US-China Trade Talks; Kim-Xi To Meet In Beijing?; South China Sea; John Bolton On The "Taiwan Card"; Gaokao Reforms

Apologies for the late newsletter today, I am a bit under the weather.

Two big news items today are Kim Jung Un's visit to Beijing, his first ever as head of North Korea, and reports of talks between the US and China to avert a trade war.

Beijing clearly wants to get on the same page with Kim before his planned meeting with Trump. How Beijing got him to come is an interesting question. Did they threaten him with tougher sanctions? Did they offer concessions? Either way, the visit makes it much harder to argue that Beijing has limited influence over Kim.

I had heard last week about the US-China discussions, including an exchange of letters between Liu He and Steve Mnuchin and Robert Lighthizer but obliquely mentioned them in my newsletter Friday. There is a chance a full-blown trade war can be averted, at least in the near term. The Chinese side wants to deal. From my Axios China newsletter Friday:

My thought bubble: During his visit to Washington at the beginning of March, Liu He, now a vice-premier, presented the U.S. with a list of areas in which the PRC was willing to make concessions. The Trump team did not agree but the two sides are still discussing that list, and it's possible that during the 45-day period the U.S. and China could reach agreement on broader concessions that may forestall a broader trade war, at least in the near-term.

Could the Trump approach to pushing China to move on some of its unfair trade practices be working? Stormy times ahead are still likely though, even if the immediate clash is avoided.

Thanks for reading.

The Essential Eight

1. US-China Trade Talks

U.S., China Quietly Seek Trade Solutions After Days of Loud Threats - WSJ $$:

The talks, which cover wide areas including financial services and manufacturing, are being led by Liu He, China’s economic czar in Beijing, and U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and U.S. trade representative Robert Lighthizer in Washington.

In a letter Messrs. Mnuchin and Lighthizer sent to Mr. Liu late last week, the Trump administration set out specific requests that include a reduction of Chinese tariffs on U.S. automobiles, more Chinese purchases of U.S. semiconductors and greater access to China’s financial sector by American companies, the people said. Mr. Mnuchin is weighing a trip to Beijing to pursue the negotiations, one of these people said...

Washington is also considering the possibility of pressing Beijing to shift some of its semiconductor purchases to U.S. companies from Japanese and South Korean ones, people familiar with the talks said.

Xi is expected to make more big reform promises in his speech at Boao next month.Whether those promises become reality, and how how quickly, will be key, as patience is over for more empty promises. 

China offers to buy more US semiconductors to cut trade surplus - CNBC:

China has offered to buy more semiconductors from the United States by diverting some purchases from South Korea and Taiwan, to help cut China's trade surplus with the U.S., CNBC confirmed on Monday.

To avert a looming trade war with the U.S., Chinese officials are also rushing to finalize new regulations by May that will allow foreign financial groups to take majority stakes in its securities firms.

U.S. Pushes China on Cars and Finance in Tariff Talks - Bloomberg:

Trump wants to see a $100-billion reduction in America’s trade deficit with China this year, as well as action on intellectual property, White House trade adviser Peter Navarro told Bloomberg Radio on Monday. The U.S. had a $337-billion trade shortfall in goods and services with China last year.

“We are already at the negotiating table,” he said. Mnuchin and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer “actively engage with the Chinese side,” Navarro said. “The problem is talk isn’t cheap with the Chinese side. It’s been very expensive” for the U.S., he added.

Business, Political Leaders Urge Dialogue to Resolve U.S.-China Trade Tensions - Caixin Global:

Attending the China Development Forum in Beijing, former U.S. Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers said the biggest effects of a trade war would be psychological, but added that he was personally worried about the situation.

“I do not remember a moment when I had more long-term concern about the future of the U.S.-China global economic relationship,” he said, calling for discussions to go beyond just commercial concerns to resolve the conflict. “Trade is too important to leave to trade negotiators,” he added.

