US Trade Delegation; Public Opinion Management For Foreign Commentators; Xi Visits Peking University; Xi To Speak At May 4 Marx Anniversary Event

The large US trade delegation is heading to Beijing. The Chinese side is clearly signaling that the core, structural issues for the US will not be up for discussion. Is the best case outcome some sort of face-saving, market-placating deal on tariffs and the deficit while leaving the structural problems for a later set of battles? Politically Trump likely wants something he can call a "win" while avoiding tariffs on key constituencies that could hurt GOP candidates in the Fall mid-term elections. 

But if Trump really wants to reset US-China relations in a way that focuses on addressing the core, structural problems around technology, state intervention and increasing US-China competition across multiple dimensions then this trip will likely not accomplish much beyond giving each side a greater understanding of their hardening positions.

Any chance President Trump will drop something incendiary ahead of the talks, like more details on the threatened tariffs or a punitive Executive Order against Huawei?

Thanks for reading.

The Essential Eight

1. US Trade Delegation To Beijing

U.S. delegation led by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to visit China Thursday - XInhua:

Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, also a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, will exchange views on China-U.S. economic and trade issues of common concern with the U.S. delegation.

The visit is scheduled from Thursday to Friday.

Isn't Xi also going to meet with them? Or is that dependent on "sincerity" and progress?

Lighthizer not counting on China breakthrough ahead of trip - POLITICO:

“I’m always hoping but not always hopeful,” Lighthizer said. “It’s a big, big challenge. There’s a very different system over there and a system that, in all honesty, has worked very well for the Chinese.”

The trade chief said it wasn’t his goal to “change the Chinese system,“ which he accuses of trying to dominate global markets for new technologies and advanced industries by leveraging a closed market, billions in subsidies and a lack of competition.

“If they want to do it, that’s fine, but I have to be in a position where the United States can deal with it, where the United States isn’t a victim of it,” he said.

Lighthizer stressed that Beijing’s “Made in China 2025” initiative is an industrial policy that aims to dominate technologies of the future on a massive scale.

“They did this in steel,” he said. “They did it in aluminum. They did it in solar. They did it in semiconductors. This is how they do it.”

US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross blames trade deficit with China on ‘evil practices’ as he prepares for talks with Beijing | South China Morning Post:

“President Trump is of the view that it’s now time for action. Our trade deficit is too big, too continuing, too chronic and too inspired by evil practices,” Ross said on Tuesday in an interview with CNBC...

“If we don’t make a negotiated settlement, we will pursue the 232s and impose them, we will pursue the 301 and impose them. So, one way or another, we are going to deal with this recurring problem of trade with China,” Ross said.

China Is Weakening Its Currency Before U.S. Trade Talks Begin - Bloomberg:

"The move in the fixing today is aggressive," said Ken Cheung, a currency strategist at Mizuho Bank Ltd. in Hong Kong. "China may want to weaken the yuan pre-emptively before the trade talks with the U.S., so that they have room to strengthen the currency" if needed, Cheung said, adding that policy makers may also be keen to arrest the yuan’s advance against a basket of peers.


2. Public Opinion Management For Foreign Commentators

Tsinghua's Tsinghua University Academic Center for Chinese Economic Practice and Thinking [清华大学中国经济思想与实践研究院], the Chinese Economists 50 Forum and Tsinghua's Center For China in the World Economy recently hosted foreign opinion leaders and Chinese officials, scholars and business leaders for a dialogue. 

Foreign participants included Carl Bernstein, Thomas Friedman, Niall Ferguson, Kishore Mahbubani and Martin Wolf. So far Wolf and Friedman have published columns about what they heard, and yesterday's New York Times story China Is Set to Take a Hard Line on Trump’s Trade Demands reported on the key messaging from the Chinese side. 

