Xi discusses the economy and reassuring people during his Sichuan tour; New outbreaks in Shanghai and Beijing; Ant IPO
Today’s Essential Eight:
Xi’s Sichuan inspection tour - In the full propaganda package of Xi’s inspection we get several comments from Xi on economic-related issues. So much for the idea that Xi has somehow been distancing himself from the current economic challenges? And his messaging seems in sync with Premier Li’s recent statements, as well as those of all the other senior economic policymakers.
Rumors and Xi’s inspection tour - During his inspection tour Xi also met with PLA officers stationed in Chengdu (驻蓉部队大校以上领导干部). Among the many rumors going around about possible troubles for Xi, rumors readers know I have so far found not credible, is that Lt. General Zhong Shaojun, director of the office of the Chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC) and director of the CMC General Office, has been put under investigation. That would be remarkable, if it were true. Zhong appears in the CCTV Evening News report, at 13:52, in the group photo with Xi.
New outbreaks and lockdowns in Shanghai and Beijing - Some residents are back in lockdown, business are forced to close again while tests results are pending. The government can't keep doing this and then not give much more direct aid to affected businesses and individuals. Tax breaks are nice, but not very helpful if you have no revenue.
Is mass testing fiscally sustainable? - It is increasingly clear that many local governments can not afford to pay for regularized mass testing. Many local governments are under massive fiscal strain even before having to pay for tests, with some cutting pay and benefits for cadres, and so there is no way they can afford regularized testing programs, without either significant infusions of money from the central government, or coercing local residents to pay, which is not going to help social stability or make "people feel reassured".
Is an Ant IPO imminent? - Investors got very excited overnight with stories from Bloomberg and then Reuters that Ant’s restructuring was almost done and regulators were working on approving an IPO. Alibaba’s stock surged, as did some of the other PRC Internet stocks, only to drop after the CSRC issued a statement that it “has not conducted any evaluation and research work in this area, but we support qualified platform companies to list at home and abroad 证监会没有进行这方面的评估和研究工作，但我们支持符合条件的平台企业在境内外上市”. I still think an IPO is likely sometime this year, as it is unlikely that someone with the experience and connections to the CSRC as Laura Cha would join the Ant board if an IPO were not happening in a reasonably short period of time.
North Korea tensions “due to the flip flop of US policies” - China and Russia vetoed a US resolution calling for new sanctions on North Korea, and in the statement explaining the veto PRC Ambassador to the UN Zhang Jun made clear again that the PRC believes that the current situation on the Korean peninsula is America’s fault.
Coal price problems - Caixin has a story in the distortions in the coal market caused by poorly enforced and regionally different coal price caps. The central government has made it clear it will not allow a repeat of the power generation shortages of 2021, so how will they fix these issues?
Disappeared Canadian billionaire Xiao Jianhua may soon go on trial - Xiao was abducted from the Four Seasons Hotel in Hong Kong five years ago and his Tomorrow Group has been dismantled. He was among the most connected financiers in the PRC, and the secrets he knew were likely dangerous to many, and useful to some, especially Xi and his allies. Putting him on trial so close to the convening of the 20th Party Congress may be a sign that he has disclosed everything useful he knew. And his case is another lesson to private entrepreneurs in China.
Thanks for reading, I hope to see many of you in tomorrow’s weekly discussion thread.
Schedule Note: I am dropping our kids off Monday at the China Folk House Retreat in West Virginia for a week, so there will be no newsletter Monday.
The Essential Eight
1. Xi’s Sichuan inspection tour
In the full propaganda package of Xi’s inspection we get several comments from Xi on economic-related issues. So much for the idea that Xi has somehow been distancing himself from the current economic challenges? And his messaging seems in sync with Premier Li’s recent statements, as well as those of all the other senior economic policymakers.
The top item on the Thursday CCTV Evening News is this 16 minute report on Xi's inspection tour in Sichuan. - 习近平在四川考察时强调 深入贯彻新发展理念主动融入新发展格局 在新的征程上奋力谱写四川发展新篇章 One excerpt:
During the inspection, Xi Jinping pointed out that at present, all regions and departments should resolutely implement the decisions and arrangements of the CPC Central Committee, adhere to the general principle of seeking progress while maintaining stability, comprehensively do a good job of reform, development and stability, and strive to maintain a stable and healthy economic environment and a society of national prosperity and peace, and a clean and healthy political environment, so as to create a good atmosphere for the 20th National Congress of the Party. It is necessary to effectively coordinate the prevention and control of the epidemic and economic and social development, resolutely overcome some difficulties facing the current economic development, do a good job in employment, social security, and assistance for the poor, do a good job in maintaining social stability, maintain the stability of people's hearts, and maintain the stability of the overall social situation. Persistence is victory, we must unswervingly adhere to the general policy of "dynamic zero-Covid", strengthen confidence, eliminate interference, overcome paralyzing thinking, pay close attention to the key work of epidemic prevention and control, and resolutely consolidate the hard-won achievements in epidemic prevention and control.
Some of the highlights in this abridged summary of the full Chinese readout -Inspecting Sichuan, Xi stresses stable economic development-Xinhua
Xi Jinping stressed maintaining stable economic development and overall social stability during his inspection in southwest China's Sichuan Province.
Xi...underscored resolutely implementing the decisions and plans of the CPC Central Committee and adhering to the general principle of pursuing progress while ensuring stability.
He demanded the full, accurate and comprehensive application of the new development philosophy, and actively serving and integrating into the new development paradigm.
Efforts should be made to coordinate epidemic prevention and control with economic and social development, Xi said. He also called for promoting the governance and development of Sichuan to a new level.
Xi went to the cities of Meishan and Yibin on Wednesday, visiting places including a village, a cultural relic protection site, a university, and a company.
During the inspection, Xi said all localities and departments must strive to maintain a stable and healthy economic environment, a stable social environment and a clean political environment.
Xi called for efficiently coordinating COVID-19 prevention and control with economic and social development, and resolutely overcoming challenges currently faced by economic development.
He highlighted key areas including employment, social security and aid for people living in difficulties.
Work to maintain social stability must be carried out well in all aspects so that people feel reassured and social stability is secured [做好维护社会稳定各项工作，保持人心稳定，保持社会大局稳定. So he is acknowledging and responding to the fact that some people are increasingly feeling unhappy by saying this about people feeling reassured 保持人心稳定? ], Xi said.
The country's dynamic zero-COVID approach must be unswervingly upheld, Xi said.
He ordered meticulous and solid work in key areas of COVID-19 response to consolidate the country's hard-won achievements in reining in the coronavirus.
