US-China trade talks; New entity list additions; NBA will not apologize to China

It is now even harder to have much optimism for this week’s US-China trade talks. On Tuesday the US Department of Commerce added 28 Chinese governmental and commercial organizations to the Entity List for engaging in or enabling activities contrary to the foreign policy interests of the United States, and specifically for their work in Xinjiang. Eight of those organizations are some of China’s leading technology firms.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver issued a new statement on the mess with China, one that made clear the NBA is not apologizing or backing down. As I wrote yesterday I believe the NBA has some leverage in its dealings with China, and over the next few weeks and months we may find out if that is true. Google may have thought it had leverage when it declared a “new approach to China” in 2010. Then again, the Chinese Internet industry back then was far closer to being an acceptable replacement than the Chinese Basketball Association is today.

The furious personal and official reactions in the PRC have been as you would expect, and CCTV Sports announced it will not broadcast NBA preseason games and will review all exchanges and cooperation with the NBA. Silver will be in China later this week, and it will be interesting to see who if anyone senior will talk to him. It will also be interesting to see how unified the NBA owners really are over this issue, especially if Beijing decides one way to penalize the NBA is to go after the other business interests of those owners.

This episode is a public and easily understandable crystallization of the clash of the two political systems. Basketball and the NBA were supposed to be models of engagement, now it looks like they could be at the vanguard of decoupling.

And the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics are just around the corner.

Thanks for reading.

The Essential Eight

1. US-China trade

China tones down expectations ahead of US trade war talks as Vice-Premier Liu He leads team to Washington | South China Morning Post

A source, who has been briefed on preparations for the trade talks, also told the South China Morning Post on condition of anonymity that the Chinese delegation may cut short their stay in Washington, removing the possible chance of the talks extending into Friday evening as the delegation would be expected to head to the airport instead of departing at some point on Saturday.

Chinese chief trade negotiator invited to hold new round of trade consultations in U.S. - Xinhua

Key members of the Chinese delegation includes Minister of Commerce Zhong Shan, Governor of the People's Bank of China Yi Gang, Vice Chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission Ning Jizhe, Deputy Director of the Office of the Central Commission for Financial and Economic Affairs and Vice Finance Minister Liao Min, Vice Foreign Minister Zheng Zeguang, Vice Minister of Industry and Information Technology Wang Zhijun, Deputy Director of the Office of the Central Agricultural Work Leading Group and Vice Minister of Agriculture and Rural Affairs Han Jun, and Vice Minister of Commerce and Deputy China International Trade Representative Wang Shouwen.

Xinhua announcement of the trip and delegation - 刘鹤应邀赴美举行新一轮中美经贸高级别磋商

陶然笔记:新一轮中美经贸高级别磋商 马上要开始|磋商_新浪新闻

A very interesting new Taoran Notes came out today, says talks will either result in a fair deal. will collapse completely, or the two sides will continue talking and fighting. It looks to be addressing what it (Liu He?) anticipates to be pushback from more hawkish elements if the talks this week don't result in the US pulling back on at least some of the threatened new tariffs, says if the US puts on more tariffs some will question why there is any point in continuing to talk. Taoran Notes says it still makes sense to talk, quotes Mao telling Zhou Enlai in 1952 that if the Americans are sincere then it makes sense to engage in Korean War ceasefire negotiations, then asks if Mao was admitting defeat and had lost the initiative? The answer of course is no, and the author goes on to state that in addition to deepening reform and opening and pursuing high quality development China will also continue to combine talks with countermeasures until the US side realizes the pain caused by the trade war...

China, US set for new talks amid tariff uncertainty - Global Times

Observers said that the composition of the Chinese delegation, one of the largest and broadest teams among the 13 rounds of trade talks, signaled that China is sincerely looking to reach a comprehensive trade deal with the US. Although it is not sure whether the US will hike tariffs on Chinese imports, which it is scheduled to do on October 15, some headway could be made this time concerning industrial policies and intellectual property rights (IPR) protection, they predicted.

Kudlow promises no connection between Trump's Biden request and China trade talks - POLITICO

White House chief economic adviser Larry Kudlow on Monday pledged that there would be no connection between President Donald Trump's request that China investigate the Bidens and this week's renewed trade deal talks between the two global superpowers.

China rejects US President Donald Trump’s call to investigate Democrat rival Joe Biden and son | South China Morning Post

“China has long pursued the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries,” foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said on Tuesday.

“We have no intention of intervening in the domestic affairs of the United States. Our position is consistent and clear.”

