Xi again stresses self-reliance; Xinhua slams US charges of election interference; US INF withdrawal about China? ; Slow, steady and smoggy stimuli; American scientific fraud may hit China hard

Xi Jinping attended the opening ceremony of the Hong Kong–Zhuhai–Macau Bridge. It is a very impressive engineering accomplishment that may never pay for itself economically but will likely make significant symbolic and substantive contributions to the further binding of Hong Kong to the Motherland. 

At another stop on his Southern trip Xi seemed to take a bridge back to the past, once again emphasizing the need for self-reliance (自力更生) and the control of core technologies. Self-reliance is a theme that Xi is increasingly stressing, and it was one of the core themes of his Northeast inspection tour the last week of September. Per the September 27 China Daily report "Xi stresses nation's self-reliance":

Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, said during a field inspection to Heilongjiang province that unilateralism and trade protectionism are forcing China to take a path of self-reliance, which, he said, “is not a bad thing”.

It is becoming increasingly difficult to gain access to leading technologies and key technologies internationally, and China will ultimately rely on itself, Xi said.

Xi noted that the country is closer than ever to making its two centenary goals a reality. Yet the last leg of a journey can be the most demanding part, and it has never before met so many challenges and difficulties as now.

Sorry if I sound like a broken record but here is what I wrote on September 28:

Regular readers know that I have been saying that Xi and his team had made a fundamental shift in their views of the trade war by August, from thinking it was a manageable dispute to now believing it is part of a broader American plan to keep China down.

Now that Xi and the CCP system have decided that America’s real goal in the trade war is to "thwart China's rise" we are starting to see a rollout of official reactions, with self-reliance as a key theme. We should expect the PRC under Xi to use all means at its disposal as it pursues that goal, however impossible it may be in today's global economy.

Even in the unlikely event there is a U.S.-China trade deal over the next few months, the Chinese side will only view that as a useful delaying action while they work increasingly hard to wean themselves from as much dependence and reliance on the U.S. as possible.

The propaganda rollout of Xi's current trip has only just begun. If this plays out according to the standard script Xi will meet with more companies, local leaders and military commanders and then we should expect the full summary report on CCTV by the end of the week, though we will likely not get the full report of what he said in his speeches. As one very savvy reader reminded me yesterday, Xi on his 2012 Southern tour made the famous but not publicly released comment:

“Why must we stand firm on the Party’s leadership over the military?” Xi continued, “because that’s the lesson from the collapse of the Soviet Union. In the Soviet Union where the military was depoliticized, separated from the Party and nationalized, the party was disarmed. A few people tried to save the Soviet Union; they seized Gorbachev, but within days it was turned around again, because they didn’t have the instruments to exert power. Yeltsin gave a speech standing on a tank, but the military made no response, keeping so-called ‘neutrality.’ Finally, Gorbachev announced the disbandment of the Soviet Communist Party in a blithe statement. A big Party was gone just like that. Proportionally, the Soviet Communist Party had more members than we do, but nobody was man enough to stand up and resist.”

We have seen the policies to back up this view in the six years since his last visit. Whatever Xi says this trip about reform and opening, please remember that reform and opening are key means to achieving what Xi and the Party have defined as the "Chinese dream of national rejuvenation", and based on what we have seen of Xi and the Party since the speech six years ago that dream is keeping more and more people up at night. 

Thanks for reading.

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The Essential Eight

1. Xi's Southern tour

Xi Jinping urges China to become more self-reliant during tour of southern manufacturing hub | South China Morning Post:

Xi arrived in the southern province of Guangdong on Monday, and visited the precision moulding plant and a key laboratory at Gree Electric Appliances in Zhuhai, one of the country’s biggest manufacturers.

There he said the country must develop its manufacturing industry and technology to become a “strong” country, according to People’s Daily, the official Communist Party mouthpiece.

“To go from a big country to a strong one, we must give paramount importance to the development of the real economy,” Xi said in his first official comments during the visit.

“Manufacturing is a key to the real economy, and the core strength of manufacturing is innovation, or the control of core technologies.

“We must … seek innovation by relying on ourselves, and I hope all enterprises will work in this direction.”

习近平强调自主创新:要有骨气和志气,加快增强自主创新能力和实力: 

22日下午,习近平总书记来到格力电器公司,先后视察了公司展厅、精密模具车间和重点实验室。习近平强调,从大国到强国,实体经济发展至关重要,任何时候都不能脱实向虚。制造业是实体经济的一个关键,制造业的核心就是创新,就是掌握关键核心技术,必须靠自力更生奋斗,靠自主创新争取,希望所有企业都朝着这个方向去奋斗。我们要有自主创新的骨气和志气,加快增强自主创新能力和实力。

China's Xi opens world's longest sea bridge linking Hong Kong, Macau | Reuters:

Vice premier Han Zheng said the bridge would help drive China’s strategic blueprint for a “Greater Bay Area” around the Pearl River Delta modeled on other global economic dynamos like San Francisco Bay and Tokyo Bay....

