Welcome To The Xi Era--Sinocism Weekly 10.21.17
Welcome to the first issue of the Sinocism China Weekly since the regular service went behind a paywall on October 16. Thanks for sticking around, hope you missed me at least a little bit…
If you did not subscribe to the pay service you missed these issues:
If you are on the fence about subscribing please do so soon as the price is set to rise in November from the current $11/mo or $118/year. You can subscribe here.
So far the 19th Party Congress has made clear that we are now entering the third era of the PRC. First was the Mao Era, second was the Deng Era, and now, after a couple of caretakers, we are in the Xi Era.
Three of the most important developments from the 19th Party Congress so far are Xi Thought, a China that has shed any pretense of “biding its time 韬光养晦” and instead wants to take “center stage in the world”, and a change in the principal contradiction governing society.
First, Xi’s work report to the 19th Party Congress introduced a new theory-"Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era 新时代中国特色社会主义思想. Within a day that formulation in official media had become "Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era 习近平新时代中国特色社会主义思想” and the other six members of the 18th Politburo including Liu Yunshan, the official in charge of propaganda and ideology, were using the “Xi Jinping Thought…” version. That to me seems like a pretty clear signal this will end up in the Party Constitution as an eponymous guiding ideology.
The introduction of Xi Thought makes the question of succession while Xi is alive a moot issue. So long as Xi has not yet met Marx he is the man with an eponymous theory in the Party Constitution so no one will have more authority than he does, regardless of whether Xi is Party Chairman, General Secretary, Central Military Commission Chairman or head of the China Go Association.
Second, the language in the Work Report that suggests China will become more assertive on the world stage and believes its governance model is attractive to other countries will likely raise all sorts of alarms in Asian and Western capitals. Xi declared that China "has become a great power in the world" and "it is time for us to take center stage in the world and to make a greater contribution to humankind". The West and Asia are already growing wary of Beijing and with the clear signals coming from this work report it is easy to foresee much more suspicion of and resistance to China and its overseas activities.
Third, the Party has changed the “principal contradiction” the Marxists in China believe defines society. The principal contradiction since 1981, near the start of the Deng Era, had been “the ever-growing material and cultural needs of the people versus backward social production”. For the Xi Era that contradiction is now “between unbalanced and inadequate development and the people's ever-growing needs for a better life”. The importance of this can not be understated as it will inform the underpinnings of most policies. It is not a coincidence the work report omitted the GDP target. That is not to say there will be changes overnight, or that they will be smooth or successful, but this is not just some slogan that can be ignored.
The next big news from the Congress this coming week will be the October 24 announcement of the new Central Committee and the release of the amended Party Constitution, which most people expect will include “Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era 习近平新时代中国特色社会主义思想”. We will learn the composition of the 19th Party Congress Politburo and Standing Committee on October 25.
Welcome to the Xi Era. It is going to be one big Party.
Thanks for reading, don’t forget to subscribe here if you want to read the daily version of Sinocism.
The Essential Eight
1. Xi Thought, Xi Adulation
Senior Communist Party of China (CPC) leaders Thursday called for efforts to fully comprehend and implement Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era.
"The Thought represents the latest achievement in adapting Marxism to the Chinese context, and is an important component of the system of theories of socialism with Chinese characteristics," said Li Keqiang when joining a panel discussion at the 19th CPC National Congress, which opened Wednesday.
“Xi Jinping... has obtained the heartfelt love and respect of the entire party, army and people, he deserves to be called wise leader,” Beijing party secretary Cai Qi, a Xi ally and one-time colleague, said on Wednesday at a meeting of the city delegation, according to the official Beijing Daily.
Chen Miner, a rising star who became the party chief of Chongqing in July, praised Xi by name several times in his seven-minute speech at the municipality’s panel on Thursday.
Seen as an ally of Xi, Chen is one of China’s most closely watched rising political stars.