Beijing has repeatedly emphasised the importance of food security and Xi’s visit follows a tradition of carefully choreographed inspection tours by state leaders aimed at sending a political message to highlight policy priorities.
According to CCTV, Yongfeng’s fields are among the most mechanised in Sichuan. “In Yongfeng village, a key area of Xi Jinping’s inspection was about promoting the building of high standard farmland to boost grain production,” the report said.
CCTV also reminded audiences of Xi’s remarks to representatives from the agriculture and social welfare sectors in March – during the annual “two sessions” parliamentary meetings – that “grain security” was a major concern for China, as he set a target for a national increase to 1 billion mu (67 million hectares) of high-quality farmland.
2. Rumors and Xi’s inspection tour
During his inspection tour Xi also met with PLA officers stationed in Chengdu (驻蓉部队大校以上领导干部). Among the many rumors going around about possible troubles for Xi, rumors readers know I have so far found not credible, is that Lt. General Zhong Shaojun, director of the office of the Chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC) and director of the CMC General Office, has been put under investigation.
That would be remarkable, if it were true. Zhong appears in the CCTV Evening News report, at 13:52, in the group photo with Xi.
Other images that may be worth mentioning from the reports are those of Liu He. In all the scenes in which he appears he is the only person wearing a jacket, and in this and his recent appearances he really does not look well. He must be exhausted. Here is one example, he is easy to spot:
3. New outbreaks and lockdowns in Shanghai and Beijing
Some residents are back in lockdown, business are forced to close again while tests results are pending. The government can't keep doing this and then not give much more direct aid to affected businesses and individuals. Tax breaks are nice, but not very helpful if you have no revenue
More than half of Shanghai’s 25 million residents will undergo Covid-19 testing this weekend, raising the prospect of extended periods of home confinement for any who test positive, a rude awakening that comes just one week after the city celebrated its emergence from a punishing monthslong lockdown.
On Thursday, Shanghai authorities ordered residents in at least seven of the city’s districts, with a combined population of 14 million, to undergo mass Covid-19 testing starting Saturday, according to state media reports. Authorities didn’t give details on how long the sampling period will last.
All 2.65 million residents of Minhang District will be required to undergo a nucleic acid test Saturday morning, according to an announcement Thursday. A lockdown throughout the district will be imposed during “the screening period.”
The districts to be tested are Pudong, Huangpu, Jingan, Xuhui, Hongkou, Baoshan and Minhang, the deputy director of Shanghai's health commission, Zhao Dandan, told a media briefing.
Shanghai residents in particular are on edge as new cases flare up after the city's grinding two-month lockdown ended, with officials on Thursday tracing three infections to the Red Rose, a popular beauty salon in the city centre that reopened when the city did on June 1.
The shop had served 502 customers from 15 of Shanghai's 16 districts in the past eight days, a local media outlet, The Paper, reported...
Authorities said a preliminary investigation found that some of the salon's 16 employees did not undergo daily COVID testing as required, and that 90,000 people linked to Red Rose staff or customers had been tested.
China's capital city of Beijing shut down entertainment venues in its Dongcheng district from Thursday in an effort to contain a new outbreak of COVID-19, the state-backed Beijing Daily said late on Thursday.
The move came after Beijing's largest district, Chaoyang, also ordered entertainment venues and internet cafes to shut from 2 p.m. (0600 GMT) on Thursday.
All entertainment venues including karaoke bars, clubs and internet cafes in Beijing's Chaoyang District have been suspended since Thursday afternoon, according to local officials.
Officials vow to prevent the spread of the virus and cross-infection caused by the gathering of people, and ensure the dynamic zero-COVID approach due to the current epidemic situation in the capital city.
Beijing orders epidemic control inspections of all bars, KTVs and Internet cafes in the city
Dandong – China’s biggest city bordering North Korea – has been locked down for more than a month due to successive waves of Covid-19, and for frustrated residents there is no end in sight.
They have been confined to their homes since the end of April, yet case numbers are rising. So far, there have been 56 local cases but more than 850 asymptomatic infections, according to the latest figures from the provincial health commission. Five new locally acquired cases were reported on Tuesday.
The city – home to more than 2 million people – is located in the northeastern province of Liaoning
Tianjin to start another round of testing of all residents on June 11
4. Is mass testing fiscally sustainable?
It is increasingly clear that many local governments can not afford to pay for regularized mass testing. Many local governments are under massive fiscal strain even before having to pay for tests, with some cutting pay and benefits for cadres, and so there is no way they can afford regularized testing programs, without either significant infusions of money from the central government, or coercing local residents to pay, which is not going to help social stability or make "people feel reassured".
Local governments should avoid unnecessary mass COVID-19 nucleic acid testing, the National Health Commission said on Thursday.
He Qinghua, an official with the commission's Bureau of Disease Prevention and Bureau, said authorities should devise the frequency and scope of testing campaigns based on local epidemic situations.
"Blindly expanding the range of testing should be avoided," he said.
SixthTone has calculated the costs to local governments of regularized testing - What Does it Cost to Test China for COVID-19? - SixthTone
We compared the estimated annual testing expenditure of each city with this year’s medical budget, and found that many second- and third-tier cities are facing significant financial pressure. For example, the testing budget in the northern city of Hohhot exceeds its medical budget.
Without help, testing could be a heavy burden for these cities.
This graphic from SixthTone is illuminating:
China has adjusted epidemic control measures in Beijing and Shanghai after the latest round of COVID-19 resurgence was brought under control. This, however, cannot be simply deemed as restriction lift as the country is still pursuing a dynamic approach to ensure both epidemic control and social and economic development.
For China, anti-epidemic efforts and economic growth are not an either-or choice. While prioritizing lives and health in line with a people-centered development philosophy, the country has always stressed the importance of coordinating epidemic control with economic and social development.
To this end, China has continued to fine-tune its anti-virus approach, making it ever more scientifically sound, precise and effective, so as to minimize the impact of the epidemic on economic and social development.
Among other measures, the country introduced a differentiated approach, which features dynamic adjustment of epidemic response in light of the situation on the ground.
5. Is an Ant IPO imminent?
Investors got very excited overnight with stories from Bloomberg and then Reuters that Ant’s restructuring was almost done and regulators were working on approving an IPO. Alibaba’s stock surged, as did some of the other PRC Internet stocks, only to drop after the CSRC issued a statement that it “has not conducted any evaluation and research work in this area, but we support qualified platform companies to list at home and abroad 证监会没有进行这方面的评估和研究工作，但我们支持符合条件的平台企业在境内外上市”. I still think an IPO is likely sometime this year, as it is unlikely that someone with the experience and connections to the CSRC as Laura Cha would join the Ant board if an IPO were not happening in a reasonably short period of time.
