Xi Didn't Blink While Fluffing Wall Street; The Party Takes A Bite Out Of Bytedance; Guilt By Marriage; "Cocaine Of The Sea"; Poetry Champion
No commentary today, at a loss for words. Thanks for reading.
The Essential Eight
1. China's Says Xi Didn't Blink Over US Threats
And they did not, lots of wishful thinking and spinning out there....
“I can tell you clearly that China’s announcement of major opening-up measures has nothing to do with the current China-U.S. economic and trade conflicts,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a regular news briefing Wednesday in Beijing. “China’s opening up is free from outside interference and the outside world cannot interfere with it.”...
“People who understand the operations of the Chinese government should all understand that the introduction of so many major initiatives requires repeated consideration, thoughtful and careful planning,” Geng said Wednesday. “And it is impossible to make decisions in a short period of time.”
2. Xi Excites Wall Street Again
Will there be a happier outcome this time?
China will start implementing its promised policies to further open up its financial sector to foreign investors by the end of June, with more liberalization measures to follow by the end of the year, People’s Bank of China Governor Yi Gang said Wednesday...
Most of the steps were first announced on Nov. 10 at the end of U.S. President Donald Trump’s state visit to Beijing, in a major reform package that has been seen as a move to address long-standing complaints by foreign companies about limits placed on their access to the country’s sprawling financial market and control over their joint ventures. An announcement on the time frame for the actual implementation of those pledges has been eagerly awaited by investors.
“We will treat foreign companies in the same way as domestic firms,” Yi said. “The market will be open. The performance of companies will depend on their corporate governance and competitiveness.”
When asked whether the government would be willing to see foreign banks acquire Chinese lenders, Yi said, “We are actually leaving open this possibility once we lift the equity ownership cap.”
The so-called Shanghai-London Stock Connect program will come after Beijing moved in recent years to allow global investors to trade on its two domestic stock markets, Shenzhen and Shanghai, via similar trading links with Hong Kong. Those trading links have enabled billions of dollars to flow between Hong Kong and mainland bourses each day.
Global investment banks have long been sidelined in one of the world’s fastest-growing financial markets, where caps on ownership of local joint ventures have stymied their expansion. For firms such as Morgan Stanley and Citigroup Inc., which have securities JVs in China, the relaxed restrictions mean they may soon be able to operate on equal footing with domestic competitors.
3. The Party Takes A Bite Out Of Bytedance As Internet Controls Tighten
Readers of Sinocism know I have been saying for a while that the inclusion of "Core Socialist Values" in the Constitutions was a clear sign that we would see increasing censorship. And as big and rich as these Internet firms and their founders are, in the eyes of the Communist Party they are just peasants who need to be regularly reminded of their proper place in the Party's order of things.
The CEO of China’s most popular online-content provider said he was “sincerely sorry” for launching a product that “collides with core socialist values,” after the country’s media regulator ordered the closure of one of the company’s joke-sharing apps.
“Over the last few years, we have put efforts into expanding our business but lagged behind in building up a filtering system to ensure only positive information has been distributed,” Zhang Yiming of Beijing Bytedance Technology Co. Ltd. said in statement on Wednesday.
The apology came one day after the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television ordered Bytedance’s joke-sharing app, Neihan Duanzi, shut down indefinitely.
Zhang's abject apology is remarkable. He says Bytedance will strengthen its Party construction work and strengthen its adherence to the four consciousnesses among other things...
The shutdown was only the latest blow for Bytedance, one of the world’s most successful technology start-ups. Just a day earlier, its flagship app, a popular news aggregator called Jinri Toutiao, was pulled from app stores for unspecified reasons.
And last week, Huoshan, the company’s platform for sharing slice-of-life video clips, vanished from app stores after China’s official television broadcaster rapped it for glorifying underage pregnancy
Comment: Bytedance owns Musical.ly, a hugely popular app in the US. Has any of the CCP censorship spread to it?