The bridge was first proposed in the late 1980s, but it was opposed at the time by Hong Kong’s British colonial government, which was wary of development that might draw the city closer to Communist China.

Tuesday CCTV Evening News on the bridge opening ceremony--习近平出席开通仪式并宣布港珠澳大桥正式开通 韩正出席仪式并致辞_CCTV:

习近平强调,港珠澳大桥的建设创下多项世界之最,非常了不起,体现了我国综合国力、自主创新能力,体现了勇创世界一流的民族志气。这是一座圆梦桥、同心桥、自信桥、复兴桥。大桥建成通车,进一步坚定了我们对中国特色社会主义的道路自信、理论自信、制度自信、文化自信,充分说明社会主义是干出来的,新时代也是干出来的!对港珠澳大桥这样的重大工程,既要高质量建设好,全力打造精品工程、样板工程、平安工程、廉洁工程,又要用好管好大桥,为粤港澳大湾区建设发挥重要作用。 

Comment: Even rare Chinese white dolphins with excellent political consciousness joined in the celebration, according to Xinhua:


2. US-China Trade

Chinese-owned company qualifies for Trump’s anti-China farm bailout - The Washington Post:

Smithfield Foods, a Virginia-based pork producer acquired in 2013 by a Chinese conglomerate now named WH Group, can apply for federal money under the bailout program created this summer, said Agriculture Department spokesman Carl E. Purvis.

JBS, a subsidiary of a Brazilian company by the same name, is also eligible to apply for the federal money. The two companies are the biggest pork producers in the United States, according to the National Pork Board, a quasi-government agency.

Chinese official tells US investors at meeting: We don't fear trade war - CNBC:

On Monday in Beijing, Zhang Qingli, a leading member of a Chinese committee tasked with forging alliances with other nations, told a small group of U.S. business leaders, lobbyists and public relations executives that China refuses to be intimidated by an ongoing trade war with the Trump administration...

Zhang serves on the Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, or CPPCC, a legislative body that's meant to forge and maintain alliances with other countries, including the United States. The meeting involved Zhang and 25 members of the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong.

US deal-makers back away from deep-pocketed Chinese investors over national security controls | South China Morning Post:

In a number of recent deals, US sellers favoured domestic buyers over the traditionally high-bidding Chinese ones, said four people involved in the transactions who could not disclose specifics because of confidentiality rules.

A primary reason, they said, was the desire to avoid potential delays due to the additional review process and the risk of the deal failing.

“When we sell US businesses nowadays, there is no point contacting” Chinese buyers, said Euan Rellie, co-founder of BDA, a New York-based global investment bank focused on cross-border deals with Asia.

“US sellers used to hold out hopes for deep-pocket Chinese buyers. That has changed in recent months. They are no longer holding out.”

The Trade War’s Latest Casualties: China’s Coddled Cats and Dogs - The New York Times:

Now Canidae and other American brands have become collateral damage in a trade war that encompasses hundreds of billions of dollars in goods that flow between the two countries. Pet-food industry experts say revenge-minded Chinese officials have been delaying shipments at customs since May to get back at the United States. New tariffs in July have also made imported pet food more expensive.

Ford Slams Breaks on Talk of Raising Stake in Chinese JV | Yicai Global:

Ford Motor’s China unit has refuted claims that auto giant is in talks with domestic partner Changan Motor regarding the possibility of raising its stake in their local joint venture.

Ford China referred to reports that it wants to increase its equity in Changan Ford Automobile “to make more money in China” as “untrue” in an official response to Yicai Global today. The original claim was made by Chinese industry news site iAuto Daily, quoting an insider.

The two parties will continue with their commitment to work together to improve the JV’s business performance and meet the demands of Chinese consumers, a representative said, adding there were no plans on Ford’s side to up its stake.


3. New report says China's WTO accession led to massive US job losses

The fundamentals behind the trade war are bi-partisan...

The China toll deepens: Growth in the bilateral trade deficit between 2001 and 2017 cost 3.4 million U.S. jobs, with losses in every state and congressional district | Economic Policy Institute:

U.S. jobs lost are spread throughout the country but are concentrated in manufacturing, including in industries in which the United States has traditionally held a competitive advantage.

The growth of the U.S. trade deficit with China between 2001 and 2017 was responsible for the loss of 3.4 million U.S. jobs, including 1.3 million jobs lost since 2008 (the first full year of the Great Recession, which technically began at the end of 2007). Nearly three-fourths (74.4 percent) of the jobs lost between 2001 and 2017 were in manufacturing (2.5 million manufacturing jobs lost).

The growing trade deficit with China has cost jobs in all 50 states and in every congressional district in the United States. The 10 hardest-hit states, when looking at job loss as a share of total state employment, were New Hampshire, Oregon, California, Minnesota, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont, Wisconsin, and Texas. Job losses in these states ranged from 2.57 percent (in Texas) to 3.55 percent (in New Hampshire) of total state employment. The five hardest-hit states based on total jobs lost were California (562,500 jobs lost), Texas (314,000), New York (183,500), Illinois (148,200), and Pennsylvania (136,100).