“The more I study General Secretary Xi’s report, the deeper I feel his thoughts are,” Chen said in the discussion, which was open to the media. “The more I discuss it, the more abundant I feel its content is.”
One person who advises senior officials attributes Mr Xi’s now seemingly unassailable dominance of Chinese politics to a Machiavellian insight. “Because of the economic prosperity of the reform era, almost everyone in officialdom was corrupted,” he says. “Xi used this fact as leverage to scare everyone. They have to follow him because everyone is vulnerable. All you have to do is investigate them.”..
Mr Xi hailed China as a model for “nations that want to speed up their development while preserving their independence”. In private, many party colleagues speak far more bluntly. “The American people elected a 70-year-old celebrity with no relevant experience,” one of them recently told the Financial Times. “Our system forces men like Xi to prove themselves for decades in a series of increasingly difficult posts.”
2. Xi's Global Ambitions
What we should hear, and what we should consider very seriously, is the fact that Xi Jinping’s banner term, the phrase meant to be the quintessence of his governing vision, is marching out into the world.
This is something quite noteworthy if we look back on the history of banner terms emerging from other Chinese leaders in the reform era. None of these — not “Deng Xiaoping Theory,” not Jiang Zemin’s “Three Represents,” nor Hu Jintao’s “Scientific View of Development” — was ever presented so manifestly, or at all, as a vision for not just China but for the entire world.
The Western media's conception of China represents their sentiment in the West which is far from having adapted to China's rise. Their anxiety over China's rise leads to their paranoia and unreasonable belief that "the West is all right and China is all wrong." The influence of the Western press used to be overwhelming but the internal chaos and divide in the West weakens their position. The influence of the Western press is shrinking.
China in the new era is more and more confident. The breathless pace of development and ever-changing dynamics over the past decades reinforce China's confidence. China can only succeed by following the path that is in line with its national condition. China cannot replicate others' experience, particularly with its political system. This is the consensus of Chinese society. Therefore the incorrect coverage of China by the Western press can only mislead its own society and its disturbing influence on China is increasingly diluted.
“We think that President Xi will come out of this in a dominant position with incredible capacity to do good around the world,” Central Intelligence Agency Director Mike Pompeo said Thursday in Washington. He said the CIA’s “old-school guys who used to do Kremlin work” in the days of the Soviet Union are now tracking the political machinations surrounding the congress that’s held in China only once every five years.
Comment: Be careful what you wish for...
3. Marxists Need A "Principal Contradiction"
Comment: Lest we forget that Xi and his colleagues are Marxists...
The "principal contradiction" is a term most Chinese are familiar with from grade school, but only a tiny number of foreigners, experts in sinicized Marxism will know this seemingly obscure piece of political jargon.
Marxists interpret the world through dialectical materialism. Contradictions -- or "dynamic opposing forces" -- are omnipresent in society and drive social change. The "principal contradiction" is what defines a society. By identifying and solving it, society develops peacefully. Left unsolved, it can lead to chaos and eventually, as Marx predicted, to revolution.
Since coming to power in 1949, the CPC has identified the principal contradiction, and, as the times changed and contradictions changed, crafted new policies in response.
Soon after 1949, it was "the people versus imperialism, feudalism and the remnants of Kuomintang forces" which evolved into "proletariat versus bourgeoisie," a mentality which led to prolonged social turmoil across the country.
In 1981, the CPC changed its assessment of the principal contradiction to "the ever-growing material and cultural needs of the people versus backward social production," a historic policy shift at the heart of reform and opening up. Developing the economy, mainly through growth, was thus endorsed by the CPC as the "central task." Market economic reforms, seen at the time as a magic bullet to transform production, were unleashed on an unprecedented scale...
"What we now face is the contradiction between unbalanced and inadequate development and the people's ever-growing needs for a better life," Xi said.
