Violence in Hong Kong; Shanghai's STAR surges; Huawei and North Korea; Xinjiang white paper
|Bill Bishop||Jul 22, 2019|| 8|
Developments in Hong Kong over the weekend are very disturbing, and the violence in Yuen Long as vigilantes beat anyone they thought had participated in the Sunday protests is shocking given Hong Kong’s reputation for the rule of law. The official response from Beijing is increasingly harsh, and the propaganda organs are in overdrive to depict the protestors as ungrateful troublemakers stirred up by evil foreign forces.
There are glimmers of progress in US-China trade talks, though I would temper optimism for a real breakthrough. The South China Morning Post reports the US team may be heading to Beijing imminently and there are signs Beijing may be teeing up an agricultural goods purchase for which President Trump has made clear he is desperate. However, expect Huawei to remain a sticking point regardless of the outcome of the meeting at the White House today with major US tech companies to discuss sales to Huawei.
Congratulations are in order to Shanghai for the successful opening of its new casino, also know as the STAR high-tech stock market board. The average gain for all 25 companies today was 140% and one stock jumped 520%. It was a good day for anyone lucky enough to get an allocation of shares, it is not so clear how tenable this is or when regulators may step in.
Thanks for reading.
The Essential Eight
1. Hong Kong
Hundreds of masked assailants dressed in white have assaulted residents, protesters, journalists and a lawmaker in Yuen Long, hours after an anti-extradition law march ended.
The group used bamboo sticks and other weapons to attack people in the area and in the West Rail Line station, injuring Democratic Party lawmaker Lam Cheuk-ting, who was seen bleeding from his mouth in a social media live stream...
in a widely circulated online video, pro-Beijing lawmaker Junius Ho could be seen applauding and giving a “thumbs up” to people dressed in white. He also shook hands with two men who held small Hong Kong bauhinia flags. When a man told Ho, “you are my idol,” the lawmaker replied: “All of you are my heroes.”
Protesters painted graffiti on the Chinese government’s liaison office in Hong Kong on Sunday, and threw ink on the crest of the Chinese state displayed there, an act that Chinese officials said “openly challenged the authority of the central government.” Earlier, demonstrators participated in a peaceful march calling for an independent investigation into accusations of police brutality...
After Ms. Lam’s comments on Monday, one prominent former lawmaker from a traditionally pro-establishment party called on her to resign. “Are triads ruling Hong Kong now?” the former lawmaker, James Tien, wrote on Facebook.
“I’ve never asked you to resign before, but after what happened in Yuen Long last night, if you still don’t resign, Hong Kong will never see peace again!” he added.
China’s top government mouthpieces issued stern and prominent commentaries on Monday after Hong Kong protesters laid siege to Beijing’s liaison office, warning that “challenges to central government’s authority” and “insults to the state and Chinese nation” would not be tolerated.
Communist Party mouthpiece People’s Daily ran a commentary on its front page, while news agency Xinhua led its website with a commentary that was also carried on the front page of People’s Liberation Army Daily, the military’s mouthpiece.
“When the majestic national emblem of the People’s Republic of China was defaced with black paint, it caused unbearable pain and anger,” Xinhua said. “These illegal acts are unacceptable to all Chinese people, including the people of Hong Kong.”
“The escalating violence and provocative acts have completely exposed these mobs and the forces behind them,” it said.
Monday page 1 People's Daily commentary on the Hong Kong protests, says the authority of the central government can not be challenged
It is quite necessary for the Hong Kong police to take immediate actions, said the spokesperson. "We firmly support the HKSAR government in taking all necessary measures in accordance with law to ensure the safety of the central government organs based in Hong Kong, safeguard the rule of law in Hong Kong, and punish the criminals."
Pro-Beijing opinions were also allowed to proliferate on Chinese social media, as censors appeared to tolerate the sharing of footage and images of the unrest in Hong Kong—as long as they kept to the official narrative on the protests.