Richard L. Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO, is the Chairman of the Economic Policy Institute


4. Xinhua not happy with US accusations of election interference

Commentary: Accusation of China meddling in U.S. internal affairs absurd - Xinhua:

Washington's recent accusation of China interfering in the United States' internal affairs is an utter absurdity aimed at distracting public attention from its domestic troubles.

This time, Washington is claiming that China has targeted certain voters in the U.S. midterm elections via trade measures.

That is nonsense because it is known to all that China's trade measures against the United States are nothing but a legitimate response to Washington's trade offensives targeting Beijing. China has been forced to fight back, which has nothing to do with U.S. voters or elections...

The U.S. smear campaign against China can neither conceal Washington's attempt to shift focus away from its domestic issues during the election season nor achieve the goal of blackmailing China. What's more, it will never deter China from seeking mutually beneficial cooperation with the rest of the world.

The original Xinhua commentary, harsher than the abridged English translation - 美国诬蔑中国干涉内政荒谬至极:

一个惯于挥舞大棒制裁别国,在台湾、涉藏、南海等问题上屡屡干涉中国内政的超级大国,竟然被打扮成“被干涉”的受害者,岂非咄咄怪事?不久前,美国领导人在演讲中诬蔑中国干涉美国内政,这番言论无中生有、荒谬至极,在事实和逻辑上根本站不住脚。

世界上到底是哪个国家强权霸道、动辄干涉别国内政,各国人民早已看得清清楚楚,国际社会早有公论。从出兵格林纳达到入侵巴拿马,从伊拉克战争到中东乱局,美国通过武装干涉、军事入侵、经济制裁、文化渗透、操控选举等手段,给不少国家、地区带来动乱与战火,多少生灵涂炭,多少无辜的人民颠沛流离!自己身背劣迹,却无端指责中国干涉其内政,不但无法令世人信服,更暴露其卑劣用心。

Remember what I mentioned yesterday about hearing the propaganda was about to take a much harder line against the US? This may be a sign, regardless definitely an important barometer to watch as if it hardens between now and the G20 the likelihood of a meeting let alone a positive outcome probably drops...


5. Slow and steady stimuli?

But with the measures be enough?

Regulator Acts Fast After Pledge to Restore Stock Market Confidence - Caixin:

China's drive to restore confidence in domestic markets after last week's rout continued on Monday, as the securities regulator rushed out the final draft of long-awaited rules for privately offered asset management plans, products sold by brokerages, mutual funds and private equity funds that raise trillions of yuan to make loans and buy shares.

The rules, which are effective immediately, are supplementary guidelines to the framework released in April aimed at overhauling the country's unruly $16 trillion asset management industry and reining in financial risks. They may clear up some of the uncertainty that's been hanging over privately offered plans since the framework regulations were released. There has been an “appropriate relaxation” of some of the requirements contained in the first draft of the rules released on July 20, the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) said in its statement [证监会相关部门负责人就《证券期货经营机构私募资产管理业务管理办法》及其配套规则答记者问]

China Keeps Stimulus Drip-Feed Going as Stocks Stumble Again - Bloomberg:

“While each of the loosening measures announced recently may only contribute modestly to the overall economy, they are building momentum and changing people’s perceptions about the policy stance,” economists including Song Yu at Beijing Gao Hua Securities Co., Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s mainland joint-venture partner, wrote in a note. “We expect further loosening measures in the coming days and weeks until the economy and markets show clear evidence of an apparent stabilization.”

17 Companies Tap Shenzhen Government Bailout Fund - Caixin:

The first batch of 17 private companies in Shenzhen have received government capital support to ease liquidity crunches, the financial newspaper Securities Times reported Tuesday...

Shenzhen is one of several local authorities that have pledged financial support to local listed companies amid the market downturn. The Shenzhen government said last week it was preparing to inject at least 15 billion yuan into nearly 30 local listed companies to defuse the risk of share dumping as companies are forced to sell stock to repay share-backed loans

China Securities Journal - brokerages talking w/ local SASACs to set up "quasi bailout funds" to cut risks from share-pledges, continuing the trend from last week -券商拟携手地方国资探路“类救助”基金_中证网 

Lowering pollution reduction targets is also a form of stimulus - Beijing Loosens Pollution Curbs While Chastizing Local Governments for Doing the Same

Last week the ministry released a notice announcing that it was targeting a 3% reduction in the levels of PM2.5 pollution — fine airborne particles particularly harmful to human health — in northern China during Oct. 1 to March 31, 2019. This is a significant reduction of targets announced in March, which called for a 30% reduction in the same period.

The Chinese government has quietly withdrawn from a high-profile environmental commitment in the backdrop of (the) trade war, (economic) slowdown, and rising labor unrest in the heavily polluted areas,” said Ning Leng, a China Public Policy Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard University’s Ash Center, on Twitter.


6. US INF withdrawal all about China?

INF treaty: China may factor into Trump decision to pull out of deal with Russia - The Washington Post:

China has never been a party to the INF Treaty. As such, it hasn’t had the same limitations placed upon its stockpiles of short- and intermediate-range missiles for the past three decades.

