US-China Trade; Dropdown Menu Brouhaha; Committee of 100 Gala; Red Wall Consciousness; Marxism 2.0; CCP Thinks Ant Financial Too Big?

Happy Monday, no updates so far on the fun US-China trade talks last week, other than to say at least both sides now have a good idea of the core asks. Next steps may be the dispatch of Liu He back to DC, if there is sincerity in trying to find a resolution. But time is running out for some of the mooted tariffs and the US and China are now engaged in a fight over dropdown menus on airline websites. 

I wouldn't take any moment of relative calm as an indication that the US-China relationship has materially moved back from the brink. 

Please take note of this directory of 400 female experts on Greater China. The CCP may not actually believe women hold up half of the sky but those of us trying to figure out what is going on in and around China certainly should.

Thanks for reading.

The Essential Eight

1. US-China Trade

There is been no official word since the US team returned to DC. I have heard that the Central Propaganda Department has ordered media outlets to not be overly critical of the US, in a sign that Beijing wants to keep the issue contained for now as it tries to work out some sort of negotiated resolution.

China Softens Tone on Trade After U.S. Leaves Empty Handed - Bloomberg:

China tried to strike a positive tone after Donald Trump’s trade negotiators left Beijing Friday with no public sign of an agreement, reiterating that the U.S. shouldn’t make unreasonable demands.

State media over the weekend offered a somewhat positive assessment of the U.S. trade talks, urging more negotiations while saying the Americans should be “rational and pragmatic.” And in a move that would meet some U.S. demands, the Commerce Ministry is studying measures to further lower import tariffs on some food, pharmaceuticals and medical instruments, Economic Information Daily reported Monday, citing unidentified people.

Interview with Yi Gang -China’s Central Banker Analyzes U.S. Trade Deficit_Caixin 

Meanwhile, trade imbalance is a macro economy problem. We need to look at the budget deficit, investment initiative and private savings rates when analyzing the trade deficit. The fundamental problem of the U.S. trade deficit is America’s low national savings rate and the imbalance between the country's savings and investment rates.

We should consider trade in services when we talk about the trade imbalance between China and the U.S. According to U.S. data, the U.S service trade surplus to China was more than $38 billion last year. The surplus has grown at an annual rate of nearly 20% since 2000. With further opening-up of China’s financial industry, the U.S. has a more comparative advantage in terms of service trade.

We should also take into account the role of U.S. companies’ subsidiaries in China. In 2015, U.S. exports to China were about $165 billion. In the same year, sales of U.S. companies’ subsidiaries in China totaled $222 billion. If we put them together, we will see a dramatic decline of the overall imbalance.

So China actually sees $387B worth of US business activity it could slap retaliatory measures on? They keep making this point about the U.S. companies’ subsidiaries in China.

The original Chinese 

Dim Sums: Rural China Economics and Policy: China Soybean Planting "Emergency" Declared:

Two Chinese provinces issued orders to increase soybean planting this spring with promises of a big subsidy. It is unclear whether the "emergency" is a potential shrinkage of soybean imports from the United States or low soybean prices that threaten to derail China's multi-year effort to shift land from corn to soybeans...

Academy of Social Sciences Agricultural Economist Li Guoxiang told NBD News that the provincial soybean-planting campaigns are a continuation of the 5-year "supply side structural adjustment" program to shift land from corn to alternative crops as well as an effort to reduce reliance on soybean imports.

The big subsidies could have been prompted by the late realization that market conditions have severely eroded the profitability of soybeans for Chinese farmers: domestic soybean prices are down and corn prices are up.


2. Airline Websites Are The Latest Battleground Over Taiwan

White House calls China’s threats to airlines ‘Orwellian nonsense’ - The Washington Post:

On April 25, the Chinese government sent dozens of international airlines a written threat of severe punishments if they don’t change their websites to declare that Taiwan is part of China, among other things. I have obtained a copy of the letter. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders is set to release a press statement calling the Chinese government’s threats “political correctness” run amok.

“This is Orwellian nonsense and part of a growing trend by the Chinese Communist Party to impose its political views on American citizens and private companies,” the statement reads. “China’s internal Internet repression is world-famous. China’s efforts to export its censorship and political correctness to Americans and the rest of the free world will be resisted.”

The full Statement from the Press Secretary on China’s Political Correctness 

Julie Bishop warns China against political pressure on Qantas over Taiwan - Sydney Morning Herald:

Qantas confirmed last week it was one of 36 international airlines that had received letters from the Civil Aviation Administration of China ordering them to change the way they refer to Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau - a demand the White House has branded “Orwellian nonsense”.

Ms Bishop, in response to questions from Fairfax Media on China’s demands, was less incendiary but nonetheless made it clear the private sector should not be pushed around.

Beijing urges foreign companies in China to respect its territorial integrity - CGTN

Spokesman Geng Shuang gave the ministry's response to a U.S. statement released on Saturday that objected to China's requirement that foreign companies stop listing Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan as "countries" on their websites and promotional materials.