The official Tsinghua report on the meeting states that the purpose was to positively and directly disseminate Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era and study and discuss the “rich thought content contained” in China's great achievements since the start of reform and opening--【校庆活动】2018年中国与世界思想对话会在清华大学举行:

清华新闻网4月28日电 4月28日上午,在清华大学107周年校庆来临之际,由清华大学中国经济思想与实践研究院以及中国经济50人论坛主办、清华大学中国与世界经济研究中心(CCWE)承办的“中国与世界思想对话会”在清华大学主楼接待厅举行。论坛主旨是向世界积极、正面地传播习近平新时代中国特色社会主义思想,并就改革开放以来中国取得的伟大成就中所蕴含的丰富思想内涵进行研讨。清华大学校长邱勇院士出席会议并致欢迎辞。 邱勇在思想对话会上致辞...

The goal was also to reinforce the narrative about China's bottom lines in the growing trade dispute with the US. Is this just a propaganda exercise in the hopes of convincing Western leaders that China won't back down, or do they mean what they say?

How the Beijing elite sees the world - FT $$ - Martin Wolf:

How does the Chinese ruling elite view the world? Over the weekend, I participated in a dialogue between a handful of foreign scholars and journalists and top Chinese officials, academics and business people, organised by the Tsinghua University Academic Center for Chinese Economic Practice and Thinking [清华大学中国经济思想与实践研究院]. The discussion was franker than any I have participated in during the 25 years I have been visiting China. Here are seven propositions our interlocutors made to us

The seven propositions:

China needs strong central rule; Western models are discredited; China does not want to run the world.; China is under attack by the US;  US goals in the trade talks are incomprehensible; China will survive these attacks,  This will be a testing year.

The U.S. and China Are Finally Having It Out - The New York Times - Tom Friedman:

Five days of meetings in Beijing with Chinese, U.S. and European government officials and business leaders made it crystal clear to me that what’s going on right now is nothing less than a struggle to redefine the rules governing the economic and power relations of the world’s oldest and newest superpowers — America and China. This is not a trade tiff.

“This is a defining moment for U.S.-China relations,” said Ruan Zongze, executive vice president of the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s research institute. “This is about a lot more than trade and tariffs. This is about the future.”

In one corner stand President Trump and his team of China trade hard-liners, whose instinct is basically right: This is a fight worth having now, before it is too late, before China gets too big.

And in the other corner stands President Xi Jinping of China, whose instinct may also be right — this is a fight worth having now, because it is too late — China is just too big.

Or, as one Chinese expert put it at a Tsinghua University dialogue on trade I attended, “No one can contain China anymore.” You hear that confidence in Beijing a lot today from Chinese: Our one-party system and unified society can take the pain of a trade war far longer than you Americans can. And there is a trade imbalance today because we’ve been investing in our future and you Americans have been eating yours.

Why was Carl Bernstein invited? Did the Chinese want a separate session with him to get a master class in US politics and presidential legal jeopardy?


3. Xi Visits Peking University

Xi calls for building world-class universities with Chinese characteristics - Xinhua:

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for building world-class universities with Chinese characteristics to nurture people well-prepared to join the socialist cause.

Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, made the statement during an inspection tour of Peking University (PKU), ahead of China's Youth Day and the 120th anniversary of PKU, both falling on May 4.

习近平:国家一流,学术才能一流-新华网:

新华网北京5月2日电 习近平总书记2日上午在北京大学考察,参观了北大近年成就展。听到学校近年来推动一流大学建设取得显著成效,习近平十分高兴。他说,什么是一流?要在中国特色下去评价。过去讲,只有民族的才是世界的。先是要让国家达到一流水平,其他服务于国家一流。我们要有这个自信,要把学术研究建立在国家发展成就的基础上,做到知行合一。

Xi calls for developing world-class universities with Chinese characteristics - CGTN:

Xi noted that colleges and universities are an important part of the scientific and technological innovation system and that collegial scientific researchers are an important part of the scientific and technological innovation team.

We should strengthen the collaborative innovation among the subjects, strengthen the support for the cross disciplinary groups and the scientific and technological teams, and cultivate more and more scientific and technological talents and innovative teams to an international level, Xi said.

After inspecting an exhibition of "Peking University with Marxism", he called on colleges' and universities' Marxism schools to promote the Marx doctrine on the campus, in the classroom and into the mind of students.

Peking University is the birthplace of Marxism's spread in China and in recent years, Peking University established the first school of Marxism in China.