Beijing’s latest campaign to sterilize the internet began Monday when it demanded a halt to downloads of a quartet of news apps run by Bytedance -- known commonly by its main app, Toutiao -- and Tencent Holdings Ltd., among others. Then came an order to shut Toutiao’s “Neihan Duanzi,” a service through which users share often ribald jokes, videos and comedic skits.
That was the second time in as many days that regulators have gone after products made by Toutiao, one of the world’s largest media startups with a valuation of over $20 billion and hundreds of millions of users. On Wednesday, the company’s music-themed video platform Douyin was also reportedly ordered to suspend live-streaming functions. A search through the Android and iPhone versions of the app, popular among teens, called up only pre-recorded clips.
4. "Rule By Law" For Spouses Guilty By Marriage
China is repeatedly postponing discussions with Western governments on the possibility that Liu Xia, the widow of Nobel Peace Prize-winning dissident Liu Xiaobo, be allowed to leave the country, according to a source with direct knowledge of the case...
The repeat delays also reflect a failure by foreign governments and international organizations to come together and “raise the cost” of not allowing her to leave by pushing the case publicly and repeatedly, according to Sophie Richardson, Washington-based China director for Human Rights Watch.
Comment: I had heard from a good source last Fall that a deal was close, likely to get her to the US or Germany, but that everyone was keeping it quiet to avoid angering Beijing. I guess people have lost patience and so now are talking to the media. President Trump might have helped if he had asked about her during his November 2017 trip but I am told he did not raise her situation. Instead he used capital on UCLA basketball players whose case was already resolved...
Chinese authorities are holding the wife of a detained rights lawyer in her Beijing home after they cut short her protest march demanding an explanation for his arrest, a friend has said.
Li Wenzu’s husband, Wang Quanzhang, who took on sensitive cases of alleged torture by police and who defended practitioners of the banned Falun Gong spiritual movement, went missing in August 2015 during a sweeping crackdown on rights activists.
5. The UN Human Rights Framework With Chinese Characteristics?
Despite the challenges facing the U.S. State Department and its human rights apparatus under the current administration, to its credit the U.S. called for a vote at the Human Rights Council (where most resolutions are adopted by consensus, without a vote) on both of China’s resolutions. The MBC resolution was adopted by a vote of 28 in favor, with 17 abstentions and 1 “no”–– the United States. The strongly worded Explanation of Vote issued by the U.S. sheds light on China’s motivation behind the MBC resolution, which echoes China’s aim in advancing its June 2017 resolution: the gradual disembowelment of the existing UN human rights framework.
6. Bye Bye Totoaba?
The dried fish parts don't look like much to the novice eye, but the totoaba swim bladders discreetly displayed in this shop in Guangzhou, China sell for up to $20,000.
Half a world away, off the coast of Mexico, poachers battling each other for this "cocaine of the sea" are using drug cartel-like tactics to get it -- pushing two species toward extinction and leaving ordinary fishermen fighting to survive.
The lucrative black market for totoaba swim bladders -- prized in Chinese traditional medicine for their purported healing and beautifying properties -- have turned the Gulf of California into a battleground, criss-crossed by armed poachers, Mexican navy vessels and environmental activists patrolling with pirate flags.
I am surprised some enterprising Chinese firm is not trying to grow all these TCM magic remedies in a lab somewhere...
7. Will China Lead In The Cure For Cancers?
Wealthy Chinese people often travel to the US for healthcare, but it is rare to hear of someone going the other way. Indeed, Mr Chase was the first American to be treated at the Jiangsu hospital, where he underwent an experimental procedure known as chimeric antigen receptor cell therapy or Car-T.
As biotech has gone from strength to strength over the past four decades, China has been a backwater for the industry, tending to follow the west rather than pursuing its own innovations. But it is now rapidly emerging as a world leader in cell therapies like Car-T, which try to treat and even cure illness by hacking the body’s biology.