"Whatever the U.S. said cannot change the fact that there is only one China in the world and Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan are indispensable parts of Chinese territory," Geng told a regular briefing.

问:根据报道,美方日前发表声明,对中国有关部门要求外国企业在其网站和宣传材料中不得将港澳台地区列为“国家”进行无端指责。请问中方对此有何评论?

  答:我们看到了有关报道。无论美方讲什么话,都改变不了世界上只有一个中国、港澳台地区是中国领土不可分割的一部分的客观事实。中方将会继续按照一个中国原则处理与外国的关系。同时必须指出,在华经营的外国企业应当尊重中国的主权和领土完整,遵守中国法律,尊重中国人民民族感情。

US ramps up criticism of Beijing on Weibo over demands that airlines list Taiwan and Hong Kong as part of China | Hong Kong Free Press HKFP:

The United States took to a popular Chinese social media platform Monday to ramp up its criticism of Beijing’s demand that airlines list Taiwan as part of China, but the message earned little sympathy on the tightly monitored website.

The US embassy posted on its official Weibo account the Mandarin translation of a White House statement that dismissed China’s request to foreign air carriers as “Orwellian nonsense”.


3. Xi Thought as Marxism 2.0; Wang Huning Weighs In

Get ready for another fun Marxist study campaign?

Official: Xi Thought is modern Marxism - Xinhua:

Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era is the Marxism of modern China and a new development of Marxism in the 21st century, a senior Chinese official said on Sunday.

Wang Huning, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, made the remark at a symposium commemorating the 200th birthday of German philosopher Karl Marx in Beijing.

Wang said Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era is the latest theoretical outcome of the Party in upholding and developing Marxism in the new era with innovative and strategic perspectives.

The three-day symposium concluded on Sunday and more than 230 experts and researchers in social science attended this event.

Sunday CCTV Evening News on Wang's comments- 纪念马克思诞辰200周年理论研讨会举行 王沪宁出席并讲话 

Xinhua on the "eternal truth" of Marxism - 永恒的真理 时代的篇章——写在马克思诞辰200周年之际 

Living Marxism: the Chinese Communist party reasserts control - FT $$:

The celebration of Marx dovetails with an important shift in China’s ideological direction. At a time when President Xi Jinping is reasserting the authority of the ruling Communist party, the state is reclaiming a far more heavy handed role in the world’s second-largest economy .

The new enthusiasm for Marxism follows four decades in which the private sector’s influence on the economy grew to a degree unseen in any other socialist country. It has been accompanied by a renewed penetration of the party into corporate life and civil governance, and greater attempts to control civil society.

“The big story is that the Chinese are making a serious attempt to take over control of developing Marxism for the 21st century,” says Sebastian Heilmann, president of the Mercator Institute for China Studies in Berlin. “People are starting to rethink because they know the west has problems and so the Chinese message has resonance.”..

If Marxism 2.0 has more staying power than its failed prototype, those new technologies could play a key role. Alibaba founder Jack Ma is part of a growing movement in China arguing that the fatal flaw of state planning was simply that planners did not have enough information to make good decisions. Big data can solve that, the thinking goes, for instance by aggregating information about new orders on platforms like Alibaba’s Taobao.

On This Chinese TV Show, Participants Have Nothing to Lose but Their Chains - The New York Times

“Marx Got It Right” makes that point by showing the global financial crisis of 2008, the bitter divisions of American politics and the tumult of Brexit, while saying that China has remained stable and growing thanks to one-party socialism held together by the ideals of Marx...

By contrast, the show blames the collapse of the Soviet bloc on reformist politicians like Mikhail S. Gorbachev who abandoned Marxist-Leninist orthodoxies.

“The failure of the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe was not the failure of scientific socialism,” Jiang Hui, a Marxist scholar in Beijing, said on the show. “On the contrary, it was their deviation from Marxism and scientific socialism that led to their failure.”

Profile: A life as Karl Marx's messenger - Xinhua:

Gu Jinping is the last man standing. Six decades after they began their work together, all his co-translators have passed on, but at the age of 85, it is Gu alone who continues the mission he began as an 18 year old...

For six decades, Gu has worked for the Central Compilation and Translation Bureau (CCTB). On the bookshelves that cover every space of his office walls are books that he worked on, including the complete works of Marx, Engels and Lenin...

To celebrate the 200th birthday of Karl Marx, Gu and his colleagues have been working on a set of 18 books for the past six months. He has also been working on the second Chinese edition of the complete works of Marx and Engels, a 70-volume project. The project began in 1986 and 28 volumes have already been published. It is estimated that it will take another 20 years for the whole collection to be finished.

Did his colleagues think they died in vain? Did Gu think he was going to as well, until Xi Jinping appeared?


