Xi convenes another big meeting; Hong Kong protests; Education reforms; ASF worse than reported; Open letter
|Bill Bishop||Jul 8, 2019||14||3|
We are nearly flooded out here in DC and a tree narrowly missed Sinocism HQ an hour ago so today’s commentary is limited. Among the items in today’s Essential Eight:
Xi convened a meeting of top Party, State and PLA officials to discuss progress in the bureaucratic reforms from last year’s Third Plenum, reforms whose main goal is to increase Party control;
Based on official comments there should be very low expectations for progress any time soon in the US-China trade negotiations, even with a likely call this week between the top negotiators;
The education system is getting a revamp. More patriotic education and support for rural schools and teachers are coming, as are more controls on online games and short-form videos;
Protests in Hong Kong continued again over the weekend, and everyone should be nervous about where they are headed. Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Pompeo just met Apple Daily publisher Jimmy Lai in DC, in a move that is sure to fuel belief in mainland China of a US role in fomenting the protests;
The open letter from last week has spawned a counter open letter, as well as a response from lead author Michael Swaine on my comments. The growing split in the US China watching community seems to be getting nastier and more personal;
Caixin has a bombshell report on African Swine Flu and its causes and impact. In short, it is much worse than official reports say it is, Chinese farmers have been dumping pigs on the market, sick or not, and local governments are not paying the subsidies they are supposed to, probably because more than a few just don’t have the money.
Thanks for reading.
The Essential Eight
1. Xi convenes top officials to discuss Party eating state reforms
These reforms, agreed to at the Third Plenum last year, are at least as interesting as the term limits decision for Xi.
It looks like Xi convened the same audience as he did for the risk prevention study seminar Xi chaired in January, with the exception of the representatives of the other democratic parties and All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce, who were listed as attending the opening ceremony of the January seminar.
Who needs a Fourth Plenum when Xi can convene everyone who matters when he wants to?
Xi..made the statement at a meeting reviewing the reform of Party and state institutions...
In just over a year, the tasks of reform laid out at the third plenary session of the 19th CPC Central Committee have been accomplished on the whole, Xi said...
To perfect the system through which the Party exercises leadership over major tasks and to strictly enforce political discipline and rules;
To enhance the coordination between Party and government institutions;
To upgrade the capacity of Party and state institutions to perform their duties;
To well motivate the central and local institutions;
To push forward the supporting reforms;
To manage the institutions in line with the law;
To enhance competence and a sense of responsibility of all institutions.
In the reform at the central level and on state organs, more than 80 departments underwent adjustment of their management, frameworks, duties and personnel, with more than 1.8 million people affected, according to official figures.
The CPC Central Committee had four coordinating organs removed while the State Council, China's cabinet, had two removed. A total of 21 ministerial departments were dissolved...
Through the reform, the systems to ensure the Party's overall leadership and the centralized and unified leadership of the CPC Central Committee have been further consolidated...
The reform also reinforced the Party's absolute leadership over the military through the restructuring of the armed police.
CCTV Evening News on the meeting, you have to respect how Xi crams all the non-Standing Committee officials into uncomfortable rows to listen to him…
2. Guideline for education
The Communist Party of China Central Committee and State Council Monday published a new guideline for advancing education reform and improving the quality of compulsory education.
The guideline aims to develop an education system that will foster citizens with an all-round moral, intellectual, physical and aesthetic grounding, in addition to a hard-working spirit, according to the document.
Efforts will be made in fostering comprehensive quality with firm faith, patriotism, integrity, broad knowledge and striving spirit, it said...
It also called for strengthening physical education, enhancing aesthetic training with more art curriculums and activities, and encouraging students to participate in more physical work to boost their hard-working spirit.
The guideline, officially issued June 23 but only released publicly today. Among the highlights, guide youth and children to listen and follow the Party, strengthen patriotism, collectivism and Socialist education, strengthen values guidance and control over for online games and short-form videos:
Sinocism intern Huang Yufan also notes that there are many parts mentioning more support for schools and teachers in rural China 农村, which is generally in line with the anti-poverty campaign and to address the widening gap of education resources in China.
3. Hong Kong protests
Six people were arrested in connection with an anti-extradition protest on Sunday which saw crowds choke major roads in Mong Kok. The street occupation came hours after a mass march to the West Kowloon high-speed rail terminal to lobby mainland Chinese visitors on the issue.