Chinese financial regulators have started early stage discussions on a potential revival of Ant Group Co.’s initial public offering, according to people familiar with the matter, one of the clearest signs yet that authorities are dialing back a crackdown on the tech industry that began with the scuttling of the world’s biggest listing almost two years ago.
The China Securities Regulatory Commission has established a team to reassess the fintech giant’s share sale plans, said one of the people, who asked not to be named discussing private information. Authorities are also nearing the final stages of issuing Ant a long-awaited license that would clear the path for an IPO and make the company regulated more like a bank, the people said.
Ant, an affiliate of Chinese e-commerce behemoth Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, aims to file a preliminary prospectus for the share offering in Shanghai and Hong Kong as early as next month, the sources said, declining to be named due to the sensitivity of the matter.
The fintech giant will need to wait for guidance from the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) on the specific timing of the prospectus filing, said one of the sources.
In a publicly released statement, Ant said there was no plan to relaunch its IPO, without elaborating. It did not respond to Reuters request for comment on whether it had received a green light from Beijing
Q: Some media reported that China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) set up a working group to evaluate Ant Group's resumption of listing. What is CSRC's comment on this?
A: The CSRC has not conducted any evaluation and research work in this area, but we support qualified platform companies to list at home and abroad.
"Under the guidance of regulators, we are focused on steadily moving forward with our rectification work and do not have any plan to initiate an IPO," Jack Ma's Ant Group said in a brief statement.
Shares of the e-commerce giant dropped as much as 5.3% at Thursday open, after shooting up 7% in premarket trading on the Bloomberg report. The stock quickly erased earlier gains after the China Securities Regulatory Commission said it isn’t conducting work on reviving the Ant IPO, although it supports eligible internet platform companies to list in China and overseas. Meanwhile, Ant said it has no plans to initiate an IPO.
Investors poured almost $270 million into the $7.2 billion iShares MSCI China ETF (MCHI) Tuesday, the biggest daily inflow since the fund’s inception in 2011. The ETF, which tracks the MSCI China Index, has rallied about 7% this week, following a report that Chinese regulators are preparing to wrap up a probe into Didi Global Inc.
Didi Global will trade on the New York Stock Exchange for the last time on Friday, ending a wild 11-month ride on the prestigious U.S. market while leaving investors in the lurch about its future direction.
6. North Korea tensions “due to the flip flop of US policies”
China and Russia vetoed a US resolution calling for new sanctions on North Korea, and in the statement explaining the veto PRC Ambassador to the UN Zhang Jun made clear again that the PRC believes that the current situation on the Korean peninsula is America’s fault.
China and Russia defended their vetoes of a strongly backed U.S. resolution that would have imposed tough new sanctions on North Korea, speaking at a first of its kind General Assembly meeting Wednesday.
The debate was held under new rules requiring the General Assembly to examine any veto wielded in the Security Council by one of its five permanent members.
Close allies China and Russia reiterated their opposition to more sanctions, blaming the United States for rising tensions on the Korean peninsula and insisting that what’s needed now is dialogue between North Korea and the Biden administration.
In 2018, the DPRK committed to suspending nuclear tests and ICBM test launches, and took a number of substantive measures, including the detonation of its nuclear test site. The meeting between DPRK and US leaders produced important consensus on improving DPRK-US relations, establishing a peace mechanism on the Peninsula, and denuclearizing the Peninsula. This has led to a significant and positive turnaround in the Peninsula situation, and represents an important step in the denuclearization process. However, the US side did not respond according to the action-for-action principle, and instead returned to the old path of strategic patience and maximum pressure, chanting empty slogans for dialogue and increasing sanctions against the DPRK, which intensified the DPRK’s distrust of the US, and brought the talks to a complete deadlock.
The current situation on the Peninsula has become tense, which is something China does not want to see. It must be pointed out that the Peninsula situation has developed to what it is today, primarily due to the flip flop of US policies, its failure to uphold the results of previous dialogue, and its disregard for the reasonable concerns of the DPRK. This is an undeniable fact. Where the situation goes from here will depend, to a large extent, on the actions of the US, and the key lies in whether the US can face up to the crux of the problem, demonstrate a responsible attitude, and take meaningful and concrete actions...
In response to the draft resolution on the DPRK tabled by the United States, China has put forward many reasonable proposals. We hoped that the US side would consider replacing the potential resolution with a presidential statement in a way that can best garner the consensus of Council members. This approach was recognized and endorsed by the overwhelming majority of Council members, but the US was the only opponent that insisted on pushing for a vote, deliberately creating confrontations and a showdown in the Council. Looking at the consensus-lacking US draft resolution, China had no choice but to vote against it. And the US should take responsibility for this.
To fundamentally resolve the Peninsula issue requires safeguarding the security interests of regional countries. The security of all countries is indivisible, and the peace and stability of the Peninsula is closely related to the external strategic environment. The US has recently been provoking problems in the Asia Pacific region, and has been carrying out nuclear submarine cooperation with relevant countries in the region, developing hypersonic weapons, and selling cruise missiles that can carry nuclear warheads to other countries. These moves have completely revealed its double standards and hypocrisy on the issue of nuclear non-proliferation. The US has been vigorously implementing its Indo-Pacific strategy, and strengthening military alliances with relevant regional countries, which aggravates the risks of a military confrontation in the region.
Take a step back, and the row reveals how China and the West doubt one another’s sincerity when it comes to ridding the Korean peninsula of nuclear weapons. The un’s nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, warned on June 6th that the first North Korean nuclear test since 2017 may be imminent, noting activity at a test site. Markus Garlauskas of Georgetown University in Washington was America’s national intelligence officer for North Korea from 2014 to 2020. He calls Chinese “obstructionism” over sanctions enforcement “exactly the wrong message” to send to North Korea at such a moment. Last month China and Russia vetoed an American-drafted un resolution tightening sanctions on North Korea after it tested ballistic missiles. Western diplomats worry that a rare area of agreement with China—a shared concern about a nuclear-armed North Korea— is crumbling...
Zhao Tong, a Beijing-based disarmament expert with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a research institute, reports that a growing number of Chinese scholars suspect that America “doesn’t want to resolve the North Korean nuclear problem”. Such scholars believe that America is using the threat from North Korea to rally South Korea and Japan behind its true goal, namely containing China, says Mr Zhao.
AMBASSADOR KIM: Thanks, Jacob. We continue to believe that China has an important role to play and that they continue to share our ultimate objective of the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. We also believe that it’s in China’s interest to make sure that North Korea refrains from actions that are destabilizing on the peninsula and beyond.
