Weak GDP data; National security "covert front 隐蔽战线"; US export controls; Covid excess deaths
Summary of the Essential Eight:
Weak GDP data - The Covid reopening boom has turned out to be more of a fizzle, as Q2 YoY growth was 6.3% and growth from Q1 was just 0.8%, both below expectations. Perhaps the most worrisome data point from the Monday release is the 21.3% unemployment rate for people aged 16 to 24 in urban areas. Perhaps the worsening data may change the top leadership’s view of the need for more meaningful stimulus, but so far there are few signs of a shift.
National security "covert front 隐蔽战线" - The readout for a commendation meeting for cadres in the national security system chaired by Politburo member and Secretary of the Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission Chen Wenqing twice mentions the rarely publicly discussed "covert front 隐蔽战线" of undercover work. Timed with this meeting, the MSS released a new propaganda video titled "有我", which concludes with "You don't have to search for me, because I am always here, always protecting you from harm." The video s…