There are already more clinical trials in the country than in the US, and executives and scientists say it has several strategic advantages that could allow China to challenge US dominance, including an accommodating regulatory regime, low labour costs and expertise in precision manufacturing.
8. How Well Do You Know Chinese Poetry?
A food courier in eastern China wowed viewers and judges alike with his unrivaled knowledge of poets and poetry last week, taking first prize in a popular verse-themed television quiz show. Lei Haiwei, who works in Hangzhou, in eastern Zhejiang province, said he was as surprised as anyone when he emerged victorious in the latest series of Chinese Poetry Congress, The Beijing News reported...
He was quoted as saying that after all that “revision” he could now recite about 800 poems from memory.
His encyclopedic knowledge was exactly what steered him to glory in the television show. And he needed to be on top form, as his final opponent was a man called Peng Min, who not only has a master’s degree in literature from Peking University – one of China’s top schools – but is also the editor of a poetry magazine.
But no one could match Lei in the contest, which tested the competitors on such things as their ability to name poems, link works to their authors and recite lines.
Lei's moment of victory, on Youtube:
Business, Economy, Finance And Trade
HSBC: HSBC names Mukhtar Hussain head of Asia belt and road initiative - The Economic Times HSBC Holdings Plc said on Monday it had appointed its Malaysia CEO to the newly created position of head of Belt and Road initiative in Asia Pacific, as it bets on China's drive to build a modern-day Silk Road to help grow its business.
HNA Group Names Israel Hernandez as Head of International Corporate Affairs HNA Group, a global Fortune 500 company focused on tourism, logistics and financial services, today announced that Israel Hernandez has joined the organization as Head of International Corporate Affairs...Mr. Hernandez served as Senior Advisor to Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and assumed the responsibilities of Acting Undersecretary of International Trade from April 2017 until December 2017, and also served as Assistant Secretary of Commerce for International Trade from 2005 to 2009 and in the White House as a Deputy Assistant to the President from 2001 to 2005. In the interim, he held senior leadership positions with the Brunswick Group, TPG Capital, Facebook and Afero.
Consumer Inflation Cools, Fanning Expectations for Monetary Easing - Caixin Global The producer price index (PPI), another closely watched figure that reflects changes in the prices of factory goods, increased 3.1% in March, further easing from February’s 3.7%, marking its lowest level since November 2016. Nomura’s Chen and Wang expect the PPI to drop lower in the second half of this year due to weakening investment demand, the cooling property market and rising financing costs. Meanwhile, they expect a minor rebound in the second quarter as the base was low last year, according to their analyst note.
Chinese Real Estate Shenanigans - Bizarre Divorce & Remarry Scheme to Avoid Taxes Goes Trending | What's on Weibo A bizarre report about two couples divorcing and ‘wife swapping’ in order to avoid paying taxes on their property transfer has become a popular news story of the day in China. While Chinese media denounce the tax-evasive real estate “shenanigans”, netizens have unexpectedly sided with the couples.
China's HNA Group Scraps Two IPOs In Two Weeks Citing Market Uncertainty – China Money Network On Tuesday in Zurich, its wholly-owned subsidiary Swissport Group, a cargo handling and ground services provider, announced that it had deferred its planned initial public offering (IPO). The announcement comes roughly two weeks after another HNA subsidiary, Gategroup Holding, scrapped its own IPO plan.
China’s HNA Checks Out Early From Hilton Investment, Netting Windfall - WSJ The indebted Chinese conglomerate stands to collect roughly $2 billion in profits from its $6.5 billion Hilton investment, which it made a little over a year ago. That would translate into an over 60% return for HNA, as the company used borrowed money to finance more than half its investment.
China red-tape cuts prompt surge in business registrations - FT $$ About 6m enterprises — defined as companies with more than one owner — were registered in China last year, up from 2.5m in 2013, premier Li Keqiang announced in March following a campaign to cut the multiple government approvals entrepreneurs needed to found a business.