I guess if you look at what happened in the UN Security Council with China and Russia vetoing the latest resolution – an indication that we are not receiving the kind of cooperation that we would like to have from China – but at the same time, we do believe, as you noted in the question, that this is an area for cooperation between the U.S. and China. There are shared interests and goals here. It’s hard for me to imagine that Beijing would actually want North Korea to continue to provoke, violate multiple Security Council resolutions, and destabilize the region. So we hope that China will be more forthcoming in working with us to deal with the situation on the peninsula.
7. Coal price problems
Caixin has a story in the distortions in the coal market caused by poorly enforced and regionally different coal price caps. The central government has made it clear it will not allow a repeat of the power generation shortages of 2021, so how will they fix these issues?
prices are likely to be a problem again this year, experts cautioned, as imports grow pricier due to the war in Ukraine and regulations such as the price cap prove inefficient.
One of the biggest problems with the price cap mechanism — introduced for different types of sales at different times in the first half of this year — is enforcement...
Local governments in coal-producing regions have little incentive to enact the rule, a coal trade expert added, as “lower coal prices will drag down local GDP and lower local tax revenue.”
“Without any actual reward or punishment, these measures mean nothing,” the power station source added.
A coal market analyst agreed, saying that “once people know they don’t need to pay anything for a violation, even well-behaved entities will start breaking the rules.”
But enforcement isn’t the only issue. Given different price ceilings are applied in different provinces, they’re easy to evade...
Another issue is that the current pricing mechanism only applies to slack coal, a specific type used by power stations. Other types of coal, including lump coal for chemical producers and heating, are not affected. This pushes miners to focus less on slack coal, to avoid the price cap, and thereby reducing supply and putting upward pressure on its price...
The NDRC has demanded a 100% long-term contract delivery rate to power generators, but Caixin learned from sources that long-term contracts are still failing to deliver. The department head, for instance, said that its worst supplier only met about one-fifth of the contracted volume…
Insufficient contract delivery, hence, drives power stations to buy retail coal themselves, competing with other long-term contract holders and retail buyers, and further pushing up prices.
“Prices of thermal coal have been rising from the start of the year,” CEC wrote in the report. “In the first quarter of 2022, power stations paid 130 billion yuan more for thermal coal ... More than half of the country’s power generators have sunk into the red.”
Comment: Not surprising that there may still be problems in state-directed, partially reformed energy markets. Is there risk if more power outages like last year?
8. Disappeared Canadian billionaire Xiao Jianhua may soon go on trial
Xiao was abducted from the Four Seasons Hotel in Hong Kong five years ago and his Tomorrow Group has been dismantled. He was among the most connected financiers in the PRC, and the secrets he knew were likely dangerous to many, and useful to some, especially Xi and his allies. Putting him on trial so close to the convening of the 20th Party Congress may be a sign that he has disclosed everything useful he knew. And his case is another lesson to private entrepreneurs in China.
A Chinese billionaire whose mysterious disappearance shocked the country’s business community is set to face trial on criminal charges in Shanghai as soon as this month, according to people familiar with the matter.
No official word has emerged on the fate of Xiao Jianhua, a politically connected financier who once boasted vast holdings from insurance to beet farming, since he vanished from his luxury residence in Hong Kong in early 2017 before reappearing in the hands of mainland Chinese authorities.
It couldn’t be determined what specific allegations prosecutors plan to level against Mr. Xiao.
Prosecutors in China’s financial capital are planning to charge Mr. Xiao, who was estimated to be worth $5 billion around the time of his disappearance, with illegally collecting public deposits, according to the people.
Question: How did he get some many financial services licenses while Wen Jiabao was Premier?
New York Times in 2017 on his abduction -
In the early hours of Jan. 27, he was taken out of the Four Seasons Hotel in Hong Kong in a wheelchair, his head covered by a sheet or a blanket, according to people who have seen or been briefed on video footage captured by security cameras in the hotel.
Mr. Xiao, 45, who was not known to use a wheelchair, was accompanied by about half a dozen unidentified men who were also pushing a large suitcase on rollers. He is believed to have been transported by boat from Hong Kong, eluding border controls, and is now in police custody in mainland China, according to two people familiar with the investigation into his whereabouts…
Few people are in a position to know more about the financial holdings of China’s leading political families than Mr. Xiao, who made billions investing in banks, insurers and real estate around the world. In the past decade, he has served as a de facto banker to the Communist Party elite.
His disappearance has again raised fears about Chinese encroachment into Hong Kong in violation of the “one country, two systems” rule that allows this former British colony to run its own affairs and bars mainland security forces from operating here. A year ago, the city was outraged when five Hong Kong booksellers disappeared — only to turn up in Chinese custody.
Business, Economy and Trade
Sunac Seeks Payment Extension for $345 Million of Debt - Caixin Chinese developer Sunac China Holdings Ltd. is seeking extra time to make payments on 2.3 billion yuan ($345 million) of debt due next week as the company continues scrambling to scrape up enough cash, Caixin learned from bondholders. Sunac is in negotiations with bondholders on a plan to extend repayments of an onshore bond due June 13 by two years, Caixin learned. No agreement has been reached.
Yicai - Zhejiang Partners Set Up USD1.5 Billion Fund to Help Property Developers A real estate industry association in eastern China's Zhejiang province has established a CNY10 billion (USD1.5 billion) fund with a state-owned partner to promote mergers and acquisitions among troubled property developers. The Zhejiang Real Estate Association and Zhejiang Province Zheshang Asset Management (ZSAMC) set up the fund recently, the partners said to Yicai Global. The controlling shareholder of the latter is Zhejiang International Business Group, a company specializing in the disposal of non-performing assets of financial institutions in the eastern province.
银保监会：聚焦信贷增量供给再发力 进一步做大普惠型小微企业贷款增量 - 21经济网 China’s banking regulator convened a meeting on June 9 to study a series of “policy deployment” by the State Council to stabilize the economy. It reiterated the importance of credit support, vowing to increase lending to small businesses. Major state-owned banks, it said, must make sure that they add 1.6 trillion rmb in new loans to small firms this year. Moreover, the regulator says it will prioritize lending to areas hit hard by the pandemic.
银保监会：严肃查处虚构小微企业贷款用途套取资金的违规行为 China’s banking regulator says it will continue to crack down on misuse of small business loans by firms that take advantage of “policy holes.” It says it wants the financial resources to work where it’s most needed.