The HKSAR government is concerned that a small number of radicals incited the masses in an organized manner, challenged the rule of law, and even stormed the liaison office of the central government.
"Such acts threaten the law and order in the SAR and 'one country, two systems'. It is totally unacceptable to the society," the spokesperson added.
A pro-Beijing lawmaker on Monday defended the white-clad men who indiscriminately attacked civilians in Yuen Long on Sunday night, saying they were merely “defending their home and people”.
While Junius Ho Kwan-yiu distanced himself from the assault, he said: “The sinners can be pardoned.”
The rural leader is in hot water after he was filmed shaking hands with men in white clothes and thanking them on Sunday night. But it was unclear what he was thanking them for.
Force insiders told the Post they believed more than 100 attackers wielding wooden sticks and metal rods, including members of the 14K and Wo Shing Wo triad gangs, were involved in terrorising protesters and passers-by on Sunday night, following a mass anti-government march.
“We have a list of suspects in connection with the violent attacks. Anti-triad officers will soon launch an arrest operation in the district,” one source said on Monday.
“I am furious towards the police for not sending anyone to control the situation,” said Democratic party lawmaker Lam Cheuk-ting, who was also injured in the violent scuffles. He alleged the men were members of Hong Kong’s triads — organised crime gangs that operate in the territory. “Hong Kong is now allowing the triads to do what they want, to beat people on the street.”
Force insiders said most of those wanted are under the age of 25 and include many students from high schools, postsecondary institutions and universities in the city...
One group comprised 200 to 300 hard core radical protesters. “They are called martyrs and are deployed on the front line. They provoke police on site and use force and violent acts to attack police cordon lines and fight with officers,” another source said. After the attack, they retreat and change their clothes and leave before others move in.
There were more than 500 people in the other group. They are called “wo, lei, fei” in Cantonese, meaning “peaceful, reasonable and non-violent”.
More than 300,000 Hong Kong residents braved rains for rallies on Saturday afternoon to voice their strong opposition to violence and firm support for police.
They also called for maintaining rule of law and safeguarding peace and stability in Hong Kong.
Over 30 Hong Kong protesters who fear prosecution for their involvement in the ransacking of the finance hub's legislature on July 1 have arrived in Taiwan to seek shelter, Taiwan's Apple Daily said, citing unnamed sources.
2. Soaring STAR
Shares rocketed by as much as 520 per cent on the first day of trading for Shanghai’s science and technology-focused equities market in what the Chinese government will hope is a further sign of its resilience in the face of its trade war with the US...
The first 25 companies to list on the exchange on Monday had raised Rmb37bn collectively through the issuance of new shares that closed their first trading day on Star between 84 per cent and 400 per cent higher from where they had priced, with an average gain of 140 per cent.
The raucous first day of trade tripped the exchange’s circuit breakers that are designed to calm frenzied activity. The weakest performer leapt 84.22%. In total, the day saw the creation of around 305 billion yuan ($44.3 billion) in new market capitalization on top of an initial market cap of around 225 billion yuan, according to Reuters’ calculations.
“The price gains are crazier than we expected,” said Stephen Huang, vice president of Shanghai See Truth Investment Management. “These are good companies, but valuations are too high. Buying them now makes no sense.”
First proposed in November 2018, the new board is designed to provide direct financing support for companies in the high-tech and strategic emerging sectors, such as new-generation information technology, advanced equipment, new materials, new energy, energy saving and environmental protection.
The new board is China’s first to trial an IPO system based on registration rather than regulatory approval. The aim of the change is to let investors and the market — rather than regulators — decide on the price, as is standard practice elsewhere.
Of the 25 companies that debuted on Monday, several receive the bulk of their orders from the state, including China Railway Signal & Communication Corp. The state-owned maker of railway operation systems, which is also listed on the Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing. Beijing Tianyi Shangjia New Material, a manufacturer of railway brake components, delivers products to state-owned train manufacturers.