During Senate testimony last year before he retired as head of the U.S. Pacific Command and became the U.S. ambassador to South Korea, Adm. Harry Harris said the Chinese People’s Liberation Army now has the “largest and most diverse missile force in the world, with an inventory of more than 2,000 ballistic and cruise missiles.” He added that 95 percent of those missiles would violate the INF Treaty if China were a signatory...

National security adviser John Bolton, believed to be a driving force behind Trump’s move, has suggested that China may even be a more important factor than Russia. He has told U.S. allies that the INF Treaty puts the United States in an “excessively weak position” against Russia “and more importantly China,” one diplomat told The Washington Post.

Trump's missile treaty pullout could escalate tension with China | Reuters:

Dan Blumenthal, a former Pentagon official now at the American Enterprise Institute, said a treaty pullout could pave the way for the United States to field easier-to-hide, road-mobile conventional missiles in places like Guam and Japan.

That would make it harder for China to consider a conventional first strike against U.S. ships and bases in the region. It could also force Beijing into a costly arms race, forcing China to spend more on missile defenses.

“It will change the picture fundamentally,” Blumenthal said.

China opposes U.S. withdrawal from INF Treaty - CGTN:

Chinese Foreign Ministry on Monday said the country opposes the US' move of withdrawing from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, calling on the US to "look before leaping".

Hua Chunying, the spokesperson from the ministry, made this remark after US President Donald Trump accused Russia of not honoring the agreement and threatened to pull out.


7. Useful report on political trends since the 19th Party Congress

Party Watch Annual Report 2018 | Center for Advanced China Research:

The “Party Watch Annual Report 2018” discusses Chinese political developments during the period between October 2017 and October 2018. This compilation serves as an analytical resource for China watchers as they assess trends in China’s politics since the 19th Party Congress. It discusses the Party’s policies and directions from six perspectives: the centralization of power under Xi Jinping, the establishment of the National Supervisory Commission, the rising sophistication of external propaganda work, the growing visibility of global united front work, the expansion of the Party’s international liaison work, and the Party’s use of technological innovation as a tool to retain power.


8. American scientific fraud may hit China hard

But a silver lining will be that this makes it even easier for the relevant organs to argue that it is not just Chinese researchers who make stuff up...

China’s Massive Investment in Stem Cell Studies Based on Bogus Science-Caixin:

On Oct. 15, Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) announced that Dr. Piero Anversa fabricated or falsified data in 31 papers that should be retracted. He is a former professor and director of the Center for Regenerative Medicine at Harvard Medical School...

The sheer scale of the retractions has caused great turbulence among those around the world who study how to regenerate and repair the heart, including in China. Some researchers, who once expressed high hopes for the use of stem cells in regenerating heart tissue, appealed to Caixin to express fears that their research has been compromised...

In the years since the research’s publication, cardiovascular stem cell therapy has become a popular field in heart disease research, including in Chinese academic circles. Since 2000, Chinese foundations have spent hundreds of millions of yuan across hundreds of studies on cardiovascular stem cell therapy. Since 2004, there have been at least 100 related papers published per year, many of them in core Chinese medical periodicals China Journal of Tissue Engineering Research and Chinese Journal of Cardiology.


Business, Economy, Finance And Trade

As U.S. sanctions loom, China's Bank of Kunlun to stop receiving Iran payments - sources | Reuters Bank of Kunlun Co, the key Chinese conduit for transactions with Iran, is set to halt handling payments from the Islamic Republic under pressure of imminent U.S. sanctions against the country, four sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

At China's Baijiu University, the subject is booze and exports - The Washington Post China’s mission to protect its economy now includes a college where the students study booze. This $58 million school — built in nine months and so new that plastic still covers the surveillance cameras — is one outpost in Chinese President Xi Jinping’s national push to rethink the country’s growth recipe as trade frictions with the United States intensify.

Private Bankers Walk a Fine Line in China - Bloomberg Private bankers are in a tricky spot. Often, they already manage offshore assets for China-based clients. In an industry where relationships are paramount, visiting such clients on their home turf may be deemed necessary. Rule No. 1 among foreign wealth managers with licenses in Hong Kong and Singapore is that offshore private bankers can meet with clients onshore but not solicit business from them. They can probably pick up documentation, for instance, though signing a contract wouldn’t be allowed.

Editorial: How China Can Achieve ‘Competitive Neutrality’ - Caixin Global Australia first proposed the principle of competitive neutrality over 20 years ago. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, a club of mostly rich countries, began promoting the principle in 2011. This principle has become an international trend. Its core meaning is that any action taken by the government should have the same effect on both state-owned and private enterprises, without giving an inappropriate competitive advantage to any market participant, especially any SOE. China’s acceptance of this principle would demonstrate that the country has taken the next step toward integrating its domestic economic policies with international rules and regulations. Considering the size, number, and special status of SOEs, this decision will inevitably advance structural reforms, promoting long-term economic development, and also help the smooth implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative.  社论|竞争政策何以“中性”

New Boss Takes Reins at Laggard Over-the-Counter Market - Caixin China’s struggling over-the-counter stock-trading market has named a new boss, nearly three months after his predecessor left, Caixin has learned from multiple sources. The China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) appointed Xu Ming as general manager of the Beijing-based National Equities Exchange and Quotations Co. Ltd. (NEEQ), operator of the nationwide over-the-counter market, on Monday, sources told Caixin on condition their names not be used.