2. Kim-Xi To Meet In Beijing?

Last week I heard a rumor that a propaganda order had gone out banning criticism of Kim and North Korea. Now we know why...

Kim Jong Un Is Making a Surprise China Visit, Sources Say - Bloomberg:

Kim Jong Un has made a surprise visit to Beijing on his first known trip outside North Korea since taking power in 2011, three people with knowledge of the visit said.

Further details of the visit, including how long Kim would stay and who he would meet, were not immediately available. The people asked not to be identified because of the sensitivity of the information.

A special train may have carried Kim through the northeastern Chinese border city of Dandong, Japan’s Kyodo News said earlier. Nippon TV showed footage of a train arriving Monday in Beijing that looked similar to one used by Kim’s father, Kim Jong Il, to visit the Chinese capital shortly before his death in 2011.

Security high in Beijing as top ranking North Korean official said to be visiting China | South China Morning Post:

While it has yet to be confirmed if the person is Kim himself, the security arrangements suggest it is someone of great significance.

At the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing, where foreign dignitaries usually stay, there has been a marked increase in police activity, with a large number of officers and about 50 vehicles seen in the area. Nearby roads have been cordoned off.

Sources said that security had also been stepped up in recent days in Dandong, Liaoning province, a city in northeastern China that borders North Korea, in preparation for a train carrying the official passing through.

Beijing ‘Shouldn’t Feel Marginalized’ by Kim-Trump Talks, Ex-Senior Foreign Affairs Official Says - Caixin Global:

In an exclusive interview with Caixin, Yu Hongjun, former deputy minister of the International Department of the party’s Central Committee said: “The current situation is what China expected to see. The public may still feel little uncomfortable because things happened too quickly. However, China will surely find its own position and play its role and influence (the North Korea nuclear issue).”

Yu was part of the team that guided the Chinese government’s foreign policy decisions from 2010 to 2014, and is now a member of the influential government-backed think tank, Charhar Institute.

3. South China Sea Tensions Not Going Away

Beijing accuses US of ‘serious provocation’ after destroyer sails through disputed South China Sea | South China Morning Post:

Beijing also announced it was staging a naval drill in the disputed waters on Friday, but said it was not targeted at any specific country.

The Chinese defence ministry said the USS Mustin had been “warned off” by two Chinese frigates.

An anonymous US official told Reuters that the destroyer was carrying out a “freedom of navigation” operation, passing within 12 nautical miles of Mischief Reef in the Spratly Islands, where China has built an artificial island.

PLA Air Force tests abilities over water - China Daily:

The People's Liberation Army Air Force recently conducted combat exercises over the western Pacific Ocean and South China Sea, according to its spokesman, Senior Colonel Shen Jinke.

Shen said on Sunday that a group of aircraft including H-6K bombers and Su-30 fighter jets flew over the Miyako Strait earlier last week and then carried out combat training over the western Pacific to verify their long-range operational capabilities.

At the same time, another group of H-6Ks, Su-35 fighter jets and other aircraft conducted a joint combat patrol over the South China Sea, practicing aerial maneuvers and strike tactics at sea, he said in a statement published by the Air Force.


Vietnam halts South China Sea oil drilling project under pressure from Beijing - Reuters:

Vietnam has halted an oil drilling project in the "Red Emperor" block off its southeastern coast licensed to Spanish energy firm Repsol (REP.MC) following pressure from China, three sources with direct knowledge of the situation told Reuters on Friday.

It would be the second time in less than a year that Vietnam has had to suspend a major oil development in the busy South China Sea waterway under pressure from China.

A source with direct knowledge of the situation said government ministries in Vietnam had paused the project while the decision-making politburo debates whether to suspend or indefinitely terminate the contract.

4. John Bolton On The "Taiwan Card"

Of all the issues in the US-China relationship right now the one that may have the most risk for the US, China and Taiwan is how the Trump Administration adjusts US policy towards Taiwan. 