Founded as the Imperial University of Peking in 1898, Peking University is China’s oldest higher learning institution. Because of its vital role in the May Fourth Movement of 1919, the University celebrates its anniversary on May 4 every year.

This story on Xi's visit to Peking University includes a 15 minute CCTV report, among the professors Xi is shown meeting is Roger Ames, winner of the 2013 Confucius Culture Prize - 习近平:国家一流,学术才能一流--时政--人民网

Translation: Yue Xin “On the Week Since My Open Letter” – China Digital Times (CDT):

In a new essay dated April 30, under her pen name Mu Tian, Yue once again thanked her supporters and lamented the pressure under which some had come. She described the "interview" in the early morning of April 23 in greater detail, and pointed out alleged inaccuracies in the school’s version of events. Finally, she explained how the emotional struggles of the past week have heightened her resolve to follow the sense of social responsibility previously described in a February essay on social inequality and access to education, translated by CDT. Once again, Yue argued that those who share her privileged background owe a debt of solidarity to those less fortunate, including gōngyǒu 工友, or "worker friends"—a term sometimes used by self-identified Marxists.

Can Peking University become a world class university in this New Era of tighter ideological control? That is one of those contradictions Xi and at least some of his predecessors seemed comfortable with...


4. Marx Symposium Set For May 4

Apologies if I seem to be beating a dead horse about Xi and Marx, but I think it is really important that we consider the possibility that Xi is actually a Marxist with Chinese characteristics. If he is, that has all sorts of policy and development ramifications for China and the world that we should explore in much more depth.

Xi will speak at the May 4 symposium to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Marx's birth. The speech will be broadcast live across all key Party propaganda organs.

纪念马克思诞辰200周年大会将于5月4日上午在京举行 习近平将出席大会并发表重要讲话-新华网:

新华社北京5月2日电 纪念马克思诞辰200周年大会将于5月4日上午10时在人民大会堂举行。中共中央总书记、国家主席、中央军委主席习近平将出席大会并发表重要讲话。

届时,中央广播电视总台所属中央电视台、中央人民广播电台、中国国际广播电台将进行现场直播,人民网、新华网、央视网、中国网和人民日报客户端、新华社客户端、央视新闻客户端也将同步直播。

During his Peking University visit, Xi discussed his enlightenment at age 15 about the truth that is Marxism...--习近平视察北大:国家一流,学术才能一流 

习近平总书记2日上午在北京大学考察时,与青年学生分享了他的读书心得:我喜欢文学、历史,为了用好一个成语,经常翻阅很多词典,一物不知深以为耻。插队时,身边学生有些家学渊源,大家常在一起谈论。有些人在谈论具体问题时引用典故和案例,可以做到信手拈来。这使我认识到,学术、知识不能只是在嘴上,要联系实际,做到知行合一、格物致知、学以致用。所以,我后来看书很注意联系实际。那时候,我读了一些马列著作。15岁的我已经有了独立思考能力,在读书过程中通过不断重新审视,达到否定之否定、温故而知新,慢慢觉得马克思主义确实是真理,中国共产党领导确实是人民的选择、历史的选择,我们走的社会主义道路确实是一条必由之路。这种通过自己思考、认识得出的结论,就会坚定不移。

"Ren Zhongping" commentary on page 1 of May 2 People's Daily on Marx-他的英名和事业永世长存--观点--人民网 - 他的英名和事业永世长存--观点--人民网 


5. Tech Firms Syncing With The Party

No surprise, but a worthwhile reminder...

Xi Tightens His Grip, and China’s Tech Giants Feel the Squeeze - The New York Times:

“If you see the situation clearly and are able to move in sync with the state, you will get great support,” Wang Xiaochuan, chief executive of the internet search company Sogou, said in a recent interview with Phoenix Satellite Television. “But if it’s in your nature to say, ‘I want freedom, I want to sing a tune different from the state’s,’ then you might suffer, more so than in the past.”..

Until recently, Tencent’s website said its cloud services helped the Communist Party “standardize and streamline party-building work.” But that page was removed after The New York Times asked Tencent about it. The original web address now points to a page that describes how Tencent can help local governments manage data...

