Xi emphasizes self-reliance 自力更生; Rural vitalization plan; Cadre cultural revolution and bourgeois liberalization; CCTV turns 60; Espionage and meddling

It sure feels like things may be starting to spiral out of control on many fronts…

  1. Xi's Heilongjiang tour continues, while the full propaganda rollout and the follow-on exhortations to study his comments have not yet begun;

  2. A key theme of the tour is that the trade war is forcing China back on the road to self-reliance 自力更生;

  3. The State Council released a five-year plan for "rural vitalization";

  4. President Trump is accusing China of meddling in the upcoming US election.

In April in comments about the U.S. smackdown on ZTE I wrote:

While the company may end up crippled, the episode has strategic and propaganda value for Beijing. The timing of the announcement — right before the 2nd anniversary of an important speech on cybersecurity and technology made by Chinese President Xi Jinping — only serves to strengthen the point he's been making about the need to reduce reliance on foreign, and especially American, technologies.

Now that Xi and the CCP system have decided that America’s real goal in the trade war is to "thwart China's rise" we are starting to see a rollout of official reactions, with self-reliance as the key theme.

Many observers may dismiss as impossible PRC attempts to wean itself off US technology, imports and markets. Those people may be right in the end, though I am wary of betting against the PRC succeeding. Regardless, we should expect the PRC under Xi to use all means at its disposal as it tries.

Even in the unlikely event there is some sort of short-term trade deal over the next few months the Chinese side will only view that as a delaying action while they work increasingly hard to wean themselves from as much dependence and reliance on the US as possible.

Trump and at least some his top advisors appear to have a similar goal when it comes to weaning the US off of China.

Trade is just one dimension of the much broader and intensifying US-China friction. Earlier this morning President Trump said at the UN Security Council:

Regrettably, we found that China has been attempting to interfere in our upcoming 2018 election coming up in November against my administration...

They do not want me or us to win because I am the first president ever to challenge China on trade..

We are winning on trade. We are winning at every level. We don't want them to meddle or interfere in our upcoming election."

The fundamental assumptions around the US-China relationship look to have been irreparably shattered.

Are you ready for the New Era of US-China relations?

Thanks for reading.

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The Essential Eight

1. Xi says self-reliance is a good thing

Xi Jinping says trade war pushes China to rely on itself and ‘that’s not a bad thing’ | South China Morning Post:

Chinese President Xi Jinping says rising “unilateralism and protectionism” is forcing China to rely more on itself for development and “it’s not a bad thing”, reflecting a determination to fight a protracted trade war with the US if necessary.

Xi, the most powerful Chinese leaders in decades, said it was time for China to cut its dependence on foreign technologies and others in his first clear statement on how China would cope with the trade war.

Speaking from one of China’s biggest state-owned factories, Xi emphasised the value of self-reliance, according to People’s Daily, the mouthpiece of the ruling Communist Party.

“Internationally, it’s becoming more and more difficult [for China] to obtain advanced technologies and key know-how. Unilateralism and trade protectionism are rising, forcing us to adopt a self-reliant approach. This is not a bad thing,” Xi said...

Xi made the comments during a visit to China First Heavy Industries, a state-owned machinery maker in Qiqihar of the northeastern province of Heilongjiang – a factory which can trace its roots to the early 1950s, when it weathered China’s worst economic days of isolation from the rest of the world.

Ding Yifan, a senior researcher with Tsinghua University’s National Strategy Institute, said Xi’s emphasis on “self-reliance” showed that Beijing was ready to dig in its heels.

“The spirit of self-reliance is the same as the old days,” said Ding. “But the implications can be very different – if China can weather the trade war to secure a leading edge in technology and manufacturing, China will become number one and invincible.”

习近平:装备制造业练好“内功”才能永立不败之地 :



Meanwhile, more support is coming to spur innovation that can lead to self-reliance—China to upgrade entrepreneurship, innovation - Gov.cn

The State Council released a circular on Sept 26, laying out tasks for local governments and different ministries to upgrade the nation’s mass entrepreneurship and innovation.

According to the circular, mass entrepreneurship and innovation will be upgraded to drive up employment, and integrate domestic and international innovation resources.

Meanwhile, the nation will roll up its sleeves to build more high-quality innovation clusters, enhance transformation of scientific achievements, and promote integration of large, medium, and small enterprises in the value chain of entrepreneurship and innovation.

To this end, administration streamlining will continue to facilitate procedures to start businesses and cancel business registration.