The U.S. Can Play a ‘Taiwan Card’ - WSJ Oped John Bolton in 2016

For a new U.S. president willing to act boldly, there are opportunities to halt and then reverse China’s seemingly inexorable march toward hegemony in East Asia. Playing the “China card” in the Nixon Administration made sense at the time, but the reflexive, near-addictive adherence to pro-China policies since has become unwise and increasingly risky as Beijing’s isolation and backwardness have diminished.

An alternative now would be to play the “Taiwan card” against China. America should insist that China reverse its territorial acquisitiveness, including abandoning its South China Sea bases and undoing the ecological damage its construction has caused. China is free to continue asserting its territorial claims diplomatically, but until they are peacefully resolved with its near neighbors, they and the U.S. are likewise free to ignore such claims in their entirety.

If Beijing isn’t willing to back down, America has a diplomatic ladder of escalation that would compel Beijing’s attention. The new U.S. administration could start with receiving Taiwanese diplomats officially at the State Department; upgrading the status of U.S. representation in Taipei from a private “institute” to an official diplomatic mission; inviting Taiwan’s president to travel officially to America; allowing the most senior U.S. officials to visit Taiwan to transact government business; and ultimately restoring full diplomatic recognition.

There is also this interesting tweet by someone rumored to be getting a job in the Trump Administration now that Bolton is going in as National Security Advisor:

Daniel Blumenthal@DAlexBlumenthal

This is a VERY important development showing support for Taiwan and deterrence of China and that US relations with democratic Taiwan will not be dictated by the CCP. Much more to come.

March 22, 2018

5. Guo Shuqing Is Party Secretary of The PBoC

Is Yi Gang at all tainted inside the system by his long time in the US?

Financial Regulatory Chief Named to Top Party Post at Central Bank - Caixin Global:

Also part of the restructuring of the financial regulatory framework, the PBOC will take over the role of drafting key regulations and designing the basic rules for prudential oversight for the banking and insurance industries. Last week, it was announced that PBOC Deputy Governor Yi Gang will be the new head of the central bank, succeeding Zhou Xiaochuan, who retired after more than 15 years at the post.

China appoints a party secretary to every government agency to represent the interests and carry out policies of the ruling Communist Party. The party secretary often has equivalent or even greater power than the organization’s official head. The roles are often assumed by the same person. For example, Zhou was both the PBOC’s governor and its party chief.

Making Guo both the head of the CBIRC and the party secretary of the PBOC underscores the government’s intention to grease the gears of cooperation between the two agencies, a source close to the central bank who declined to be named told Caixin.

So who’s really in charge at China’s central bank? New double-headed leadership team muddies the waters | South China Morning Post:

According to the central bank’s website, Yi is the number one as he will be in charge of the bank’s day-to-day operations.

China’s central bank law also stipulates that the governor is the person in charge.

However, Guo, who has a higher ranking in the Communist Party, will have authority over key issues such as personnel and institutional restructuring, making his real power greater than Yi’s – especially when his role as top financial regulator is factored in.

New Central Bank Chief Outlines Three Principles for Financial Sector Opening - Caixin Global:

As a competitive service industry, the financial sector should abide by pre-establishment national treatment and the negative list system, he said, outlining the first of those principles.

Second, the opening of the financial industry must be coordinated with reform of the exchange rate mechanism and the capital account convertibility process, he said.

Third, equal emphasis should be placed on financial risks.The level of opening should be matched to regulatory capacity, said Yi.

6. Amazing China's Amazing Box Office Success

Amazing China: a Propaganda Success or Failure? – Elephant Room:

The astonishing box office performance and the overwhelming compliments the film has received thus far finally got the two of us curious enough to go and check it out. But we weren’t thinking about watching it for the entertainment. Rather, we were on a mission to explore the Chinese government’s modern-day propaganda mechanisms. Exactly what resources have the authorities deployed for the film, and more importantly, is it any good?

On March 2, during a casual mid-day Weibo wander, we noticed something unusual. At least 10 Chinese celebrities – including some of the most influential ones with millions upon millions of followers – were promoting Amazing China through their personal accounts at around the same hour. Full of exclamation marks and flattery, these Weibo posts were clearly pre-written by someone else and handed to the celebrities with orders from the top...

