Worst flooding in decades; New US position on China’s South China Sea claims; Politics and Law system
|Bill Bishop||Jul 13, 2020|| 7||4|
The floods across China, and especially in Jiangxi province, look to be the worst in decades. In recent days Xi has issued two directives on flood work. Xi probably wants 2020 over as much of the rest of us do.
The US State Department announced earlier today that it is “aligning the U.S. position on the PRC’s maritime claims in the SCS with the [Arbitral Tribunal] Tribunal’s decision”. “Sovereignty and territorial integrity 主权和领土完整” is a core PRC interest and this shift strikes at that. Of all the recent US moves against China this may be the one that could provoke the strongest response. But it also may be useful to Xi and the CCP, as it is yet another rallying point for patriotism in the face of US attempts to keep China down and thwart its great rejuvenation.
The trajectory of the US-China relationship continues to worsen. Whatever meetings may or not happen in Beidaihe in August. I will assume that the US-China relationship will once again be a key theme. And even if there is a new US President by next January the structural drivers of the worsening relationship will remain, and may in fact harden more between now and January. If any of you have reason for optimism about possible improvements in the US-China relationship, please tell me, but I think think the downward slope of the trajectory is steepening. As discussed in more detail in item 3 below, Fu Ying seems to agree:
It is true that China-United States relations have now entered a very difficult moment since the establishment of diplomatic relations, some people even call it the "darkest moment". I think it may not be the lowest point yet.
The US National Security Robert O’Brien and his deputy Matt Pottinger are in Europe this week to rally allies around a tougher, united front towards China. The pandemic, Hong Kong and the Xinjiang camps have made the Trump Administration’s case a lot more convincing.
Today’s Essential Eight:
New US position on China’s South China Sea claims
More goings on in the politics and law system
The end of the UK-China golden age to be made official?
Thanks for reading.
The Essential Eight
Xi...made the remarks in an instruction on flood prevention and rescue work...
China has entered a crucial period of flood control, Xi said, calling for Party committees and governments at all levels to take responsibilities and go into the frontline to guide flood control work...
Serious efforts must be made to assist the flood-affected poor residents so that they will not fall back into poverty because of the disasters.
Comment: The timeline for victory in the war on poverty will not be changed for pandemics or floods
For two days in a row, Xi Jinping told the governments and PLA to do their utmost to protect the people and their properties as flood threatened most parts of the Yangtze River and the Poyang Lake in Jiangxi province. CCTV said more than half a million people in that area have been relocated in Jiangxi alone.
China is bracing for serious flooding in the area of Poyang Lake in Jiangxi Province, as water level at the country's largest freshwater lake remains high above alert level, amid ongoing torrential rains that have caused widespread flooding along the Yangtze River basin.
The water level at the lake's key Xingzi hydrological station rose to 22.6 meters at 10 a.m. Monday, breaking the 22.52-meter record of 1998, and well above the alert level of 19 meters.
Home to more than 46 million people, Jiangxi has been among the worst affected areas in recent weeks, as the Yangtze River basin witnessed floods following the heaviest average rainfall in decades. There has been unprecedented flooding along several rivers that lead into Poyang Lake, and the rising levels suggest that the overall situation is grim...
Vice Minister of Emergency Management Zheng Guoguang said that since June, more than 38 million people across the country had been affected by floods, with 141 people dead or missing.
Warning levels had been exceeded in a total of 433 rivers, mainly distributed in the basins of the Yangtze River and Taihu Lake, Zheng told a press conference, adding that the average precipitation in the Yangtze River basin since June is a record high since 1961...
The Ministry of Water Resources on Sunday raised the national emergency response for flood control from Level III to Level II, the second-highest in the country's emergency response system.
Caixin reported that more than 55 million people in Jiangxi have been affected by the flood.
More than 1500 migrant workers returned to their homes in Jiangdao county in Jiangxi province to protect the county from the flood. The local government asked for their return as the county expects to be one of the worst-hit places by the flood in coming days.
Gao Jianguo, a member of the National Disaster Reduction Committee under the Ministry of Emergency Management, warned that despite the key role the Three Gorges Project could play in reducing mainstream flood control pressure, the lower reaches still face major challenges from regional rainfall that could bring about a smaller scale of floods and inundation.
Another concern is the typhoon season, which usually arrives in August and may potentially overlap with the Yangtze's flood season, threatening the lower reaches and the delta region.
In comparison to 1998, the high scale of development along the river means floods, water logging and inundation on the same scale will cause perhaps 10 times more economic losses. But technologies and innovative progress regarding the emergency response system also enhanced capabilities in handling floods and minimizing such impacts, analysts said.
People’s Daily reported that Jiangxi, Hunan and Guizhou provinces have asked for additional materials for disaster relief. In Anhui, 385,000 people have been relocated, and Hunan, 253,000 people have been relocated.
A total of 433 rivers in China have exceeded alerting levels since early June, with 33 of them rising to historical highs, said the Ministry of Water Resources on Monday.
Floods have affected 37.89 million people in 27 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities. 141 people are dead or missing, and 28,000 houses have collapsed.
Among them, over 3,800 soldiers were sent to Jiujiang City and Poyang County in Jiangxi Province, where they were tasked with patrolling, reinforcing embankments and transferring residents affected by floods, among others.
At Xihe River in Poyang county, PLA Rocket Forces soldiers piled sand bags to fortify dykes at an enclosure where soil piping occurred. If these weak points were not fixed, the dykes could collapse at any moment, putting 10,000 villagers in danger, and destroying 202 square kilometers of farmland.
2. New US position on China’s South China Sea claims
The PRC has no legal grounds to unilaterally impose its will on the region. Beijing has offered no coherent legal basis for its “Nine-Dashed Line” claim in the South China Sea since formally announcing it in 2009. In a unanimous decision on July 12, 2016, an Arbitral Tribunal constituted under the 1982 Law of the Sea Convention – to which the PRC is a state party – rejected the PRC’s maritime claims as having no basis in international law. The Tribunal sided squarely with the Philippines, which brought the arbitration case, on almost all claims.
As the United States has previously stated, and as specifically provided in the Convention, the Arbitral Tribunal’s decision is final and legally binding on both parties. Today we are aligning the U.S. position on the PRC’s maritime claims in the SCS with the Tribunal’s decision. Specifically:
The PRC cannot lawfully assert a maritime claim – including any Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) claims derived from Scarborough Reef and the Spratly Islands – vis-a-vis the Philippines in areas that the Tribunal found to be in the Philippines’ EEZ or on its continental shelf...
As Beijing has failed to put forth a lawful, coherent maritime claim in the South China Sea, the United States rejects any PRC claim to waters beyond a 12-nautical mile territorial sea derived from islands it claims in the Spratly Islands (without prejudice to other states’ sovereignty claims over such islands)...
The PRC has no lawful territorial or maritime claim to (or derived from) James Shoal, an entirely submerged feature only 50 nautical miles from Malaysia and some 1,000 nautical miles from China’s coast...