China Opens Door to New $450-Billion Bank Funding Buffer - Bloomberg Chinese regulators in March released preliminary guidelines encouraging mainland banks to consider selling securities that can take in large losses in the event of a crisis. Bond watchers have taken that as a sign that total-loss absorbing capacity (TLAC) issuance may make its debut in China, following global lenders, which have issued more than $1 trillion worth of instruments in this format in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis.
BOJ Veteran Has Lesson for China on Bending to U.S. on Currency - Bloomberg China may want to think twice before acquiescing to any possible U.S. pressure on the yuan to diffuse trade frictions with the Trump administration. That’s the view of former Bank of Japan deputy governor Kazumasa Iwata, who was a government official in Tokyo in the 1980s when Japan signed the Plaza Accord to help weaken the U.S. currency. The yen strengthened far more than Japanese policy makers anticipated, wounding its exporters.
China must shrink state-owned enterprises if it wants reforms to succeed, says former WTO chief | South China Morning Post Xiao Yaqing, chairman of the state-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission that oversees the central government’s 97 SOEs, rejected the idea that the state-owned sector should be contained. “The fact that the state-owned sector remains the core of our economy was a result of four decades of economic reform and competition, there is no doubt that SOEs must remain core of the economy and they need to become bigger and stronger, as long as their growth is subject to market-based competition,” he said.
Harbin Bank First to Grab New Fundraising Opportunity - Caixin Global Harbin Bank Co., which recently abandoned plans to list its shares in China, has announced it wants to raise as much as 15 billion yuan ($2.38 billion) to replenish its capital by issuing perpetual bonds, after regulators last month allowed lenders to sell such instruments to bolster their balance sheets.
Premier Li urges Shanghai to further improve business environment - Xinhua Li made the remarks during a two-day inspection that ended Wednesday to the municipality, where he visited the Shanghai pilot free trade zone, a foreign medicine firm, a local manufacturing company, a hospital and an innovation incubator.
Politics, Law And Ideology
Facial recognition technology helps Chinese police solve crimes - Xinhua "When the police go high-tech and raise their professional capabilities, the public will feel safer and happier," said Shao Jingliang, a law enforcement official in the city of Puyang, which administers Fanxian.
Ex-Publicity Official on Trial for Bribery - Caixin Global Zhang Wenxiong, director of the Publicity Department for Hunan’s provincial party committee between August 2015 and November 2016, was charged with taking more than 23.4 million yuan for himself and his wife from associates between 2002 and 2016, and in return helping them get promoted and win bids for government contracts, court documents claim.
Public Security Organs Internet Security Oversight and Inspection Provisions (Draft For Solicitation of Comments) - China Law Translate Article 1: These Provisions are formulated on the basis of the "People's Republic of China Police Law", the "People's Republic of China Cybersecurity Law" and other relevant laws and administrative regulations, so as to strengthen and regulate efforts to oversee and inspect Internet security, to prevent online violations and crimes, to preserve network security, to and to protect the lawful rights and interests and citizens, legal persons, and other organizations.