4. Committee of 100 Annual Gala

The Annual Summit & Gala looks like it was an interesting event, though in the current environment I would not be surprised to see the organization get more attention. 

In Silicon Valley, a gathering urges Washington to rethink view of China | Asia Times:

At a time when reports of a “looming tech war” dominate news of US-China relations, Silicon Valley is ground zero. The Committee of 100, an organization that has worked for more than a quarter century to further US-China ties, invited experts and business leaders to America’s tech capital to tackle the tough questions facing the bilateral relationship, and the attendees had a clear message for Washington.

The Trump administration, along with a growing number of lawmakers in Washington, have a misguided view of China and its economic relations with the United States, speakers at the event agreed. Some, including Chas Freeman, a senior fellow at Brown University’s Watson Institute, suggested that Washington’s efforts are more of a desperate attempt to bring China’s rise to a halt. That is especially true with regard to recent sanctions placed on Chinese technology firms...

Huiyao Wang, founder of Beijing-based think tank Center for China & Globalization, stressed that BRI is not a China project, rather, you can think of China as the “angel investor,” borrowing Silicon Valley venture capital vernacular.

Chas Freeman made some interesting remarks at the gala on the Souring of Sino-American Relations:

American history shows that rivalry with foreign powers often leads to the persecution of minorities stereotypically associated with them by nativists.  Think of German-Americans in World War I, Japanese-Americans in World War II, and anyone prepared to say a kind word about either China or Russia in the first half of the Cold War.  Our political elite has now embraced a cartoonish vision of China as an economic pickpocket, military predator, and would-be exporter of authoritarianism.  There is a serious risk that both Chinese immigrants and Americans of Chinese heritage are about to be subjected to intensified racial profiling and discrimination.  In some respects, this is already happening…

Let us stipulate that the Chinese Communist Party rules China with the somewhat unenthusiastic consent of the Chinese people. Chinese tolerate the Party notwithstanding its ideology, which is uninspiring, not to say dispiriting, and its history of criminally injurious policies under Mao. The Chinese people’s allegiance does not rest on the Party’s victory in the Chinese civil war, which is incomplete. Chinese accept the Party’s rule because there is no apparent alternative to it and because they have an historically well-founded fear of anarchy, war, and foreign oppression.

But, when all is said and done, the Party’s legitimacy rests on its demonstrated ability to deliver rising standards of living and international prestige. China’s middle class is rapidly expanding (as ours contracts). Chinese are proud to live in a country that can no longer be pushed around. The Trump administration is now attacking both these pillars of the party-state in China. Not surprisingly, some in China see this as an existential American challenge.

I am a bit wary of discussions of the growing friction in the US-China relationship that elide the many contributions of Xi Jinping and the CCP to the increased tension. 

Committee of 100 Welcomes New Chair H. Roger Wang | Committee 100:

The Committee of 100 (C100) is pleased to announce H. Roger Wang has been elected by members as the new Chair. As Chair, Wang, an immigrant born in China, who also lived in Hong Kong and Taiwan, will preside over Board meetings and represent the non-profit organization in its bridge-building work on both sides of the Pacific Ocean. As Founding Chairman of Golden Eagle International Group, Wang is among the most successful Chinese American businessmen working in China. He also has maintained a high level of civic engagement with the community in the United States.


5. May 12 Is The 10th Anniversary of the Wenchuan Earthquake

Locals Remember Deadly Sichuan Earthquake, 10 Years On_Caixin:

This April, during the Qingming Festival — a time when Chinese people visit graves and remember the dead — Li reunited with over a dozen of his students.

Dressed in matching white mourning attire, the group returned to the old county seat of Beichuan, which was abandoned after the earthquake and deemed so dangerous that it was never rebuilt. The 27-square-kilometer (10.4 square miles) site is now a memorial park, and a new county seat has been rebuilt 24 kilometers (15 miles) away.

Many of the ruined structures in the park, with their collapsed walls and crumpled doors, are still littered with the belongings of the people who once lived here: shattered picture frames, TV remotes, clothes hangers and cracked coffee tables, all covered in a thick layer of dust.

Wenchuan shows effects of ecological restoration after 10 years: report - Xinhua:

In March, the CAS began a remote sensing survey of the environment restoration in the worst hit townships of Wenchuan County in southwest China's Sichuan Province, hit by a 8.0-magnitude quake in May, 2008.

The survey showed that landslide areas have been covered by vegetation and that landslides have decreased in the monitoring areas.

However, there are still geological disaster risks including landslides in some areas.


6. "Red Wall Consciousness" As A Governance Model 

Interesting that a Shanghai propaganda outlet made this video, looks to be another sign this may be extended outside of Beijing to all major cities. I wonder what role the grid management system plays in it.

"Red Wall Style" Beijing Propaganda Video Rips Off "Gangnam Style" | the Beijinger:

Made by Chinese media outlet The Paper, the music video prominently features public security volunteer organization Xicheng Dama performing public service as they cheerfully dance along in unison to the song's pseudo-electro beat.