Shocked by the mounting rave reviews of the film, we proceeded to Douban, the social platform where users tend to rate and review movies in a more liberated and honest gesture. But guess what.

Apparently, Amazing China is too special for comments, reviews or ratings whatsoever. Users are not allowed to say a word about the film, and all it shows on the page is an 8.5 “media score”. Who scored it? Based on what? No one knows.

7. The Communist Party As Rainmaker

I am not a scientist but I am guessing they are not creating new moisture, just redirecting it from other areas that now won't get as much rain?

China needs more water. So it's building a rain-making network three times the size of Spain | South China Morning Post:

The system, which involves an enormous network of fuel-burning chambers installed high up on the Tibetan mountains, could increase rainfall in the region by up to 10 billion cubic metres a year – about 7 per cent of China’s total water consumption – according to researchers involved in the project.

Tens of thousands of chambers will be built at selected locations across the Tibetan plateau to produce rainfall over a total area of about 1.6 million square kilometres (620,000 square miles), or three times the size of Spain. It will be the world’s biggest such project.

The chambers burn solid fuel to produce silver iodide, a cloud-seeding agent with a crystalline structure much like ice.

8. Gaokao Reforms

China issues new orders on national college entrance examination to promote equality - Xinhua:

Starting from this year's gaokao, sports, math and science competition winners nationwide will no longer get bonus points added to their gaokao results, the ministry said in the circular issued last week

The ministry also canceled extra points for those who are named "provincial-level outstanding students" or those recognized for excellent moral performance.

The ministry said it would raise enrollment quotas for students from less developed central and western parts of the country and those from populous provinces.

Business, Economy, Finance And Trade

Google’s Pichai Sings China’s Praises in AI, Pledges Bigger Team - Bloomberg “China is already playing a big part in how AI will shape our futures," Pichai said at the annual China Development Forum in Beijing. "When we build together we get to better ideas faster."  // Comment:  Pichai met with Li Keqiang, is also on the list for the CEO meeting with Wang Qishan. I assume the point of the Wang meeting is to get the CEOs to see hope and go back home and lobby against tougher trade measures...

Deleveraging Campaign to Focus on Disguised Lending, Government Think Tank Head Says - Caixin Global Authorities will mainly target the widespread practice of disguising lending as equity investment in the deleveraging drive because such acts conceal debt risks and will cause a lot of problems in future, Li Yang, president of the National Institution for Finance & Development, a government think tank, said at a forum in Beijing Saturday.

China Opens Trade Probe Into Imported Chemical - Caixin Global In February, several domestic petrochemical companies filed a complaint with the Ministry of Commerce that accused the United States, the European Union, South Korea, Japan and Thailand of dumping phenol products on the Chinese market, according to a statement by the ministry. The complaint said the other countries’ actions reduced domestic producers’ profits and damaged the industry.

China’s Oil Futures Soar on Debut - WSJ $$ Beijing has been planning to launch its own oil market for several years, with the aim of providing an oil price that will be more closely aligned to local supply and demand conditions. China is the world’s biggest importer of oil after the U.S., and its fourth-largest producer. The new oil futures traded in Shanghai are open to foreign investors, the first time China has allowed them to trade in its domestic commodities markets in this wa


Politics, Law And Ideology

As fears of Xi’s personality cult deepen, China must dial down the propaganda | This Week In Asia | South China Morning Post - Wang Xiangwei “A Man Who Makes Things Happen”, “Communist Party Core Forged During ‘Great Struggle’”, “Servant of the Public”, “Strategist Behind China’s Reform”, “Top Commander Reshaping the Military”, “A World Leader”, and “Architect of Modernisation For New Era”. Those are just a few of the superlatives China’s massive propaganda apparatus has used to extol the virtues of President Xi Jinping since the 19th congress in October, when he secured a stronger mandate for his second five-year term as party chief and chairman of the armed forces. Not bad for someone dismissed by some self-professed China analysts as a weak and ineffective leader a little more than five years ago when he first came to power....At a time when concerns over the building of a personality cult around Xi are rising at home and abroad, it is time for the country’s propaganda apparatus to dial down the rhetoric.