The initial arrangements for the meeting in Beijing, according to the source who declined to be identified, came after the United States announced that it would offer exemptions to 110 Chinese products, including medical equipment and key electronic components, from import tariffs. In a goodwill gesture of their own, China also said that several companies would buy American agricultural products having already applied for exemptions from the tariffs imposed by Beijing.
Some Chinese enterprises have inquired with U.S. exporters about the purchase of agricultural produce and applied for the lifting of tariffs on the products in accordance with the regulations of the Customs Tariff Commission of the State Council, Chinese authorities said Sunday.
The commission will organize experts to evaluate the applications.
China and the United States are implementing the consensus reached by the two heads of state during the G20 Osaka summit.
White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow will host a meeting with semiconductor and software executives on Monday to discuss the U.S. ban on sales to China’s Huawei Technologies Co Ltd, two sources briefed on the meeting said on Friday.
Question: Will anyone from the Department of Commerce attend? I doubt whatever loosening may be coming will be enough to satisfy Beijing, and if it does it will certainly cause an uproar and possible legislation in the US Congress.
Taoran Notes, a social media account affiliated with the official Economic Daily newspaper, echoed the optimism in a commentary on Sunday, saying the phone calls could lead to a resumption of negotiations soon “if there are no major changes in situation in recent times”.
It suggested that such negotiations could take place before the end of the month and before the August summer holiday period...
But the commentary said that a final deal would not be reached unless the US removed all the tariffs it had imposed since the start of the trade war.
The Taoran Notes piece- 磋商重启后，仍需耐心和平常心
The ambivalence of some U.S. officials has been fully revealed by their recent ridiculous remarks.
On one hand, they hope China to make huge purchases of U.S agricultural products to relieve their pressured American farmers. On the other hand, they are holding tight to the bigotry, the so-called “defending America’s 5G future,” and keeping blocking China’s high-tech firms. In addition, the desire to impose additional tariffs on $325 billion worth of Chinese imports is still lingering on their mind.
It’s possibly true that they do want to reach a trade deal with China, but they are still putting on dramas and failing to see the core of the issue.
The original of the latest Wu Yue He - 多开路 少添堵（国际论坛
Speaking at the annual Aspen Security Forum in Colorado, John Rood, undersecretary of defence for policy, said China was “the one country, the largest country, with the ability to change our way of life in the United States, and change the global order, for good or ill”.
China figured heavily during the four-day meeting of top US officials and policy leaders, which ended on Saturday.
My colleague Martin Wolf recently wrote about the looming 100-year conflict between the US and China. His argument is more nuanced than the headline. Having spent part of this week among leading policymakers and thinkers at the annual Aspen Security Forum in Colorado, I am inclined to think Martin was not exaggerating. The speed with which US political leaders of all stripes have united behind the idea of a “new cold war” is something that takes my breath away.
The Committee on the Present Danger, a long-defunct group that campaigned against the dangers of the Soviet Union in the 1970s and 1980s, has recently been revived with the help of Stephen K. Bannon, the president’s former chief strategist, to warn against the dangers of China.
Once dismissed as xenophobes and fringe elements, the group’s members are finding their views increasingly embraced in President Trump’s Washington, where skepticism and mistrust of China have taken hold. Fear of China has spread across the government, from the White House to Congress to federal agencies..
The new Cold War has not been one-sided. Many of the changes in Washington have been triggered by a darker turn in Beijing.
Josh Rogin @joshroginThere is no “red scare” reshaping Washington. What you are seeing is an awakening to the reality of what the Chinese government is doing and the need to confront it. How to do that is the crucial debate unfolding now. Scaring people about a “red scare” is not accurate or helpful. https://t.co/EoSOndmeym
Chinese foreign direct investment in the United States fell to $5.4 billion in 2018 from a peak of $46.5 billion in 2016, a drop of 88 percent, according to data from Rhodium Group, an economic research firm. Preliminary figures through April of this year, which account for investments by mainland Chinese companies, suggested only a modest uptick from last year, with transactions valued at $2.8 billion...