Tesla's China output decline trending deeper than Musk forecast, data and internal memos show | Reuters Production at Tesla Inc's (TSLA.O) Shanghai factory is on track to fall by over a third this quarter from the first three months of the year as China's zero-COVID lockdowns caused deeper disruptions to output than Elon Musk had predicted. // Comment: Tesla may have a bigger problem. There are multiple, unconfirmed reports from Tesla owners in Sichuan that they were prevented from driving their cars in areas where Xi was visiting, Other cars were allowed to pass, just not Teslas. I emphasize that so far this is just unconfirmed reports on social media, but if true would mesh with the idea held by some that as an American firm, Tesla's connected vehicles pose potential national security risks
Skepticism rose after Chinese automaker BYD said to supply batteries for Tesla - PingWest On June 8, Lian Yubo, Executive Vice President of Chinese automaker BYD said the company is “a good friend with Elon Musk”, and will supply batteries for Tesla soon, according to an interview snippet posted by CGTN host Kui Yingchun. Kui has deleted the video from her social media account without explanation. Tesla has not officially responded to the news. However, according to EV media Diandongshi, a person related to Tesla said, “We did not get this information.”
Tesla continues hiring in China after Musk's warning of layoffs - CGTN Tesla is proceeding with its online hiring event in China on Thursday and has added two dozen new job postings for the country, a week after its CEO Elon Musk said he wanted layoffs at the firm. The U.S. electric car maker is set to hold the online event at 7 p.m. and will recruit staff specializing in the "smart manufacturing" area, according to a post by its official hiring account on WeChat.
Yicai - [Exclusive] Duplicate Pledges Cause Crisis of Trust in China’s Spot Metals Market Replicate warrants for aluminum ingots traded on China’s spot market have led to a run on the warehouses where they are stored by the traders who believed they had bought them, causing the police to intervene in some places, and leading to a collapse of confidence in the spot market, Yicai Global has learned from industry insiders...On further investigation, the law enforcement agency found this to be a common occurrence. Criminals link arms with warehouses in the aluminum trade to make duplicate warehouse warrants that pledge aluminum ingots for financing several times. Victims include state-owned firms, private companies and exporters.
“好项目决不能坐着等” _ 经济参考网 _ 新华社《经济参考报》官方网站 Across China, a wave of infrastructure projects is speeding up despite some logistical challenges, their accelerated pace indicative of a push to streamline processes to get such projects going. “When you see a good project, you just don’t sit there and wait,” Tan Guodong, an employee at an economic development zone in a city in Zhejiang province, told the Economic Information Daily. In Jilin, approval time for certain construction projects has shrunk from an average of 200 days to 81 days.
Runs on Chinese local banks spur fears over health of regional lenders | Financial Times $$ The withdrawal problems at Yuzhou Xinminsheng Village Bank, Shangcai Huimin County Bank, Zhecheng Huanghuai Community Bank and New Oriental Country Bank of Kaifeng have prompted rare street protests by angry depositors, many of whom said their life savings were at stake.
China’s Baowu Retains Global Steelmaking Crown - Caixin According to figures released by the World Steel Association (WSA) on Tuesday, state-owned Baowu’s annual output in 2021 jumped 4.35% to nearly 120 million tons of crude steel last year, followed by Luxembourg-based ArcelorMittal SA with 80 million tons.
Politics and Law
Chinese state broadcasting gets a new chief: Xi protégé Xu Lin | South China Morning Post Xu gave a speech at a media forum in 2020 as head of the cabinet’s Information Office, saying China must “resolutely guard against digitalisation diluting the party’s leadership, resolutely prevent the risk of capital manipulating public opinion”. He said the key value for media was to “adhere to the correct political direction, public opinion orientation and values”. His new role includes overseeing mandatory guidelines for film, radio and television. Xu’s predecessor at the NRTA, Nie Chenxi, turns 65 in July this year – the official retirement age for ministerial-level officials. // Comment: I would not be surprised if Xu, given his background as head of the Cyber Administration, will at his new post try to exert much more control over video and audio of all kinds, and especially short videos like those on Douyin, Kuaishou etc. From the Party's perspective there are still significant regulatory gaps around online video and audio
China's State Council appoints, removes officials-Xinhua Xu Lin replaced Nie Chenxi as head of the National Radio and Television Administration, and no longer serves as director of the State Council Information Office.
省级公安系统主官再调整，衡晓帆跨省履新天津市公安局党委书记_表彰_显示_全国 Heng Xiaofan, 54, moves from head of the Inner Mongolia Public Security Department to Party Secretary of the Tianjin Public Security Department. Before going to Inner Mongolia he worked in Beijing municipal Public Security system for almost 30 years, and when he transferred to Inner Mongolia in 2019 he was the deputy Party Secretary and Executive deputy head of public security , under Wang Xiaohong, who is now Party Secretary of the Ministry of Public Security
Lead article on the theory page of the Thursday People's Daily is by the Party Committee of the Ministry of Education - "Building the foundation of a strong education nation" - 筑牢教育强国建设之基（深入学习贯彻习近平新时代中国特色社会主义思想）--理论-中国共产党新闻网 An excerpt：
To train socialist builders and successors who develop in an all-round way morally, intellectually, physically, aesthetically, aesthetically, and labor, and provide the basic support for the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. General Secretary Xi Jinping pointed out: "Teachers are the engineers of human soul, the inheritors of human civilization, carrying the responsibility of spreading knowledge, spreading ideas, spreading truth, shaping souls, shaping lives and shaping new people. Basic education plays a fundamental and leading role in the national education system, and is the foundation project of moral education. We need to strengthen teachers through basic education, build a contingent of teachers who remain true to the original aspiration of moral integrity and the mission of educating people for the Party and the country, and train socialist builders and successors who are well-developed morally, intellectually, physically, aesthetically-and labor-so as to provide basic support for the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.
Here is some background on the concept of "Engineers of the Soul"
China to improve public interest litigations on water resources-Xinhua Jointly issued by the Supreme People's Procuratorate and the Ministry of Water Resources, the new document specifies cooperation mechanisms such as consultation, special actions, clue transfer, investigation, and case notification. Water-related disasters, water resources, water ecology and water environment are closely intertwined with public interests. Chinese procuratorates are using public interest litigations to supervise law enforcement authorities in carrying out their duties.
Ex-manager of China's power firm given death with reprieve over bribery-Xinhua A former manager of state-owned China Huadian Corporation Ltd. was sentenced Thursday to death with a two-year reprieve for taking bribes worth 468 million yuan (about 70.05 million U.S. dollars). The Intermediate People's Court in Changchun, Jilin Province established that Yun Gongmin took bribes by abusing power in various positions he held in local Party committees, governments and state-own companies between 1992 and August 2016.
