving platform, steps toward a stated goal of placing fully autonomous vehicles on roads and highways by 2020. Apollo launched in April and now counts more than 70 partner organizations from the AI, car manufacturing, and autonomous vehicles sectors as Nvidia, Ford, Microsoft, and a number of Chinese car makers

China Hints It's Time to Get Real on Dreams of Chip Domination - Bloomberg The country’s “corner-overtaking” strategy simply isn’t realistic, said Ding Wenwu, president of a $20 billion government-backed fund set up in 2014 to help lift the domestic chip sector out of obscurity. Ding, speaking at an industry forum, was using a racing term that refers to passing opponents at their most vulnerable.

传微信公众号将改版成信息流 为的是怼头条? - 公司 - 中国经营网_中国经营报 Tencent planning massive overhaul of how Wechat displays updates from "public accounts", to go after Toutiao?

Airbnb's China Chief Departs Abruptly Just Months Into the Job - Bloomberg In an email sent to colleagues, Ge didn’t elaborate on his reasons for leaving but reflected extensively on Airbnb’s breakneck pace of expansion in past months. Its offices have grown from 30 people to more than 120 in Parkview Green in Beijing, while total listings had doubled to 140,000 from 70,000 a year ago.

Society, Art, Sports, Culture And History

China Refuses to Admit It Has a Rape Problem. I Would Know. – Foreign Policy The Communist Party wants to blame Hollywood and "loose women," instead of acknowledging its own epidemic levels of sexual assault.

IKEA apologises after advert provokes complaints in China for being insensitive to single women The commercial by the Swedish furniture chain shows a daughter being scolded by her mother for not ‘bringing home a boyfriend’.

PGA Tour China to resume with full schedule in 2018 | Golf Channel After a one-year hiatus, the PGA Tour China Series resumes in 2018 under a four-year agreement between the PGA Tour and the China Golf Association in which the prize money and number of tournaments will increase.  //  Comment: PGA China should be an HBS case study...The PGA lucky to have loyal reader Greg Gilligan running their China operations

Sociologist Refuses to Apologize for Sexist Social Media Posts - Sixth Tone “History has proved that academia is not the domain of women,” Feng Gang wrote Monday on his Weibo microblog. “I have no prejudice against women,” Feng wrote in a follow-up post. “It’s just that I cannot bear prejudiced women.”

Energy, Environment, Science And Health

China urges green-equipment thrust to check pollution - Reuters The country aims to increase supplies of advanced environmental protection equipments and boost the output of the industry to 1 trillion yuan ($150.53 billion) by 2020, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) said in a statement on Tuesday. The industry, which makes products such as waste gas purification and garbage sorting devices, had a market value of 620 billion yuan in 2016.

Modeling Beijing’s Water Crisis - Eos Although urbanization has improved Beijing’s groundwater recovery, it has not solved the megacity’s water woes. The greater recovery rate still does not ensure enough water to meet demand or even offset the steady decline of groundwater in the area. Further, runoff from city surfaces often contributes to the pollutants already troubling China’s water sources.

Beijing Hospitals Team Up to Cope With Two-Child Baby Boom - Sixth Tone Eighteen hospitals in Beijing will collaborate on a new pediatrics facility so the city can better deal with an anticipated rise in births following loosened family planning policies.

China's satellites to offer key free weather data worldwide - Global Times China's National Satellite Meteorological Center (NSMC) confirmed with the Global Times on Wednesday that it had begun trial operations of its free data-sharing service since Tuesday via China's new-generation of weather satellites, the Fengyun-4, and its first carbon-monitoring satellite, the TanSat, for international users.

Agriculture And Rural Issues

Dim Sums: Rural China Economics and Policy: Big Grain Harvest Expected, Livestock Prices Falling The report by the head of the rural survey division was one of a series on the National Bureau of Statistics web site featuring good news about various sectors of the Chinese economy for the first three quarters of 2017. Agricultural value added over the first three quarters was up 3.8 percent from last year, 0.2 percentage points faster than last year.

Beijing scientists have engineered a reduced-fat pig with 24 per cent less body fat | South China Morning Post Researchers say the gene editing technique could lead to more efficient pork production, reduced costs for farmers, and healthier pigs

Food And Travel

Direct air route opens between Chengdu, New York - Xinhua Comment: Hainan Airlines, 15 hours each way, can almost go for weekend hotpot...

Beijing

Beijing issues yellow alert for smog - Xinhua Beijing's air pollution emergency response office issued a yellow alert for smog Thursday afternoon, forecasting the air pollution to persist till Saturday.

Jobs And Events

Job Opportunities | US China Business Council Research Internship, Shanghai, Research Internship, Beijing