Comment: But not Everyone Thinks The Old Principal Contradiction Is Resolved
There are hundreds, if not thousands, of industrial towns and cities like Datong across China, where living standards remain far from the “moderate prosperity” that Mr. Xi has promised.
Experts say the grass-roots grievances in provincial China do not pose an imminent threat to Mr. Xi and the Communist Party. But they warn that there is risk as Mr. Xi raises expectations...
In his opening speech on Wednesday to the congress, Mr. Xi warned that the party had to improve its performance at addressing social grievances.
“The principal contradiction facing society in the new era is that between unbalanced and inadequate development and the people’s ever-growing need for a better life,” Mr. Xi told delegates in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.
4. 19th Politburo Standing Committee Rumors
Comment: Take these as rumors for now. I have heard other names and lineups, all will be revealed soon enough.
President Xi Jinping’s trusted ally Li Zhanshu stands a good chance of becoming chairman of China’s parliament while Communist Party organisation chief Zhao Leji is likely to head its corruption watchdog, sources have told the South China Morning Post.
Comment: Zhao Leji would be an interesting choice to head the CCDI given all the rumors of his problems and the detention of Wei Minzhou, a top aide to Zhao when Zhao was Party Secretary of Shaanxi
The Communist Party’s principal theorist, Wang Huning, is odds-on to climb to the top rung on the ladder, the Politburo Standing Committee, when the party unveils its new leadership line-up next Wednesday, sources have told the South China Morning Post.
Comment: SCMP says he will succeed Liu Yunshan as top official for propaganda and ideology...Remarkable that Xi trust him given his close service to both Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao, and his long-rumored messy personal life. We will know soon enough, for now take with a grain of salt
After the June 4th crackdown and the purge of Zhao Ziyang, however, neo-authoritarianism needed a brand makeover. Its call for a “transition” to a more democratic form of political system (albeit vaguely outlined) was jettisoned, leaving only the call for strong and unchallenged leviathan in the form of the CCP. Neo-authoritarianism thus lived on, reborn as “neo-conservatism,” which remained a dominant ideological force in 1990s. One influential promoter of this new ideology was the princeling Chen Yuan (Chen Yun's son), who called for the CCP to ditch Marxism (which few seemed to believe anyhow) and instead anchor its legitimacy to more primal forces – nationalism and political order. “We are the Communist Party,” Chen once said, “and we will decide what communism means.”
The legacy of Wang’s neo-authoritarianism and its cousin, neo-conservatism, lives on today under the reign of Xi Jinping. Look at the first five years of Xi Jinping’s administration through the neo-authoritarian lens, and we see a consistent theme: clawing power back to Beijing.
5. RMB Pressure Manageable, For Now At Least
There is no need to get carried away though: China looks to have—per the foreign exchange settlement data, and the change in the PBOC’s balance sheet—bought about a billion dollars in September. That’s nothing for an economy of China’s size.
But the story—told in the Treasury’s latest foreign exchange report, among other place—that China is intervening to prop its currency up rather than hold it down is now a bit dated.
6. Guo Shuqing To Be New PBoC Head?
Comment: "Liberal market reformer"? What does that mean in Xi's China?
China is likely to name Guo Shuqing, a key figure in China’s market reform camp as the next central bank governor, two independent sources have told the South China Morning Post.
Guo, the current chairman of the China Banking Regulatory Commission, is currently ahead of the other candidates for the post – including Jiang Chaoliang, the Hubei party secretary; Yi Gang, a deputy governor at the People’s Bank of China and Liu Shiyu, the chairman of China Securities Regulatory Commission – said one source, who declined to be named.
7. Taiwan In The Congress Work Report
...analysts should look both at whether the nine Taiwan elements of past reports appear in Xi Jinping’s report and at what kind of personal stamp he puts on future policy...
Xi Jinping reaffirmed the first six principles but not the last three. Items #8 and #9 are probably not that important in the grand scheme of things. To not reiterate the commitment to “place hopes on the Taiwan people” could be more significant because past statements suggested that Beijing would take into account the views and sentiments of those people. Will popular opinion on Taiwan no longer be a basis for Taiwan policy?...