As prominently seen throughout the video, "red wall" is a reference to the Zhongnanhai government compound that is located within their jurisdiction, so-named due to its tomato pastel-hued enclosure. By extension, "red wall consciousness" is a Chinese government term to represent the willingness of local Zhongnanhai residents to look after their own neighborhood. And now, "red wall style" becomes the catchphrase that succinctly summarizes all efforts – from residents, to Xicheng Dama public security volunteers, to authorities – to create a better, more harmonious society.

But they might want to work on the propaganda presentation...


7. Ant Financial Too Big For The CCP?

China's Got Jack Ma's Finance Giant in Its Crosshairs - Bloomberg:

Spanning online payments, insurance, lending, credit scores, asset management and more, Jack Ma’s Chinese behemoth resembles a mashup of PayPal, Geico, Wells Fargo and Equifax -- with a bit of BlackRock thrown in for good measure. Thanks to clever mobile apps and a burgeoning Chinese middle class, Ant oversees the world’s biggest money-market fund and handles more than $2.4 trillion of mobile payments every three months. Many of the company’s 870 million customers rely on it for nearly every aspect of their financial lives.

But Ant’s extraordinary reach may soon expose the company to a major challenge: Chinese policy makers, worried that Ant and other financial holding companies pose systemic risks to the nation’s $12.7 trillion economy, are drafting new regulations that could make it much harder for the companies to grow...

The rules will force Ant and some of its peers that straddle at least two financial industries to obtain licenses from China’s central bank and meet minimum capital requirements for the first time, according to people familiar with the matter

Ant Financial Annual Profit Jumps 65% Ahead of Anticipated IPO - Bloomberg:

Ant Financial, the Chinese online finance behemoth that’s expected to seek an initial public offering, posted a 65 percent jump in profit in fiscal 2018 as it expanded its footprint in wealth management, consumer lending and overseas markets.

The company controlled by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s billionaire co-founder Jack Ma posted 9.18 billion yuan ($1.4 billion) in pretax profit in the year ended March, according to Bloomberg calculations from Alibaba’s earnings report on Friday.


8. Law With Core Socialist Values

They were written into the Constitution, they will be everywhere…

CPC pledges to fully incorporate core socialist values in legislation - Xinhua:

The Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee on Monday announced a plan to "fully incorporate core socialist values in legislation" in the next five to 10 years.

The legislation, revision, abolishment, and explanation of laws should embody core socialist values, according to the document.

Laws and regulations should better demonstrate the nation's values, the moral orientation of society and the moral standards of citizens, it said.

The plan lists legislative areas to be prioritized, including economic and civil laws, judicial procedures, cultural laws, environmental laws and social ethics...

The legislature is also asked to draft laws that uphold social morality, such as those protecting the reputation of heroes and martyrs, and laws on the social credit system, according to the plan.

中共中央印发《社会主义核心价值观融入法治建设立法修法规划》

Core socialist values - China Daily 10.2017:

Core socialist values comprise a set of moral principles summarized by central authorities as prosperity, democracy, civility, harmony, freedom, equality, justice, the rule of law, patriotism, dedication, integrity and friendliness.

This doctrine has been encouraged by the Communist Party of China (CPC) since its 18th Party Congress in late 2012. It has evolved into a national campaign to rebuild faith amid concerns that the world's second-largest economy has lost its moral compass during its three-decade economic miracle.


Business, Economy, Finance And Trade

Equipment Maker DunAn Hit by $7 Bln Debt Crisis_Caixin A private Chinese company in distress over debts totaling 45 billion yuan ($7 billion) is seeking help from the local government, a sign that China’s deleveraging campaign has made business harder for companies backed by heavy borrowing. Zhejiang-based DunAn Group faces a debt crisis after a publicly listed subsidiary failed to raise capital through a bond sale. The precision manufacturing and equipment maker then turned to the local government for help.

Chinese group asks for $7bn government bailout - FT $$  The letter from privately owned DunAn Group, seen by the Financial Times, appeals directly to government concerns about financial stability in asking for officials to intervene with banks to resolve a liquidity crisis. DunAn has Rmb45bn ($7bn) in outstanding debt, according to the letter. “If a credit default happens, it will deliver a serious blow to many financial institutions in Zhejiang and may even cause systemic risks,” said the letter from DunAn to the provincial government of prosperous Zhejiang province on China’s east coast.  The letter blamed the country’s war on debt — described using military terminology as a “siege against heavily fortified positions” — for fundraising difficulties affecting the company, leading to “extremely serious liquidity difficulties”. 