Clashes broke out in the late evening as police baton-charged protesters in an attempt to clear lanes in the congested retail district. Five people were arrested for assaulting and obstructing officers in the process, police said. Another person was arrested earlier in the day for failing to produce proof of identity...
Organisers said over 230,000 people had attended, although police put the figure at 56,000.
Protesters marched Sunday through a major shopping belt in Hong Kong that is frequented by mainland Chinese tourists, the first demonstration in recent weeks away from the area near Hong Kong’s government headquarters. The end point is a high-speed rail station that handles massive amounts of traffic to and from China, and which itself was the subject of controversy because it contains an area where mainland Chinese law is enforced.
“The route was chosen to bring attention [to the protests] to mainlanders, which China fears,” an organizer said in a message to The Wall Street Journal.
On Sunday, when tens of thousands of protesters once again urged the government to fully withdraw a bill that would allow extraditions to mainland China, they also called for the legislature to be dismissed and for free elections.
Secretary Michael R. Pompeo met with Hong Kong businessman and publisher Jimmy Lai today in Washington, D.C. They discussed developments related to amendments to Hong Kong’s Fugitive Offenders Ordinance and the status of Hong Kong’s autonomy under the “One Country, Two Systems” framework.
“The liberal studies curriculum is a failure,” Tung said. “It is one of the reasons behind the youth problems today.”
The curriculum was initiated by Tung’s administration and made compulsory for all upper secondary school pupils in 2009.
The Hong Kong Journalists Association and the Hong Kong Press Photographers Association said in a joint statement that when police tried to clear the protesters, officers used their shields to push journalists and their cameras multiple times. Some also shouted at and assaulted reporters, according to the statement.
Liu said China was “not interested in diplomatic war with the UK” over the former colony. Speaking on BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, he said: “We are strongly opposed to British intervention in Hong Kong’s internal affairs.”
He continued: “We are still committed to this golden era between our two countries. But I cannot agree with some politicians’ description of the relationship, even the use of the so-called ‘strategic ambiguity’. This language does not belong to the vocabulary between China and the UK. It is cold war mentality language.”
Zhao Lijian 赵立坚Verified account, DCM of PRC embassy in Pakistan weighed in on Twitter:
Jeremy Hunt @Jeremy_HuntAway from campaigning want to stress UK support for Hong Kong and its freedoms is UNWAVERING on this anniversary day. No violence is acceptable but HK people MUST preserve right to peaceful protest exercised within the law, as hundreds of thousands of brave people showed today.
“I don’t think it’s a big surprise that China would react that way but they need to understand that Britain is a country that honors its international obligations and what I was saying was something very uncontroversial, actually, which is that we signed an agreement in 1984 which lasts for 50 years and we would expect all sides to honor that agreement,” Hunt said.
No one knows what will come next. The protest movement could subside or split into moderate and radical camps. Or the escalating cycles of violence, followed by tear gas, could become commonplace. Much now depends on whether the government will respond to the voices on the street with action. The turmoil is already damaging Hong Kong’s institutions, its international reputation and its desirability as a home. That fear was voiced on another banner, suspended on a wall on the other side of the legislative building, which read, “If we burn, you burn with us.”
Geremie Barmé, a China scholar from Australia who co-wrote “The Gate of Heavenly Peace,” a groundbreaking documentary about the protests at Tiananmen Square, and the subsequent Beijing Massacre, told me that the escalating clash between the people of Hong Kong and the government reminded him of the days leading up to the 1989 mass killings in Beijing. Coaxing peaceful protesters into engaging in violence is a classic tactic of authoritarian regimes. “Why did Beijing withdraw police from the square during the days of the students’ hunger strike in the spring of 1989?” Barmé asked. “It was to mount a case of untenable social disorder to justify the use of martial law.”
The Chinese regime reserves a special contempt for Mikhail Gorbachev, the leader who allowed the unravelling of the Soviet empire. When Mr Gorbachev visited East Berlin in October 1989 and witnessed anti-regime demonstrations, he instructed Russian troops there to stay in their barracks. That decision led to the fall of the Berlin Wall and is still regarded as evidence of weakness in Beijing. But Mr Gorbachev was not making a miscalculation. He was making a moral choice. Mr Xi may one day face a similar ethical crossroads.