The world will not allow Beijing to treat the South China Sea as its maritime empire. America stands with our Southeast Asian allies and partners in protecting their sovereign rights to offshore resources, consistent with their rights and obligations under international law. We stand with the international community in defense of freedom of the seas and respect for sovereignty and reject any push to impose “might makes right” in the South China Sea or the wider region.
Question: Why didn't the Obama administration do this when the decision was announced? And no mention that the US has not ratified UNCLOS.
Previously, U.S. policy had been to insist that maritime disputes between China and its smaller neighbors be resolved peacefully through U.N.-backed arbitration
While Washington has previously said it sees Beijing’s expansive sovereignty claims over most of the South China Sea as unlawful, the State Department is preparing to issue a position paper that officially rejects specific Chinese claims for the first time, the people said.
Such a gesture departs from past U.S. practice of not taking sides on territorial disputes in the South China Sea, the people said.
The paper could be issued this week, the people said, just after the fourth anniversary of a 2016 ruling by an international tribunal that found no legal basis for Beijing’s claims to historic and economic rights in most of the South China Sea.
We may learn more Tuesday from Stilwell - Online Event: Tenth Annual South China Sea Conference, Keynote and Session One | Center for Strategic and International Studies - Tuesday, July 14, 2020 9:00 am - 10:30 am
This session will feature a keynote address by Assistant Secretary of State David R. Stilwell
In commentary in the PLA Daily on Monday Zhang Junshe, a senior colonel in the Chinese navy, said the US should stop its provocative acts in the South China Sea and Beijing was determined to safeguard its maritime sovereignty.
“The US is not a country in the region and it is doing large-scale exercises in the South China Sea, far away from its homeland, yet at the same time it is unreasonably accusing China of doing normal military exercises at its doorstep,” Zhang said.
“The double-standard remarks from the US cannot disguise its real motives, which is to push militarisation and destabilise peace in the South China Sea,” said Zhang, who is also a senior research fellow at the People’s Liberation Army Naval Military Studies Research Institute.
The PLA Daily commentary, written before the US announcement - 美在南海的军事挑衅注定徒劳无功 U.S. military provocations in South China Sea are doomed to be futile - 中国军网
The Chinese people believe in reason and do not believe in evil; they will not cause or fear trouble. The Chinese army will resolutely safeguard national sovereignty and security and maintain regional peace and stability....
China has always respected and upheld the freedom of navigation and overflight enjoyed by all countries in the South China Sea in accordance with international law. In the name of freedom of navigation and overflight, it undermines the sovereignty and security of coastal States. The Chinese people believe in reason and do not believe in evil; they will not stir up trouble, nor will they fear it. The Chinese people will never submit to any foreign deterrence or coercion by force. Any foreign country should not expect China to make deals with its core interests or swallow anything that undermines the sovereignty, security and safety of a country. The bitter fruit of development interests. China's military will continue to steadfastly carry out its defensive duties and take all necessary measures to resolutely safeguard its national sovereignty and security, safeguard the region's security and protect the interests of development. Peace and stability. The United States military provocative actions in the South China Sea are doomed to be futile.
The E-8C was spotted around 110km (68 miles) from the coast, according to an image published on Twitter by the South China Sea Strategic Situation Probing Initiative, a Peking University think tank.
The flight coincided with Taiwan’s largest annual military exercise, the Han Kuang, which started on Monday.
3. More US-China
Trump told reporters on Air Force One the U.S. relationship with China has been “severely damaged.” He added that he has “other things in mind” than a second trade agreement, known as phase two, with the world’s second-largest economy.
“They could have stopped the plague, they could have stopped it, they didn’t stop it,” he said, referring to the coronavirus pandemic, which started in China before spreading globally. “They stopped it from going into the remaining portions of China from Wuhan province. They could have stopped the plague, they didn’t.”
Comment: No surprise that a phase two trade deal was not going to happen. The two sides punted the intractable issues into phase two, and they have become even more intractable since the January signing of the phase one deal.
The details of the CCP’s anti-Uighur campaign are heartbreaking, but they reflect the Marxist-Leninist disdain for individual human beings. Whenever Chinese people dare defy the party by asserting their individual humanity, they stop being useful to the state and become a problem to solve the only way the CCP knows how: suppression and coercion.
Signal events of communist rule in China — including the Great Leap Forward, the Cultural Revolution, the Tiananmen Square massacre and, more recently, the razing of Hong Kong’s democratic system — provide ample evidence of the CCP’s indifference toward human rights and the value of individual lives...
If the past century has shown us anything, it is that dangerous ideologies backed by powerful states rarely confine their malign conduct within their own borders. The United States will thus continue to shine the light of truth on Xinjiang — for the Uighurs and for us all.
Fu Ying's speech on US-China relations at the think tank event last week
Time is limited, so I'll go straight to my views on U.S.-China relations. The points made by the previous speakers are very instructive to me. It is true that China-United States relations have now entered a very difficult moment since the establishment of diplomatic relations, some people even call it the "darkest moment". I think it may not be the lowest point yet. Looking at some of the signals from the White House, the possibility of new problems in U.S.-China relations before the election is still high.
From the same event last week where Wang Yi spoke
There I spoke about number one, red lines where no common interests exist, but where core interests need to be understood; two, identifying difficult areas where cooperation is possible, for example, like you (both the Chinese and American sides) have recently done on the trade war; and three, those areas where bilateral and multilateral cooperation should be normal, even under current circumstances, like on pandemics, like on climate change, and like making the institutions of global governance operate in an efficient and effective way through the multilateral system, including the WHO.
Zhou Weiming, the former chief of the China Foreign Languages Publishing Administration, said at the think tanl last week that the next 120 days will be “very dangerous” for the overall China-US relations as the US enters the campaign season and the both Republicans and Democrats will race to bash China. He also blamed people in the US for trying to demonize China and exaggerate the ideological conflicts between the two countries.
Yan Xuetong discusses US-China strategic competition in a recent speech - 终于有人讲清楚了，难怪美国破釜沉舟。清华大学教授阎学通讲中美战略竞争, video on Youtube:
According to spokesperson Hua Chunying at a daily press briefing, the sanctions will be applied to the U.S. Congressional-Executive Commission on China, Senator Marco Rubio, Senator Ted Cruz, Congressman Chris Smith, and Sam Brownback, the U.S. ambassador-at-large for International Religious Freedom.
Exercise increased caution in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) due to arbitrary enforcement of local laws for purposes other than maintaining law and order. This arbitrary enforcement may include detention and the use of exit bans.
Li Haidong, a professor at the Institute of International Relations at the China Foreign Affairs University, told the Global Times on Sunday that the move was a blatant distortion of China's law enforcement to hype up a "China fear" atmosphere among Americans and heighten bilateral confrontations.
the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) gave a grant of $1 million to the Central Tibetan Administration to “strengthen the financial and cultural resilience of the Tibetan people and contribute towards sustained resilience of the Tibetan people’s economic and cultural identity”. This is the first time the Tibetan government in exile has received direct funding from the US (with a nod from India) for development assistance.