Chao’s interviews with father raise ethical flags - POLITICO One interview with New China Press published on April 12, 2017, features the pair sitting in what appears to be the Department of Transportation, with DOT flags in view behind the interviewer. Long portions of the interview are in Chinese, with James Chao talking about his life story, with a copy of his biography on the screen, and Elaine Chao extolling her father’s success story as “lifting the status of Asian-Americans in America.” She also touts his $40 million gift to Harvard University. The appearances raise ethical concerns, experts say, because public officials are legally banned from using their office for any form of private gain for themselves or others

China CDR Rules Fall Short on Tackling Convertibility Hurdle_Caixin Draft regulations released on Friday (link in Chinese) by the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) cover a wide range of issues, including technical and administrative measures governing the listing and trading of CDRs, information disclosure, investor protection and the legal responsibilities of various parties. They follow the publication on March 30 of the listing criteria for companies eligible for the CDR trial, which is aimed at encouraging overseas-listed high-tech companies — such as Alibaba, JD.com Inc. and Baidu Inc. — to return home. But the CSRC document does not provide guidelines on the relationship between the CDRs and the underlying overseas-traded shares that they will represent, including how or whether the receipts can be freely converted into those shares

U.S. Glass-Maker Corning to Build $1.4 Billion Plant in Wuhan_Caixin Corning Inc., a leading maker of specialty glass for LCD displays, will invest up to $1.4 billion to build a new production facility in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, according to media reports over the weekend...Beijing has made development of the country’s panel industry a strategic part of its national plan and is providing strong support for such developments

Court Strikes Down Insurer Ownership Through Third Parties_Caixin China’s supreme court has ruled that companies can’t own insurance-company shares through a custodian because of the dangers such arrangements pose to the financial system. The ruling could deter a rampant practice that has allowed companies to hide their controlling interests in insurance firms in an effort to avoid regulatory scrutiny and finance their own risky expansions with money raised from the public.

China Steps Up Crackdown, Imposes More Fines on Financial Firms - Bloomberg China’s financial regulator stepped up its crackdown on industry malpractice, imposing a total 183 million yuan ($29 million) of fines on three institutions for transgressions including lax lending practices and understating of risky assets. The China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission imposed the latest penalties on China Merchants Bank Co., Industrial Bank Co. and Shanghai Pudong Development Co. for more than a dozen violations at each entity, the regulator announced late Friday.

1.2 Trillion Yuan in Chinese Public-private Partnerships Scrapped Since December - China Banking News The latest official data points to the scrapping of a sizeable number of public-private partnerships (PPP) in China following a nationwide crackdown on the sector by the central government. PPP’s have seen roaring growth in China over the past four years, with the number of PPP projects surging from zero to over 7000, representing a total investment sum of more than 11 trillion yuan.

Apple supplier raises fears over US-China trade spat FT $$ One of the biggest suppliers of iPhone components has warned that the US-China trade dispute could upset the Apple supply chain. “It is a new challenge and it is something that I have not had to face in the past, but my successors will have to face that risk,” said Morris Chang, founder and outgoing chairman of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing, which supplies processor chips for the iPhone. “What they can do? I don’t know.”

China's Russian Oil Marriage Nixed Amid Fall of Suitor CEFC - Bloomberg CEFC China Energy Co.’s agreement last year to purchase a $9 billion stake in Rosneft PJSC came to end as the sellers, a consortium of Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund and mining giant Glencore Plc, decided not to proceed with the deal. Qatar Investment Authority will instead take on a nearly 19 percent interest in Rosneft, Glencore said Friday, most of which had been originally slated for CEFC. Separately, meetings scheduled Monday for investors holding 15.1 billion yuan ($2.4 billion) in bonds issued by unit CEFC Shanghai International Group Ltd. were postponed, according to people at several underwriters, who asked not to be identified and were unable to explain the reasons for the delay.

China's ZTE seeks end to ban on buying American technology - AP The company said in a statement late Sunday that it had “formally submitted” a request to the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security for a “stay of the Denial Order.” It said it sent the bureau “supplemental information” following the ban. It gave no details in its brief statement.

China forex reserves fall to 5-month low in April - MarketWatch The reserves fell $17.97 billion from the previous month to $3.125 trillion, after rising $8.34 billion in March, according to data released Monday by the People's Bank of China. Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal had expected a $13 billion decline.

China steps up quarantine checks on U.S. apple, log imports | Reuters China’s main ports will step up quarantine checks on imports of apples and logs from the United States, and shipments found carrying disease or rot could be returned or destroyed, the Chinese customs agency said on Monday.

China Is Quietly Setting Global Standards - Bloomberg As China boosts overseas investment through its Belt and Road infrastructure program, it is increasingly dictating not just the terms of financing but also a broader set of technological applications. In doing so, it is altering the global competitive landscape by defining and exporting technical standards for everything from artificial intelligence to hydropower.