The “Cantopop” star [Denise Ho] asked the Human Rights Council on Monday whether it would suspend China as one of its 47 member states because of “abuses” by Beijing, and whether the rights body would convene an urgent session to protect people in Hong Kong amid rising protests.
4. Wuhan protests
Residents have good reason to be concerned about the construction of the Chenjiachong plant in particular. Those concerns are delineated in a letter allegedly written by representatives of the Yangluo community and posted on the “Wuhan Top Headlines” Weibo account (the post was blocked or deleted after June 28, but reposted on July 1). Concerns include the capability of the company itself and the placement of the plant, which is located just 800 meters from some residences, rather than the minimum 1.5 km recommended by publicly available plans for the area.
The letter notes that the company given the contract for the project, Wuhan Huaneng Rongcheng Renewable Resources Co., Ltd. (a state-owned enterprise), was only created on April 17, 2019, just two days before Yangtze New City, the group operating a larger circular economy, filed the project. City records show that name approval for Wuhan Huaneng Rongcheng was granted on April 11, 2019. The selection of such a new company for the project is particularly strange given that there are well-established companies (CCEPC and Kaidi) in Wuhan already operating waste-to-energy plants. Construction of the plant, which appears to have prompted Thursday’s protests, began two months earlier than indicated by the project plan, prompting fears that the company and the government sought to achieve a fait accompli.
Local officials acknowledge being caught off guard by the public backlash. Planning for the incinerator started years ago, when the area was mostly rural, and was not updated as a construction boom took place nearby, including at least two schools.
Amid chants of "Give us back our clean environment!", an estimated 10,000 residents from apartments near the Yangluo industrial development area in Wuhan's Xinzhou district turned out against the plan on Tuesday and Wednesday, local residents said.
The local government dispatched around 1,000 riot police to disperse the crowd, with large numbers of injuries reported, they said...
Local residents -- who number around 400,000 -- said they first learned of the renewed incinerator plan in mid-June, and immediately organized a petition against it. The government responded by having around 20 of the petitioners detained.
Comment: Some video from the protests:
The protests may have political downside for Hubei Party Secretary Jiang Chaoliang, and will definitely cause problems for local issues, but beyond that it is hard to see them having much more impact in Wuhan itself or across China.
One video of the protests showed a small boy, perched on the front of a pink motor-scooter driven by a woman who may have been his mother. He was also seen standing in front of a huge protest banner wearing shorts and a fluorescent green vest, with a large orange plastic whistle around his neck, holding up a blue megaphone and chanting protest slogans, while the crowd followed his lead.
“Give me back green mountains and blue water!” he chanted, using the environmental slogan that united the protesters. “Ban garbage burning!” he said. “Waste-to-energy plant get out!”
In the early stages of the protest, before censors kicked in, this and other posts were popular online and the issue grew to be one of the “hot topics” on Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter. Censors then stepped in, removing most of the posts about the incident..
Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin hope to speak by phone this week with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, a USTR spokesperson told Morning Trade.
That follows White House chief economic adviser Larry Kudlow’s remark Wednesday that the previously interrupted negotiations would “continue in earnest” this week.
“If the two sides are to reach a deal, all imposed tariffs must be removed,” Ministry of Commerce spokesman Gao Feng said on Thursday. “China’s attitude on that is clear and consistent.”
China will not buy Ameusagriculture products if the United States “flip-flops” again in future trade negotiations, Chinese state media said on Friday.
A commentary by Taoran Notes, a social media account affiliated with Economic Daily, said recent remarks by US officials signalled that America was not treating China on an equal basis.
It referred to remarks by White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow, who said the US would not remove tariffs already imposed on Chinese imports during negotiations.
7.4 Taoran Notes says the US has to drop all existing tariffs for there to be progress towards a trade deal, or for China to make big at purchases. Cites the recent open letter as one of the signs more and more people in the US oppose the trade war
Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng also hits out at Washington over reports some Chinese-American scientists ‘have been treated unfairly’ in the US
He tells World Peace Forum problems faced by America are not ‘China’s fault’
Comment: Le is one of the names I have heard mentioned recently as a possible successor of Cui Tiankai as PRC Ambassador to the US
The break-up of the world’s two biggest economies was gradually becoming a real possibility as Beijing and Washington clashed over issues beyond trade and the White House sought to push China out of global value chains, according to Li Xiangyang, director of the National Institute of International Strategy, a think tank under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
“This economic decoupling is completely possible, in theory,” Li told a symposium on the trade war at Renmin University of China on Saturday.