Intelligence and Informatization: The Rise of the Ministry of Public Security in Intelligence Work in China | The China Journal - Edward Schwarck This article describes why and how China’s Ministry of Public Security has reemerged as an intelligence actor, its structure and surveillance capabilities, how it deploys these, and to what ends. The ministry began to reform its intelligence structures in the early 2000s to reestablish “information dominance” (zhi xinxi quan 制信息权) over an increasingly fluid, networked, and technologically sophisticated society. The ministry’s intelligence reform agenda comprises two integral parts. “Public security informatization” (gong’an xinxihua 公安信息化) describes how the ministry has adapted to the proliferation of IT by transforming the way it collects, analyzes, and disseminates information. Meanwhile, the ministry’s adoption of an “intelligence-led policing” model (qingbao zhidao jingwu 情报指导警务) has led to the implementation of an “intelligence cycle” (qingbao liucheng 情报流程) in public security work, aimed at bringing about effective information management. Today’s public security intelligence system (gong’an qingbao tixi 公安情报体系) ensures that the Chinese security state is able to effectively utilize the oceanic volumes of data entering government systems to better surveil and control society. // Comment: Looks interesting, if anyone can send me the full article I would be much obliged
Eight Chinese police officers hurt in clashes with 100 ‘eviction officials’ | South China Morning Post A long-running dispute over a property development in central China escalated into violence on Sunday as police clashed with urban management officials accused of intimidating people into leaving their homes, according to a news report. Four police officers were taken to hospital and four others were also hurt in clashes with more than 100 urban management officials in the city of Shangqiu, Henan province, The Beijing News reported on Wednesday.
Top Chinese religion cadre promoted in new structure - ucanews.com As China's State Administration for Religious Affairs (SARA) is officially absorbed into the ruling Communist Party's United Front Work Department (UFWD), its long-standing director Wang Zuoan has been formally transferred to the UFWD and promoted to deputy director. But as the new religion division of the UFWD takes shape, Wang will his retain his SARA title to prevent confusion in dealings with other nations on religious matters, China watchers have noted.
习近平：要做身体健康的民族-新华网 新华网北京4月11日电 11日下午，在结束博鳌亚洲论坛2018年年会活动后，习近平考察了博鳌乐城国际医疗旅游先行区规划馆。在一排先进的医疗设备前，总书记边听院士们介绍边逐个察看。他拿起一个指头大小的国产磁控胶囊胃镜机器人，仔细询问研发和应用情况。习近平说，实现“两个一百年”奋斗目标，要坚持以人民为中心的发展思想，经济要发展，健康要上去，人民的获得感、幸福感、安全感都离不开健康，要大力发展健康事业，要做身体健康的民族。
Jiangsu city hires 5,000 inspectors to assist in discipline work - Global Times About 5,000 "block inspectors" have been placed on duty in Nantong, East China's Jiangsu Province to help in local discipline inspection work, a local official said Wednesday. Their duties include detecting poor work styles of local officials, such as wasteful practices and bureaucratic behavior. They could also promote concepts such as clean and efficient work styles in residential communities, news site infzm.com reported.
Foreign and Military Affairs
Chinese vice president meets British delegation - Xinhua Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan met with a British delegation attending the 10th China-UK Leadership Forum in Beijing on Wednesday. The British delegation was led by David Lidington, the Cabinet Office minister. Wang said the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, including opening-up, accords with Chinese people's expectations for a better life.
Book detailing China's role in shared human future launched at London Book Fair - Xinhua The English edition of Prof. Martin Albrow's book, China's Role in a Shared Human Future, was launched Tuesday at the 2018 London Book Fair. Albrow, renowned sociologist, pioneer of the theory of globalization and author of the book, offers a new perspective for observing the impact of China's development on the world. The book explores China's role as a leading power in the international community, based on comparative research on Max Weber's classic sociological theory and current, cutting-edge theories and practice.
Australia Shudders Amid Talk of a Chinese Military Base in Its Backyard - The New York Times “If it were to happen, and it’s a huge if, it would be an aggressive move in the eyes of Australia, the U.S. and New Zealand,” said Graeme Smith, a Pacific Affairs expert at the Australian National University in Canberra. Vanuatu, an impoverished nation, is considered to be within Australia’s sphere of influence, with Canberra providing it with aid and investment. Australian politicians said that a Chinese base on Vanuatu would be a potential game changer strategically for the region.