Our estimates suggest that recent trade wars could cost US universities around $1.15 bn in tuition revenue.
People’s Daily Zhong Sheng once again criticizes “Cold War" thinking” by some US politicians, this time naming FBI Director Wray for his recent speech - 钟声：冷战思维当休矣--理论-人民网
4. Hong Kong
Co-organiser and law professor Benny Tai told the press after the polls closed that they recorded over 590,000 electronic ballots and more than 20,000 paper ballots throughout the two-day vote.
The figure exceeded his expected turnout of 170,000, though Tai said they are still awaiting the final tally...
Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Erick Tsang has claimed that participation in the primaries could violate the law due to organisers’ calls for democrats to veto the annual government budget if they win a majority in the legislature.
Residents complained that the "primaries" may interfere with and manipulate the LegCo election, severely jeopardize the electoral process and cause unfairness, violate the prohibition on group gathering amid the COVID-19 epidemic, and lack protection of personal data, the Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Bureau of the HKSAR government said Monday in a statement.
The organizer of the "primaries" vowed to veto the government's budget after winning the election, according to the complaints. The bureau said the aim of the organizer may lead to committing the offense of subversion as stipulated in the Law of the People's Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the HKSAR.
The so-called "primaries" organized by some opposition figures, who were backed by external forces, seriously challenged the existing election system and jeopardized the fairness of the election, the spokesperson said, adding that personal information of many residents were collected, which is suspected of violating the law on privacy.
The spokesperson said Benny Tai Yiu-ting, a major coordinator of the "primaries," is suspected of violating the law.
After months of antigovernment protests in Hong Kong, China’s ruling Communist Party is reaching into the semiautonomous territory to overhaul an education system that it sees as having given rise to a generation of rebellious youth. The sweeping law Beijing imposed earlier this month also targets Hong Kong’s students, who have been a galvanizing force behind the protests.
Carrie Lam, the city’s Beijing-backed leader, said at a forum on Saturday that the arrests of more than 3,000 children and teenagers at protests had exposed how the city’s campuses had been penetrated by forces hostile to the local and central governments.
Lam criticised the press at an education summit co-organised by the state-owned Wen Wei Po newspaper and the pro-Beijing Hong Kong Federation of Education Workers on Saturday. She said that, since the anti-extradition bill movement last June, it was “extremely worrying” that an anti-government mindset and a “rejection” of the country had become rooted in the minds of young Hongkongers...
“The media’s negative reporting on the country, the wrong formulation of history and the smearing of the government and law enforcement agencies are all reflected in the teaching materials, classroom teaching, exam questions and students’ extra-curricular activities,” she claimed.
The University of Hong Kong concluded an investigation into Benny Tai, the pro-democracy activist and its associate professor of law. The University declined to fire Tai and the decision angered many pro-Beijing alumni and parents, reported Guancha, who called Tai “a traitor and running dog”.
Hu Yingming, head of the Hong Kong Correctional Services, told reporters that he expect a large number of protesters, mostly young people and students, will be jailed as the authorities enforce the new national security law.
Diplomats said there was broad support among EU member states for some action but tough measures were not being discussed in detail because of resistance from China’s closest trade partners in Europe, such as Hungary and Greece.
“It is important that EU member states are trying to find a common policy toward China and a common answer,” Merkel said during a news conference with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte.
Some State Department officials have discussed the possibility of undercutting Hong Kong as a top financial center—one that benefits China—by taking steps to destroy Hong Kong’s pegged exchange rate to the U.S. dollar, according to two people familiar with the discussions.
But a senior Trump administration official said that the move against Hong Kong’s currency has been excluded from the measures under consideration, at least in the near term. Also, many U.S. economic officials would oppose major new financial sanctions when the global economy is swooning under the coronavirus pandemic.
5. More goings on in the politics and law system
Liu Zhao as a new vice minister of public security. Liu was head of the political department in the ministry. He is from Shaanxi. Nie Furu is no longer assistant minister. There have been 5 personnel changes in the top leadership of the Ministry of Public Security in the last four months.
Chen Yixin, Secretary General of the Central Political and Legal Committee and Director of the National Anti-Triad Office, holds a meeting to discuss the Beijing "Gao Fuxin case". Publicly the case is about illegal real estate development, including one with high-end pigeon coops...Gao raised pigeons. But clearly there is someone or someone group behind Gao that is the reason the center is taking such an interest in this case, and likely will be useful for Xi to root out anyone left in the Beijing political and security ecosystems who is not a loyalist? -陈一新督办北京高福新案：要把涉黑涉恶大要案查深查透办成铁案-中国长安网
Gao Fu's new case is a typical case of "government-commercial collusion" embezzling huge amounts of state-owned assets. It is a complex case involving a wide range of time spanning nearly 20 years. Cai Qi, secretary of the Beijing Municipal Party Committee, attached great importance to it and listened to the report three times and made important instructions to guide and solve the case. The Municipal Leading Group for the Special Fight against Evil and Evil Coordinates all relevant departments in handling cases and speeding up. Beijing’s public security organs took advantage of the combined operations of multiple police types and arrested all the people involved in the case. They basically found out the facts of Gao Fuxin and his gang members. They have now transferred the members of the criminal gang for review and prosecution. The discipline inspection and supervision organs of Beijing and the political and legal organs have worked together to investigate and punish the "relationship network" and "protective umbrella", seal and freeze the assets involved, and effectively deter crimes.
The Central Commission of Political and Legal Affairs said the incoming nation-wide rectification movement on the political and legal system is to target those officials who served as patrons of the mafia. The campaign specifically targets those “two-faced” officials who are not loyal to the party, and those corrupt. The article said six types of corruption would be focus of the investigation. That include officials who took bribes to commute sentence, or to backpedal criminal investigation.
6. The end of the UK-China golden age to be made official?
In a big U-turn, the prime minister is expected to ban the use of new kit made by the Chinese telecoms equipment maker in Britain’s 5G networks. The prohibition will take effect within months.
But Huawei is seeking an eleventh-hour meeting with Number 10 officials to plead with Mr Johnson not to fully kick the company out of the networks until 2025 at the earliest.
This would allow UK mobile operators more time to remove existing Huawei 5G equipment from their networks, and to switch to different suppliers.
while British culture secretary Oliver Dowden has said he is engaging like-minded nations “even more intensely” on a telecoms strategy, one US official warned that the UK first needed to take a harsher stance towards Huawei before Washington could envisage a joint initiative with the so-called group of “D10” democratic countries.
London’s plans would unite the Five Eyes — the UK, US, Australia, Canada and New Zealand — or a broader group of “D10” nations formed of the G7 plus India, South Korea, and Japan, in a joint enterprise collaborating on investment, procurement and research to fast-track Huawei’s rivals.
Ellwood is the Chair of the House of Commons Defence Select Committee…
For the past 40 years, we have somehow persuaded ourselves that an authoritarian Communist state would evolve into a global citizen embracing liberty and open trade. Today we must face the harsh reality that we’ve been duped...