White House Zeroes In on Limit to Chinese Stocks in Pension Fund

The office of Larry Kudlow, director of the White House’s National Economic Council, convened a policy-coordination committee meeting last Tuesday, which also included officials from the National Security Council and the Treasury Department, the people added...

According to people familiar with the meeting, the administration’s focus is now on ways to further scrutinize index providers’ decision to add Chinese firms they consider a material risk for American investors. It’s still unclear what legal authority the White House would rely on to force major indexes to drop certain Chinese companies.

2. Xinjiang and new US entity list additions

U.S. expands blacklist to include China's top AI startups ahead of trade talks - Reuters

The decision, which drew a sharp rebuke from Beijing, targets 20 Chinese public security bureaus and eight companies including video surveillance firm Hikvision, as well as leaders in facial recognition technology SenseTime Group Ltd and Megvii Technology Ltd.

The action bars the firms from buying components from U.S. companies without U.S. government approval - a potentially crippling move for some of them. It follows the same blueprint used by Washington in its attempt to limit the influence of Huawei Technologies Co Ltd [HWT.UL] for what it says are national security reasons....

The other companies on the list are speech recognition firm iFlytek Co, surveillance equipment maker Zhejiang Dahua Technology, data recovery firm Xiamen Meiya Pico Information Co, facial recognition firm Yitu Technology and Yixin Science and Technology Co.

U.S. Department of Commerce Adds 28 Chinese Organizations to its Entity List | U.S. Department of Commerce

“The U.S. Government and Department of Commerce cannot and will not tolerate the brutal suppression of ethnic minorities within China,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “This action will ensure that our technologies, fostered in an environment of individual liberty and free enterprise, are not used to repress defenseless minority populations.”

The additions include the XUAR People’s Government Public Security Bureau, 19 subordinate elements, and eight commercial entities. Located in XUAR and throughout China, these entities have all been implicated in the implementation of China’s campaign of repression, mass arbitrary detention, and high-technology surveillance.

China urges U.S. to stop interfering in internal affairs - Xinhua

"Xinjiang affairs are purely China's internal affairs and brook no interference from any country," spokesperson Geng Shuang said at a press briefing.

Geng said that the United States' actions of adding 28 Chinese governmental and commercial organizations to the Entity List and constricting the export of items severely violate the basic norms governing international relations, interfere in China's internal affairs and undermine China's interests.

U.S. Adds Chinese Firms to Blacklist, Citing Repression of Muslim Minorities - WSJ $$

While highly symbolic, the Commerce Department’s action is unlikely to have a major practical impact on the Chinese firms, which rely on plenty of non-U.S. suppliers and have had months of advance warning to diversify their supply chains away from U.S. companies. The export controls also won’t prevent American companies from selling certain goods made outside the U.S. to these firms, as they have been doing with Huawei.

U.S. Blacklisting Undermines Megvii IPO, China’s AI Aspirations - Bloomberg

Leading players like SenseTime and Megvii, already having trouble securing financing during an economic downturn, had considered international forays to sustain a sizzling pace of growth. The Commerce Department’s action threatens to derail that effort while spooking the business, supply and research partners needed over the longer term. Nvidia Corp., for one, is a key supplier to both AI firms.

As U.S. Takes Aim at Chinese Tech Firms, Trump Signals a Strategy Shift - The New York Times

Use of the entity list over a human rights issue may be a first, said Julian Ku, a professor of constitutional and international law at Hofstra University.

“As far as I know, it was the first time Commerce explicitly cited human rights as a foreign policy interest of the U.S. for purposes of export controls,” he said, referring to the Department of Commerce, which manages the entity lists. “This is not an implausible reading of the regulations, but it is new and has potentially very broad applicability.”

China Took My Uighur Family - Foreign Policy

After more than a year of denial that they even existed, the Chinese Communist Party at last admitted, last fall, that it was holding people in camps in Xinjiang. It describes these as “reeducation” camps focused on potential terrorists or job training and takes carefully selected groups on Potemkin tours to visit them. In July, an official claimed that “most people” had been released from the camps.

If most people have been released, then I would like to ask China this question: Where are my parents?

In Kazakhstan, Muslim women who fled China recount ordeals - The Washington Post 

The women have found refuge from Chinese authorities across the border in Kazakhstan, their ancestral homeland. But they remain haunted by the stories of abuse they carry with them.