 

Politics, Law And Ideology

Party picks disgraced publicity official as anti-graft poster boy - Global Times Fallen cyberspace administration chief Lu Wei is being used as a warning to eliminate threats to the political security of the Communist Party of China (CPC) in provincial anti-corruption campaigns, which a Chinese expert said would deter violators ahead of personnel changes. East China's Anhui Province asked Party members and officials to use Lu as a negative example, to keep clean and being firmly loyal to the Party, according to a release from the CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) on Sunday. .. Northeast China's Heilongjiang Province and South China's Guangdong Province also launched similar education campaigns with Lu as the poster boy on April 26 and May 4 respectively, according to local media reports.  安徽:以鲁炜等案为反面教材开展专题警示教育

检察机关依法对魏民洲、刘善桥、陈旭提起公诉————要闻——中央纪委国家监委网站 Zhao Leji's former aide Wei Minzhou goes on trial, as do Liu Shanqiao and Chen Xu

Wang Xiangwei - Secret arrests and hurried trials of politicians and tycoons belie Beijing’s ‘rule of law’ vows | South China Morning Post It’s been some time since the trial of Bo Xilai was hailed a ‘victory for the rule of law in China’, and it seems upcoming trials targeting oligarchs will only damage the justice system’s credibility

Maoism is big in China, but Mao’s grandson isn’t — Quartz In late April, it was rumored that the grandson of Mao Zedong, China’s founding father, was among the 32 Chinese tourists killed in a bus crash in North Korea. More dramatically, it was said that the tour group was on its way to the grave of Mao’s eldest son, who was killed by a US bombing during the Korean War. But Mao Xinyu made a rare public appearance last week, proving the reports of his death—also denied by the Chinese foreign ministry as “groundless”—had been greatly exaggerated

Coal Boss Charged With Investigating Corruption Gets Investigated for Corruption_Caixin In an irony befitting modern China, the general manager of a coal company was put under investigation for corruption just two days after he was tasked with monitoring graft at the firm. Pei Xiping, the general manager of state-owned Yangquan Coal Industry Group Co. Ltd., is being probed for serious violations of party discipline — a euphemism for corruption — China’s top anti-graft watchdog said Saturday.

The Chinese town ‘pioneering’ virtual reality to stiffen Communist Party loyalty | South China Morning Post Qingyang, home to just 35,000 people, has spent US$110,000 building a VR centre to test cadres on their party knowledge

An L.A. triple-murder suspect was tried in China, and his case could open the door for similar prosecutions-La Times Chinese prosecutors appear to have made significant use of evidence the LAPD handed over. The cooperation was approved by L.A. County prosecutors, who weighed concerns about China's judicial system against the violent nature of Cui's crimes. It is unclear what role federal officials played in the decision. The Times examined the Cui case and two others in which a defendant was prosecuted in China for a crime committed on American soil. The cases are among the first of their kind and could open the door for similar prosecutions, especially in Southern California, with its large Chinese immigrant population.

Top Chinese Rights Lawyer Banned From Traveling to United States - RFA Ding Jiaxi, who has previously served jail time for calling on top officials of the ruling Chinese Communist Party to reveal details of their wealth, was stopped by police at Beijing International Airport on Thursday as he tried to board a plane to visit his wife and daughter in the U.S.

Chinese writers arrested for online ‘slurs’ about dairy firm as Beijing tightens grip on social media | South China Morning Post Zou Guangxiang and Liu Chengkun were apprehended at their homes in Beijing by police officers who had travelled from Hohhot, capital of Inner Mongolia, where the company, Yili Group, has its headquarters, Xinhua reported...According to the report, headlined “Social media is also ruled by law”, the arrests came after Yili chairman Pan Gang told the police about the rumours, one of which claimed the businessman had himself been taken into custody. In actual fact, Pan has been receiving medical treatment in the United States since leaving China on September 5, Xinhua said. 新华社披露诽谤伊利案侦办细节 嫌疑人已被批准逮捕 

国安部长陈文清任中央国安办常务副主任(图/简历)|陈文清|国安|国家安全委员会_新浪新闻 MSS head Chen Wenqing is also the executive vice director of the office of the National Security Commission

财政部原党组副书记、副部长张少春涉嫌严重违纪违法接受中央纪委国家监委纪律审查和监察调查——中央纪委国家监委网站 Zhang Shaochun, former vice minister of finance, under investigation

'Sick of being treated like a criminal': Crackdown shakes Chinese city's 'Little Africa' | AFP Guangzhou draws merchants who come to buy goods such as jewellery and electronics in bulk, which they ship back to their homelands. But in January, the official Xinhua news agency reported that the African population in Guangzhou had decreased as “police have tightened enforcement on illegal immigration”. There are now 15,000 Africans living in the city compared to 20,000 in 2009, but “the real number, including illegal immigrants and overstayers, is believed to have been much higher,” the report said.