China and India’s geopolitical tug of war for Bangladesh | East Asia Forum India and China are offering large sums of money for infrastructure projects in Bangladesh. Both are promoting large railway projects (low return investments that will do little for Bangladesh) and both are keen to get involved in building a deep-sea port in Bangladesh. But none of these projects are making much headway and efforts to build big coal-fired power plants have thrown up significant operational and environmental risks. So far the rivalry in infrastructure investment has produced limited tangible outcomes, with Bangladesh the loser. And India’s and China’s manufacturing and energy investments in Bangladesh remain extremely low despite promising intentions. China has long been the main supplier of military equipment to the Bangladesh armed forces. India is trying to catch up, but the Bangladesh military procurement office remains sceptical about the quality of Indian military hardware.
How a Remote Iranian Port Could Heighten China-India Tensions - Bloomberg India has pledged more than $500 million to develop the strategically located port of Chabahar -- roughly 1,800 kilometers (1,110 miles) from the capital Tehran -- since it first expressed interest in 2003. Yet repeated delays have prompted Iran to turn to China in the hope of speeding up construction.
Senior Chinese official to lead art troupe to North Korea - Reuters Senior Chinese diplomat Song Tao will lead a Chinese art troupe to North Korea, Chinese state media said on Wednesday, in a further sign of improving ties after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s visited Beijing last month.
Chinese-born executive pleads guilty in U.N. bribery case - Reuters Julia Vivi Wang admitted to bribery and conspiracy charges, both in violation of the federal Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), and to submitting fraudulent income tax returns. Wang, 57, also entered a plea agreement under which she is expected to cooperate with prosecutors...In March 2016, prosecutors filed a complaint accusing Wang and her late husband of having told Lorenzo they wanted to buy diplomatic posts, such as consol or envoy, with Antigua’s government because they viewed it as a “business opportunity.”
Revealed: China’s Nuclear-Capable Air-Launched Ballistic Missile | The Diplomat China is developing and has been flight-testing a nuclear-capable air-launched ballistic missile (ALBM) along with a new long-range strategic bomber to deliver it, The Diplomat has learned. According to U.S. government sources with knowledge of the latest intelligence assessments on the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, China has conducted five flight tests of the unnamed missile. The U.S. intelligence community is calling the new missile the CH-AS-X-13.
Xi says Belt and Road Initiative not an intrigue of China - Xinhua "[The initiative] is neither the Marshall Plan after World War II nor an intrigue of China. It is, if anything, a plan in the sunshine," Xi said when meeting with incumbent and incoming members of the Board of Directors of the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA), who gathered here for the BFA annual conference.
On the ground in Vanuatu, monuments to China's growing influence are everywhere - Sydney Morning Herald One major Chinese building that does show signs of activity is the new embassy, which sits in a huge, high-walled compound hard to reconcile with the typical diplomatic work needed in a small country of just 280,000 people.The hulking compound - which rivals China's diplomatic footprint in Canberra for size - contains seven buildings and bristles with security cameras and high, spiked walls. The sheer ubiquity of Chinese effort in the Pacific island nation, just 2000 kilometres from Australia, is striking. As Fairfax Media reported on Monday, Beijing is eyeing the establishment of a permanent military presence in the country.
App based on BeiDou satellite system to launch in May - China Daily A map app based on the self-developed BeiDou Navigation Satellite System, or COMPASS, is expected to be launched on May 1, according to thepaper.cn. The app will provide real-time positioning and navigation, and other information services such as the locations of restaurants and shops. As a rival to the United States' Global Positioning System, it has precision to within one meter and can precisely locate a lane.