Forex Regulator Fines 20 Violators $2.1 Million - Caixin Global Included were the first two citations by the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) involving special purpose vehicles (SPVs), the foreign shell companies that domestic companies or individuals set up for return investment back into China...Seven individuals were fined for using “underground banks” and using other people’s annual foreign exchange quotas to remit money abroad. Most of the remittances were for buying property overseas

Moutai Falls Most Since China Bubble Burst on Alcohol Warning - Bloomberg Moutai slumped 7.4 percent at the close, one of the biggest laggards on the big-cap CSI 300 Index on Tuesday. Shares of the Guizhou-based firm slid after the Beijing News reported that a revision to a draft law contained a stronger warning against alcohol use than appeared in a previous version


Politics, Law And Ideology

17th National Congress of ACFTU opens - Xinhua The 17th National Congress of the All-China Federation of Trade Unions (ACFTU) opened in Beijing Monday...Wang Huning, also a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, delivered a speech on behalf of the CPC Central Committee. Over the past five years, trade unions at all levels have mobilized employees to make accomplishments at work, promoted harmonious labor relations, and pushed for reforms and innovations of trade unions, among other achievements, Wang noted.

伟大的变革——庆祝改革开放40周年大型展览各项筹备工作有序推进 大型展览共安排设计了6个主题内容展区,将于近期在国家博物馆正式开幕  //  Page 1 Tuesday People’s Daily-Work proceeding for a major exhibit in beijing to commemorate 40th anniversary of reform and opening. The politics around what will be in it must be fascinating

Draft law revisions suggest public supervision on judicial work - Xinhua According to the latest drafts, the people's courts and the people's procuratorates must accept public supervision. People's right to know, participate and supervise the work of the people's courts and the people's procuratorates shall be guaranteed, according to both drafts. The draft revision of the organic law of the people's courts includes provisions to better explain and legislate the organization and power of judicial committees.

Police Officer Fired for Detaining Teacher Who Punished His Daughter | Sixth Tone An editorial in the newspaper of China’s top disciplinary watchdog called on Saturday for stricter oversight of officials who abuse their authority after a Hunan police officer detained a teacher for a personal grievance. Zhao Mingzhong, deputy director at a police station in Zhuzhou County, ordered a schoolteacher held for over seven hours for punishing his daughter for tardiness, The Paper reported. Zhao has been fired from his position and barred from working in any police department in the future.

China jails prosecutors who tortured HK businessman to death | Financial Times $$ Lau Hei-wing, the owner of a Hong Kong hotel and husband of prominent CCTV anchor Liu Fangfei, died in March 2017 after 80 hours of sleep deprivation and torture, according to the indictment of the nine men.

Beijing police to host international conference on large sports event security - Global Times Codenamed "Symposium on Major International Sports Event Security," the event will provide a key platform for the Beijing police to draw successful experiences from police authorities from countries that have held large-scale international sports events, such as the Summer Olympics, Winter Olympics and the World Cup, Gao Hongjun, Deputy Director of the Beijing police general office, told the Global Times on Monday. The conference will prioritize security and safety matters for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, Gao noted.

北京大学迎来新书记和新校长--教育--人民网 Qiu Shuiping names new Party Secretary of Peking University, Hao Ping moves from the school's Party Secretary to school's President...note how the Party Secretary job is listed first in the official announcement...Qiu seems less an educator than a politician who after a stint as secretary of Peking U's Communist Youth League moved up through the politics and law bureaucracy...

Draft law facilitates transfer of criminals to home countries - China Daily The draft law on international criminal judicial assistance, submitted to the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, the country's top legislature, for second deliberation on Monday, includes a new chapter on the transfer of criminal convicts. It stipulates that a foreign country can make a request to China on the transfer of its citizens who have been convicted of crimes in China. The transfer will get a green light if the convict's offense also constitutes a crime in the home country, the verdict in China has taken effect and the convict gives written consent for the transfer, according to the draft law.