 

Foreign and Military Affairs

Burning Umbrella: An Intelligence Report on the Winnti Umbrella and Associated State-Sponsored Attackers: We assess with high confidence that the Winnti umbrella is associated with the Chinese state intelligence apparatus, with at least some elements located in the Xicheng District of Beijing. A number of Chinese state intelligence operations from 2009 to 2018 that were previously unconnected publicly are in fact linked to the Winnti umbrella.

Leahy questions AG over China’s abuse of Interpol to coerce Chinese dissidents | Vermont Business Magazine US Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) have led a bipartisan group of Senators in asking U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions to provide information regarding recent reports of Chinese authorities abusing Interpol red notices to harass dissidents living abroad and threaten suspects’ family members who remain in China in an attempt to compel their return.

Commentary: China-Japan-S.Korea leaders' meeting to kindle new hope for regional prosperity, stability - Xinhua The upcoming meeting in Japan will bring together Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and South Korean President Moon Jae-in. Apart from the gathering, Li will also pay an official visit to Japan, the first in eight years by a Chinese premier.

Chinese premier arrives in Indonesia for official visit - Xinhua Chinese Premier Li Keqiang arrived in Jakarta Sunday for an official visit to Indonesia, the first stop on his first overseas trip since the new cabinet took office in March. Li's visit comes as this year marks the 5th anniversary of the establishment of the China-Indonesia comprehensive strategic partnership and the 15th anniversary of the strategic partnership between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Japan and China ‘won’t mention disputed islands’ in sovereignty hotline talks, avoiding potential rough waters | South China Morning Post Not making any specific geographic reference was a compromise on the part of both nations, which have long struggled to make a breakthrough on the issue of how to deal with the territorial waters and airspace around the Senkaku Islands, known as the Diaoyus in China, the source said. The deal is expected to be struck during a bilateral meeting between Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang when the two leaders meet on Wednesday on the sidelines of a trilateral summit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in.

Naval War College Publishes Ryan Martinson’s CMSI ‘Red Book’ #15—“Echelon Defense: The Role of Sea Power in Chinese Maritime Dispute Strategy” | Andrew S. Erickson CMSI is pleased to present the China Maritime Studies Institute’s latest monograph in its Red Book series, “Echelon Defense: the Role of Sea Power in Chinese Maritime Dispute Strategy,” by Professor Ryan Martinson. This study represents years of research and analysis of specialized Chinese journals covering developments in the PLA Navy, the China Coast Guard (and its predecessor organizations), and China’s broader political apparatus for prosecuting its maritime disputes. This groundbreaking work on China’s “echelon defense” explains a central component of China’s emerging maritime power.

Seoul offers Kim Jong-un grand bargain to link North and South Korean economies with China | South China Morning Post President Moon Jae-in gave the North’s leader Kim Jong-un a USB drive containing a “New Economic Map of the Korean Peninsula” at the fortified border village of Panmunjom on April 27. The initiative included three economic belts – one connecting the west coast of the peninsula to China, making the region a centre of logistics; one connecting the east coast to Russia for energy cooperation and one on the current border to promote tourism.

Border city Dandong expects trade boom with North Korea - Global Times Business-people in a Chinese city on the border with North Korea are cautiously optimistic about opportunities arising alongside their neighbor's plans to prioritize economic growth. On the streets of Dandong, opposite the North Korean city of Sinuiju, people are talking about how Dandong might change if economic exchanges begin with North Korea.

German official voices concern over limits on foreign press in China | Reuters A senior German official on Monday expressed concern about limits facing foreign correspondents in China, and urged Beijing to allow state-funded German public broadcaster Deutsche Welle to open an office in Beijing. Foreign Ministry State Secretary Andreas Michaelis underscored the importance of freedom of speech and the press as central rights in the German constitution in remarks at the opening of a one-day German-Chinese journalist dialogue.

How far can China’s long-range missiles reach in the South China Sea? - DefenseNews Koh told Defense News that the presence of the missiles, with a reported range of 160 and 295 nautical miles respectively, signifies that China regards the artificial islands as strategically high-value installations and merits the allocation of such resources for protection. The islands were built with sand dredged from the seabed. They are now host to airfields, military installations, supporting infrastructure and ship-berthing spaces.

南海海域海上阅兵精彩影像曝光--图片频道--人民网 slideshow of the April PLAN sea parade in the South China Sea

习近平南海海上阅兵多幅照片首次公开_新改革时代 slideshow of Xi inspecting the naval parade

 

Tech And Media

China Plans $47 Billion Fund to Boost Its Semiconductor Industry - WSJ $$ The new war chest by the government-backed China Integrated Circuit Industry Investment Fund Co. follows a similar fund launched in 2014 that raised 139 billion yuan ($21.8 billion), largely funded by central and local government-backed enterprises and industry players. Among other efforts, the fund would be used to improve China’s ability to design and manufacture advanced microprocessors and graphic-processing units, one of the people said. Specific details including the amount could change, another person said.