We must reinvigorate our sense of what the West stands for in a newly divided world. It is time to reunite and lead our allies. For, if power continues to shift unchecked from West to East, a new Cold War is imminent.
Sources close to the company say Huawei will not make an explicit threat to cease maintenance. It will stress “the costs of maintaining those networks” and make the point that “without Huawei there will be blackouts”.
Xiakedao, the WeChat account of People’s Daily overseas edition, repeated the threat made by the Chinese ambassador to the UK, that European countries must not exclude Huawei from their 5G supplier list, otherwise they will be seen by Beijing as “hostile states” and they will be responsible for the consequences.
Students at Jesus College, Cambridge, have raised “grave concerns” about the institution’s ties to Beijing, calling for an overhaul of activities related to China...
The Times has revealed that the college, which produced a controversial “white paper” on global communications reforms, accepted £200,000 from a Chinese government agency and £155,000 from Huawei. Jesus College hinted last night that it could sever its connections with China.
Photographs uncovered by the Daily Mail show how Zhirong Hu has moved among the British Establishment...
Mr Hu is a director of the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, which is reportedly controlled by the country’s Communist Party.
Academics say its mission is to groom ‘business, political and media leaders in countries around the world’.
The claims are backed by a new book, Hidden Hand, whose serialisation continues in the Mail today.
White House adviser Peter Navarro said he expects President Donald Trump to take “strong action” against Chinese-owned social media apps TikTok and WeChat for engaging in “information warfare” against the U.S.
The Trump administration is “just getting started” with the two apps, and he wouldn’t rule out the U.S. banning them, Navarro said on Fox News on Sunday. Even if TikTok is sold to an American buyer, it wouldn’t solve the problem, he said
Hua Chunying gets points for “Ron Vara” - Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying's Regular Press Conference on July 13, 2020
China Daily: In an interview, White House trade adviser Navarro argued that "what the American people have to understand is all of the data that goes into those mobile apps that kids have so much fun with... goes right to servers in China, right to the Chinese military, the Chinese Communist Party…So expect strong actions on that by Trump." Navarro warned that the US may ban these apps. What is your comment?
Hua Chunying: Who was speaking this time, Peter Navarro the White House official, or Ron Vara the fictional expert? He claimed that those data went directly to servers in China, to the Chinese military, to the Chinese Communist Party. Then prove it. If he cannot, then it is just the latest entry into his book of shameless lies.
The "PRISM" incident has long revealed that the US is the true global headquarters of hackers. It is the United States that has long engaged in indiscriminate and widespread cyberattacks, eavesdropping and espionage around the world. The US prides itself on values unrivalled by others, but why is it so scared of some popular video-sharing apps young people have so much fun with? Is it really so vulnerable now? We need to give some thoughts to this issue. We hope that Navarro and relevant US officials will truly talk to and listen to their youngsters, otherwise what they do will only make them a laughing stock.
In an email obtained by The New York Times, Amazon had notified workers that “due to security risks, the TikTok app is no longer permitted on mobile devices that access Amazon email.” The message said employees must delete the app by Friday but noted they could continue to access TikTok from their laptop browsers.
After this story was published, however, Amazon sent a statement saying, "This morning’s email to some of our employees was sent in error. There is no change to our policies right now with regard to TikTok.” The company declined to answer questions about how an error like this occurred.
Amazon’s initial email telling employees to get rid of the app raised the possibility that other prominent U.S. companies might follow suit, at a time when the Trump Administration has warned it is considering a broader ban of TikTok and other social media apps controlled by Chinese companies. While more than a half dozen other companies said they haven’t told employees to stop using TikTok—including Facebook, Google, Netflix and Goldman Sachs—The Information has learned of one that has: Wells Fargo.
Good 2018 interview with the Bytedance founder - Bytedance CEO Zhang Yiming at Tsinghua University: Part 1 — Tech Buzz China
The below is a translation from the first of four parts of a 2-hour interview on March 20, 2018, with Zhang Yiming, Bytedance founder and global CEO. It was conducted by Professor Qian Yingyi, who was the Dean of the School of Economics and Management at the time. For greater context and understanding, we have annotated it with our comments in italics.
Comment: This is what I wrote last week on TikTok. Navarro’s comments are another indication that there is a serious discussion underway about how to deal with TikTok:
Based on other conversations I've had recently I think a likely mechanism to ban TikTok would be the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA), possibly in concert with the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), with the CFIUS angle being an attempt to unwind the acquisition of musical.ly, as Ben Thompson discussed last year.
To invoke IEEPA the President would have to designate an “unusual and extraordinary threat, which has its source in whole or substantial part outside the United States, to the national security, foreign policy, or economy of the United States”, per the Act:
Any authority granted to the President by section 1702 of this title may be exercised to deal with any unusual and extraordinary threat, which has its source in whole or substantial part outside the United States, to the national security, foreign policy, or economy of the United States, if the President declares a national emergency with respect to such threat.
If the US does succeed in shutting down TikTok it would destroy billions of dollars in value. Caixin reported last week that India’s banning of the app and two others owned by parent company ByteDance could cost the parent $6 billion in revenue. Perhaps the best route for TikTok is to find a buyer before even more value is destroyed. Such a buyer would have to be one that is palatable to the US government, big enough to buy the entire company and then make the investment to truly separate the entire company from any PRC entanglements, but also able to avoid possible antitrust issues. It is a short list.
8. China-Iran deal
The partnership, detailed in an 18-page proposed agreement obtained by The New York Times, would vastly expand Chinese presence in banking, telecommunications, ports, railways and dozens of other projects. In exchange, China would receive a regular — and, according to an Iranian official and an oil trader, heavily discounted — supply of Iranian oil over the next 25 years.
The document also describes deepening military cooperation, potentially giving China a foothold in a region that has been a strategic preoccupation of the United States for decades. It calls for joint training and exercises, joint research and weapons development and intelligence sharing — all to fight “the lopsided battle with terrorism, drug and human trafficking and cross-border crimes.”
The partnership — first proposed by China’s leader, Xi Jinping, during a visit to Iran in 2016 — was approved by President Hassan Rouhani’s cabinet in June, Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, said last week.