Foreign and Defense Affairs
Xi replies to letter from cadre workshop participants at Julius Nyerere Leadership School-Xinhua on Wednesday replied to a letter from all participants of the Former Liberation Movements of Southern Africa Leading Cadres Workshop 2022 at the Mwalimu Julius Nyerere Leadership School...Xi said he hopes that the participants voluntarily shoulder the responsibility and mission entrusted to them by this era, take an active part in the cause of the China-Africa friendship, carry forward and pass on the spirit of China-Africa friendship and cooperation, and contribute to the building of a high-quality China-Africa community with a shared future
European Parliament passes landslide vote on China’s alleged rights abuses in Xinjiang | South China Morning Post By a landslide margin, the European Parliament has adopted a position stating that China’s alleged human rights abuses in Xinjiang hold a “serious risk of genocide”. Lawmakers voted 513 in favour of the resolution on Thursday in Strasbourg, France. There were 14 abstentions and one vote against.
Fury at UN human rights chief over ‘whitewash’ of Uyghur repression | Uyghurs | The Guardian In an open letter published this week, 39 academics from across Europe, the US and Australia called on Michelle Bachelet to release a long-awaited UN report on human rights abuses in China. The letter, published online, included some academics with whom Bachelet had consulted prior to her visit to Xinjiang. The letter’s signatories expressed gratitude for this, but said they were “deeply disturbed” by her official statement, delivered at a press conference in Guangzhou at the end of her six-day tour.
The letter - International academic signatories of the open letter regarding UH High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet’s statement and visit to the Xinjiang Uyghur Region | by James A. Millward | Jun, 2022 | Medium
UN's ILO recommends China mission on Xinjiang labour practices - sources | Reuters A committee of the U.N.'s International Labour Organization (ILO) has called for a mission to further review China's labour policies in Xinjiang where rights groups allege forced labour of Muslim Uyghurs, two sources said on Thursday. However, the so-called "technical advisory mission" would fall short of a higher-level mission with investigative powers sought by several countries including the United States and Britain
China’s Global Development Initiative is not as innocent as it sounds | The Economist The gdi may be less focused than the bri on building costly infrastructure, and more seemingly in tune with the Sustainable Development Goals, which the West has endorsed, too. But it also carries much political baggage. State media describe it in ways that suggest it is part of a struggle: an attempt to push back against Western notions of development, which emphasise enhancing human rights as well as securing economic progress.
Chinese policymakers are attempting to create a sphere of influence comprising not just their country’s immediately contiguous region but also the entire emerging, non-Western, and largely nondemocratic world—the “global South.” Securing dominance over this vast swath of nations would provide a strong base for China’s power while restricting the United States’ actions and influence. Ultimately, that could help spell the end of U.S. global hegemony.
The developing world has been a constant focus of Chinese diplomacy since the early years of the People’s Republic. Between 1946 and 1974, Mao Zedong perfected his vision of how the struggle against imperialist powers should unfold by focusing on the global South. His “three worlds” theory envisioned a united front bringing together countries from Africa, Asia, and Latin America, constituting the Third World, in a common fight against the First World—composed of the imperialist United States and (after the Sino-Soviet split) the Soviet Union. Meanwhile, China would cajole and neutralize the Second World, made up of middle powers such as Australia, Canada, Japan, and the states in Western Europe.
June date set for China-sponsored Horn of Africa peace conference | South China Morning Post Although China is yet to make public the agenda, Sudan News Agency reported on Thursday that Khartoum had received an invitation from the Chinese government to attend the Horn of Africa peace conference on June 20-21. Chinese ambassador to Sudan Ma Xinmin, in a meeting with the Sudanese acting undersecretary for the foreign ministry Nadir Yousif Al-Tayeb, said the conference was an “initiative from China to enhance stability, development and good governance in this important region”.
Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa Affairs of the Foreign Ministry Holds a Collective Meeting with Diplomatic Envoys of Countries in the Horn of Africa Region to China On June 9, 2022, Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa Affairs of the Foreign Ministry Xue Bing held a collective meeting with diplomatic envoys of Ethiopia, Djibouti, Kenya, Uganda, Eritrea, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan and other countries in the Horn of Africa region to China, and briefed on his previous visits to countries in the region. The two sides also exchanged views on the implementation of the "Initiative of Peaceful Development in the Horn of Africa"
China Ties at ‘Lowest Moment’ Since 1972, US Ambassador Says - Bloomberg Noting the “profound divisions” between the US and China on everything from economics and technology to security and human rights, Burns said that Beijing was “pushing out for power militarily against the United States” and allies including Japan, South Korea and Australia.
US Sees China Setbacks as Opportunity for Pentagon Chief Austin's Singapore Trip - Bloomberg “US officials from both parties have promised to shift focus to Asia for a decade, but these promises haven’t been matched with action, including in the security domain where the US military’s edge has eroded substantially,” according to Zack Cooper, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and a former Pentagon official.
Hyping ‘China threat’ in Shangri-La Dialogue, Kishida will send aftershocks of European geopolitical earthquake to Asia - Global Times The Diaoyu Islands issue and Taiwan question are fundamentally different from the Ukraine crisis. The former two are about China's core interests and the Taiwan question is China's domestic affairs. When a Japanese prime minister makes a comparison like that, he is either an amateur in diplomacy, or playing dumb, Song Zhongping, a Chinese military expert and TV commentator, told Global Times.
Chinese defense chief to expound on security at Shangri-La Dialogue as US pushes ‘Indo-Pacific’ - Global Times "Many in Asia are clear and also worried that the US would bring about division and wars to the Asia-Pacific like it did in the Middle East and Europe. If Austin puts on full attack against China, Asian countries would become even more on alert. Given the US has been struggling to handle domestic issues such as inflation unseen in decades and rampant mass shootings, who would take the US security promise seriously?" said a scholar on international affairs on the condition of anonymity.
Chinese FM condemns top US general’s discord-sowing remarks on China-India border issue - Global Times Charles Flynn, the commanding general of the US Army Pacific, said on Wednesday that the Chinese activity near the China-India border is eye-opening and some of its infrastructure under construction is alarming. Commenting on the remarks, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said that the overall situation at China-India border tends to be stable, and China and India are willing and able to deal with related problems through negotiation and dialogue.