A slowing economy and stricter capital controls in China have made it more difficult for Chinese investors to buy American, according to trade and mergers and acquisitions advisers. Mr. Trump’s penchant for imposing punishing tariffs on Chinese goods and an increasingly powerful regulatory group that is heavily scrutinizing foreign investment, particularly involving Chinese investors, have also spooked businesses in both countries.
Huawei Technologies Co., the Chinese tech giant embroiled in President Trump’s trade war with China and blacklisted as a national security threat, secretly helped the North Korean government build and maintain the country’s commercial wireless network, according to internal documents obtained by The Washington Post and people familiar with the arrangement...
Taken together, the revelations raise questions about whether Huawei, which has used American technology in its components, violated U.S. export controls to furnish equipment to North Korea
China's Huawei will not be restricted in Brazil where plans are under way to launch a 5G network, the country's vice president said Monday, defying pressure from the United States to shun the firm.
China and Vietnam fought a brief but bloody war 40 years ago, and Hanoi has watched warily as its northern neighbor’s wealth and military ambitions have grown ever since.
“The whole world needs to be careful with China,” said Maj. Gen. Le Van Cuong, the former director of the Institute of Strategic Studies at the Vietnamese Ministry of Public Security. “If a superpower like America regards China as a cybersecurity threat, then of course Vietnam has to.”
5. South China Sea
Tougher language from the US and Vietnam over the latest flashpoint in the South China Sea, the surveying activities of the Haiyang Dizhi 8.
China’s reclamation and militarization of disputed outposts in the SCS, along with other efforts to assert its unlawful SCS maritime claims, including the use of maritime militia to intimidate, coerce, and threaten other nations, undermine the peace and security of the region.
China’s growing pressure on ASEAN countries to accept Code of Conduct provisions that seek to restrict their right to partner with third party companies or countries further reveal its intent to assert control over oil and gas resources in the South China Sea.
The United States firmly opposes coercion and intimidation by any claimant to assert its territorial or maritime claims.
China should cease its bullying behavior and refrain from engaging in this type of provocative and destabilizing activity.
- Remarks by MOFA Spokesperson Le Thi Thu Hang on comments on the remarks made by the Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China on 17 July 2019 regarding the developments in the East Sea
Over the last several days, the Chinese survey ship, Haiyang Dizhi 8, and its escorts conducted activities in the Southern area of the East Sea that violated Viet Nam’s Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf as established in the provisions of the 1982 United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea, to which Viet Nam and China are party. This area lies entirely within the Vietnamese waters.
Viet Nam has made contacts with China on multiple occasions via different channels, delivered diplomatic note to oppose China’s violations, and staunchly demanded China to stop all unlawful activities and withdraw its ships from Vietnamese waters, and to respect Viet Nam’s sovereign rights and jurisdiction over its waters.
“This is slander against Chinese and Southeast Asian countries’ efforts to uphold peace and stability in the South China Sea and properly manage differences,” Geng told a news briefing on Monday. “Countries and people in the region will not believe their words.”
He added, “We urge the United States to stop such irresponsible behavior and respect the efforts of China and ASEAN countries to resolve differences through dialogue and work for peace and stability in the South China Sea.”
Philippines and Vietnam moved to empower their coastguards after heavily armed Chinese and Vietnamese coastguard ships began eyeing one another at Vanguard Bank
Stand-off points to the active role being played by coastguard vessels in Asia’s most complex territorial dispute
The seminar focused on exploring laws of socialist modernization in China and Vietnam.
The opening ceremony of the seminar was attended by Huang Kunming, a member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and also a member of the Secretariat of the CPC Central Committee, and Vo Van Thuong, head of the CPV Central Committee's Communication and Education Commission.