In areas such as supercomputers, satellite navigation and drones, Mr. Xi has pushed Chinese companies to work alongside the military to chase breakthroughs. At a speech last month in Beijing, Mr. Xi said that the internet and information technology represented the “most dynamic and promising area for civil-military integration,” according to the state news agency Xinhua.

Civil-Military Fusion and the PLA’s Pursuit of Dominance in Emerging Technologies - Jamestown:

the inclusion of CMF in major strategic initiatives like Made in China 2025 and the Next Generation AI Development Plan all but guarantees high-visibility and financial support for enterprises working on dual-use technology of interest to the PLA. Analysts need only look to successful Chinese ‘national champions’ to appreciate the powerful nexus between commercial technology and government power. Companies like Huawei and ZTE stand out in the telecommunication space, as do with Hikvision and a handful of rising AI companies like iFlytek in the surveillance space. In both cases, these enterprises succeeded in large part because they offered a private sector solution to a Chinese government need and in exchange received lucrative government contracts and valuable non-financial contributions like data or technology and patents.

Xi’s drive to fuse technological and military development means more enterprises of this mold will likely emerge in the near future, though this time to support the PLA’s pursuit of dominance in emerging technologies. Whether Xi can open private emerging technology sectors to the PLA remains to be seen, though the effort has the potential to energize Xi’s attempt to turn the PLA into a hi-tech, modern fighting force. 


6. Liu Xia Still Detained And In China, Because She Married Liu Xiaobo

China Change: Liu Xia Cries Out for Help in a Phone Call With Liao Yiwu on April 8, 2018 « China Change:

On April 30, 2018, at 4:00 p.m. in Germany, I spoke to Liu Xia at her home in Beijing. She said: “Now, I’ve got nothing to be afraid of. If I can’t leave, I’ll die in my home. Xiaobo is gone, and there’s nothing in the world for me now. It’s easier to die than live. Using death to defy could not be any simpler for me.”

I felt like I’d just been shocked with a jolt of electricity. I told her to wait. I know that the Chinese Ministry of State Security agents that have been holding her under house arrest, since Xiaobo passed away last July and Liu Xia was forcibly taken to Dali in Yunnan for a while, have been promising her, again and again, guaranteeing that she’d be able to leave the country and seek treatment for her deep clinical depression. First they told her to wait until the 19th Party Congress was over; next they told her to wait until the conclusion of the ‘Two Sessions’ in Beijing in March of this year. On April 1, before Liu Xia’s 57th birthday, the German Ambassador called her to convey Chancellor Merkel’s special respects, and invited her to play badminton in Berlin before long.

According to my information, in early April the German Foreign Minister had already made specific arrangements, including as to how they’d not alert the news media, how they’d covertly collect Liu Xia at the airport, and how they’d arrange her treatment and recovery and more.


7. A Xinjiang Checkpoint For Uighurs

Eurasianet | Perspectives | Navigating Xinjiang’s security checkpoints:

Over the course of a week in cities across Xinjiang, I went through dozens and dozens of checkpoints. I saw young Uighur officers berate elderly Uighurs for not showing their IDs. I saw numerous checkpoints at the sides of roads, where officers appeared to target young Uighur men and women. During my entire trip, I did not see a Han individual produce his or her ID, or even pause for a moment to wonder if they should.

At some checkpoints, officers also asked young Uighurs to give them the passwords to open their smartphones. At these checkpoints, the officers looked at the spyware app Clean Net Guard (Jingwang Weishi) that all Uighurs are now required to install on their phones. The officers matched the registration of the phone to the ID of the person, and they also checked if any alerts had been issued by the app. The app scansthe content on the phone and content sent from the phone for any material deemed “extremist” or “separatist.” These types of checkpoints are particularly harrowing for young Uighurs. Evidence from these scans can be used to detain them indefinitely in the reeducation camps.


8. Lonely Old Man Puts Himself Up For Adoption

And there was no happy ending. 

He was one of millions of Chinese seniors growing old alone. So he put himself up for adoption.   - The Washington Post:

Han Zicheng survived the Japanese invasion, the Chinese civil war and the cultural revolution, but he knew he could not endure the sorrow of living alone. On a chilly day last December, the 85-year-old Chinese grandfather gathered some scraps of white paper and wrote out a pitch in blue ink: “Looking for someone to adopt me.”