An open letter to US President Donald Trump signed by scores of Asia specialists including former US diplomats and military officers has revealed that rational voices are emerging to challenge paranoid ideas, Chinese experts noted on Thursday...
At a Thursday briefing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang praised the letter, saying that a rational, objective and tolerant voice triumphs over paranoid and extreme ideas...
The letter also maintained that the fear was "exaggerated" of Beijing's pursuit of replacement of the US as a global leader, and encouraged the US to work with its allies and partners to create a more open and prosperous world where China is offered an opportunity to participate.
China was interested in building a cooperative and equal international order where everyone can win, said Fudan University Professor Wu.
The updated list of signatories is now available here.
I should have been more specific in my description of the signatories in last Wednesday's newsletter. They are not just "China watchers" but a broader group of former officials, economists, academics and foreign policy specialists, many of who I respect and some with whom I studied.
Michael Swaine, one of the lead authors, responded to my comments in the newsletter through a twitter thread:
The open letter was also the subject of Thursday night CCTV Evening News’ “international sharp commentary” 国际锐评：中美合作是民心所向
The open letter makes zero mention of the Communist Party and does not distinguish between China and the Chinese communist regime. This is not a matter of semantics, but arguably the most important distinction to make concerning U.S. policy on China. As Confucius observed, “If names cannot be correct, then language is not in accordance with the truth of things. And if language is not in accordance with the truth of things, affairs cannot be carried on to success” (名不正，則言不順；言不順，則事不成).
A different group of China-watchers and foreign policy types has written a letter very much in opposition to the one last week
Many of those who once favored engagement are dismayed by the fact that this hasn’t happened yet. With varying degrees of reluctance, they’ve thus signed onto the idea that only a harder line will get China’s attention. But try to think of it from the other side. The Chinese are a proud people with a long history, and the accusations, provocations, threats and disrespect being directed their way are having a predictable effect. What kind of shining example does America set by actively seeking to thwart the progress of one-fifth of humanity?
With contributions from Susan Thornton, William Reinsch, Philip Shull and Henry Paulson
Vice President Wang Qishan slammed protectionism at a forum on world peace Monday in Beijing, saying the global security should instead be achieved by working together to build a more open world economy...
He said China’s policy on peaceful development is to “develop itself through preserving world peace, and to preserve world peace through its own development.”
Wang reiterated China’s commitment to peace. “No matter how developed China is, it will never seek hegemony — never seek expansion or a sphere of power,” he said.
More than 100 former government leaders and senior scholars from all over the world attended the forum at Tsinghua University.
Comment: Michael Swaine was among the attendees, as he noted on Twitter:
Professor Christopher Balding has released a paper claiming to document links between Huawei employees and the PLA and PRC security services. The work is drawing both praise and condemnation.
Using a unique dataset of CVs, this paper analyzes the relationship between key Huawei personnel and the Chinese state security services. Based upon an analysis of this dataset, I find there is strong evidence that Huawei personnel act at the direction of Chinese state intelligence, and that there exists a deep and lasting relationship between Huawei, its employees, and the Chinese state. This should raise questions within Western governments worried about Chinese access to domestic information.
The research was conducted by Christopher Balding, a professor at Fulbright University Vietnam, and researchers at the Henry Jackson Society, a UK think-tank. Trawling through a database of leaked Chinese CVs, they found Huawei employees who appeared to be simultaneously employed by institutions affiliated with the Chinese military, others who previously worked in areas related to hacking or telecom monitoring, and still more who described their work at Huawei as linked to the Ministry of State Security (MSS), an entity involved in cyber warfare and network penetration.
The paper is not an academic paper. No, and I never said it was. It was never intended or designed as a journal article type paper for many reasons. The purpose of the paper was to provide information into the public domain that did not exist before in a concise and readable form for everyone from politicians in different countries to citizens hearing about the issue. The focus was on describing the data the specific profiles. That is it. It is not a good academic paper because it was never intended to be one.