Business, Economy and Trade
Chinese premier stresses enhancing delivery of policies, stepping up reform - Xinhua Li...made the remarks while chairing a symposium attended by economists and entrepreneurs to analyze the economic situation. Economists Ma Jun and Jiang Chao, as well as representatives from the China Association of Small and Medium Enterprises, household appliance manufacturer Haier Group and e-commerce firm Pinduoduo, made remarks during the meeting. Despite the unprecedented challenges posed by the COVID-19 epidemic and the global economic recession this year, China's economy has recently shown trends of rebounding, with a timely effort on the resumption of work and production, revealing the economy's strong resilience and huge room for maneuver, Li said. However, he urged efforts to prepare for the tough battle ahead, as international uncertainties continue to mount and employment pressure on the domestic front remains prominent. // Comment: Interesting that someone from Pinduoduo spoke, but not someone from Alibaba. Pinduoduo is emerging as a real winner from the pandemic; based on my unscientific mother-in-law index Pinduoduo is taking over large swathes of PRC e-commerce
李克强主持召开经济形势专家和企业家座谈会强调 增强政策实施时效 加大改革开放力度 激发市场主体活力 稳住经济基本盘_CCTV CCTV on the meeting Li chaired// 马骏、姜超等专家和中小企业协会、海尔集团、拼多多公司负责人发了言并提出建议，认为国家减税降费、普惠金融政策力度大、覆盖面广、及时有效。李克强说，今年疫情冲击和世界经济衰退对我国经济的影响前所未有，在以习近平同志为核心的党中央坚强领导下，全国上下共同努力，近来经济呈现恢复性增长势头，表现出逐步回稳态势，要坚定发展信心。但国内外形势依然严峻，要做好继续打硬仗的准备。要坚持以习近平新时代中国特色社会主义思想为指导，按照党中央、国务院决策部署，做好疫情常态化防控，围绕“六稳”“六保”，全面落实助企纾困和激发市场活力规模性政策，更大力度推进改革开放，稳住经济基本盘，努力完成全年发展目标任务。// Han Zheng, Sun Chunla, Hu Chunhua, Liu He, Wang Yong, Xiao Jie, He Lifeng were named as attenddes
央行银保监会接连发声 下半年金融政策路线图显现 China banking and insurance regulator discusses China’s financial policy for the next six months of 2020. In the second half of the year, policies will continue to guide finance to increase support for the real economy, make greater efforts to benefit the real economy, and increase financial support in weak areas. The prudent monetary policy will be more flexible and appropriate. In terms of the risks and challenges that the banking and insurance industries are faced with, the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission will effectively improve the ability to prevent and mitigate financial risks, and prepare for the possible rebound of non-performing loans.
中国新闻网：刘鹤主持召开国务院金融稳定发展委员会第三十六次会议 On Saturday, Vice Premier Liu He held a meeting at the state council committee of financial stability and development. Liu He warned sternly that financial frauds are a “toxic cancer” of the financial market, and the government should “rectify them resolutely, decisively and timely.” Liu said given the low cost of committing fraud in the past, there has been “multiple serious cases of financial frauds”, but he said with the newly revised regulation and a renewed efforts from the authorities, there will be “zero tolerance” for these frauds.
[视频]韩正召开财税部门座谈会 On Friday, vice premier Han Zheng led a meeting with officials from the tax and fiscal departments, urging them to see economic stability as the top priority and make sure those fees and taxes that can be cut will be cut, and give more support to poverty alleviation and technology development.
Banking Regulator Warns of Post-Virus Rebound in Bad Loans - Caixin “Although nonperforming loans on banking institutions’ balance sheets have not increased significantly since the start of this year, they are expected to rise in the near future,” the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC) said in a statement on Saturday. On the same day it issued the cautionary notice, the CBIRC also released key banking sector indicators for the first half of 2020. It reported that outstanding NPLs in banking institutions reached 3.6 trillion yuan ($514.1 billion) at the end of June, growing 400.4 billion yuan from the start of the year. The NPL ratio was 2.1%, up 0.08 percentage points from half a year earlier. - The statement - 中国银行保险监督管理委员会
Huawei reports 13% revenue growth despite US pressure - Nikkei Asian Review Revenue rose 13.1% to 454 billion yuan ($64.90 billion) in the first half of the year, compared to 401.3 billion yuan the year before. However, the company's growth rate was down from 23.2% in the first half 2019. Huawei said net profit margins were 9.2%, up from 8.7% in the first half 2019.
Banking Regulator Warns of Flawed Risk Management in Fake Gold Case - Caixin Global The fake gold case made it clear that the internal controls and risk management in some financial institutions “exist in name only,” according to a statement released by the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission on Saturday.
Yicai - China's Cargo Transport Regained Normal Growth Last Month China’s overall transport industry saw less decline in growth last month and the cargo segment returned to normal growth, according to the China Transportation Services Index the China Academy of Transportation Sciences released today, CCTV reported.
Alibaba's Jack Ma sells $8.2 billion worth shares, stake dips to 4.8%: filing - Reuters Alibaba Executive Vice Chairman Joseph Tsai also reduced his stake in the company over the same period, to 1.6% from 2.2%. The offloaded shares were worth $3.3 billion as of Friday.
State Council to further standardize industrial association charges - Gov.cn The State Council issued a notice on July 10 aimed at further standardizing charges by industrial association, further improving the related supervision mechanism and bearing zero tolerance for illegal charges, in an effort to promote the healthy and orderly development of industrial associations.
Toyota sources crucial steel product from China's Baowu - Nikkei Asian Review Toyota Motor will procure some of its electrical steel sheet from China Baowu Steel Group, China's largest steel supplier, in a move that could presage an era in which Japanese steel-makers will have to compete on price as well as quality, Nikkei has learned.
中国人民大学重阳金融研究院 金融 人大重阳 中国智库 张燕玲 美国金融制裁 Zhang Yanling, former vide president of the Bank of China, tells the Chongyang Institute that China's financial system is tough, there is no reason to be too worried about US financial sanctions.
Rule Change to Fund Custody Licenses Helps China Meet U.S. Trade Deal Commitment - Caixin China has allowed local branches of foreign banks in China to apply for fund custody licenses, according to recently revised regulations. The change is widely seen as part of China’s efforts to further open up its financial sector, as well as a concrete measure to meet its commitment to the phase one trade deal with the U.S
China Presses Global Yuan Role as U.S. Tensions Spread to FX - Bloomberg Among the recent voices expressing urgency in China: Fang Xinghai, a top official at China’s securities regulator, said last month “our ability to defend against potential decoupling will be enhanced significantly” through yuan internationalization.
Huang Yiping, a former adviser to the central bank, said it’s necessary for the country to reduce its reliance on the greenback. Zhou Li, an ex-deputy director of a government body that manages relations with foreign parties, decried China’s vulnerability to “dollar hegemony,” and said the greenback is a major risk that “has us by the throat.”
Investors Find New Safe Place to Hide: Chinese Bonds - WSJ $$ “They’re really the one asset out there that’s both defensive and that’s offering you some yield,’’ said Evan Brown, head of multiasset strategy at UBS Asset Management. “If things go wrong—if global growth disappoints or there’s an increase in trade tensions or a flare-up in coronavirus, Chinese sovereign bonds will react with bond yields coming down.”
Exclusive: Apple supplier Foxconn to invest $1 billion in India, sources say - Reuters The move, the scale of which has not previously been reported, is part of a quiet and gradual production shift by Apple away from China as it navigates disruptions from a trade war between Beijing and Washington and the coronavirus crisis. “There’s a strong request from Apple to its clients to move part of the iPhone production out of China,” one of the sources with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.// Question: How many US companies are publicly saying they do not want to decouple, for fear of upsetting Beijing, while quietly doing everything they can to diversify away from China to the greatest extent possible for them?