US-China rivalry will shape the 21st century - FT $$ - Martin Wolf Beijing’s rising economic and political power poses great challenges to the west
Japan Hopes Rare-Earth Find Will Give It An Edge Against China - WSJ The deposits were found in the Pacific Ocean seabed near remote Minamitori Island, about 1,150 miles southeast of Tokyo. Extracting them would likely be costly, but resource-poor Japan is pushing ahead with research in hopes of getting more control over next-generation technologies and weapon systems. A roughly 3,000-square-yard seabed near the island contains more than 16 million tons of rare-earth oxides, estimated to hold 780 years’ worth of the global supply of yttrium, 620 years’ worth of europium, 420 years’ worth of terbium and 730 years’ worth of dysprosium, according to a study published this week in Nature Publishing Group’s Scientific Report
Xi calls for elevating Sino-Philippine ties - People's Daily Online "China supports the Philippine government in exploring a development path in line with its own conditions," Xi said. "We should continue to properly handle South China Sea issue, and discuss joint exploration, development and cooperation at an appropriate time, thus making the waters a sea of cooperation and friendship," he said.
China and India border tensions flare up again ahead of Indian Prime Minister Modi’s visit | South China Morning Post In the latest test for their rapprochement efforts last year’s stand-off, Beijing urged New Delhi to respect the so-called Line of Actual Control – the de facto border between the two. China is also reported to have protested over recent Indian military patrols in Arunachal Pradesh, a region that China has never recognised as Indian territory.
Sweden charges man with spying on Tibetan exiles for China - Reuters Sweden has charged a man with spying on Tibetan exiles on behalf of the Chinese security services, the state prosecutor said on Wednesday. The man is suspected of gathering information about exiles’ housing, family situation, political activities and meetings, state prosecutor Mats Ljungqvist said in a statement. He then passed this information on to a Chinese security agent, according to the statement.
Tech And Media
Microchip Magnate Retires, Citing Heavy Workload - Caixin Global Zhao Weiguo, the man who thrust Tsinghua Unigroup Ltd. onto the global stage with a multibillion-dollar investment spree on companies engaged in high-tech microchip manufacturing, is retiring for personal reasons, two of the company’s listed units said. Zhao’s retirement had been the source of speculation since the start of the week, when media showed a screenshot of a microblog post reportedly from Zhao announcing his retirement. In the post Zhao said he made the decision because he was too busy and his workload was too heavy.
Mao as Object of Steamy Desire? It’s Riling Up Some in China - The New York Times The letter was written in 1929 by Mao’s first freely chosen wife, Yang Kaihui, a prominent Chinese revolutionary, and was broadcast by China Central Television on the show “Trust in China.” It was the latest manifestation of how the state propaganda machine has been trying to win the hearts and minds of its people.
Society, Art, Sports, Culture And History
How the ‘Social Shake’ Became China’s Latest Dance Craze - Sixth Tone This year, the social shake — shehui yao in Chinese — has become the darling of streaming platforms and investors alike. Li Mengqi, a popular performer of the dance who goes by the name Paipaiqi on streaming platform Kuaishou, has more than 26 million followers. Thanks to a timely injection of cash, Paipaiqi’s videos have lost their erstwhile do-it-yourself flavor and turned into slick, MTV-style presentations — his latest work uses lush aerial photography and visual effects, giving it a highly professional polish.
Foreign extreme sports fan detained after parachuting from Beijing skyscraper, East Asia News & Top Stories - The Straits Times The parachuter, Alex Pykhov, a Russian extreme sports fan, posted a photo from a height of 528 metre at "China Zun", a super skyscraper in Beijing, on his social media account. The Russian had previously tried parachuting from high buildings in other Chinese cities like Guangzhou, and uploaded videos on social media.