For those interested in the ins and outs of Chinese elite politics, it’s worth noting that in item #1, the three previous congress reports included Jiang Zemin’s 1995 eight-point proposal as an important basis for policy. Xi Jinping made no reference to the proposal
8. Gaokao Reform Coming
China will build a comprehensive new national college entrance examination system by 2020, Minister of Education Chen Baosheng announced at China’s 19th Party Congress on Thursday.
The overhaul of the exam, or gaokao, promises to be the most wide-ranging reform since college entrance exams resumed in 1977 after the Cultural Revolution. Policymakers aim to reduce the role of the gaokao in determining students’ future life chances, address barriers to exam enrollment among children of migrant workers, and ease the difficulties faced by rural students hoping to enroll in top universities, Chen said.
Business, Economy, Finance And Trade
Chinese city confirms Xinfa aluminum capacity cut - Reuters Xinfa Group, one of China’s top aluminum producers, will have to close 381,900 tonnes per year of smelting capacity this winter, its home city of Liaocheng confirmed on Friday.
China’s Road to Electric-Car Domination Is Driven in Part by Batteries - WSJ Foreign batteries aren’t banned in China, but auto makers must use ones from a government-approved list to qualify for generous EV subsidies. The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology’s list includes 57 manufacturers, all of them Chinese. Foreign battery companies declined to discuss their absence. But analyst Mark Newman of Sanford C. Bernstein said the government has cited reasons such as paperwork errors to exclude foreign suppliers.
Trump’s America First Trade Agenda Roiled by Internal Divisions - The New York Times: Mr. Navarro does remain an influential voice with the president on China, the topic of several of his books. He recently attended briefings with top White House officials ahead of Mr. Trump’s trip to Asia next month, one official said. But the reorganization is still a sign of a diminishing role for Mr. Navarro, who the president suggested in December would be given a post on par with that of Mr. Cohn
Politics, Law And Ideology
NPCSC to Consider New Criminal Law Amendment, Apply National Anthem Law to SARs & Hear Judicial Reform Reports – NPC Observer Buried in the pre-19th Communist Party Congress propaganda frenzy was a bland official report on the Council of Chairmen’s latest meeting on October 16. The Council decided that the 30th—and third last—session of the 12th NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) would take place from October 30 to November 4, consistent with our earlier predictions. This post is a (fairly detailed) rundown of the items on the Session’s agenda.
[视频]党的十九大主席团举行第二次会议 习近平主持会议_CCTV节目官网-CCTV-1_央视网(cctv.com) 会议通过了将关于十八届中央委员会报告的决议（草案）、关于十八届中央纪律检查委员会工作报告的决议（草案）、关于《中国共产党章程(修正案）》的决议（草案）提交各代表团讨论。 会议通过了十九届中央委员会委员、候补委员和中央纪律检查委员会委员候选人预备人选建议名单，提交各代表团酝酿。 会议通过了经各代表团酝酿的大会选举办法。会议还通过了监票人、总监票人名单，待正式选举时提请大会通过。
"What's Modernisation?" - China State Media Explain China's 'New Era' With a Rap Video | What's on Weibo As with previous major political gatherings, speeches and rhetoric are not the only means by which the Party and state media seek to convey their message to the wider population. A video titled “What is modernization? Let us tell you in a rap!” (“现代化”是什么化？一段嘻哈告诉你!) is the latest in a series produced by state broadcaster CCTV. The video is being spread through social media.