PLA includes robots, drones in amphibious landing training for officer cadets - Global Times Academies of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) recently integrated a large number of unmanned and intelligent equipment including unmanned vehicles, drones and robots into the amphibious landing training for officer cadets, showing a high level of combat preparedness and what future amphibious landing warfare could be like
China's stealth drone ship wraps up 1st autonomous sea trial - Global Times China's first domestically developed 200 ton-class unmanned surface vessel, characterized by its capabilities in stealth and far sea operation, has wrapped up its first autonomous sea trial, with analysts saying that drone ships like this can provide new tactics for naval warfare including distributed operations and swarm combat
Xi, Georgian president exchange congratulations on 30th anniversary of diplomatic ties - Xinhua Xi stressed that he attaches great importance to the development of China-Georgia relations and is ready to work with President Zurabishvili to take the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties as an opportunity to push for more results in China-Georgia relations and bilateral cooperation in various fields, so as to deliver benefits to the two countries and two peoples. Zurabishvili, for her part, said that Georgia is actively committed to developing friendly relations with China and is willing to work with China to deepen mutually beneficial cooperation and promote common prosperity of the two countries.
Senators Wary of China’s Tech Prowess Seek Competition Office - Bloomberg “To compete with countries like China, we have to secure US leadership in critical emerging technologies, such as semiconductors and artificial intelligence,” said Senator Michael Bennet, a Colorado Democrat, who is sponsoring the bill along with Democrat Mark Warner of Virginia and Republican Ben Sasse of Nebraska. “Today, we have no idea where the United States stands in these growing sectors compared to our competitors and adversaries.”
China in Africa’s Media: A Case Study of Ghana - The National Bureau of Asian Research (NBR) Ghana presents an interesting case study of China’s well-laid strategy in not only influencing the media in Africa but also controlling what the media publishes about China. To achieve this, Beijing has launched a multipronged approach, including engaging the media directly by sponsoring African journalists’ visits to China to cultivate how the media should function from China’s perspective. In exerting its soft power, China has also used control mechanisms, such as speaking directly to governments and journalists, and has demanded what it regards as positive news coverage of its activities and citizens in Africa. It has also invested in existing media organizations to ensure positive coverage of news about China, as well as established replicas of state-owned Chinese media in African countries. Further, China has in some cases openly expressed displeasure over news coverage it deems “unfair” and “defamatory.”
Threat Inflation and the Chinese Military - Michael Swaine Regardless of the prospects for improving or at least stabilizing the security relationship with China, the United States is not going to build its way out of the current deepening military competition with China, nor develop a successful long-term China strategy based on inflated threats. It will need to accept the logic of balance over dominance in many areas, fashion credible strategies designed both to deter and reassure Beijing in both the regional and global arenas, and strengthen its capacities at home. This will demand a fundamental reassessment of current American policies in the light of realistic assessments of both threats and opportunities, real capacities, and reasonable aspirations. It will also involve some risks. But the alternatives would generate far worse risks.
3 US companies sanctioned over blueprints sent to China | AP News The companies — Quicksilver Manufacturing Inc., Rapid Cut LLC, and U.S. Prototype Inc. — provide 3-D printing services to customers that include manufacturers of space and defense technology. The Commerce Department says the customers would send blueprints and drawings to the companies that they wanted printed — and that the companies in turn would send that work to China, presumably as a way to cut costs...“Outsourcing 3-D printing of space and defense prototypes to China harms U.S. national security,” Matthew Axelrod, an assistant secretary of commerce for export enforcement, said in a statement
Hong Kong invites global financiers to two-day November summit in much-heralded bid to reclaim city’s spot in world finance | South China Morning Post Eddie Yue Wai-man, the chief executive of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), has personally invited more than 100 of the world’s top bankers, fund managers and financial executives to a summit on November 1 and 2, according to three sources familiar with the plan. HSBC, Standard Chartered, Citigroup, BlackRock and JPMorgan Chase are among the invitees, the sources said. The two-day event – first flagged by Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po in March -comprises a close-door meeting on November 1, billed as the “Global Financial Leaders Dialogue” for HKMA to gauge feedback from a selection of top bankers
Top political advisor meets Taiwan participants at cross-Strait seminar-Xinhua China's top political advisor Wang Yang met on Thursday with Taiwan participants in a cross-Strait seminar with the theme of the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation...He urged Taiwan compatriots to stand on the right side of history and stand up against "Taiwan independence" and external interference
Foreign Ministry strongly rebukes US arms sale to Taiwan - China Daily China strongly condemns the United States' latest arms sale to Taiwan, Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said on Thursday. The US State Department has approved a possible sale of ship parts and equipment worth about $120 million to the island, according to a statement issued by the Defense Security Cooperation Agency on Wednesday. The US has violated the one-China principle and the three China-US joint communiques, especially the one issued on August 17, 1982 by selling weapons to Taiwan, Zhao said.
French lawmakers pledge support for Taiwan on island visit | AP News Senator Joel Guerriau, vice chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defense and the Armed Forces, told Tsai Ing-wen he would “help Taiwan oppose its oppressors and promote Taiwan’s freedom.” Tsai, who won a second term as president in 2020, emphasized the strong connection between Taiwan’s high-tech economy and countries in the European Union.
Taiwan's Apple Daily finds buyer after Hong Kong edition shuttered, will retain most staff - Hong Kong Free Press HKFP The Taiwan edition of Hong Kong’s Apple Daily newspaper has found a buyer which would retain most of its staff, the firm said Wednesday, pledging to continue to “speak out against any injustice”...Taiwan’s Apple Daily said in a statement on its website Wednesday that it has “completed a handover” and will announce the buyer later.
Tech and Media
TikTok executive to ‘step back’ following FT probe into aggressive work culture | Financial Times On Wednesday, a document was shared internally by one of TikTok’s staffers suggested that key words related to the FT investigation be censored from comments in TikTok Shop livestreams. The list included the words: “Financial Times,” “Article,” “Culture,” “Toxic,” “Joshua Ma,” “Capitalist” and “Maternity”. Referring to the internal document, TikTok said: “although we welcome and encourage independent ideas from team members, not all ideas are implemented and this one was never under consideration”.
Chip Shortage Fans Investor Interest in Semiconductor Equipment Firm’s $540 Million IPO - Caixin Semiconductor equipment manufacturer Hwatsing Technology Co. Ltd. booked a blistering Shanghai STAR Market IPO debut on Wednesday amid a Covid-induced global shortage of microchips...The firm, which makes chemical-mechanical polishing (CMP) machines, raised about 3.6 billion yuan by issuing 26.7 million shares through the IPO. That’s more than three times its original target to raise 1 billion yuan. CMP machines are used to flatten a wafer’s front surface for adding the next layer of circuit features...its products are mainly used for chipmaking enabled by old 28-nanometer (nm) technology. A product targeting 14-nm technology is still under verification, the company added
Xiaohongshu, dubbed China’s Instagram, tests Web3 waters with investment in US start-up Shil.me | South China Morning Post Xiaohongshu, the Chinese social media platform with 200 million monthly active users, took part in a US$1.2 million pre-seed fundraising round of Shil.me Shil.me expects to see digital assets expand beyond visual art and profile pictures, which currently dominate NFTs
Yicai - Tencent Doubles Capital of Micro Loan Unit to Increase Lending Power Chinese internet giant Tencent Holdings has doubled the registered capital of its small loan arm to CNY10 billion (USD1.5 billion) to allow it to extend more credit. Shenzhen Tenpay Network Finance Micro Loan now has the second largest registered capital in the micro lending sector behind fintech giant Ant Group’s Chongqing Ant Small and Micro Loan which has CNY12 billion, according to publicly available information.