《你的同龄人，正在抛弃你》刷屏，人民日报发文回应 近日，一篇名为《你的同龄人，正在抛弃你》的文章在朋友圈刷屏，引来不少讨论，甚至文章中所说的“同龄人”、摩拜单车创始人胡玮炜也公开表态，“别为了流量，扭曲了价值观和美好生活”。爆款文章，带出来的是关于人生的一些思考。 正如马克思的父亲在给他的信中所写的：“即使是最幸福的人也有忧伤的时刻，无论对哪一个凡人，太阳都不会永远只露出微笑。”可以说，每个人或多或少都有点焦虑。年轻人为学业一筹莫展，中年人为生计焦头烂额，老年人为健康忧心忡忡。人生百味，焦虑是世间百态中再寻常不过的一部分。
Children of HIV-positive parents in China band together to self-educate about the taboo disease - Global Times The group, named Wu Ai Wu Jia (Loving My Family), is for people with HIV-positive parents, allowing them to share knowledge, quell fears and misunderstandings, and draw courage from each other in their collective fight against AIDS/HIV. The members of the group, currently numbering in the 40s, each have at least one parent infected with HIV. Living under this shadow, they all have gone through the initial shock and panic of their parents' illness, and have also come to terms with it. Now they are making efforts to tackle the situation by confronting the disease and Chinese society's misinformed stigma of it. Prior to finding the WeChat group, it was a long, lonely process for these members, facing pressure from both society and their own parents. Cookie, upon first joining the group, used to ask questions like "Do you dine with your parents?" which she now regards as "naive." Such questions are typical for newcomers to the group who, even though slightly familiar with AIDS, still find it hard to accept as part of their daily life.
Energy, Environment, Science And Health
Group Sues State Grid Unit for Refusing to Buy Clean Energy - Caixin Global A court is set to hear a closely watched case in which a prominent environmental group is suing a power-grid company for refusing to purchase electricity generated at wind and solar farms and thereby violating a clean energy law. The court in Ningxia, in China’s northwest, summoned attorneys for Friends of Nature, a Beijing-based nongovernmental organization (NGO), and the regional subsidiary of the State Grid Corp. for talks on Tuesday.
China asserts firm grip on research data | Science | AAAS In a move few scientists anticipated, the Chinese government has decreed that all scientific data generated in China must be submitted to government-sanctioned data centers before appearing in publications. At the same time, the regulations, posted last week, call for open access and data sharing. The possibly conflicting directives puzzle researchers, who note that the yet-to-be-established data centers will have latitude in interpreting the rules. Scientists in China can still share results with overseas collaborators, says Xie Xuemei, who specializes in innovation economics at Shanghai University. Xie also believes that the new requirements to register data with authorities before submitting papers to journals will not affect most research areas. Gaining approval could mean publishing delays, Xie says, but “it will not have a serious impact on scientific research.”
Red-Tape Fatigue Leaves Xi’an Reporter Fuming - Sixth Tone A TV reporter in the northwestern city of Xi’an is fed up with the city’s education bureau for dodging his interview requests. According to an article published Monday on the WeChat public account of City Bulletin, a news program that airs on Shaanxi’s state-owned broadcasting network, journalist Chen Zhikai spent an entire month trying to get local cadres to address several education-related concerns.
Beijing Preschool Employee Guilty of Forging Documents for Foreign Teachers | the Beijinger As testified in a Tongzhou court, a 32 year-old kindergarten employee named Xia arranged to provide fake embassy certificates for two unidentified foreign teachers. In exchange for the fakes, Xia paid RMB 16,600 (USD 2,637) to a 35 year-old person named Wang who worked at an intermediary agency that prepares documents for overseas teachers.
Food And Travel
The Gun-Loving Chinese Tourists Hunting for New Thrills - SixthTone It was a warm night in rural Texas, and Mao was on the fifth day of a hunting and gun experience with premium tour company Joy One World. The 11-day holiday package — including gun practice and both night and helicopter hunting — sets guests back a cool $20,000. Hunting wild boar is hardly everyone’s idea of a holiday, but for Chinese gun enthusiasts like Mao, it’s a chance to do something a little different. In China, there are few opportunities to hunt locally, and civilian gun ownership is strictly controlled, limited to a small number of authorized hunters and sports, hunting, and wildlife organizations. Mao and other firearm fans are willing to spend big for the chance to experience guns firsthand // Comment: A rich Beijing friend once had me help him select his shooting package for an upcoming Vegas trip. It really is a thing