Alibaba, Tencent and Baidu turn sights on short video - FT $$ Short-video apps have proved a big hit in China, featuring user-generated clips on everything from cooking to dog-grooming. The top four short-video platforms had 417m users at the end of 2017, according to data research firm QuestMobile, a number that rose to 582m by March — more than three-quarters of the country’s mobile internet users The industry is also increasingly lucrative, generating Rmb5.73bn ($901m) in revenues last year, almost triple the previous year, according to iResearch, a market research firm.

Apple blames app developers for differential pricing - ECNS Apple China said it will not take the blame for developers who charge differently on the iOS app and Android versions for the same product or service. Netizens have found they need to pay more on iOS than Android in using the same ride-sharing or video subscription services. Some Internet companies have reportedly adopted differential pricing plans through the use of Big Data based on a customer's buying behavior or interest, so a new customer may pay less than an old customer for the same product or service.

 

Society, Art, Sports, Culture And History

In China’s cities, young people with rural ties are angry - The bitter generation: Young migrants share four characteristics that worry the party. Like their parents, they are not well educated. The men face more of a “marriage squeeze” than their fathers did, ie, a shortage of women of marriageable age from similar backgrounds. They similarly earn low wages and face official discrimination as a result of the hukou system that shuts many of them out of subsidised urban services such as education and health care. But they are more dissatisfied and pessimistic than their parents were. Their hopes of carving out a future in big cities are being wrecked by high living costs, demographic change and the hostility of local governments... The party, however, cannot take their passivity for granted. Throughout Chinese history, opposition has seemed muted right up to the point when it has exploded. Yu Jianrong of CASS wrote in 2014 that the social exclusion felt by new-generation migrants could forge a sense of common political cause among them that could even lead to revolution. Mr Yu called this a “colossal hidden threat to China’s future social stability”. There is little sign of that yet, but there are several reasons for thinking migrants might become more restless.

Famed Chinese orphanage closed, leader detained - Global Times Owner grew rich while operating Love Village, authorities charge. Authorities in North China's Hebei Province closed an orphanage and have detained its well-known owner over the weekend in a case that has sparked discussions on whether an individual should be allowed to accumulate wealth while operating a charity.

 

Energy, Environment, Science And Health

栗战书:以法律的武器治理污染 用法治的力量保卫蓝天-新华网 Li Zhanshu chairs meeting of air pollution prevention enforcement and inspection group..Li will chair this first group, which means there will be lots of noise an possibly real substance around inspections and enforcement  此次执法检查由栗战书委员长任组长。执法检查组将组成4个小组分赴8个省(区)进行检查,同时委托其他23个省(区、市)人大常委会对本行政区域内法律贯彻实施情况进行检查。

China's top legislature to inspect enforcement of air pollution control law - Xinhua China's top legislature will send four teams of lawmakers to inspect enforcement of the air pollution control law in eight provincial-level regions across the country. The lawmakers convened their first plenary meeting here Monday. The inspection is aimed at pushing the whole Party and nation to willingly adopt the new development concept and effectively implement major environmental policies made by the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, said Li Zhanshu, chairman of the National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee and a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, who presided over the meeting.

Chinese fish farm tests deep-sea waters with ‘world’s biggest’ salmon cage | South China Morning Post Shandong Wanzefeng Fishery, the operator, said a fully submersible net cage called Deep Blue No 1, the world’s biggest, was delivered to the shipyard of state-owned Wuchang Shipbuilding Industry on Friday, state-run Xinhua reported. The 35-metre-high cage will be deployed in the Yellow Sea about 130 nautical miles east of Rizhao where the cold water is believed to be a suitable habitat for the fish.

Education

Peking University head sorry for slip-up - China Daily Peking University President Lin Jianhua has apologized after his mispronunciation of a word at its 120th anniversary celebration triggered online criticism. Lin made the mistake while delivering a speech meant to inspire students at Peking University's 120th anniversary ceremony on Friday. It triggered heated debate online, with some netizens criticizing Lin for not knowing the word and questioning whether he was qualified to be head of one of China's best universities-known as the country's Harvard. The word should be pronounced "honghu", indicating birds that can fly high. The president pronounced it as "honghao", which has no meaning.

Language Log » Peking University president misreads an unobscure character: monumental implications In an address celebrating the 120th anniversary of Peking University, the president of said institution, Lin Jianhua, misread hónghú zhì 鸿鹄志 ("grand, lofty aspiration") as hónghào zhì 鸿皓志 (doesn't really mean anything). Lin's misreading of hú 鹄 ("swan") as hào 皓 ("bright; luminous; hoary"), although sensational on social media, is actually the least of Peking University's public relations crises at the current moment.  Far greater is the negative publicity surrounding its suppression of the #MeToo movement on campus, and most serious of all are its harsh attempts to silence discontent over the mishandling of a professor-student rape-suicide case dating back twenty years that has recently come under the spotlight, especially when the main complainant is not backing down, even under tremendous threats from the University.