Reading China: Predicting policy change with machine learning - AEI For the first time in the literature, we develop a quantitative indicator of the Chinese government’s policy priorities over a long period of time, which we call the Policy Change Index (PCI) of China. The PCI is a leading indicator of policy changes that runs from 1951 to the third quarter of 2018, and it can be updated in the future. It is designed with two building blocks: the full text of the People’s Daily — the official newspaper of the Communist Party of China — as input data and a set of machine learning techniques to detect changes in how this newspaper prioritizes policy issues. Due to the unique role of the People’s Daily in China’s propaganda system, detecting changes in this newspaper allows us to predict changes in China’s policies. The construction of the PCI does not require the researcher’s understanding of the Chinese context, which suggests a wide range of applications in other settings, such as predicting changes in other (ex-)Communist regimes’ policies, measuring decentralization in central-local government relations, quantifying media bias in democratic countries, and predicting changes in lawmaker’s voting behavior and in judges’ ideological leaning.  // Would love to find a way to marry AI with Sinocism


Foreign and Military Affairs

Abe-Xi summit comes as Chinese leader looks to create united front amid U.S. trade war | The Japan Times The meeting will likely be a cordial affair, with both sides eager to showcase the image of a rekindled friendship to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Treaty of Peace and Friendship’s signing. But among the parties, China appears to be the more desperate of the two. China views Japan as an increasingly important partner in countering a protectionist United States led by President Donald Trump — while also realizing it could use the opportunity to alienate Tokyo from its top ally, Washington. // And Japan may get a panda for the first time in years

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying's Regular Press Conference on October 23, 2018 Q: It is reported that the Chinese and Japanese governments are negotiating an end to the 40-year-old Official Development Assistance (ODA) in hope of finding a new cooperation model. What is your comment? How do you comment on Japan's ODA to China? A: Japan's ODA cooperation with China has played a positive role in China's reform and opening-up and economic development. Japan has also reaped tangible benefits from such cooperation which constitutes an important part of the mutually beneficial and win-win cooperation between China and Japan. In light of the latest situation, China would like to remain in communication with Japan on the relevant dialogue and cooperation.

Japanese and Chinese defense chiefs meet for first time in three years, agree to start full-fledged exchanges | The Japan Times Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya and his Chinese counterpart, Wei Fenghe, have agreed to start full-fledged exchange programs to foster closer relations between their countries’ defense authorities and troops. At the first Japan-China defense ministerial meeting in three years, held in Singapore on Friday, Iwaya and Wei also reaffirmed a plan to establish a hotline soon.

China Is Forced to Reconsider Its Route Into Eastern Europe - Bloomberg China’s efforts to make inroads in eastern Europe are being hindered by what nations see as failed promises on money materializing and the strings attached to investments. The so-called 16+1 framework was established by China as a means to deepen its footprint in eastern Europe. Its members -- 11 European Union countries, from Poland to Hungary and Estonia, plus five Balkan states -- saw the annual forum as a means to attract Chinese investment in infrastructure like roads and rail networks to boost their economies.

Confined discourse management and the PRC’s localised interactions in the Nordics - Sinopsis The following examples, drawn from Sweden, Norway and Greenland, illustrate the risks posed to localised interactions when information management fails to confine them to the local domain. In all three cases, PRC actors enjoyed a largely positive reception from local decision makers before public scrutiny took them to a more critical discourse environment.

The Ross v Bridges affair is a kick up the arse on Chinese state influence in NZ | The Spinoff According to experts  Anne-Marie Brady and Geoff Wade, the Chinese businessman at the centre of the donation furore that’s engulfed Simon Bridges is a leader in the Chinese Communist Party’s United Front activities. Researcher Jichang Lulu has documented at length Zhang Yikun’s links to United Front and Communist Party officials. According to a page on the Zhuhai Puning Chamber of Commerce, as of 2015, Zhang was on the Standing Committee of the Hainan Provincial Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, a governmental advisory body, a fact confirmed by an official government web page dated October 2016 and dug up by Lulu.

Royal Navy chief vows to send ships through South China Sea | Financial Times $$ Britain will assert its right to freedom of navigation in the South China Sea despite recent Chinese claims of provocation, the head of the Royal Navy has vowed. Admiral Sir Philip Jones said Britain had an obligation to “showcase” physical support for its allies in the Asia Pacific region and to resist what he sees as China’s flouting of international conventions on the laws of the sea.

China and North Korea aim to clear legal hurdles to revive border regions with joint economic plans | South China Morning Post Last week, senior representatives of Beijing law firm Deheng Group were in Pyongyang for a seminar with North Korea’s Foreign Economic Law Consultation – a legal service agency run by the foreign trade ministry. The week before, a similar seminar took place in Beijing’s Jinglun Hotel between Deheng Group and North Korea’s Koryo law firm, “to enhance the legal systems of the two countries”. A legal professional close to Deheng Group said China and North Korea were preparing to revive stalled cooperative border projects to boost the region’s economies.

Imran Khan to seek 'significant shift' in China's CPEC projects in Pakistan: Report - Times of India Prime Minister Khan is to embark on his first visit to China on November 3 during which he is expected to call on President Xi as well as meet his counterpart Li Keqiang. "During his meetings in the friendly country, Khan would inform the Chinese leadership that his government wanted to bring about a significant shift in the projects falling under the purview of the CPEC," the Dawn newspaper reported, quoting unnamed sources. Under the previous government there was an emphasis on infrastructure schemes, but the current government of Khan wanted projects involving agriculture, job creation and foreign investment take centre stage, the report said.