“Lonely old man in his 80s. Strong-bodied. Can shop, cook and take care of himself. No chronic illness. I retired from a scientific research institute in Tianjin, with a monthly pension of 6,000 RMB ($950) a month,” he wrote.

“I won’t go to a nursing home. My hope is that a kindhearted person or family will adopt me, nourish me through old age and bury my body when I’m dead.”..

Han was desperate for company. He said his wife had died. His sons were out of touch


Business, Economy, Finance And Trade

China’s Dandong property prices jump on Korea talks - FT $$ “All of China seems to think that North Korea is going to open up. But I just think [the North Korean leadership] is just putting on a good display,” said one Dandong homeowner who did not want to be identified. He said residential prices had risen 20 per cent in Dandong since Mr Kim’s visit to Beijing.

AIIB approves two new applicants, expands membership to 86 - Xinhua The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) announced Wednesday that its board of governors has adopted resolutions approving applications from Papua New Guinea and Kenya to join the bank, bringing its total approved membership to 86.

 

Politics, Law And Ideology

After the Ball is Over, After the Break of Morn: What to Expect From the New Era of Xi Jinping | RUSI An excellent piece by Charles Parton, sadly paywalled  //  Amendments to the Chinese constitution in the wake of the recent Party Congress and National People’s Congress reveal eight policy areas on which the Chinese Communist Party, under its leader Xi Jinping, is expected to be active. The West had best be ready.

Academy apologizes for Taoist blessings at nuclear project - Global Times The Beijing-based academy apologized for not restraining the behavior of its partner, claiming the ritual was "against the spirit of science" in a statement released on its official Sina Weibo account on Monday. He Zhanjun and Cao Yuxiang, employees at the academy's Shanghai institute of applied physics, were suspended on Monday after the institute found they were present at the ritual but did nothing to stop it. The Thorium Molten Salt Reactor Nuclear Energy System is a project developed by the academy and the Gansu government at a total cost of 22 billion yuan ($3.48 billion).

人民日报:我国仍处于社会主义初级阶段--观点--人民网 重申我国仍处于并将长期处于社会主义初级阶段的基本国情没有变,与作出中国特色社会主义进入新时代的判断并不矛盾。新时代是社会主义初级阶段的新时代,是社会主义初级阶段历史长过程在当前呈现出的阶段性特征。在社会主义初级阶段的背景下,以中国特色社会主义的巨大成功向世界宣告社会主义焕发出蓬勃生机活力,使中国成为21世纪科学社会主义发展的旗帜、成为振兴世界社会主义的中流砥柱,这更加彰显了中国共产党坚强有力的正确领导和中国人民众志成城的努力奋斗。// Central Party School researcher Xin Ming explains on page 7 of The People's Daily that there is no contradiction between China still being in the primary stage of Socialism and having entererd the New Era of Socialism with Chinese characteristics

 

Foreign and Military Affairs

An American Lens on China’s Interference and Influence-Building Abroad | The Asan Forum: Targeting the Political Core. The CCP targets the political and policy elite from above and below. At the top levels, the CCP engages unwitting naïfs and witting co-conspirators to deliver its messages directly to U.S. decisionmakers without filtering through staff. These individuals often are successful in business, possessing gravitas and a reputation for knowing China. In the past, CCP leaders like Zhou Enlai made explicit statements about the need to cultivate these people by helping them succeed in China, so they could act as a CCP constituency on a foreign shore.26 For former government officials and influential analysts, the most public example of this cultivation is through dialogues and exchanges. A number of US-China Track 1.5 and Track 2 dialogues are managed by united front organizations on the Chinese side, such as the Sanya Initiative. These meetings offer the access and opportunity to brief US participants on particular messages or themes. The value comes from US participants who are able to relay those messages without staff filtering to senior policymakers. Although Americans often see these dialogues as a way for mutual influence, the united front cadre chosen for these meetings are those the party trusts to operate in an ideologically loose environment but still maintain party discipline.