At China’s ‘Two Sessions’, Xi Jinping Leaves His Mark on the Party State - Jamestown n his maiden speech as the newly installed head of China’s top legislature, Li Zhanshu, a close confidant of Xi’s, heaped five titles on the leader for life: “core of the party, military commander, the people’s leader, the helmsman for a new era in socialism with Chinese characteristics, and the people’s lingluren (“guide”).” In CCP history, only Mao has been accorded the encomiums “helmsman” and “lingluren” (People’s Daily, March 20). The history of both the Soviet and the Chinese Communist Party is replete with demigod-like figures such as Mao Zedong and Stalin who have not only modified the party in their own images but also subsumed much of the resources and powers of the party-state apparatus to their own overarching ambitions. Like those figures, criticism from both domestic and foreign opinion-makers is unlikely to make the slightest dent on Xi Jinping’s determination to remain China’s supreme helmsman. -- Dr. Willy Wo-Lap Lam

央视原创时政微视频丨窑洞里的读书人_央视新闻客户端_央视网( "The Scholar in the cave dwelling"--CCTV short video on Xi's studying while he was living in Liangjiahe

Guerrilla Ideology | China Media Project The essential argument Chang [Ping] makes in this commentary is that the Chinese Communist Party has never at any point relinquished its Cold War rhetoric in the domain of news and ideology, and has never halted its preparation for an ideological showdown with the West. In fact, he says, the wealthier China has become, the more it has invested in its bid for ideological dominance. The recent announcement of the creation of “Voice of China,” says Chang, is only the latest chapter in the Party’s campaign of ideological opposition, which is colored by a nationalism driven by a narrative of victimization.

2018 NPC Session: Documents List – NPC Observer The following is a list of all official documents presented to, adopted by, or otherwise related to the 1st Session of the 13th NPC, which concluded last Tuesday (March 20). Xinhua only finished publishing these documents today. Currently, only Chinese versions of these documents are available. Official English translations of four reports (noted below) will become available soon.

Man Detained for Badmouthing Traffic Cops in Chat Group Spoof| Sixth Tone Another Chinese citizen has been punished for their private messages. A man surnamed Ding was detained for making fun of law enforcement in a group chat, Shaanxi provincial media reported Monday.


Foreign and Military Affairs

 Putin to visit China as leaders consolidate power at home - CNN According to Russian state media, an official state visit will be held in conjunction with a meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in Qingdao, scheduled for June.  //  Comment: And Wang Yi going to Russia this week

China Brings Warm Words to U.N., and Rights Activists Feel a Chill - The New York Times Without specifying any immediate action, it called for “a community of shared future for human beings” and “mutually beneficial cooperation in the field of human rights” — words reflecting “the very purpose of the United Nations,” according to Yu Jianhua, ambassador for China, whose initiative it was. Western officials and rights organizations, however, saw another purpose at work. They share deep concern about the wider intent behind those phrases, seeing them as tools in a developing effort to reshape international norms on rights and make the world a safer place for autocrats.

China says stance of US official on human rights resolution "arrogant" - Xinhua Chinese foreign ministry Monday refuted the remarks of a U.S. official regarding a UN resolution titled "promoting mutually beneficial cooperation in the field of human rights," which was adopted by the UN Human Rights Council last Friday. "The U.S. official's remarks are very unreasonable, and it demonstrates some people's ignorance and arrogance," said foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying at a daily pres briefing in response to U.S. diplomat Jason Mack's remarks that China "tries to glorify its own idea of mutually beneficial cooperation." 