China: Time of Xi - Episode 1: People's Republic - YouTube It also investigates how Xi’s early experiences may have shaped his vision for a “Chinese dream” and driven him to very publicly commit to ending poverty for the tens of millions of Chinese still living below the UN poverty line. (Courtesy: Discovery Channel)
(CPC Congress) CPC delegations deliberate nominees for new central leadership - Xinhua Delegations of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Saturday deliberated the proposed name lists of nominees for the candidates of members and alternate members of the 19th CPC Central Committee, and members of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI). The delegations also discussed the draft resolutions on the report of the 18th CPC Central Committee, the work report of the 18th CCDI, and the amendment to the Constitution of the CPC, which were approved at a presidium meeting Friday.
Feature: Xi "chews the fat" with delegates - Xinhua Xi, being a delegate of Guizhou himself, joined a panel discussion with other delegates from the southwest China province who are in Beijing for the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC). With poverty reduction never far from his mind, Xi became most animated on learning that two neighboring poor villages in Panzhou City of Guizhou had come together to build a farm and a ham processing plant to raise villagers' income.
陈小鲁谈生死观：为什么要推广缓和医疗_政经频道_财新网 Chen Yi's soon Chen Xiaolu talks with Caixin about his efforts to promote living wills, looks to have gotten through the Anbang problems
What the Chinese Communist Party Learned From Lenin | Foreign Affairs In 2009, when Xi was the headmaster of the Central Party School, a position that served as a steppingstone to the top, he commissioned a sprawling study of the Soviet collapse. Its conclusion: the Soviet Communist Party’s failure to dominate the institutions underpinning its power, such as the military, spelled its doom. “Why must we unwaveringly assert our party's control over the military?” Xi asked an audience at a private party meeting three years later. “Because,” he said, “this is the lesson the Soviet collapse teaches. The Soviet Red Army was depoliticized and departyized, becoming a national institution, and so the Soviet Communist Party surrendered its weapons. When those who wished to save the Soviet Union did step forward, the instrument
In Xi’s New Era, Four Government Bodies to Bring Country Forward - Caixin Global In a “new era” envisioned by Communist Party chief Xi Jinping, the country will set up new bodies to promote four specific areas: the rule of law, natural resource conservation, veteran benefits, and a strong supervisory system at different levels, from local to national.
Foreign and Military Affairs
Tillerson Signals Impatience With China While Vowing to Stay On - Bloomberg About two weeks before Trump heads to Asia, the top U.S. diplomat projected a tougher demeanor, particularly toward China whose help the U.S. has sought to rein in North Korea’s nuclear program. “I think it is important that China knows -- OK, we’ve been having these conversations now for about six months,” Tillerson said in the interview Thursday in the State Department chamber where he receives visiting foreign diplomats. “We’re expecting to see some change, we’re expecting to see some movement, whether it’s North Korea, or whether it’s South China Sea, or whether it’s trade.”
Beijing pulls out of human rights dialogue with Canberra - The Australian The Australian can reveal the long and unsuccessful diplomatic struggle by the Turnbull government to revive the dialogue, which Beijing has not allowed to meet for more than 3½ years. At the same time, the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation revealed in its annual report yesterday that foreign governments were increasingly attempting to “shape the opinions” of the public and media in covert operations. ASIO said ethnic and religious communities in Australia were the subject of activities “designed to diminish their criticism of foreign governments”.
Reinforcing the Front Line: U.S. Defense Strategy and the Rise of China | CSBA In Reinforcing the Front Line: U.S. Defense Strategy and the Rise of China, CSBA Senior Fellow, Evan Montgomery outlines the key elements of a U.S. defense strategy for the region—one that is based on the enduring grand strategy of global leadership and engagement, but also recognizes the new challenges posed by China’s growing military power.
Alternative Models for the Central Military Commission - Jamestown - Dr. Phillip Saunders In addition to changing which individuals occupy key positions, the Party Congress also provides an opportunity to adjust the structure of the CMC to match the PLA’s post-reform organizational structure and the changes in responsibilities of the senior officers who lead different parts of the PLA. There are four likely models for a restructured CMC (a “status quo plus” CMC; an enlarged CMC; an operational CMC; and a management CMC), each with respective pros and cons. Decisions about how to restructure the CMC will provide new evidence about Chinese priorities, the relative influence of different parts of the PLA (and the officers chosen to lead those parts), and the state of civil-military relations in China.