The CVs of up to 25,000 Huawei employees were uncovered by Christopher Balding, an associate professor at the Fulbright University Vietnam, while investigating Huawei’s ownership structure. The CVs were uploaded on Chinese recruitment platforms in the past year and began to appear online and on publicly accessible sites. Prof. Balding, in conjunction with the Henry Jackson Society, a London-based think-tank, concluded that about 100 Huawei staff had connections with the Chinese military or intelligence agencies and their “backgrounds indicated experience in matters of national security”.
Citing Financial Times and Reuters, Global Times reported the role of HSBC in helping US in sanctioning Huawei over its alleged business with Iran. The article said HSBC lied to the US investigators and by doing this, it “stabbed [Huawei] in the back”. Quoting Shen Yi, a professor of Fudan University, the newspaper said HSBC is in fact “an unreliable entity”.
Smart Axiata, part of Malaysia’s Axiata Group Behard, serves half of the 16 million population of the Southeast Asian nation, whose government signed a memorandum of understanding in April with Huawei to help develop its 5G telecoms system.
Huawei is helping develop 5G networks for all four of the UK’s major mobile phone operators – even though the government has yet to confirm whether the controversial Chinese technology company will be permitted to build the next generation of wireless infrastructure.
In a lengthy rebuttal, Huawei criticized Finite State for using an “unconventional approach” that didn’t include engaging with Huawei during the review or providing an advance copy of the analysis before it was published.
Huawei also accused Finite State of selectively presenting results by testing older gear likely to contain more defects and using smaller rivals Arista Networks Inc. and Juniper Networks Inc. for comparison and not market leaders such as Cisco Systems Inc.
"The United States has been unable to imagine a better future which goes beyond 4 plus 1G, where they have been unable to imagine what 5G can offer, and where now clearly they are jealous," said Ramaphosa.
"They are jealous that a Chinese company called Huawei has outstripped them. And because they have been outstripped they must now punish that one company and use it as a pawn in the fight that they have with China."
China is deliberately separating Muslim children from their families, faith and language in its far western region of Xinjiang, according to new research.
At the same time as hundreds of thousands of adults are being detained in giant camps, a rapid, large-scale campaign to build boarding schools is under way.
Based on publicly available documents, and backed up by dozens of interviews with family members overseas, the BBC has gathered some of the most comprehensive evidence to date about what is happening to children in the region
The BBC's John Sudworth meets Uighur parents in Turkey who say their children are missing in China.
"There's no separation of children from their parents. Not at all," Liu Xiaoming told the BBC's Andrew Marr Show.
He said parents who spoke to the BBC about their missing children were "anti-government people".
It is now 10 years since the day when the deaths by beating, stabbing, and automatic gunfire reached this new threshold. Many lives were lost over those first few days, but living with death has continued into the present. In what follows, I want to take a few moments to reflect with three of my closest Uyghur, Han, and Kazakh friends who were there on that day. Rather than simply convey the facts of what happened, I asked them to think through their experiences and the feelings of social death that followed. These accounts are not meant to be representative of the perspectives of the different groups involved;
Today on the show, Alim takes us inside his hometown. We see how the Chinese government has created a surveillance state using DNA, voice, and face recognition technology to track and target Uighurs. And we find out how Americans — some knowingly, some unwittingly — helped advance this system.
“We note that there has still been no response to the April 3, 2019 letter we sent, along with 41 of our Congressional colleagues, urging the Administration to urgently address what is one the world’s worst human rights situations. On this sad anniversary, we reiterate that call to hold Chinese officials accountable. The Chinese government has operated with impunity in the XUAR for far too long. The United States must demonstrate moral leadership, and the international community must respond.”
8. Caixin - African Swine Fever crisis much worse than official reports
In his capacity as director of the porcine infectious disease research branch of the Harbin Veterinary Research Institute, Qiu Huaji has been one of the strongest voices to weigh in on the African swine fever crisis that has lashed China since August.
“The official data shows that new sow stock has fallen by 20%. I have learned through other channels that the situation may be even worse. The losses are very, very heavy,"...
a Caixin investigation reveals many other cases may have gone unreported. Pig breeders around the country have described their frustration as their attempts to report very serious suspected outbreaks fell on deaf ears.
And knowing their reports would likely go ignored, farmers began to discard their pigs at the first sign of symptoms — or worse, sell them on as quickly as possible. Potentially infected pigs were approved for sale to slaughterhouses, sometimes in different provinces, at rock-bottom prices — less than 4 yuan (58 U.S. cents) a kilogram in some cases. They became the perfect vector for the spread of the virus.