6. PLA base in Cambodia?
This has been rumored for a while, makes sense given the strategic benefits to China as well as the increasing PRC presence and influence in Cambodia and its politics. Vietnam can not be happy, meanwhile China also has a very strong relationship with Laos, improving ties with Thailand, and has done much to repair its relationship with Myanmar.
The pact—signed this spring but not disclosed by either side—gives China exclusive rights to part of a Cambodian naval installation on the Gulf of Thailand, not far from a large airport now being constructed by a Chinese company.
Details of the final deal were unclear, the officials said, but an early draft, seen by U.S. officials, would allow China to use the base for 30 years, with automatic renewals every 10 years after that. China would be able to post military personnel, store weapons and berth warships, according to the draft...
Combining Cambodian facilities with China’s military outposts in the South China Sea, “you basically have a triangular perimeter boxing in all of mainland Southeast Asia,” said Charles Edel, a former adviser to the U.S. secretary of state who is now an analyst at the United States Studies Centre in Sydney...
The Cambodian runway “seems far longer than needed for any normal commercial purpose or aircraft, and certainly longer than necessary for any tourist development envisaged there,” an Australian intelligence official said.
“We have some concern that China is using the same playbook used in the South China Sea, creating facts on the ground until such time that it is too late for anyone to object.”
Comment: Interesting that someone decided to leak this intelligence now.
Forming a picture of what a Chinese military outpost in Cambodia could look like and how quickly one could become operational is not an act of wild speculation. Chinese efforts elsewhere provide evidence of a simple template. In the South China Sea, in Djibouti, and in other locations in the Indian and Pacific Oceans, Beijing has followed a similar pattern in which denial precedes further action and helps to veil the full extent of Beijing’s aims.
"This is the worst fabricated news against Cambodia. There is no such story because the presence of any foreign military base is contrary to Cambodia's Constitution," Hun Sen said in an exclusive interview with Fresh News, a Cambodian news agency.
"Why does Cambodia need the presence of Chinese military on its territory?" he asked. "We have never even discussed this with Chinese leaders, not to mention the signing of the agreement."
“Without us Chinese coming here and creating jobs for them, the Cambodians would only have a mango a day to eat,” a Chinese businessman said to me. “They are so backward.” At a beach, another Chinese businessman paid for the juices we were drinking and told the Cambodian server to keep the change. He then turned to me and said, “See, they are so happy with our generosity!”
7. Xinjiang white paper
On July 18, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo slandered the religious policy and the freedom of religious belief in China at a U.S. conference to “advance religious freedom”.
They even collaborated with cult members, which exposed to the world their ugliness and hypocrisy.
Some U.S. politicians have long been slandering China with fabricated stories, and are even undermining ethnic harmony and interfering in the internal affairs of China.
Fortunately, lies cannot stand long. The reckless endorsement of Pence, which was full of self-contradictories, has become a butt of a joke for the world.
Xinjiang now has multiple religions, including Islam, Buddhism, Taoism, Protestantism, Catholicism, and the Eastern Orthodox Church. The history of Xinjiang shows that the region's religious structure is characterized by blending and coexistence, with one or two predominant.
The region is experiencing its most auspicious period of development and prosperity. Hostile foreign forces and separatist, religious extremist and terrorist forces that have colluded to distort history and tamper with facts run counter to the trend of our times and will be cast aside by history and the people.
“The Uygur people adopted Islam not of their own volition … but had it forced upon them by religious wars and the ruling class,” according to the document released by the State Council Information Office.
Islamic beliefs were forced on the Uygurs during the expansion of Arabic states. This is a historical fact, the report said, though that did not undermine the Uygurs’ religious rights now.
Several of the leading Democratic presidential contenders told Axios that if elected, they would go further than the Trump administration in confronting China over its imprisonment of more than 1 million Uighur Muslims in its Xinjiang region.
China is a unified multiethnic country, and the various ethnic groups in Xinjiang have long been part of the Chinese nation. Throughout its long history, Xinjiang's development has been closely related to that of China, the white paper said.