Yicai - Tencent Scales Back First-Half Investment After Wagers Turned Bad The Shenzhen-based firm had only taken part in 67 share issuances as of June 5, far less than the 148 it participated in a year ago, according to market data provider Jingdata. Tencent has been forced to scale down its investments after the weak business performance and sliding share prices of many of the companies in which it and its affiliates hold stakes started to impact the company’s profitability, a fund manager told Yicai Global.
Society, Arts, Sports, Culture and History
Life is getting harder for gay people in China | The Economist Another potential avenue is conversion therapy, which is still legal, despite the efforts of Peng Yanzi, an activist. Mr Peng voluntarily underwent hypnotism and electric shocks intended to “cure” his homosexuality. In 2014 he sued the clinic and won, receiving an apology. The ruling, which stated that same-sex attraction is not an illness, received sympathetic media coverage. For a time it seemed as if things might improve for gay people in China. But the case did not change the law, which discounts the rights of sexual minorities. Mr Peng’s group, lgbt Rights Advocacy China, closed last year amid pressure from the authorities.
Yanzi is now out of China, probably just in time - Yanzi: Fighting the Slow Battle of LGBTQ Rights in China - Yale Daily News Peng Yanhui, commonly known as Yanzi, 39, is a visiting scholar at the Paul Tsai China Center of the Law School for the spring 2022 semester. Invited by Darius Longarino, a senior fellow at the center, he now conducts research on the topic of same-sex parenting and its potential influence on LGBTQ rights in China.
Billie Jean King, New York Liberty, Brooklyn Nets Owner Back Just Women's Sports - Bloomberg Just Women’s Sports, a media platform, raised $6 million in a funding round led by Blue Pool Capital, the family office of billionaire Joe Tsai. “The business case for women’s sports has never been clearer, and Just Women’s Sports is positioned to be the leading media platform in the space,” Tsai and his wife, Clara Wu Tsai, said in an emailed statement.
艺术家蓝天野逝世，享年95岁 Actor and Painter Lan Tianye has died at 95
Xianglong Zhang - People - Berggruen Institute Xianglong Zhang is a professor of Philosophy at Peking University. He holds a Ph.D. from SUNY at Buffalo, an M.A. from Toledo University, and a B.A. from Peking University. His research areas include Confucian philosophy, phenomenology, Western and Eastern comparative philosophy. // RIP 沉痛悼念北大教授张祥龙先生
Energy, Environment, Science and Health
Unending Torrential Rain Leaves at Least 24 Dead Across China - Caixin Since late May, heavy downpours have triggered flooding and landslides in at least four provincial-level regions, forcing tens of thousands to flee their homes. Authorities have warned of an increased risk of floods and other rain-induced disasters in the near future, especially in southern China.
Pandemic's origins obscured by lack of Chinese data - WHO panel | Reuters The report said no new information had been provided on the possibility that SARS-CoV-2 was introduced to humans through a laboratory incident, and "it remains important to consider all reasonable scientific data" to evaluate this possibility. Reflecting the political wrangling that has dogged the drafting of the report, it includes a footnote outlining how members of the panel from Brazil, China and Russia disagreed that further studies were needed on the lab hypothesis and suggested nothing had changed since the previous WHO-China joint report on origins, published in March 2021.
China Ban on Foreign Coal Investment Leaves Zimbabwe Scrambling - Bloomberg Zimbabwe’s plan to refurbish two idled coal-fired power stations has been thrown into disarray by China’s decision to ban investment in plants burning the dirtiest fossil fuel outside its borders. Zimbabwe was depending on China to help get the Bulawayo Power Station, which has a design capacity of 90 megawatts, and Munyati Power Station, meant to generate 100 megawatts, to produce electricity to fill a chronic shortfall in the southern African country.
China's FAST telescope detects weird repeating fast radio burst-Xinhua Using the Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope (FAST), also dubbed "China Sky Eye," an international team led by astronomers from the National Astronomical Observatories under the Chinese Academy of Sciences (NAOC) has discovered and localized an active repeating fast radio burst called FRB 20190520B in a metal-poor dwarf galaxy nearly three billion light-years from Earth. Then, telescopes including the Very Large Array, the Palomar telescope, the Keck Telescope, Subaru Telescope and Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope continued the observations, respectively, to confirm the FRB 20190520B.
China's first int'l journal on grassland science starts publication-Xinhua Grassland Research is co-sponsored by the Chinese Grassland Society and Lanzhou University. It publishes forefront research on rangelands, forages and sown pastures, as well as amenity grassland and ecosystems, said Lanzhou University. The first issue of Grassland Research has been published online with seven articles by authors from 10 countries.
BREAKING: Recent Cornell graduate allegedly attacked while putting up pro-democracy posters - The Cornell Review Kinen Kao ‘22 posted his account of what happened on the Society for the Promotion of East Asian Liberty’s Instagram account. “Just now (around June 8 [6:30 PM]), I was assaulted by a man in the Ithaca Commons, who tore down my Free Hong Kong and Free Uyghurs posters before pushing me to the floor, leaving wounds on my left hand,” he wrote in the post. Kao also claims that, while trying to record his attacker, the criminal attempted to seize his phone. The video provided by SPEAL appears to briefly show a physical altercation between the man and Kao, while another clip clearly shows the individual tearing down a poster in the Ithaca Commons. Additionally, Kao uploaded a photo of his injuries following the incident. As of now, the perpetrator has not been identified.
Something similar happened at the University of California San Diego over a temporary June 4 memorial:
Rural and Agricultural Issues
China's policy bank extends 30.6 bln yuan of loans to support agriculture-Xinhua The China Development Bank (CDB), one of the country's policy banks, extended 30.6 billion yuan (about 4.59 billion U.S. dollars) in loans in the first five months to support the country's agriculture sector. The loans went toward agricultural infrastructure construction, seed industry and rural industries, the CDB said.