Some said that they were forced to undergo abortions in China’s Muslim-majority province of Xinjiang, others that they had contraceptive devices implanted against their will while in detention. One reported being raped. Many said they were subjected to sexual humiliation, incidents that included being filmed in the shower and having their intimate parts rubbed with chile paste.

3. NBA and China

Adam Silver's statement on NBA and China |

I recognize our initial statement left people angered, confused or unclear on who we are or what the NBA stands for. Let me be more clear.

Over the last three decades, the NBA has developed a great affinity for the people of China. We have seen how basketball can be an important form of people-to-people exchange that deepens ties between the United States and China.

At the same time, we recognize that our two countries have different political systems and beliefs. And like many global brands, we bring our business to places with different political systems around the world.

But for those who question our motivation, this is about far more than growing our business.

Values of equality, respect and freedom of expression have long defined the NBA -- and will continue to do so. As an American-based basketball league operating globally, among our greatest contributions are these values of the game...

It is inevitable that people around the world -- including from America and China -- will have different viewpoints over different issues. It is not the role of the NBA to adjudicate those differences.

However, the NBA will not put itself in a position of regulating what players, employees and team owners say or will not say on these issues. We simply could not operate that way.

Adam Silver says he still plans to visit China later this week |

“We’re strongly dissatisfied and oppose Adam Silver’s claim to support Morey’s right to freedom of expression,” CCTV said in a statement. “We believe that any remarks that challenge national sovereignty and social stability are not within the scope of freedom of speech.”

The broadcaster is also reviewing all its cooperation and exchanges involving the NBA, said the statement posted to CCTV Sports’ official social media account.

Silver is going to Shanghai on Wednesday and said he hopes to meet with officials and some of the league’s business partners there in an effort to find some sort of common ground....

“I’m hoping that together Yao Ming and I can find an accommodation,” Silver said. “But he is extremely hot at the moment, and I understand it.”..

“How can it be possible to carry out exchanges and cooperation with China without knowing China’s public opinion?” Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Geng Shuang said Tuesday. “NBA’s cooperation with China has been going on for quite a long time, so for what should be said and what should be done, they know best.”

NBA vs. China: The Power Struggle Behind the Standoff - WSJ $$

But the NBA may be more strongly positioned to push back than other U.S. businesses that have run afoul of the Chinese government. It’s the most powerful sports league in the country and plays such an outsize role in local sporting culture that China without the NBA is increasingly unimaginable. Shortly before he became president, in fact, Xi Jinping went to a Lakers game in Los Angeles.

It was a useful reminder of how much both sides of this dispute rely on each other: China is a huge market for any enterprise, but there’s only one NBA. There are other hotels, airlines and clothing brands. NBA basketball is irreplaceable.

NBA's China dilemma: $4B at risk as Chinese TV cancels game broadcasts | Fox Business

The league’s business in the country is worth more than $4 billion as of 2018, or $133 million to each NBA franchise, according to Forbes.

CCTV Sports statement- 中央广播电视总台央视体育再发声明 立即暂停NBA赛事转播安排_新闻频道_央视网



Brooklyn Nets’ NBA community event in Shanghai abruptly cancelled by government as China political storm rages on | South China Morning Post

The Nets were set to make an appearance at the New World Experimental Primary School in Shanghai in a court refurbishment ceremony, however a few hours before, the NBA abruptly sent out an email stating the event was cancelled.

Sources have confirmed that the event was cancelled by the government and not the NBA.

China smartphone maker Vivo says to suspend all cooperation with NBA - Reuters

Vivo, in a statement published on social media platform Weibo, said it is strongly dissatisfied with Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey’s comments on Hong Kong and the NBA’s stance on the matter.

China's ANTA sports says it will immediately halt contract renewal negotiations NBA - Reuters

Anta said in a statement on social media platform Weibo the company opposes any action that harms China’s interests and was dissatisfied with the comments by the Houston Rockets and NBA executives

Stratechery by Ben Thompson – On the business, strategy, and impact of technology.

in which Ben discovers that TikTok may now be censoring searches for "火箭", the Chinese name of the Houston Rockets

Fundraiser by Sun Lared : Give Away Hong Kong T-Shirts, NBA Opening Night

China is trying to censor the Houston Rockets because of Hong Kong. Wouldn't it be hilarious if on opening night in Staples Center the NBA fanbase made a collective demonstration against censorship by wearing "STAND WITH HONG KONG" T-Shirts?

Comment: 31k raised so far, when will GoFundMe be attacked? And what if fans do this for opening night of Joe Tsai's Brooklyn Nets?