However, in more recent times, hostile forces in and outside China, especially separatists, religious extremists and terrorists, have tried to split China and break it apart by distorting history and facts, the document said.
The State Council Information Office of the People's Republic of China published a white paper titled "Historical Matters Concerning Xinjiang" on Sunday.
8. Sun Yang’s controversial win
Australian swimming star Mack Horton has signalled that his feud with China's Sun Yang is as bitter as ever, refusing to share a podium with Sun after the 400m final at the world championships...
Sun is currently facing allegations of doping rule violations that could result in a ban from the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and he has requested a public trial at the Court of Arbitration for Sport in September to defend himself.
Sun invited Horton to have photos taken on the podium but was rejected in what was probably one of the most embarrassing moments in sports. After the press conference, Sun responded to Horton: "You could choose not to respect me, but you must respect China."
The issue was also one of the top trending topics on Chinese microblogging site Weibo on Monday -- although Chinese media did not mention the drugs context, and used a picture that made it appear that Horton was kneeling at Sun's side.
Business, Economy and Trade
Exclusive: Head of China Development Bank’s Shandong Branch Commits Suicide The head of the Shandong provincial branch of China Development Bank, one of the nation’s three state-owned policy lenders, has committed suicide, amid an ongoing investigation into illegal acts at another of the bank’s branches where he once served as a high official. Zhong Xiaolong was discovered in his room with his wrists slit while in Beijing on July 17, Caixin learned from a knowledgeable source. In addition to the slit wrists, he had also stabbed himself in the chest, the source said.
China unveils new financial opening-up measures - Xinhua China will allow foreign-funded institutions to conduct credit rating business with all kinds of bonds in China's inter-bank and exchange bond market, according to a statement of the office posted on the website of the central bank on Saturday. Overseas financial institutions will be encouraged to participate in setting up and investing in the asset management subsidiaries of commercial banks. Meanwhile, overseas asset management agencies will be permitted to co-establish foreign-controlled asset management companies together with subsidiaries of Chinese banks or insurers, the statement said.
It’s China’s World | Fortune As the Chinese Century nears its third decade, Fortune’s Global 500 shows how profoundly the world’s balance of power is shifting. American companies account for 121 of the world’s largest corporations by revenue. Chinese companies account for 129 (including 10 Taiwanese companies). For the first time since the debut of the Global 500 in 1990, and arguably for the first time since World War II, a nation other than the U.S. is at the top of the ranks of global big business.
Ford’s Shrinking China Business Is Hurting Its Global Ambitions - WSJ $$ Auto maker’s sales in China fell 27% in the first six months of 2019 from the prior-year period
State Council to improve secondary land market development - Gov.cn The State Council recently issued a guideline to improve the secondary land market for transfer, rental, and mortgage on the right of construction land use.
China’s $40 Trillion Banking System Learns a Lesson on Risk - Bloomberg When it took control of Baoshang Bank Co. on May 24 and imposed losses on some creditors, China’s government upended the long-held assumption that it would always provide banks with a 100% backstop. The result has been a wholesale repricing of risk for all but the largest Chinese lenders, a development that analysts say was long overdue in a country rife with moral hazard.
Why the wheels fell off China’s tech boom | Financial Times $$ investors have started to become squeamish. Aggregate deal value in the Chinese IT sector in the second quarter of 2019 was $2.2bn, compared with $26.4bn for the same period a year earlier, according to data provider Preqin...Casualties of this new discipline include VIPKID, which employs native-English speaking teachers to teach children in China online and is struggling to raise funds, and Megvii, one of China’s biggest artificial intelligence companies.
A Prolific Builder’s L.A. Megamansion Sells for $75 Million - WSJ $$ A brand new Bel-Air megamansion has sold for $75 million—one of the largest deals ever closed in Los Angeles, according to people with knowledge of the deal. The buyer hails from China, those people said.