China Wrongly Detained 3 Human Rights Activists, U.N. Experts Say - The New York Times The panel, the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, made up of five independent experts, said the three activists, Hu Shigen, Zhou Shifeng and Xie Yang, had been punished for promoting human rights. It said their treatment did not conform with China’s obligations under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and urged Beijing to consider amending its laws to bring them into conformity with international norms.
China has the world’s biggest military force. Now Xi Jinping wants it to be the best | South China Morning Post Military analysts also said the powerful Central Military Commission, which Xi chairs, was destined for big changes. Nearly 90 per cent of the military delegates to the party congress are new faces while two CMC heavyweights have been ousted.
China: China’s failure to share river data may spark off new round of tensions - The Economic Times This helps India forecast floods and make necessary arrangements to tackle rise in water level during monsoon, officials here told ET, adding that the Chinese government has failed to share information this year during the stipulated five-month period. Officials said they were expecting China to start sharing data on the rivers after the Dokalam crisis was resolved, but there’s no indication of any such move. Earlier, there were fears that Beijing may be working on diverting water from the Brahmaputra to the drier regions in the country’s west.
Will Trump’s Beijing visit bring new sanctions against Chinese banks in US? | South China Morning Post Anthony Ruggiero, an expert in the use of targeted financial measures for the Foundation for Defence of Democracies, told a think tank event this week in Washington that additional US sanctions against Chinese entities with alleged links to North Korea’s nuclear weapons programme could come around Trump’s visit.
CPC maintains exchange, dialogue with DPRK's ruling party - Xinhua Exchange between the CPC and the Workers' Party of Korea plays an important role in relations between the two countries, Guo Yezhou, vice head of the International Department of the CPC Central Committee, told a press conference on the sidelines of the 19th CPC National Congress.
Space will see Communist loyalty: Chinese astronaut - China Daily Jing Haipeng, the first Chinese astronaut to go into space three times, has voiced his desire to go into space again as a further demonstration of his loyalty to the Communist Party of China (CPC).
China’s South Sea Fleet gets new unit as PLA looks to boost its presence in disputed waters | South China Morning Post The North Sea Fleet established a marine rescue squadron in 2011, which is designed to minimise losses in the event of submarine accidents. Having a similar unit in the South China Sea is a signal of the fleet’s enhanced status. The South Sea Fleet’s area of responsibilities include the northern regions of the Taiwan Strait and southern areas from James Shoal, including the Paracel Islands, Macclesfield Bank and the disputed Spratly Islands.
明星将领乙晓光空军上将转岗中部战区_政经频道_财新网 Looks like Yi Xiaoguang has replaced Han Weiguo commander of the PLA's Central Theater Command
After six tests, the mountain hosting North Korea’s nuclear blasts may be exhausted - The Washington Post Chinese scientists have warned that another test under the mountain could lead to an environmental disaster. If the whole mountain caved in on itself, radiation could escape and drift across the region, said Wang Naiyan, former chairman of the China Nuclear Society and a senior researcher on China’s nuclear weapons program.
Trump expected to pressure China's Xi to rein in North Korea: officials - Reuters In an interview with Fox Business Network’s Maria Bartiromo, Trump said he wants to “keep things very, very low key” with Xi until the Chinese leader emerges from the party congress. “I believe he’s got the power to do something very significant with respect to North Korea. We’ll see what happens. Now with that being said, we’re prepared for anything. We are so prepared, like you wouldn’t believe,” Trump said in the interview, to air on Sunday.
Tech And Media
Apple Watch Hits Cellular Snag in China - WSJ Industry analysts say the suspension likely stemmed from Chinese government security concerns to do with tracking users of the device, which uses different technology than standard mobile phones. China strictly regulates mobile phones and all three major telecom service providers are state-owned companies. To get a SIM—subscriber identity module—card to operate the phone, users must register under their real names with a network carrier.