A simpler time, June 2019 - CBA chairman Yao Ming wants to make Chinese relevant around the world |

As his nation's first (and still only) NBA star, Yao Ming made basketball relevant in China. Now, as chairman of the CBA, he wants to make Chinese basketball relevant across the world and ensure that he's not the country's last export.

4. Hong Kong

‘No options can be ruled out,' says Carrie Lam when asked about a China intervention – video | The Guardian

'If the situation becomes so bad, then no options could be ruled out,' she says when asked under what circumstances she would call upon Beijing for help to quell the protests. 'I cannot tell you categorically now under what circumstances we will do extra things, including ... calling on the central government to help,' she said.

Hong Kong gov’t would not rule out internet controls to curb protests, says top advisor Ip Kwok-him | Hong Kong Free Press HKFP

Ip Kwok-him, a member of the Executive Council, said during a Commercial Radio programme on Monday that the government will observe whether the new law will halt the protests...

“At this stage, the government will consider all legal means to stop the riots,” he said. “We would not rule out a ban on the internet.”

Remarks by President Trump at Signing of the U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement and U.S.-Japan Digital Trade Agreement | The White House

Q Did you tell Xi Jinping in any way that you would be quiet about Hong Kong protests during the course of these negotiations?

THE PRESIDENT: No, I didn’t. But I do say that we are negotiating. If anything happened bad, I think that would be a very bad for the negotiation. I think, politically, it would be very tough maybe for us, and maybe for some others, and maybe for him.

But, no, I think that they have to do that in a peaceful manner. It’s — now, I will say, the first time I saw it, if you look — a number of months ago, I saw 2 million people. I’ve never seen anything like it. We talk about crowd size. That was serious crowd size, right? The crowd size is much smaller now, so maybe that’s saying something. But hopefully they can work out something that’s amicable.

Chinese state media urges quicker trials and heavy sentences for Hong Kong protesters | South China Morning Post

An online commentary published by Communist Party mouthpiece People’s Daily said: “Most of the approximately 2,000 arrested by police in the past four months are still free on bail … if those prosecuted had already been punished by the law, would there be that many young students incited?

Hong Kong school week kicks off with citywide student protests against anti-mask law arrests | South China Morning Post

Forming human chains and staging sit-ins, students across the city voiced support for schoolmates arrested under the new anti-mask law since it was introduced on Saturday. Stoking students’ anger and prompting calls for a boycott of classes, the city’s Education Bureau demanded schools to provide a “rough impression” of the number of students wearing masks to school.

Hong Kong property developer Ronnie Chan calls for strong leader to handle protest crisis and slams ‘ridiculous’ idea of civil servants being in charge | South China Morning Post

An interview with Ronnie Chan Chi-chung, the outspoken chairman of Hang Lung Properties, was published by mainland Chinese news platform Guancha Syndicate on September 18. Chan further elaborated on the remarks over the weekend, when a 22-minute online video was released and shared across Weibo, China’s Twitter-like social media platform.

Chan, who supported Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, a veteran civil servant, in the 2017 election, was blunt when asked about the causes of Hong Kong’s ongoing turmoil. Aside from leadership, he also blamed the British colonial government and Hongkongers’ lack of a sense of national identity.

Question: Chan is a US citizen, no? What is his sense of national identity?

20-year-old arrested for rioting after 'vigilante beating' of taxi driver accused of ploughing into protesters | Hong Kong Free Press HKFP

On Sunday afternoon, a taxi was seen driving onto the pedestrian walkway outside the Cheung Sha Wan government offices, injuring at least one female protester and smashing into a storefront. The 59-year-old driver was surrounded and bloodied by a large crowd, and his car was later smashed up.

Meet the mainland Chinese who are living in fear in Hong Kong | South China Morning Post

Many say they are so scared of the young men and women they see dressed in black – the protesters’ preferred colour – that they have stopped speaking Mandarin in public to avoid being targeted.

China’s ambassador to France hits out at Emmanuel Macron’s team for backing ‘hypocritical’ EU stance on Hong Kong protests | South China Morning Post

Lu Shaye, who had a history of making hardline remarks while based in Canada, expressed ‘deep contempt’ for Brussels ‘glorifying’ violence

Diplomat’s accusation comes ahead of French president’s planned visit to China next month

Shoemaker Vans treads warily as China fumes over Hong Kong protests - Reuters

U.S. sports brand Vans has removed “a small number” of submissions in a sneaker design competition including one apparently giving a shout out to Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protests, as companies weigh the risks of angering China.