How Imran Khan Became Prime Minister of Pakistan - The Atlantic In more ways than one, Pakistan shows what geopolitics will look like after American hegemony. It will be an intensely fluid, messier world. Different political and economic models, not just Western ones, will appeal to elites. The U.S. and China will compete, and they will both wield enormous influence at once. Both Western and Chinese finance will be in play. There will be no simple power shift from one hegemon to another.

Indonesia to review China’s belt and road projects if Prabowo beats Widodo in presidential election | This Week In Asia | South China Morning Post Infrastructure projects Indonesia signed up to as part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative are likely to be reviewed if former general Prabowo Subianto wins next year’s presidential election, his brother and campaign leader has said. “Indonesia and China have a good relationship, but I think there are certain [belt and road] projects that we want to look at,” Hashim Djojohadikusumo said of China’s ambitious infrastructure investment plan, after a recent media briefing for foreign correspondents. “I’m sure there are some projects that are very good, and I’m sure some projects are not necessary.”

China, India vow to strengthen cooperation on law enforcement, security - Global Times While meeting with visiting Chinese State Councilor and Minister of Public Security Zhao Kezhi, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said India is willing to work with China to maintain strategic communication, enhance political mutual trust, strengthen pragmatic cooperation in various fields such as law enforcement and security, and promote the development of India-China relations to a higher level. For his part, Zhao said the historic informal summit between the leaders of the two countries in April in Wuhan gave a strong impetus to the development of China-India relations.

China and Myanmar to study Muse-Mandalay railway line China Railway Eryuan Engineering Group and Myanma Railways have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to carry out a feasibility study of the 431km Muse-Mandalay railway line. Muse is a border town in Myanmar, and Mandalay is the country’s second biggest city in the north. The connecting line will operate at a speed of 160km per hour.

China's Huawei opens up to German scrutiny ahead of 5G auctions | Reuters Chinese’s Huawei Technologies Co Ltd [HWT.UL] will open a new information security lab in Germany next month that will enable source code reviews, in a step aimed at winning regulators’ confidence before the country’s 5G mobile spectrum auction.

China Wants More Nuclear-Armed Submarines. Should Everyone Be Worried? - Carnegie-Tsinghua Center -Tong Zhao China’s main goal is not to significantly increase its number of nuclear weapons. Instead, Beijing wants to arm certain submarines with nuclear warheads. The plan is to diversify the structure of its nuclear force and to make sure that each category of nuclear weapons would be as survivable as possible. Essentially, China wants to avoid having all its eggs in one basket.

Russian naval fleet visits Qingdao - China Military The three visiting vessels belong to Russia’s Pacific Fleet, of which both the missile destroyer Varyag and the anti-submarine destroyer Admiral Panteleyev had visited Qingdao before. Onboard the vessels are nearly 1,000 troops. This is one of the largest Russian naval fleets visiting China in recent years, demonstrating the deep friendship between the two countries and militaries.

Opinion | Being China Means Never Having to Say You’re Sorry - The New York Times: After seven decades of living under the Communists, the people of China know that during times of heightened international tensions, the leadership will demand unity at home and punish dissent. Many may even fall into line and wax nationalistic — creating a feedback loop that will only push China’s leaders toward more extreme positions, internally and internationally... The Nixon-Kissinger-Clinton thesis — that helping China develop its economy would bring about a middle class that would then push the country to democratize and become a responsible stakeholder internationally — is now widely recognized as wishful thinking. The reverse is proving true: For China today, having face means being shameless. And the rest of the world may just have to get used to that. -- Yi-Zheng Lian a former lead writer and chief editor of the Hong Kong Economic Journal.


Hong Kong, Macao

Hong Kong officials let dissident Wang Xizhe visit city despite 20-year China ban, as long as he promised not to meet any ‘politically sensitive’ people | South China Morning Post Wang Xizhe, 70, who fled to the United States in 1996, was detained at Hong Kong International Airport for three hours before being allowing into the city. However, Wang, who left China after publishing a joint statement with late Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo, said immigration officers told him he could only stay if he agreed not to talk to the media, meet any politically sensitive individuals, or attend any public event during his time in Hong Kong.


Taiwan

China attempting to meddle in Taiwan elections: intelligence chief - CNA English News Taipei, Oct. 22 (CNA) China has been trying to sway next month's local government elections in Taiwan by employing tactics such as pouring money into the campaign coffers of candidates it favors, Leu Wen-jong (呂文忠), head of Taiwan's Investigation Bureau, said Monday. In a legislative committee session, Leu told lawmakers that the bureau has received 33 pieces of intelligence that point to efforts by China to influence the Nov. 24 elections.

Taiwan to share Chinese hacks data with private companies | Financial Times $$ Taiwan is preparing to share the details of millions of Chinese hacks with private companies to help train artificial intelligence software to predict and prevent future cyber attacks. Jyan Hong-wei, director of Taiwan’s department of cyber security, said companies would be able to access data from years of attacks on government computers by state-backed hackers in China.