Sino-Russian Military Relations: Gratitude and Resentment | Party Watch Initiative It is unsurprising then that the prospect of a “Sino-Russian axis” is usually dismissed as largely a Russian diplomatic feint designed to attenuate Western pressure against Moscow due to its involvement in Ukraine and Syria. While the above arguments have some merit, they should not blind analysts from seeing clear signs of a deepening relationship between Russia and China. Moreover, history and basic international relations logic tells us that states can overcome substantial mutual distrust if there is a shared threat or if simply the gains from cooperating outweigh the risks.

Global military spending remains high at $1.7 trillion | SIPRI Military expenditure in Asia and Oceania rose for the 29th successive year. China, the second largest spender globally, increased its military spending by 5.6 per cent to $228 billion in 2017. China’s spending as a share of world military expenditure has risen from 5.8 per cent in 2008 to 13 per cent in 2017. India spent $63.9 billion on its military in 2017, an increase of 5.5 per cent compared with 2016, while South Korea’s spending, at $39.2 billion, rose by 1.7 per cent between 2016 and 2017. ‘Tensions between China and many of its neighbours continue to drive the growth in military spending in Asia,’ said Siemon Wezeman, Senior Researcher with the SIPRI AMEX programme.

France and Australia can be heart of new Indo-Pacific axis, Macron says | The Guardian France and Australia can be the heart of a new Indo-Pacific axis, promoting peace, stability and a rules-based order, Emmanuel Macron said in Sydney on Wednesday. But the French president was at pains to stress that France’s continued emphasis on its Pacific presence was not one antagonistic to China, saying he welcomed Beijing’s economic and geopolitical rise.

Hit Chinese propaganda film celebrates Ivanka Trump supplier - AP A Chinese company that manufactured Ivanka Trump shoes and has been accused of serious labor abuses is being celebrated in a blockbuster propaganda film for extending China’s influence around the globe. The state-backed documentary “Amazing China” portrays the Huajian Group as a beneficent force spreading prosperity — in this case, by hiring thousands of Ethiopians at wages a fraction of what they’d have to pay in China. But in Ethiopia, Huajian workers told The Associated Press they work without safety equipment for pay so low they can barely make ends meet.

Sri Lanka's China-backed Port City sees up to $4 billion investment interest | Reuters A Chinese-backed real estate project near Sri Lanka’s main port is in discussion with investors for up to $4 billion in investments in its first phase, the developer said on Wednesday.

Chinese submersibles probe deep in South China Sea - China Daily Two Chinese submersibles finished a three-day joint operation, the first of its kind in the country's deep sea exploration, to detect a cold seep in the Pearl River Mouth Basin in the South China Sea. Unmanned submersible Haima, or "seahorse", and manned submersible Shenhai Yongshi, or "deep sea warrior", on board scientific survey ships Haiyang 6 and Tansuo 1 respectively, carried out the joint operation from April 28 to 30.

Chinese premier to visit Indonesia, Japan, attend China-Japan-ROK leaders' meeting - Xinhua Chinese Premier Li Keqiang will pay official visits to Indonesia and Japan, and attend the 7th China-Japan-ROK leaders' meeting in Japan from May 6 to 11, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said Tuesday.

 

Hong Kong, Macao

How the Hong Kong government is trying to rewrite the city’s history - Inkstone The Hong Kong government is rewriting the city’s history, one phrase at a time. Over decades, Hong Kong officials and citizens alike have used the word “handover” to describe the former British colony’s return to Chinese rule in 1997. But the city’s official Protocol Division, which helps to host foreign dignitaries, has erased any mention of a “handover of sovereignty” from its website

 

Taiwan

Death metal singer aims to breathe new life into Taiwanese, and Asian, democracy - The Washington Post A longhaired rocker with a gothic taste in myths and legends, he sings in a rasping scream, backed by fast-paced riffs and frenzied drumming, his face ­decorated in menacing black paint, his arms and chest emblazoned with tattoos. But Freddy Lim has an alter ego — a transformation as complete as Clark Kent’s into Superman. For these days, he is one of the rising stars of Taiwanese politics, a new progressive breed of politician breathing new life into this small island’s democracy in the menacing shadow of China.