Blitzchung removed from Hearthstone Grandmasters for 'liberate Hong Kong' comments | PC Gamer

Blizzard has ruled that Hearthstone pro Chung "blitzchung" Ng Wai will been removed from Hearthstone Grandmasters, following the player's call for Hong Kong's freedom during a post-match interview. Additionally, Blizzard has stated that it will no longer work with the two casters who appeared in the now deleted broadcast.

Blitzchung has been found in breach of Section 6.1 of the 2019 Hearthstone Grandmasters Official Competition Rules

人民锐评 | 为暴徒“护航”,苹果公司想清楚了吗?

People's Daily Online weighs in on that app in ""Escorting rioters, is Apple thinking clearly?" Hard not to read this as a threat to Apple

Apple reverses ban on app tracking Hong Kong protests & police / Boing Boing

Apple has reportedly reversed its decision to ban the app, which allows users to track protests and police activity in Hong Kong. The earlier move to ban the app was seen by many as acquiescence to China's foreign policy, over the urgent needs of Apple users.

Tiffany removes advert over Hong Kong controversy | Hong Kong Free Press HKFP

Angry Chinese buyers believed it was a deliberate echo of the pose adopted by Hong Kong’s pro-democracy demonstrators to denounce police violence in the semi-autonomous city.

5. Golden Week data

China’s ‘golden week’ loses some of its shine as consumers show reluctance to spend amid US trade war | South China Morning Post

Retail and catering sales rose 8.5 per cent between October 1 to 7 from a year ago to 1.52 trillion yuan ($212.6 billion),, according to China’s Ministry of Commerce, decelerating from a growth rate of 9.5 per cent last year, marking the slowest growth rate since the initial year-on-year comparison was published in 2001.

Alipay Golden Week Data Suggests Slowing Economy Not Stopping Chinese From Spending Abroad - Caixin Global

Data from mobile payment platform Alipay on overseas transactions during China’s weeklong National Day holiday, which ran from Oct. 1 to Oct. 7 and is also known as Golden Week, shows a 10% year-on-year increase in in-store transaction volume as well as an average total spending increase of 15% per user to about 2,500 yuan ($351).

China Focus: China's record National Day holiday box office reflects patriotic passion - Xinhua

Patriotic films dominated Chinese theaters during the National Day holiday and generated a record 5 billion yuan (about 708 million U.S. dollars) of box office revenue.

China saw a total of 135 million moviegoers from Sept. 30 to Oct. 7, with three key movies, namely "My People, My Country," "The Captain" and "The Climbers," raking in 2.22 billion yuan, 1.98 billion yuan and 823 million yuan, respectively, figures from the China Movie Data Information Network showed Tuesday.

The trio of patriotic films' box office success indicates audiences' recognition of the filmmakers' innovative and enterprising spirit in artistic creation. Also, the national feeling displayed in the movies echoes the rising patriotic passion among the Chinese people, said Sun Xianghui, director of the China Film Art Research Center.

China bank card transactions surge during National Day holiday - Xinhua

Total transactions through the China UnionPay network soared to 2.03 trillion yuan (about 287 billion U.S. dollars) between Oct. 1 and 7, up 28.4 percent year on year, the company said.

Spending on train tickets increased by more than 30 percent year on year, while spending on hotels and restaurants surged 35.6 percent and 40.3 percent, respectively.

During the holiday, Chinese consumers used China UnionPay cards in 144 foreign countries and regions

‘Golden week’ property sales plunge in major Chinese cities amid slowing economy, tight mortgage conditions | South China Morning Post

Sales of new homes in Beijing dropped to their lowest level since 2014 during the week following the National Day holiday, according to data from the property information portal

By area, sales of new homes in Shanghai plummeted 86 per cent to 5,000 square metres, while the capital saw a 92 per cent plunge to 2,000 sq metre, according to data from Centaline Property.

6. Fourth Plenum and modernization of the national governance system and governing capacity

Modernization of the national governance system and governing capacity” (国家治理体系和治理能力现代化)" is one of the announced topics of the upcoming Fourth Plenum. All we know so far is that Plenum will be held this month, there may not be an announcement until just a couple of days before it starts, which I am guessing will be after October 20th.

Goodbye, “Political System Reform” | China Media Project

The bold headline on the right-hand side of page one, seen above, announces the 17th Collective Study Session of the Politburo with a phrase we have observed closely at the China Media Project over the past six years: “[The] modernization of the national governance system and governing capacity” (国家治理体系和治理能力现代化)....