人民日报：全国农村集体家底，摸清了（经济聚焦） A nation-wide survey found that the Chinese villages and townships “collectively” own 4.4 million square kilometers (6.5 billion mu) of land.
10余省份公布2020年养老金调整方案 能涨多少钱？ More than 10 Chinese provinces have increased their pension since this May. Pensions are expected to increase by around 5% compared to last year.
Politics and Law
中宣部等八部门联合印发通知部署学习宣传民法典 8 departments including CCP organization department, and CCP propaganda department jointly issued notices to study and promote the new civil code. The notice requires innovative forms of publicity and a strong atmosphere for respecting, learning, observing, and using the law in the society. The notice emphasizes that all regions and departments must adhere to the correct political direction and public opinion guidance, guide the people to deeply understand the major achievements in the rule of law in China when organizing and carrying out civil law study and publicity activities
坚定制度自信 凝聚奋进力量 《中国制度面对面》出版发行 The CCP propaganda department published a new book on promoting the Chinese soicialist system entitled Face to Face with the Chinese system. The book aims to show the readers the “outstanding advantages” of the soicalist system with Chinese characteristics.
秘书工作：专访郑永年：国家情怀是政策研究者所必需的 Zheng Yongnian, professor at National University of Singapore, told a magazine run by the CCP general office that if the Chinese scholars want to be of use for the government, they should be careful not to “politicize” their criticisms against CCP. Their analysis should include more facts and less sentiment. Zheng said that some external forces are eager to exploit those “politicized” criticisms.
刘家义：始终把人民群众的利益放在首位（声音） A recent speech by Shandong party boss Liu Jiayi telling local officials to respect the villagers in their campaign to build new villages made it to the page five of People’s Daily. This came after media reports that local officials in Shandong had been forcing the farmers to leave their houses and move into the newly built apartment buildings. Liu said in the speech that this campaign must not hurt the interests of the people and should fully respect the wish of the farmers.
A Chinese province razes the countryside. Why? - SupChina How are Shandong villagers being convinced to go along with a provincial plan to raze their homes and move them into high-rises? With promises of economic benefits in the future, and if that doesn’t work, with coercion and threats.
观视频：马前卒暴走，亲眼看看独山县怎么烧掉400亿！ Guancha reported that a small county in Guizhou province took on debt of 40 billion RMB to build a list of mega white elephants to attract tourists. But most of the projects have been suspended after the party boss was put under investigation for corruption.
澎湃新闻：贵州独山县回应纪录片“独山县如何烧掉400亿”：正在核实 The Guizhou county told The Paper that they have seen the Guancha reporting, and they are now trying to verify these claims.
海南省政协副主席王勇接受中央纪委国家监委纪律审查和监察调查————头条——中央纪委国家监委网站 Wang Yong, former deputy chairman of the Hainan provincial CPPCC, is under investigation
站位更高 要求更严 措施更硬 作风更实
全力打造党和人民信得过靠得住能放心的司法行政铁军--法制网 Minister of Justice Tang Yijun also gives his support to the education and rectification campaign
Former provincial political advisor under investigation - Xinhua Liu Guoqiang, a former vice chairman of the Liaoning Provincial Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, is being investigated
Zhao Kezhi stressed: Solidly carry out education and rectification , continuously purify the public security team 赵克志强调: 扎实开展教育整顿 不断纯洁公安队伍 - 《 人民日报 》（ 2020年07月10日 第 04 版） "The National Public Security Organs "Insist on Political Construction of the Police and Strictly Manage Police" Education Rectification and Mobilization Deployment Conference was held on the 9th. State Councilor and Minister of Public Security Zhao Kezhi attended and delivered a speech"
Outspoken Chinese Professor Is Said to Be Released From Detention - The New York Times Xu Zhangrun, a law professor in Beijing known for criticizing the Communist Party, was allowed to go home after being detained a week ago, people familiar with him said.
China's Xinjiang Policy: Less About Births, More About Control - The Atlantic - Mei Fong If the one-child policy was designed to boost economic growth and benefit citizens, why is Beijing actively suppressing reproduction among Uighurs—who are Chinese citizens—when the country’s birth rate has plunged to its lowest in 70 years, imperiling future growth? Why is the party telling Han Chinese to have more children, even as it sterilizes more Uighur women than the population of Hoboken, New Jersey? The answer, of course, is that China’s birth-control policies have always been less about births, and more about control.
Foreign and Defense Affairs
Video remarks by Chinese Ambassador to India H.E. Sun Weidong on current China-India relations - YouTube Implement Consensus and Handle Differences Properly to Bring China-India Relations Back on the Right Track--Video remarks by Chinese Ambassador to India H.E. Sun Weidong on current China-India relations
India-China ties will be reset after LAC stand-off, says former NSA Shivshankar Menon - The Hindu Well, I think there’s no question that, after this, India-China relations will be reset. I think there’s no going back to the situation before [Ladakh stand-off]. I do think this has been building up for some time, that India-China relations have been getting more and more adversarial for some years before this. But certainly what China did this time: pressing forward on multiple points along the LAC, then changing the definition of what she claims to be the LAC, the deaths for the first time since 1975 [in June 15 Galwan clash]. All this, I think, represents a significant change in Chinese behaviour and actually calls into question the whole structure of agreements and confidence-building measures that were put in place since 1988 and with the 1993 agreement, which had kept the peace on the border for some time.
More than half of Canadians want more aggressive response to China: poll - The Globe and Mail More than half of Canadians believe Ottawa should take more aggressive action to persuade Beijing to release two Canadians jailed in China, a new poll suggests. Fifty-three per cent of those surveyed in a new Nanos Research poll say Canada should step up pressure on China by blocking Chinese investors from purchasing Canadian companies or denying entry to Chinese government officials and their families who want to live or study in Canada.
Two former French spies jailed for sharing secrets with China | South China Morning Post Following a trial in Paris conducted in the utmost secrecy, the former officers with France’s Directorate-General for External Security (DGSE) were convicted on Friday of “sharing intelligence” with a foreign power. Pierre-Marie H., 69, was handed a 12-year jail sentence while Henri M., 73, was given an eight-year term. Pierre-Marie H.’s wife was convicted of concealment and sentenced to four years, with two suspended.
Chinese Journal Review: How will China try to reshape global systems in light of the Covid-19 pandemic? - Chinese Journal Review The first two essays, written by Zhao Kejin of Tsinghua University and Zhang Qingmin of Peking University, make arguments that are in line with observations three and four, above: that China is a steward for world stability and that the US is a source of problems. They see the Covid-19 pandemic as an opportunity for China to push for changes to existing global governance systems in ways that benefit China. The third essay, by Shi Benye and Ma Xiaoli from Jilin University, takes an even more assertive position, arguing that China should use the Covid-19 pandemic as an opportunity to reshape global governance systems, including to use Belt and Road as a platform that helps the world shift away from the “Washington Consensus.”