Maldives looks to ‘long lost cousin’ China, despite ‘brother’ India’s concerns | South China Morning Post Envoy says country will further embrace Chinese investment, as Maldivian president lifts 45-day state of emergency in troubled South Asian nation

U.S. House panel to probe China military footprint in Africa: chairman - Reuters Nunes cited China’s opening last summer of a military base in Djibouti, in the Horn of Africa and at the entrance of Red Sea, as an example of how Beijing is jockeying to assert power of trade.

Pakistanis distressed as Uighur wives vanish in China dragnet - DAWN.COM Their families, they learned, had disappeared into a growing network of shadowy “re-education centres” that have swept up the region's Uighur Muslim minority over fears of Islamic militancy crossing the border from Pakistan. “My wife and kids were taken away by the Chinese authorities in March last year and I haven't heard from them since,” said Iqbal, a Pakistani businessman who declined to give his surname over concern about his family's safety.

Draft rules issued on consular protection to help Chinese abroad - Global Times When Chinese nationals are held in custody, arrested or have their liberty restricted, China's diplomatic departments will ensure Chinese citizens enjoy humanitarian and fair treatment, the draft reads. The law also clarifies the wrong notion that "China's consulate is responsible for everything abroad," said Ma Zhengang, a former senior diplomat and vice president of China Public Diplomacy Association. The draft listed five situations not in the scope of consular services including arbitration of labor disputes or investigation of any legal cases involving Chinese nationals.

The Art of Peace: A Young Chinese Woman’s Unlikely Career Choice - Sixth Tone While her peers donned suits and started their careers in office buildings or flew abroad to further their studies, 22-year-old French major Zhang Zixuan disappeared to a training ground in northwestern China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region upon graduation from university last June. When she resurfaced earlier this month, it was at a ceremony inducting her into China’s new permanent UN peacekeeping unit.


Tech And Media

Huawei Rings Up Top-Level Management Changes - Caixin Global As part of the broader shift, Huawei, a Chinese leader on the global technology stage, will eliminate its current rotating CEO position, while retaining its fixed CEO position held by founder Ren Zhengfei. It will also install a new rotating chairman’s position, a company spokeswoman confirmed to Caixin. The overhaul will leave the company with dual positions of chairman and a separate rotating chairman at the top, and a single CEO. The shift will see Liang Hua take over as chairman of the company, replacing Sun Yafang. Born in 1955, Sun had served as Huawei’s chairwoman since 1999, and joined the company just two years after its founding in 1987. Liang is nine years Sun’s junio

Phone users set to foot the bill amid fears over China tech power - Sydney Morning Herald Fairfax Media can reveal that US President Donald Trump raised the US concerns about Huawei directly with Mr Turnbull and other officials, but those aware of the talks said this did not mean Australia had decided to ban the company. The Turnbull government’s message to the US was that the Trump administration must do more to prevent Chinese companies leapfrogging their American competitors and offering cheaper and better technology.

Beijing Designates Suburban Roads as Driverless-Car Test Zones - Caixin Global The 33 designated roads are located mainly in less-populated areas in the suburban districts of Shunyi, Haidian and Yizhuang, Beijing’s Municipal Commission of Transport said Thursday (link in Chinese). Warning signs will be placed on the 33 roads, and all autonomous cars will have to be emblazoned with striking designs that indicate that they are self-driving, according to the commission. The statement did not specify a date on which testing will be permitted to begin.

SoftBank Considers $1 Billion Investment in Chinese Truck-Hailing Firm - WSJ The possible investment is part of a fundraising effort by Manbang Group, a tech unicorn that runs a mobile app platform matching truck drivers with shippers who have cargo to move.

China Wants Its Own Brains Behind 30 Million Self-Driving Cars - Bloomberg China’s aspiration to deploy 30 million autonomous vehicles within a decade is seeding a fledgling chip industry, with startups like Horizon Robotics Inc. emerging to build the brains behind those wheels.