As the notion of “political system reform” has become more sensitive (post-2013), a number of alternates have appeared in its place, notably including “political civilization” (政治文明) and “democratic politics” (民主政治), which differ in form but are similar in meaning.

In leadership speeches and in official Party media, these concepts have been subsumed under the phrase “the organic unity of the leadership of the Party, governing of the nation according to law and the [principle of] the people as the masters” (党的领导、依法治国和人民当家作主有机统一). In the headline article from September 25, we see this trinity of “organic unity” emphasized yet again in the context of “modernization of the national governance system and governing capacity,” but this time a fourth point is added, the principle of “democratic centralism” (民主集中制), which again emphasizes the supremacy of the Party in the decision-making process.

7. Xi-Modi summit this weekend

Modi-Xi summit could pave way for launch of LAC clarification process - The Economic Times

The second edition of the informal summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping in Mamallapuram on October 12-13 could pave the way for the next stage of boundary dispute resolution between the two countries paving way for possible launch of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) clarification process and measures to export additional products to China to reduce India’s huge trade deficit, according to persons familiar with the matter.

Eye on China: Special Report- Modi-Xi Informal Summit: An Indian Interests Agenda

In terms of specific interests, on top of Xi’s agenda will likely be India’s ties with US, trade in the context of the RCEP, border stability & the Kashmir issue, and matters related to the Dalai Lama’s succession. For India, the strategic objective is to ensure a stable relationship with China while pursuing economic development. Resolving the boundary dispute, tackling terrorism & balancing the trade relationship while expanding investments should be India’s priorities.

Tamil Nadu cops arrest nine Tibetan activists ahead of Modi-Xi Jinping summit | Cities News, The Indian Express

The arrests were made after the state police received intel that Tibetan Youth Congress and Students for Free Tibet-India activists were planning to stage a protest against the Chinese President.

Speaking to, senior police officials from the Villupuram police department confirmed the arrest of activist and writer Tenzin Tsundue. At the time of his arrest, Tenzin had reportedly been carrying ‘Free Tibet’ pamphlets and a ‘Free Tibet’ flag which he had planned to display at the protest in Mahabalipuram.

China & Bhutan close to striking Doklam deal, holding line could become working boundary - The Print

In a development that could cause concern to India, its neighbours China and Bhutan are close to striking a deal on the Doklam boundary dispute. The Chinese holding line in the contentious region is likely to become the working boundary between the two, ThePrint has learnt.

This means China will be successful in its “salami slicing” of Doklam, since it will hold on to the territory it has already captured.

8. Profile of Xu Xiaodong

Excellent story by Lauren Teixeira about Xu Xiaodong, an MMA gym owner who became famous fighting and beating famous martial arts "masters, and now is in a bt of a trouble over his comments about Hong Kong

He Never Intended To Become A Political Dissident, But Then He Started Beating Up Tai Chi Masters

He told me recent events had caused him to conclude he would never be on the right side of the law in China, no matter what he did. Not long after he signed the contract to fight Wang Zhenling, his 18th tai chi grandmaster, relevant authorities informed him that the match, or any future matches, would not be allowed to take place. This should be illegal, Xu noted angrily, but his lawyer friend had advised him that in China, the law is essentially “whatever they say it is.” And so, Xu figured, he had nothing more to lose by taking the extra step of hopping the firewall.

“What makes me angry,” he added, “is that I’ve been very careful. Everything I’ve said has been true. If I had been lying to people, sure, I can accept punishment. But I’ve said nothing wrong. I can’t understand this.”

Business, Economy and Trade

China’s Services Activity Expands at Weakest Pace in 7 Months: Caixin PMI - Caixi China’s services sector expanded at the slowest rate in seven months in September, even as new business increased at the fastest pace in 20 months, a survey showed Tuesday. The Caixin China General Services Business Activity Index, which provides a snapshot of operating conditions in the country’s services sector, fell to 51.3 in September from 52.1 in the previous month.

China to introduce regulation to improve business environment and facilitate investment - Xinhua The new regulation also features greater intensity in empowering market players. It stipulates the need to consistently ease market access, including applying a unified national negative list on market access, further deepening the reform of decoupling of business licenses and operation permits, and simplifying procedures for opening or canceling a business. Local governments are required to make public the time required for applying for permit, certificate, opening bank account and applying for electricity use, and other items related to starting a new business. Explanations need to be made to the public for cases that are not completed in stated time period. // The Xinhua announcement 李克强主持召开国务院常务会议审议通过《优化营商环境条例(草案)》 以政府立法为各类市场主体投资兴业提供制度保障; 讨论通过《中华人民共和国档案法(修订草案)》 says the meeting also approved a draft of an updated "National File Law"

Yicai Global - Mercedes-Benz's China Sales Pave Way for Record-Breaking Third Quarter Luxury German car marque Mercedes-Benz set a new sales record in China in the third quarter as shipments jumped almost 13 percent to about 181,000 units from a year earlier.