PLA's upgraded Type 052D destroyer makes training debut in E.China Sea amid tensions in Taiwan Straits - China Military In early July, a destroyer flotilla affiliated with the PLA Eastern Theater Command Navy conducted training exercises at an undisclosed location in the East China Sea. The training subjects included air and missile defenses, attacks on surface vessels, and joint anti-submarine operations, the PLA Daily reported on Sunday. According to more details released in a statement and photos posted by the PLA East China Sea Fleet on Friday, the drills featured the guided missile destroyer Zibo, which has the hull number 156, among several other warships.
Queensland student Drew Pavlou's suspension reduced but will remain out of university until 2021 | The Guardian A student activist critical of Beijing will remain suspended from the University of Queensland until next year after he had his penalty reduced but not overturned.
Is China really behind a malicious plot to buy up Australia’s water? | South China Morning Post Fraying diplomatic ties between Canberra and Beijing have led to talk of conspiracy, but China owns just 1.9 per cent of Australia’s water market
France reduces Chinese flights to Paris in tit-for-tat row - Reuters France’s government on Monday started restricting Chinese airlines to one passenger flight to France per week, saying it was acting in response to restrictions imposed by Beijing on French carriers flying to China.
US politicians’ double standards pollute NBA: Chinese observers - Global Times Su Qun, the editor-in-chief of the Basketball Pioneer newspaper and one of China's best-known basketball commentators, said Hawley's drastically different stances on endorsing Hong Kong riots in China while supporting US law enforcement brutality against the BLM movement in the US showed his double standards and those of US politicians.
US should also open institutes to probes - - China Daily OpEd by Ong Tee Keat If the Wuhan laboratory is to be scrutinized for fear that the outbreak might have begun through contact with infected animals or due to an accidental leak, as suggested by the director of national intelligence of the US, the same is equally applicable to the US Army Medical Research and Development Command, a biological lab, at Fort Detrick, Maryland, which was temporarily closed in August last year, purportedly due to biosafety considerations. - The author is chairman of the Centre for New Inclusive Asia, a think tank based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Chinese tracking ship Yuanwang-6 sets sail on monitoring missions - Xinhua Yuanwang-6, the third-generation Yuanwang space tracking ship, will carry out missions in the Pacific Ocean, the Indian Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean. It will complete a one-way voyage of more than 10,000 nautical miles and operate at sea for 100 days. This is the first time for a Yuanwang ship to perform missions in the three oceans during a single voyage.
Shipping Networks in the Wake of U.S. Sanctions on Venezuela — C4ADS China, India and Cuba became top destinations for tanker vessels leaving Venezuelan ports. In the year after sanctions, vessels leaving Venezuelan ports directly visited over 40 international destinations.
China’s stealth fighter goes into mass production after thrust upgrade | South China Morning Post The moment was marked at a ceremonial unveiling of the modified J-20B stealth fighter jet on Wednesday attended by many senior military leaders including Central Military Commission (CMC) vice-chairman General Zhang Youxia, the source said.
Chinese think tank rejects reports of planned South China Sea air defence identification zone | South China Morning Post Such a suggestion was aimed at driving a wedge between China and its neighbours in the region “so as to impede cooperation”, said the article published by Peking University’s South China Sea Strategic Situation Probing Initiative (SCSPI).
Senator rebukes NBA for not allowing players to address China's human rights abuses - Axios Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) criticized the NBA's decision to limit political messages players can wear while on court in a letter to league Commissioner Adam Silver on Friday.
3rd NDU International Defense Forum kicks off in Beijing | Associated Press Of Pakistan The third International Defense Forum hosted by the National Defense University (NDU) of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) held to exchange views on international and regional security cooperation in the context of the global fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. Foreign senior military officers, experts and scholars from 84 countries attended the forum via online and offline channels, China Military Online reported.
U.S. National Security Panel Examining Chinese Investors’ Purchase of Pharma Firm - WSJ U.S. national-security officials are reviewing the 2017 acquisition of a South Carolina pharmaceutical company by Chinese investors after learning the firm was in talks to participate in a Pentagon project to develop injection devices for a coronavirus vaccine, according to people familiar with the matter. The Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S.’s inquiry into the acquisition of Ritedose Corp. of Columbia, S.C
Ohio State University Researcher Is Accused Of Sharing Work With China – CBS Pittsburgh Song Guo Zheng, 57, of suburban Hilliard, and his research groups secured more than $4.3 million in grants from the National Institutes of Health for projects while receiving overlapping funding from the National Natural Science Foundation of China, according to a criminal complaint unsealed Thursday in Columbus.
Papua New Guinea sides with China on Hong Kong | The Strategist Papua New Guinea voted ‘yes’. Sadly, that has not been reported in PNG’s daily media, or even on social media. By voting to support the crushing of free speech and freedom of assembly, among other basic rights, PNG voted against the spirit of its own constitution, adopted at independence in 1975, which guarantees those rights for its citizens, along with a free press.
National MP Jian Yang who admitted to training Chinese spies to retire from New Zealand politics | Newshub He said it has been an "honour" to represent the Chinese community as a National MP in Parliament and is proud to have helped the Chinese community better understand and participate in New Zealand politics. "I will continue to support New Zealand's hard-working Chinese community outside of caucus."
Opinion - John Pomfret | To cool off U.S.-China tensions, let’s start with a truce on media access - The Washington Post More broadly, why should China Global Television be allowed to reach more than 30 million households in the United States, for example, if the New York Times’s website remains blocked by censors in Beijing? If Chinese state-run and private companies can invest in or subsidize media properties in the United States, as they have done, why can’t U.S. firms do the same in China? At the center of all this is the word “reciprocity.” Chinese officials have told me that they define reciprocity to mean that Chinese government media outlets should be able to benefit from the openness of the American system while their U.S. counterparts must tolerate restrictions imposed by Beijing. That’s reciprocal in Beijing’s view. That’s a perversion of the word. Still, that can be discussed in depth after we’ve called a truce. And to get there, a simple quota system for media access is a good start.
Sweden’s Former Ambassador to China Is Cleared of Wrongdoing in Bookseller Talks - WSJ Swedish prosecutors cleared the country’s former ambassador to China of wrongdoing, ending an 18-month probe into a series of shadowy meetings that had raised questions over the divide between diplomacy and national security. Swedish diplomat Anna Lindstedt was charged last year with acting outside her authority when she arranged a series of meetings to secure the release of a bookseller who is imprisoned in China.
Taiwan strives to bolster forces in response to Beijing sabre-rattling | Financial Times $$ President Tsai Ing-wen has promised to reform the reserve force in her second term after years of fruitless pushes from the US, the unofficial guarantor of Taiwan’s security. During the annual Han Kuang live fire drill next week, two reserve force battalions will practise alongside active duty troops defending a beach against a People Liberation Army attack, the defence ministry said. Taiwan’s recent transition to an all-volunteer military has hollowed out the reserve force: of the 2.3m reservists the country has on paper, 780,000 were demobilised less than eight years ago — the military’s metric for whether men are worth mobilising. Of those, only 84,000 are demobilised volunteer force soldiers, the best-trained and most motivated group, 349,000 are former conscripts and another 326,000 have only completed basic military training.