They have wound up in the refrigerators and on the dinner tables of thousands of Chinese households...
One of the motivations for local governments to conceal or delay reporting swine fever cases is economic — some simply cannot afford to pay the required subsidies to farmers for culling their pigs, while others fear the effect of a pork embargo on their local economy
The spread of a deadly pig disease in China that has disrupted the world’s biggest pork market is one of the major risks to a well-supplied global agricultural sector, the FAO and OECD said on Monday.
That may be indicating that farmers are switching from food waste to manufactured feed, according to one analyst, which could mean better-than-expected demand will persist.
Business, Economy and Trade
Exclusive: ICBC’s Shanghai Branch Deputy Is Said to Be Under Investigation - Caixin Lü Hong, a deputy head of the Shanghai branch of Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd. (ICBC), the country’s biggest state-owned commercial lender, is likely under investigation by authorities, sources with knowledge of the matter told Caixin. This investigation comes one month after the branch’s former head, Gu Guoming, was put under investigation by the Communist Party’s anti-graft watchdog.
Yicai Global - China's Forex Reserves Hit 17-Month High of USD31.2 Trillion in June The figure was USD18.2 billion higher than in May, the State Administration of Foreign Exchange said on July 7. Gold reserves increased for the seventh straight month, rising 330,000 ounces to 61.94 million ounces, worth USD87.3 billion.
Regulator Confronts Trusts About Real Estate Financing - Caixin A Chinese financial regulator has ordered 10 trust companies to ensure no growth in the outstanding amount of their real estate financing businesses at least through this year’s third quarter, Caixin has learned, as regulators worry about froth in China’s property market. The China Banking and Issuance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC) summoned the trust companies to a meeting Wednesday where officials required the companies to get the scale and growth of their property financing businesses under control, Caixin has learned.
Yicai Global - Camsing Tanks in Hong Kong Trading After Founder Luo Jing Is Detained Camsing International's shares plunged 80 percent after the media and entertainment firm told the Hong Kong Stock Exchange at the end of last week that its founder and Chairwoman Luo Jing has been detained by Shanghai police.
Chinese Shares Fall as Flood of IPOs Adds to Risk-Off Sentiment - Bloomberg China said late Friday that its new trading venue will start operating on July 22, raising concern that the fresh supply will drain demand for existing stocks. Several companies open their books to investors this week.
China Car Sales Rise for First Time in a Year on Discounts - Bloomberg China’s passenger-car sales showed signs of recovery from a historic rut as dealers offered discounts to clear inventory before new emissions rules kicked in.
Chinese Ponzi scheme victims accuse Justin Sun of complicity through silence Chinese victims of a billion dollar Ponzi scheme that defrauded hundreds of thousands are baying for the blood of Tron CEO Justin Sun, Chinese crypto news site Nuclear Finance reported today. // Comment: Sun recently paid over $4m for lunch with Warren Buffett
China's Venture Capital Boom Shows Signs of Turning Into a Bust - Bloomberg Venture deals in China plummeted in the second quarter as investors pulled back amid unpredictable trade talks and growing concerns about startup valuations. The value of investments in the country tumbled 77% to $9.4 billion in the second quarter from a year earlier, while the number of deals roughly halved to 692, according to the market research firm Preqin.
HNA Selling 75% Stake in Beijing Complex to China Vanke - Mingtiandi This latest deal for the 18-storey complex 2 Northeast Third Ring Road in the bustling Sanyuanqiao area values the property at RMB 44,348 per square metre of gross floor area, according to Mingtiandi’s calculations, with Vanke now owning a 99.99 percent stake in the holding company for the asset.
Exclusive: Pudong Development Bank to Get New Chairman - Caixin Zheng Yang, director of the Shanghai Municipal Financial Regulatory Bureau, is likely to replace Gao Guofu as chairman of Pudong Development Bank, Caixin has learned from sources with knowledge of the matter.
China may offer reduced tariffs to push through mega regional trade pact | South China Morning Post It will be the first time China has hosted negotiations on the Regional and Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) since it was proposed in 2012. Trade ministers from the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) plus six other countries in the region – China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand and India – will meet in Beijing from August 2 to 3.