 

Tech And Media

SoftBank's Arm cedes control of China operations to local joint venture - Nikkei Asian Review British chipmaker Arm Holdings, a SoftBank Group subsidiary, will cede control of its Chinese operations to a new joint venture involving itself and Chinese partners, people with familiar with the matter said... Rene Haas, Arm's executive vice president, told the Nikkei Asian Review in May 2017 that the joint venture would be the first for his company to engage in the transfer of technologies. Haas added that it would provide access to a market that had previously been closed to Western companies.

China’s Tech Industry Wants Youth, Not Experience - Bloomberg In its four months online, the Meipian post became a viral phenomenon—the platform registered only that it had been viewed more than 100,000 times, but via media coverage and word-of-mouth, the story would have reached millions. Why ZTE let Ou go remains a mystery, as does Ou’s reason for ending his life. But to the people discussing his story online, none of that mattered. Almost immediately, readers seized on his age: At 42, he would have already been considered too old to be an engineer in China, where three-quarters of tech workers are younger than 30, according to China’s largest jobs website, Zhaopin.com. The online discussion gave vent to an anxiety that’s been building for years. Chinese internet users call it the “30+ middle-aged crisis.”

China Credit Crackdown Hits Hollywood — The Information $$ The unraveling of Chinese companies’ investment in Hollywood has exposed how much of the money was coming from loans, in some cases secured against stock held by Chinese executives. The drama was sparked by the Chinese government’s tightening of controls on credit last year. That move prompted companies and their major shareholders to turn to a risky way of raising money: shareholders would pledge their stock as collateral and then inject the money into the company.

Tencent builds giant bomb shelter in remote Chinese province Guizhou to house WeChat data | South China Morning Post Many large technology companies – including Tencent, Alibaba, Foxconn and Apple – have shown strong support for Beijing’s goal to turn Guizhou province into a world-class hi-tech location

Apple iPhone X top seller in China, sending revenue up 21 percent - CNBC The iPhone maker reported $13 billion in revenue from Greater China during its second fiscal quarter — a 21 percent year-over-year spike. That puts the company's China revenue on par with its European revenue. On the company's earnings call, CEO Tim Cook said that the iPhone X, the company's newest model, "was the most popular smartphone in all of China last quarter." The company's performance in China is particularly impressive as overall smartphone sales were down in Q1, according to analysts at Canalys.

Flight of imagination: Chinese firm breaks record with 1,374 dancing drones | Reuters A Chinese drone company has broken the Guinness World Record for most drones flown simultaneously in a 13-minute flight that involved 1,374 drones spread over a kilometer.

人民日报评“抗日神剧”:别让“神剧”消费抗战史_新闻_腾讯网 People's Daily criticizes the "supernatural" shows about the war against Japan

 

Energy, Environment, Science And Health

Lucy Hornby Discusses The Environment and Food at "China: Finding Solutions" - YouTube Lucy Hornby 韩碧如 is deputy bureau chief for the Financial Times in Beijing

Cancer drugs to be covered by government procurement - ECNS China will launch three measures on May 1 to lower the retail price of cancer drugs, said Zeng Yixin, deputy director of the National Health Commission. Zeng said the country will reduce the tariff rate for imported drugs to zero, purchase anti-cancer drugs covered by the medical insurance system through government procurement and also start negotiations on drugs currently not covered by the system.

 

Agriculture And Rural Issues

China calls for better schools in rural areas The State Council has released a circular on guidelines to improve construction of schools in villages and towns, in an effort to balance public services and revitalize the countryside. Small-scale schools in villages, with no more than 100 students, and boarding schools in towns are the focus of the circular. 国务院办公厅印发《关于全面加强乡村小规模学校和乡镇寄宿制学校建设的指导意见》 

 

Food And Travel

Tougher penalties for unruly passengers on China’s planes and high-speed trains | South China Morning Post From May 1, anybody caught smoking or “obstructing” operations on high-speed rail services will be banned from the entire rail network for six months, according to an announcement by the National Development and Reform Commission and two other departments. People involved in brawls at airports or on flights, or who attack check-in staff or air crews will be barred from boarding any plane in China for a year.