王海运少将：我主张尽快将武统台湾提上日程 ; 王海运将军：武统台湾的几个具体问题 Major general Wang Haiyun, who served as military attaché to Russia, wrote two articles in the past week urging Beijing to invade Taiwan soon. Wang said given that the Taiwanese public are now pro-independence, and that US-China is now in full confrontation, it is time for Beijing to take the island back. He also explained in detail the importance of increasing China’s nuclear deterrence against the US, the importance of cyber war, media war, and of counter espionage in China during the war with Taiwan.
Tech and Media
Blacklisted by US, SenseTime Eyes State's Money in Latest Funding- PingWest Business news outlet LatePost reported that unlike the previous rounds, which were dominated by dollar funds, SenseTime is leaning towards state-owned capital and industrial investment, which may help the company build its government client base and strengthen its political ties.
Exclusive: Microsoft Spins Off ‘Sassy’ Chinese Chatbot With Harry Shum at Helm - Caixin Microsoft Corp. will spin off its anthropomorphic teenage chatbot Xiaoice into a standalone Chinese company headed by former executive Harry Shum, slashing staff by two thirds, Caixin has learned.
What’s Behind Pinduoduo’s Ownership Change - Pandaily “Huang is in the process of establishing a private charitable foundation,” according to the prospectus. “This foundation will focus on supporting our employees who have emergency needs and promoting corporate social responsibility efforts that are consistent with our values, beliefs and vision. He also plans to establish an additional private charitable foundation to support scientific and medical research and frontier technology.”
Izzy Niu on storytelling and conditional belongingness - Nv Voices Podcast Izzy Niu is a freelance journalist and producer who most recently hosted the Webby Award–winning video series at Quartz called Because China. In this episode, NüVoices board member Cindy Gao talks to Izzy about her journey from China to the United States, a few of her media projects, including Loud Murmurs, a Mandarin-language podcast about social and political issues in American pop culture, and her evolving sense of identity and belongingness in her adopted home.
Society, Arts, Sports, Culture and History
The Lasting Pain of China’s Identity Theft Victims - SixthTone Fortunately, reforms to China’s education system since the late 1990s have made it much harder to falsify students’ exam results, according to Xiong Bingqi, deputy director of the 21st Century Education Research Institute, a Beijing-based think tank. Gaokao scores are now stored digitally in centralized databases, meaning individual teachers and local officials no longer have the ability to tamper with them. “It was impossible (for students) to verify what they scored before,” says Xiong.
Beijing LGBT Center turns to short videos to clear up misunderstandings about LGBTQ+ community - Global Times "Through the platform, we hope to tell the life stories of the LGBTQ+ community, decrease or even eliminate discrimination and provide an interactive platform for the community to get information as well as support," Xin Ying, director of the center, told the Global Times on Sunday.
Fatal China bus crash a deliberate act of revenge by driver, police say | South China Morning Post A bus driver deliberately drove his vehicle off the road into a reservoir in southern China last week, killing 21 people on board in an act of revenge against society over the government demolition of his former home, police said on Sunday. // Caixin first broke this news and then the article was censored
Energy, Environment, Science and Health
Beijing cleared of COVID-19 high-risk areas - Xinhua The Huaxiang township, the only high-risk area in the city, had been adjusted to a medium-risk area after less than 10 local confirmed cases had been reported for 14 consecutive days, said Liu Xiaofeng, deputy director of the Beijing Center for Disease Control and Prevention, at a press conference on Monday. After the adjustment, Beijing now has a total of seven medium-risk areas, according to Liu. Beijing reported no new confirmed domestically transmitted COVID-19 cases on Sunday, marking the fact that the city had no new cases for seven consecutive days.
WHO remains tight-lipped on experts sent to investigate coronavirus in China | South China Morning Post A World Health Organisation advance team is in the Chinese capital this weekend but few other details have been released about a mission that could lay the groundwork for an investigation into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic. The WHO said last week that two experts – an animal health specialist and an epidemiologist – would start work on Saturday but by Sunday evening there was still no word on the name of the specialists, the schedule of the trip, and their agenda.
Air China's Moscow-Beijing flight suspended over COVID-19 cases - Xinhua China's civil aviation regulator said Friday that an Air China flight from Moscow to Beijing would be suspended after over five passengers tested positive for COVID-19 on a July 4 flight.
Chinese Oil Refinery Workers Caught Up In Suspected Russian Covid-19 Cluster - Caixin A suspected cluster infection of Covid-19 has broken out at an oil refinery operated by a subsidiary of China National Chemical Engineering Group, in the city of Omsk in Russia’s Siberia region, bordering the central Asian country of Kazakhstan. At least 12 Chinese workers employed by the state-owned chemical enterprise have tested positive with their close contacts quarantined as of Sunday, Caixin has learned.
Yicai - China's Yiling Pharma Predicts Up to 60% Profit Boost on Covid-19 TCM Sales of Lianhuaqingwen widened in the second quarter as the medicine's reputation spread at home and abroad, the company said, without disclosing its sales figures.
China Points to Shrimp as Covid-19 Carrier After Salmon Debacle - Bloomberg The virus tested positive on the outside of about five shrimp packages and the inside of one shipping container, said China’s General Administration of Customs. The samples were from three Ecuadorian plants, and imports from those processors will be halted, it said. A leading Ecuadorian shrimp exporter disputed the findings.
China prepares for epidemic rebound in autumn, winter - Global Times Some Chinese experts said a second wave is not likely as the virus has no apparent temperature preference, but the nation should still prepare for dual outbreaks. The pandemic will continue into the winter and the situation might get even worse by then, chief epidemiologist Wu Zunyou from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, warned during an anti-epidemic forum on Sunday.
Novel coronavirus could have existed long before outbreak: WHO regional official - Xinhua The novel coronavirus could have existed in a dormant state long before its outbreak, Melita Vujnovic, the representative of the World Health Organization (WHO) to Russia, has said. "WHO has established a large team that will work together with Chinese scientists to analyze the origin of the virus," Vujnovic said in a recent interview with RIA Novosti news agency.
Chinese city of Tangshan hit by magnitude 5.1 quake, stirring memories of 1976 tragedy | South China Morning Post While there were no reports of any deaths or injuries, the force of the blast was said to have been felt as far away as the capital. The Beijing Earthquake Agency said in a statement on Weibo – China’s Twitter-like platform – that Sunday’s tremor was related to the magnitude 7.8 Great Tangshan Earthquake that struck 44 years ago, as it happened in its aftershock zone.
Jobs and Events
Careers and Internships - Lowy Institute The Multiculturalism and Public Policy Project, as part of the Institute’s Diplomacy and Public Opinion Program, will produce qualitative and quantitative research on the relationship between culturally and linguistically diverse communities in Australia and foreign policy.