China’s international lending is much higher than previously known - Kiel Working Paper China's lending to other countries is significantly larger than previously known and reported in official statistics. As of 2017, the world owed more than five trillion USD to the government of China, or around six percent of global economic output. Lending to developing and emerging countries, in particular, has multiplied over the past 10 years. Half of these loans are not publicly recorded, according to a new study conducted with the participation of the Kiel Institute. This poses considerable risks to financial stability.
Politics and Law
Wife of Australian writer Yang Hengjun held in China interrogated and banned from flying home - Australian Broadcasting Corporation Yuan Xiaoliang was on Sunday morning taken away by a group of Ministry of State Security officers who questioned her for two hours, just two days after she tried unsuccessfully to fly out of China. Ms Yuan, an Australian permanent resident, is married to former Chinese Government official-turned author Yang Hengjun, who has been held in a secret Beijing location without access to a lawyer for almost six months.
Looting House Churches to Prevent Their Resurgence - Bitter Winter To prevent house churches from re-emerging, provincial and municipal authorities across China are implementing a variety of strict measures: “return-visit” inspections, repurposing of meeting venues, imposing personal responsibility on the officials dealing with forced closures and demolitions, as well as ubiquitous surveillance and monitoring of believers.
China’s Overrated Technocrats – Foreign Policy advocates for China’s supposed technocracy are not only wrong about the background of Beijing’s current leadership. They are also fundamentally mistaken about how their training shapes policymaking. China’s leaders today—including President Xi Jinping himself—have been molded less by their education and more by the need to consolidate control and prevail in the brutal internal power struggles of the Chinese Communist Party.
Chinese property tycoon Wang Zhenhua ‘took children as his playthings’, top legal affairs agency says | South China Morning Post China’s top political body responsible for law and order said on Saturday that Wang Zhenhua, the billionaire property tycoon accused of molesting a nine-year-old girl, “took children as his playthings” and vowed to bring him and anyone else involved in the case to justice. Wang, the 57-year-old chairman of Hong Kong-listed property developer Future Land Development, was detained on Monday after a woman complained he had sexually assaulted her daughter in a Shanghai hotel on June 29, police in the city said on Wednesday. // 王某某，好大的胆！法律必斩性侵儿童的黑手，无一例外！ - 中央政法委长安剑
中国船舶重工集团有限公司原总经理孙波一审获刑十二年-新华网 Sun Bo, former General Manager of China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation who built China’s first aircraft carrier, is sentenced to 12 years for taking bribes and abusing power. The trial in Shanghai, started in March, was not open to public because there are “state secrets” involved in his crimes and the evidences, said Xinhua. Rumors said Sun was caught spying for the the CIA.
Foreign and Defense Affairs
Chinese FM slams US for harassing scholars, students to contain China - Global Times Some Americans and American institutions have been harassing Chinese scholars, students with ridiculous and rootless charges, such as espionage, and have created several "unjust and false" cases, Geng Shuang, spokesperson for China's Foreign Ministry, said at a routine press conference on Monday.
Duterte Blasts U.S. Using Philippines as 'Bait' for China Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte condemned the United States for allegedly “egging” his government into a war with China, daring Washington to attack Beijing and promising only a supporting role for his country, Philippine outlets reported on Sunday.
Chinese VP to visit Mongolia - Xinhua from July 10 to July 12
US asks Swiss courts to extradite Chinese scientist accused of stealing drug secrets | South China Morning Post Xue Gongda is accused of helping his sister Joyce Xue Yu to steal US$550m worth of information from the British drug firm GlaxoSmithKline Former diplomat says case cannot be compared to that of Huawei’s Meng Wanzhou because suspect is on a lower level and Swiss courts will resist US pressure when decided on merits of case
Military Strategy and Politics in the PRC: A Conversation with Taylor Fravel | Sinica Podcast “Strategically, China is defensive — it’s not offensive, it’s not an aggressor, it’s not a hegemon. But nevertheless, to achieve these defensive goals, it will, at the operational and tactical levels of warfare, use offensive operations and means.”
Anectdotes - MacroPolo In this new series, you will discover anecdotes from experts, journalists, and practitioners on the front lines of grappling with China’s reemergence.
'Safe like China': In Argentina, ZTE finds eager buyer for surveillance tech - Reuters The deal is an example of the tech inroads China is making in Latin America even as the United States warns about the dangers of using Chinese technology, especially related to surveillance. A Chinese official in Buenos Aires told Reuters the Jujuy project could help China expand its tech footprint in the country, by encouraging other cities to adopt similar technology.