Yicai Global - Shanghai Sets Mortgage Rate for First-Time Buyers Below PBOC's Minimum The latest over-five-year LPR was set at 4.85 percent on Sept. 20. Not only does Shanghai's new rate fall below that, it is even lower than the previous rate of 4.655 percent, the 21st Century Business Herald reported.

China’s Riskiest Form of State Borrowing Enjoys a New Boom - WSJ $$ Local government financing vehicles have issued 2.37 trillion yuan ($332 billion) of domestic bonds this year. That total is up 38% from the same period in 2018, and is poised to break the full-year record of 2.56 trillion yuan set three years ago. Overseas issuance in dollars has hit $23 billion: up 56% year-over-year, and nearing 2018’s full-year record of $24 billion.

Hong Kong Stock Market Retracts Offer to Buy London Exchange - The New York Times The Hong Kong exchange’s parent company, Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing, did not say why it had retracted its offer. But the London Stock Exchange Group had rejected the offer within two days, saying it was “simply not credible” and not even a basis for negotiations.

Troubled Financial Group Confirms Secretive Tycoon is Dead - Caixin Zhang Zhenxin, the low-profile tycoon behind debt-ridden Chinese financial conglomerate UCF Holdings Group Ltd., died last month in London, the company announced on Saturday...Founded in 2003, the conglomerate runs a wide range of businesses including online payment, wealth management, peer-to-peer (P2P) lending, health care and investment.

U.S.-Listed China Companies Should Follow Rules or Exit - Bloomberg Washington has a choice: It must either accept having no legal recourse or jurisdictional oversight of Chinese companies traded on U.S. exchanges, or refuse new initial public offerings and threaten to delist firms that already have sold shares unless they comply with regulators’ requests.

Politics and Law

Xi's article on Party building published in Qiushi - Xinhua "Our Party must have the courage to carry out self-reform to make the Party stronger," the article said. It also required strict self-governance of the Party. Noting the unprecedented new challenges and new requirements facing the CPC, as well as factors undermining the Party's advanced nature and purity, the article called for consolidation and innovation in Party building and the spirit for complete self-reform. It also underlined the importance of the "key few" in the Party, asking the Party's leading officials to observe the principle of "Three Stricts and Three Earnests." // 推进党的建设新的伟大工程要一以贯之

以党的伟大自我革命推动伟大社会革命 - 求是网 《求是》2019/19 作者:本刊编辑部

Former Securities Head Liu Shiyu Gets Lenient Penalty for Graft - Caixin Unlike most disgraced officials who have often been removed from public positions and the party at the same time, Liu will remain a member of the Communist Party on probation for two years, a leniency reflecting his cooperation and assistance in the investigation, the watchdog said.

China Masters Political Propaganda for the Instagram Age - The New York Times Leveraging celebrities, the know-how of tech companies and images built for social media, the Communist Party can effectively stir patriotism among the youth.

China Detains Brother of Top Law Professor Over 'Terrorist' Video - RFA Authorities in the Chinese capital have detained the brother of a prominent legal scholar after he posted an Islamic State video to social media in protest at a recent visit to Beijing by the Taliban. He Weitong, younger brother of Peking University law professor He Weifang, is being held under criminal detention in Beijing on suspicion of "disseminating extremist, terrorist content," his friends said.

Foreign and Defense Affairs

Prague vs. Beijing: Estranged Sister Cities – The Diplomat Prague Mayor Zdeněk Hřib announced on October 4, 2019, that Prague is going to cancel its sister city agreement with Beijing. On Monday, the city council voted to sever ties, and the decision moves next to the city assembly. The reason for the rupture is that the Chinese side is unwilling to enter talks about removing the “one China” policy clause from their agreement document. The diplomatic row between the cities of Prague and Beijing is yet another event in the highly turbulent relationship between the Czech Republic and China

Russia and China to sign treaty on combating illegal online content - Reuters Russia and China will sign a cooperation treaty aimed at combating illegal content on the Internet this month, Russia’s state communications watchdog said on Tuesday, an example of deepening cooperation between the powers.