Australia is drawing from Taiwan's experience with Chinese interference, says Foreign Minister Taiwan’s top diplomat says Australia and other Western countries are increasingly looking to learn from the island’s long history with Chinese Communist Party-linked influence and interference as anxiety about similar activities grows across the democratic world. In an exclusive interview with Fairfax Media, Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu said democracies should boost co-operation to combat Beijing’s tactics and argued Asian countries had a stake in protecting Taiwan because its fall would start a domino effect that would see them "taken down by China one by one".

Taiwan to hold live-fire drill in Spratly Islands likely to anger Vietnam | South China Morning Post Taiwan will stage a three-day live-fire drill next month on Taiping Island in the disputed waters of the South China Sea to underscore its claimed sovereignty over the Spratly Islands – a move certain to again enrage rival claimant Vietnam.

Chinese women golfers told to pull out of Taiwan event: Sources - Reuters Chinese players on the elite U.S. professional women's golf tour have pulled out of this week's tournament in Taiwan at the 11th hour, after being told by someone "high up" in China to skip the event, sources familiar with the situation told Reuters. They said world number nine Shanshan Feng and rookie Yu Liu were told during last weekend's event in Shanghai that they should not play in the Swinging Skirts LPGA Taiwan Championship, which starts in Taipei on Thursday.

Taiwan takes delivery of first locally upgraded F-16 Taiwan has taken delivery of its first locally upgraded Lockheed Martin F-16 fighter jet, according to reports in local media. The single-seat aircraft is the first of four Taiwanese Air Force F-16A/B fighters currently being upgraded by state-owned Aerospace Industrial Development Corporation (AIDC) to the F-16V Block 70 standard. The jet was handed over to the Air Force on Friday.


Tech And Media

Huawei Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro won't be sold in the US - Business Insider A spokesman told Business Insider on Monday: "We are not planning to sell the Mate 20 Series in the US. While international variants of the Mate 20 Series may be available on some US online retail sites, we encourage individuals to carefully read the details about the warranty and network compatibility before purchasi

A Newspaper Banned In China Is Now One Of Trump's Biggest Defenders The Epoch Times, a newspaper with links to the Falun Gong movement, is the purest outlet of the Trump movement.

#011 – How Bill Bishop cut a path from the Tiananmen Square Massacre to the inboxes of America's power brokers In this interview, published just as Bill celebrates his first anniversary of joining Substack, we discuss his secrets to building a great newsletter business and his fascinating career, from running video tape for news stations at Tiananmen Square during the 1989 massacre, to co-founding the financial news site MarketWatch, attempting to build a gaming business in boom-times China, and ultimately starting Sinocism.

China quietly opens door to more foreign films | South China Morning Post Under a quota system designed to limit the number of foreign films screened in the country, only 34 foreign releases are allowed to be distributed on a revenue-sharing basis. But in recent years that quota has been exceeded “albeit unofficially and for tactical reasons,” according to a report from the London-based global information provider IHS Markit, paving the way for more international blockbusters, such as the November debut of Crazy Rich Asians.

Steam forges ahead in China as domestic gaming industry squeezed by Beijing’s freeze on approvals | South China Morning Post Step forward Valve Corp’s Steam, the world’s largest online PC game distribution platform, which while not officially available in China, is not blocked either. While all video games need to obtain a licence to be published in China, there are an estimated 30 million Chinese users playing games that are not approved for domestic sale via the Bellevue, Washington-based Valve’s Steam platform.// Comment: I give Steam a few more weeks before it is blocked. This kind of publicity will not help

Briefing: Ofo founder renounces position amid mounting lawsuits · TechNode Founder and CEO of bike-rental platform ofo Da Wei has removed himself from its position of legal representative of the firm. The role was taken over by Chen Zhengjiang, head of the firm’s hardware supply department. The move comes amid mounting lawsuits from unpaid suppliers including Shanghai Phoenix Bicycles and Tianjin Flying Pigeon Cycle Manufacturing. The former is suing ofo for a total of $10 million.


Energy, Environment, Science And Health

Silent Seas - Sixth Tone a look at the decline in sea life on China's coasts


Agriculture And Rural Issues

China mulls 2nd draft revision on rural land contract law - Xinhua The revision identifies and offers clearer support for the transfer of management right of rural land, enabling farmers to retain contract rights over their allotted land and only transfer the management rights if they choose to lease the land to others. It stipulates the means, procedure and basic requirements for conducting transfers of management rights. The revision also introduces regulation on voluntary registration of management right transfers and forbids farmers from unilaterally dissolving contracts.


Beijing

Beijing's traffic authority now accepts Alipay and WeChat Pay to pay for traffic fines · TechNode Beijing Traffic Management Bureau announced on October 22 that it will add Alipay and WeChat Pay, two of China’s most popular mobile payment tools, to its online traffic security management platform, our sister site TechNode Chinese is reporting.  //  Comment: seems a small thing but really does improve efficiency. When I was back in August I needed new license plates for my car (I just can't give it up given I will never get Beijing plates again...) but before I could start the process we had to pay the outstanding fines, which took a trip to specific bank and about three hours...