The Continuing Chinese Drag on the Global Economy | Council on Foreign Relations - Brad Setser China's manufacturing surplus with countries not-governed by Donald J. Trump is up about $100 billion over the last 12 months.*..The rise in China's overall surplus in manufacturing trade hasn’t come from particularly strong Chinese exports. Take out trade with the United States and Chinese exports are up a bit. But the pace of growth is modest. The rise in the surplus is mostly the result of weak Chinese imports.
China's Top Coal Group Says Regulator to Slash Imports This Half - Bloomberg The latest customs clearance halt at some mainland ports is because imports have exceeded quotas in the first six months, said Su Chuanrong, executive director-general of China National Coal Association. Overseas purchases are also set to weaken because domestic demand has faltered, Su said Thursday.
Politics and Law
Prosecutors in China's Sichuan Pin 'Illegal Business" Charge on Early Rain Pastor - RFA Authorities in the southwestern Chinese province of Sichuan are investigating Early Rain Covenant Church pastor Wang Yi on charges of "incitement to subvert state power" and "illegal business activities." Wang, who founded the church, was detained by police in Sichuan's provincial capital Chengdu on Dec. 14, 2018 on suspicion of "incitement to subvert state power," alongside dozens of church members in a raid that prompted an international outcry.
Public security minister stresses security, stability in 70th anniversary of PRC - Xinhua State Councilor and Minister of Public Security Zhao Kezhi on Saturday called for efforts to ensure security and stability when the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China is celebrated. Zhao made the call at a symposium gathering police chiefs from across the country, held in Sichuan Province.
CPC urges finding out problems in education campaign - Xinhua The leading group of the ongoing Communist Party of China education campaign themed "staying true to our founding mission" has called for a comprehensive check for problems in the campaign. The group made the urge in a newly released work program, asking all regions and departments to find out problems going against the founding mission, in contrast to the Party Constitution and regulations, and use "real swords and spears" to address problems.
China's State Security Police Put Australian Writer in Detention Center - RFA He is currently being held in the Beijing Municipal State Security Bureau Detention Center, and remains under investigation for "endangering state security," his defense lawyer Mo Shaoping told RFA. "He hasn't been indicted, just transferred from residential surveillance to criminal detention," Mo said. "The charge of endangering state security is a very serious one in Chinese law, comprising 10 or more different charges, of which spying is one."
China to improve judge selection system - Xinhua A cross-regional selection mechanism will be set up to allow local courts to select judges from applicants in other regions, and measures will be taken to ensure timely judicial selection, the Supreme People's Court (SPC) announced at a seminar held in Chengdu, Sichuan Province.
Foreign and Defense Affairs
China to issue white paper on national defense - Xinhua The white paper titled "China's National Defense in the New Era" will be released at 10 a.m. on Wednesday and a press conference will be held by the State Council Information Office.
Hua Chunying’s appointment as director-general of FM’s information department hailed by public - Global Times Hua takes over the post from Lu Kang, who will assume the position of director-general of the Department of North American and Oceanian Affairs of the Foreign Ministry. As the country's fifth woman to be foreign ministry spokesperson, Hua is liked by many Chinese people who describe her handling of press conferences as "gentle but fierce and pithy."
Shunned by West and Wary of Russia, Belarus Gets Help From China - The New York Times Mostly shunned by European investors and wary of becoming too dependent on Russia, which has a record of trying to grab its prize assets, Belarus has eagerly turned to China. Beijing makes no demands on Mr. Lukashenko to ease repression or surrender companies like Belaruskali, a leading potash manufacturer over which Moscow has sought to gain control.
Jaishankar to visit China next month to prepare ground for Modi-Xi informal summit - The Economic Times The primary objective of the visit will be to prepare ground for the second informal summit between Modi and Xi which is likely to be held in the second week of October, the sources said.