Pakistani PM Khan to meet China's Xi to discuss Kashmir, CPEC - Reuters Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan will meet Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang in Beijing on Tuesday to discuss the security situation in the disputed region of Kashmir as well as economic ties, his office said on Monday.

Pak Army chief accompanies Imran Khan at key meetings during China visit - Times of India Pakistan's powerful Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa accompanied Prime Minister Imran Khan during key meetings with top Chinese leaders here amid reports that he is seeking greater role in the country's affairs.

Kazakh president orders investigation into China-linked transport project - Reuters Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev on Tuesday ordered an investigation into former senior officials who initiated a struggling $1.5 billion Chinese-led project to build a light rail network in the capital.

Gyroplane can send stealth missions: report - Global Times A record-breaking gyroplane which debuted at the National Day parade on October 1 was made by a private company, which industry reports said Monday indicates the success of China's civil-military integration. The bizarre-looking rotorcraft Lieying, or Falcon, has reportedly already been delivered to the Chinese army and air force paratroopers.

China Pulls Out of Giant Iranian Gas Project - WSJ $$ China National Petroleum Corp. has pulled out of a $5 billion natural-gas project in Iran as escalating tensions threaten to sever Beijing’s trade with Tehran, a key lifeline for the Islamic Republic. The exit by Beijing—which had vowed to resist U.S. restrictions on Iran—is a blow to Tehran’s attempts to fight growing economic isolation and comes after Washington brought new sanctions on Chinese companies still trading with Iran.

Philippines’ hopes for South China Sea exploration deal with Russia depends on Moscow’s ties to China, experts say | South China Morning Post Observers said that while relations with Beijing are high on President Vladimir Putin’s agenda as part of his pivot to the East policy, Russia is unlikely to upset China. In a move that may further complicate the situation in one of the world’s busiest and most resource-rich waterways, President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines urged Russia’s state oil giant Rosneft to consider oil and gas exploration deal in the South China Sea.

Chinese spying on dissidents in Australia reaches new levels - Crikey The Chinese government is not only spying on Chinese nationals in Australia, but on Australians themselves. Inq hears first-hand from those who believe they are being watched.

沈逸:国庆70周年,不可阻挡的中国与必将变化的中美关系 Fudan professor Shen Yi on a China whose progress can not be stopped and US-China relations that must change--"The direction of China-US relations is certain. It is to build a more balanced and equal relationship on the basis of a more balanced balance of power, a relationship is based on mutual respect, especially the US' greater respect for the interests and concerns of China's core national interests. The process of realizing this new relationship must be full of twists and turns. The only way to realize this new relationship is to fight flexibly in an intelligent way. As the 70 years of Chinese trials and tribulations have proved time and again, a bright future deserves the Chinese people and the people of the world to overcome the difficulties and frustrations on the road and strive for it." 中美关系的走向是确定的,就是在一个更加均衡的力量对比的框架和基础上,构建一种更加平衡和对等的关系,这种关系建立在双方相互尊重,尤其是美国更加尊重中国核心国家利益关切的基础上。实现这种新关系的过程必然是充满波折的,以充满智慧的方式进行灵活的斗争,是实现这种新关系的唯一选择;一如70年中国风雨历程一再证明的那样,光明的前途,值得中国人民和世界人民战胜路上的艰难坎坷,去努力争取。

EU Urged to Copy China’s Belt and Road Plan to Engage in Africa - Bloomberg The proposal for a single institution to deal with all aid to the continent is part of a report on the bloc’s external lending strategy circulated to EU diplomats and is due to be presented to the bloc’s finance ministers later this week. It includes the establishment of a “European Climate and Sustainable Development Bank” to consolidate the bloc’s development funding activities.


Taiwan’s KMT opposition tries to reassure US over defence policies it will adopt if it wins next year’s presidential election | South China Morning Post Taiwan’s main opposition party Kuomintang has sent a high-profile delegation to the US-Taiwan Defence Industry Conference to try to reassure the Americans about the party’s security and defence policies if its presidential candidate Han Kuo-yu wins the upcoming election.

US and Taiwan strengthen ties by signing agreement to formalize consular functions -Stripes The United States and Taiwan recently formalized what already occurs in practice: routine consular functions such as prisoner visits and arrest and death notifications involving their citizens

Society, Arts, Sports, Culture and History

UFC’s Weili Zhang denied U.S. visa; presidential candidate offers help Before her first title defense has even been scheduled, Zhang has found herself in the midst of another kind of fight. The 30-year-old has been unable to get a visa to the United States, she announced on her Instagram page Monday morning.