China sends serious message with ban on video spoofs amid content crackdown | South China Morning Post Directive from media regulator applies to videos that ‘distort, mock or defame classical literary and art works’


Society, Art, Sports, Culture And History

The Sincere Indignation of Simon Leys – China Channel Simon Leys was actually Pierre Ryckmans, a scholar of ancient Chinese art and literature at the Australian National University in Canberra. His essays, published first in French and soon after in English, exposed in lucid, unflinching prose the uncomfortable realities of Mao’s Cultural Revolution. Leys aimed many of his harshest barbs not at the regime itself, but at the phalanxes of Western intellectuals and journalists who marched in unison to blindly praise Mao. What these observers celebrated from the comfort of their European and American homes, Leys suggested, was neither cultural nor a revolution: it was a political struggle that had destroyed the achievements of Chinese culture while preserving the feudal despotism of the past. Chinese communism, he once said, “breaks eggs without ever making an omelette

Archaeologists confident they have found body of fabled Chinese warlord Cao Cao | South China Morning Post Experts at the Henan Provincial Institute of Cultural Heritage and Archaeology recently concluded that the remains of an adult male in his sixties found at a burial site in central China was Cao Cao, the news portal Red Star News reported on Sunday. Cao Cao was a central figure in China’s Three Kingdoms period (220-280) and later featured as a central character in the classic novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms.

Shanghai Backtracks on Rule That Bans Green-Card Holders - Caixin Global “As the detailed rules of the Exit and Entry Administration Law of the People’s Republic of China hasn’t been finalized, the statutory definition of ‘settling abroad’ remains unclear and unspecified,” the city’s public security authority said in a statement Sunday. “Hence, at the current stage, the Shanghai policy will not terminate the (Shanghai residency permits) of those settled abroad.”

Chinese Football Association to ban tattoo from players: report - Global Times Chinese soccer players might have been ordered to conceal their tattoos, media reported, after China's national team players were seen covering them at televised matches. The Chinese Football Association will issue regulations on tattoos for the Chinese Super League and other national team matches, news site reported Sunday.

China struggles to find its #MeToo movement - CNN A full week went by and Zhang says she heard nothing -- prompting her to return to the police station to demand action on her case. Only then did the police call in the suspect. "After questioning him, an officer came out and told me, why don't you just have him buy you a necklace or something and drop this case," she said.

‘Call Me by Your Name’ Pulled From Beijing Film Festival – Variety Luca Guadagnino’s “Call Me by Your Name,” which just won an Oscar for adapted screenplay, has been pulled from the Beijing Film Festival by the event’s organizers


Energy, Environment, Science And Health

China's ministries revamped for "ecological civilisation" | The Third Pole As China creates two new cabinet level ministries to deal with natural resources and the environment, the world watches as to what this will do to its growth patterns, and the condition of its people

Photo of Crying Single Mum Shows Harsh Reality of Healthcare in China | What's on Weibo “On Shanghai Beiyuan Street, a single mother kneels on the street in the cold wind. She buries her head in her child’s arms and quietly sobs. The 3-year-old son suffers from hydrocephalus [“water on the brain”], and they previously came to Shanghai to seek medical treatment because he had an infection. After using up all their money, they were forced to leave the hospital. The helpless mother just sat on the street, feeling sorry for her child.”


Agriculture And Rural Issues

Govt to manage arable land, construction land - According to China’s arable land use policy, when a piece of arable land is used for non-agricultural purposes, another piece of arable land of the same quantity and quality should be provided to strike a balance. For some municipalities and provinces with a serious shortage of arable land resources, when there is no additional arable land to make up the arable land loss as a result of necessary occupation, such as major projects construction, the lost land can be compensated in other provinces rich in arable land reserves.



Why China’s Tiger Mums (and dads) are resisting its ‘less homework’ policy | South China Morning Post Since the order was issued late last month, parents in big cities have been discussing heatedly whether to let their children have a more relaxed and happy lifestyle as the education authorities advise, or give them large amounts of homework and send them to extra classes in their spare time to learn subjects such as English, mathematics and Chinese language.