Taiwan probes Sea for Chinese ownership ahead of $1bn US listing - Reuters Sea, a Singapore-based online games and ecommerce business that has just wrapped up a $1bn fundraising ahead of a New York listing, is at risk of being ejected from Taiwan, which accounts for almost a third of its revenues. The group is under investigation in Taiwan over allegations it did not disclose its links to China. The news comes just ahead of its debut in New York, on Friday.
看头条之改变—新算法，正能量 10月14日凌晨，今日头条悄然改版，较以往少了一些喧嚣嘈杂，多了几分清清爽爽。而此前一天新华网报道称，为迎接党的十九大召开，今日头条联合40多家主流媒体，以主流媒体的十九大特别专题作为基础，头条大数据作为素材，综合音频、视频、图文等多种表现形式，汇集鲜活生动的内容，增强吸引力感染力，使十九大的宣传报道更接地气更富成效。接下来，今日头条还将发挥大数据优势，为媒体提供报道素材、定制阶段性数据报告及网民反馈报告，多角度、多方面助力主流媒体十九大报道。// Toutiao comes to heel for the 19th, mixes alogorithmically driven news with Party directed placcement
Society, Art, Sports, Culture And History
Stephon Marbury buys arena football franchise - in China - China Sports Insider Following on from yesterday’s post about the growing trend of athletes becoming sports team owners, it can now be revealed that Stephon Marbury has purchased the Beijing Lions, a cornerstone franchise of the fledgling China Arena Football League.
When a Chinese Idol Falls in Love – Elephant Room: Make China Relatable China’s hottest, juiciest male idol, (or “little fresh meat 小鲜肉”, as we like to call them today) Lu Han, announced he’s dating Guan Xiaotong, a popular female actress (or “little flower 小花”) who just turned 20 this year. What is truly astonishing - so astonishing that we decided to dedicate a post about it - is how public opinions evolved around this news. Within a few hours of Weibo’s restoration, The Chinese Internet was quickly divided into two groups: on one side, we have the melon-eating outsiders (吃瓜群众) like us, who were shocked and talked about it for a minute or two with friends on dinner tables. On the opposite side there were the fans (“鹿饭”), over 40 million (estimated based on Lu's Weibo follower number) of largely young female Chinese who were utterly crushed. Unable to bear the news alone, they went on Weibo to console each other, and, to our surprise, started a massive, aggressive attack on Lu himself.
Report Details Destruction at Sichuan’s Larung Gar Buddhist Academy - RFA The report by two Tibetan rights groups — Free Tibet and Tibet Watch — shows that at least 4,725 homes have been leveled and about 4,800 residents forced to leave since July 2016 when authorities issued an order to destroy homes and to reduce Larung Gar’s population to 5,000 by Sept. 30, 2017.
Energy, Environment, Science And Health
New H7N9 bird flu strain in China has pandemic potential: study - Reuters Lab experiments on a new strain of the H7N9 bird flu circulating in China suggest the virus can transmit easily among animals and can cause lethal disease, raising alarm that the virus has the potential to trigger a global human pandemic, researchers reported on Thursday.
Food And Travel
Like Bali? Indonesia Wants to Create 10 of Them to Draw Chinese Tourists - Bloomberg China is on track to become the biggest tourist market for Indonesia for the first time this year, overtaking Singapore. That’s after a 46 percent surge in visitors from the world’s second-largest economy to 1.4 million in the first eight months of the year.
City-Wide Waterfront Greenway Coming to Beijing Next Year | the Beijinger By diverting some of the flow from the Miyun-Beijing canal, the new park area will stretch across five of the city's districts, one of which will start at Baiwang Park in Haidian and make its way north to Qikong bridge at the Miyun Reservoir.