China cancels Prague orchestra tour amid Taiwan row with mayor - The Telegraph China is furious at Zdenek Hřib, 38, the city’s anti-establishment mayor, for refusing to toe Beijing’s line over its sensitivities about the status of Taiwan and Tibet.
China's Belt and Road Leaves Kenya With a Railroad to Nowhere - Bloomberg Construction of what was intended to be a flagship infrastructure project for Eastern Africa was halted earlier this year after China withheld some $4.9 billion in funding needed to allow the line’s completion..The first half of the Kenya-Uganda railway, a 470-kilometer (290-mile) stretch between the port city of Mombasa and Nairobi, is operational but not yet making money. Beijing balked at funding the extension to Uganda amid concerns it may be a step too far beyond viability.
Want Want China Times to sue ‘Financial Times’ - Taipei Times The report, written by Kathrin Hille and published on Wednesday, accused Want Want-owned media outlets the China Times and CtiTV (中天電視) of taking orders on a daily basis from China’s Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) on how to prepare their news. China Times president Wang Feng (王丰) made the announcement at a news conference in Taipei, which was also attended by several Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmakers.
Tech and Media
Tencent Teams Up With Nintendo-Backed Pokemon to Create Games - Bloomberg Tencent, whose WeChat social media service is used by more than a billion people across China, said its TiMi Studio Group will take the lead in developing titles with the Japanese company behind the popular monster-hunting franchise.
Market Value Plunged for Xiaomi on Its First Anniversary of IPO - PingWest The Chinese electronics company, and the world’s fifth biggest seller of smartphones, saw its stock price plunged 42.77% exactly one year after its IPO, from HK$16.6 to HK$9.5 on July 9th. The stock price peaked at HK$22.2 on July 18th, 2018, and never got back around during the past year
'Top Gun' sequel, co-produced by China's Tencent, appears to remove Japanese, Taiwanese flags | The Japan Times Eagle-eyed viewers have spotted a curious discrepancy in the first trailer for “Top Gun: Maverick,” the sequel to the beloved ’80s classic “Top Gun,” which Paramount debuted Thursday — the patches on the iconic leather jacket worn by star Tom Cruise no longer bear the Taiwanese and Japanese flags.
China steps up regulation of web literature to clear vulgar content - Global Times The National Copyright Administration of China requested online literature platforms to rectify vulgar content and promote mainstream positive energy. The administration met with 12 companies engaged in the web literature business in Beijing from Monday to Wednesday.
Energy, Environment, Science and Health
Factory That Blew Up, Killing 15, Had Won Multiple Safety Awards - Caixin An explosion at a factory in Yima, Henan province, had left 15 people dead as of Saturday night, local authorities announced. Hundreds of people have been injured, with 15 in serious condition, state media reported
State Electricity Giant Now Gets Half Its Power From Cleaner Sources, Company Says - Caixin Even as wind dropped from the sails of renewable energy investment in the first half of this year, behemoth State Power Investment Corp. (SPIC) powered on undeterred in its green push, with over half of its 145 gigawatts (GW) of generation capacity now coming from sources cleaner than polluting fossil fuels.
Millions of Barrels of Iranian Oil Are Piled Up in China's Ports - Bloomberg Two and a half months after the White House banned the purchase of Iran’s oil, the nation’s crude is continuing to be sent to China where it’s being put into what’s known as “bonded storage,” say people familiar with operations at several Chinese ports. This oil doesn’t cross local customs or show up in the nation’s import data and is not necessarily in breach of sanctions.
Simon Yam attack is not just celebrity gossip news - Global Times China's state media is calling for improved public security and mental health care after Hong Kong actor Simon Yam Tat-wah was stabbed by a mentally ill man during a promotional event on Saturday. Yam, 64, remains in critical condition at an intensive care unit in Hong Kong after undergoing surgery for puncture wounds to his stomach and fingers which he sustained in Zhongshan, South China's Guangdong Province, Saturday morning.
Rural and Agricultural Issues