中共军委装备发展部副部长钱卫平陷被查疑云_中国-多维新闻网 Rumors going around overseas Chinese media that Lt. General Qian Weiping, deputy director of the Equipment Development Department of the Central Military Commission, has been arrested as a CIA spy, claims his son was recruited by the agency when he was studying in the US. This is just a rumor, obviously very interesting if true
Congress Takes Aim at Chinese-Made Drones - WSJ $$ “Chinese-made drones pose a huge national-security risk,” said Sen. Chris Murphy (D., Conn.), who pushed for the Senate provision. “We must do everything we can to reverse course, and put local manufacturing jobs and national security first.”
Google denies link to China’s military over touch-screen tools that may help PLA pilots | South China Morning Post Google confirmed its involvement but denied a link to the military. “This paper addresses a very general research question in user experience design of how people interact with moving items on a touch screen,” said a Google spokesperson on Wednesday. “This paper is simply not about military applications. “There is nothing in this paper that refers to a military application. Research like this is key to improving finger or stylus-based navigation in any app.”
A Power Plant Fiasco Highlights China’s Growing Clout in Central Asia - The New York Times The public outcry and a trial underway in Bishkek have exposed Chinese business practices and local corruption to months of intense scrutiny from Kyrgyzstan’s boisterous news media and elected politicians
Chinese guards of honor help Rwandan troops complete military parade marking liberation anniversary - China Military nstructed by instructors from the guards of honor of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA), Rwandan soldiers and policemen successfully accomplished their mission in the military parade at the ceremony using movements and commands of Chinese military formations.
Taiwan's Status is a Geopolitical Absurdity - The Atlantic The island is not recognized by its most important ally, faces an existential threat from territory it claims as its own and its sovereign status is being gradually erased by companies seeking to preserve access to the world’s largest market.
Tech and Media
Summer Censorship: Weibo Launches "Project Sky Blue" | What's on Weibo No hot summer on Weibo: the social media network announces extra censorship on ‘vulgar content.’
Chinese Netizens React to First Look at Disney's Live-Action "Mulan" - Radii China Liu Yifei takes the title role of the legendary Chinese warrior, with the likes of Gong Li, Donnie Yen and Jet Li in support.
Facebook’s Libra Must Be Regulated by Central Banks: PBOC Official - Caixin Global Mu Changchun, a deputy head of the People’s Bank of China’s Payment and Settlement Department, said in an article published in Caixin Weekly.
Xiaomi Accused of Selling Plagiarized Wallpapers - Caixin Xiaomi has been accused yet again of stealing intellectual property, just days after its Mimoji virtual avatars drew comparisons with Apple’s Memoji. The company sold smartphone icons and wallpapers copied without permission from illustrators’ and designers’ work, a Weibo user alleged in a post on Saturday.
Xiaomi Accidentally Uses Apple Video to Advertise Controversial Mimoji Phone - Caixin Xiaomi’s augmented-reality avatar set, Mimoji, is definitely not a clone of Apple’s Memoji — they just look very similar and happen to share identical-sounding names — the Chinese company clarified last week. But ads for Apple’s Memoji and Apple Music have been embedded on Xiaomi’s product page for the Mi CC9 smartphone on e-commerce platforms JD.com and Suning
Tencent wins bigger share of game revenue from Android app stores · TechNode Tencent’s new terms reduce the commission paid to Android stores to 30% of mobile title revenue.
Society, Arts, Sports, Culture and History
China women's football receives funding boost - Reuters Chinese women’s soccer received a major financial boost on Friday after Ant Financial’s Alipay said it would provide 1 billion yuan ($145.43 million) in funding for a 10-year project.
$5.5 Million Homes in New York, Illinois and Missouri - The New York Times The only private residence in the United States designed by Ai Weiwei, this home was commissioned in 2006 by Christopher Tsai, a financier and major collector of work by the Chinese artist.
Energy, Environment, Science and Health
Shanghai Scolds Thousands of Scofflaws in Waste Rule’s First Week | Sixth Tone According to a report Sunday by local outlet Xinmin Evening News, Shanghai’s urban management department has carried out 9,600 inspections of businesses and individuals for compliance with the city’s waste management policy since July 1, resulting in over 3,300 “rectification” orders and 190 fines.