国务院关于推动创新创业高质量发展 打造“双创”升级版的意见 

China to boost $3.8 trillion digital economy, Xi calls for self-reliance | Reuters:

China on Wednesday pledged to expand its $3.8 trillion digital economy and create jobs in new sectors such as big data and artificial intelligence (AI) as the world’s second-biggest economy looks to shift away from a reliance on polluting heavy industries.

2. Five-year rural vitalization strategy

China releases five-year plan on rural vitalization strategy - Xinhua:

China has released a five-year plan on its rural vitalization strategy, the first of its kind, mapping out a number of major projects, programs and actions.

The plan was released by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the State Council.

The rural vitalization strategy is "a major historic task for securing a decisive victory in building a moderately prosperous society in all respects and for fully building a modern socialist country," the plan said

Full public text of the plan 中共中央国务院印发乡村振兴战略规划(2018-2022年) 

A "leading cadre" of the NDRC explains the plan 绘就乡村振兴宏伟蓝图——国家发展改革委负责人解读《乡村振兴战略规划(2018—2022年)》

Xinhua on 5 key points from the plan 推进乡村振兴的行动指南——解读乡村振兴战略首个五年规划亮点

On his tour of Beidahuang Xi praised its agricultural achievements and transformation and picked up a bowl of rice and said "Chinese rice, Chinese rice bowl"...-习近平感慨北大荒的沧桑巨变“了不起”--新闻报道-人民网 


He also Xi emphasized the role of state-owned farms in land reclamation reform:


Xi to farmers: Chinese people should hold their own rice bowls, and fill them with their own food-【独家V观】习近平:中国人要把饭碗端在自己手里 而且要装自己的粮食_环球网



Farmers fear China will never return to the US soybean market | Fox Business:

“The short-term worry is a significant number of farmers are unable to meet their cash flow needs, Heck tells FOX Business. He says he’s been able to use hedging strategies to limit his losses, but knows some others farmers aren’t as fortunate. He fears they may soon lose their farms, or at least have to refinance their mortgages. Adding to that, Heck says he has heard China may cut back on direct purchases of U.S. soybeans by as much as 75 percent. The question he and other farmers now have to face: Will the Chinese buyers ever return?

I doubt they will return in the volume and growth US farmers had experienced and projected...

3. Trade

Cold war mentality will harm US-China relations, top diplomat warns Kissinger | South China Morning Post:

China’s senior diplomat has demanded the US stop viewing China with a cold war mentality to keep the Sino-US bilateral ties on a healthy track as tensions between the two sides continue to rise.

Comment: Has Wang Yi checked with Xi about a cold war mentality?

China to Cut Tariffs on Imports Including Machinery, Textiles - Bloomberg:

China will cut import tariffs on goods including machinery, paper, textiles and construction materials from Nov. 1, in a move that would lower costs for consumers and companies as a trade war with the U.S. deepens.

The decision will lower tariffs for 1,585 products, state radio reported, citing a meeting of the State Council. The combination of these and other tariff cuts this year will lower the tax burden on consumers and companies by about 60 billion yuan ($8.7 billion), the radio reported.

Zhong Sheng in the People's Daily on US-China trade relations. TL;DR America is to blame, China is the victim--钟声:应当客观准确认识中美经贸关系事实--理论-人民网 

U.S. has most to lose from trade war, China would benefit: ECB | Reuters:

The ECB study simulates a 10 percent U.S. tariff on all imports and an equivalent retaliation from other countries. It suggests the United States would bear the brunt of diminished trade and of damage to consumer and investor confidence.

Spotlight: China's white paper "quite effective" in outlining its trade stance: experts - Xinhua:

Stephen Roach, a senior fellow at Yale University's Jackson Institute for Global Affairs known for advocating effective communication between China and the United States, said the white paper as a response of China to U.S. accusations is "long overdue."

The former chairman of Morgan Stanley Asia even went on to suggest that it is helpful to include a ranking of issues that "are most important -- and least important -- in driving a wedge between the U.S. and China."

"I think this white paper is quite effective in offering a detailed response by China to U.S. charges and counter-charges," he said.

China not mentioned but much about China--Joint Statement on Trilateral Meeting of the Trade Ministers of the United States, Japan, and the European Union | United States Trade Representative .

The Ministers reiterated their concern with and confirmed their shared objective to address non market-oriented policies and practices of third countries that lead to severe overcapacity, create unfair competitive conditions for their workers and businesses, hinder the development and use of innovative technologies, and undermine the proper functioning of international trade, including where existing rules are not effective...

The Ministers reviewed and confirmed progress regarding possible new rules on industrial subsidies and State Owned Enterprises so as to promote a more level playing field for their workers and businesses. The Ministers highlighted the importance of securing a level playing field given the challenges posed by third parties developing State Owned Enterprises into national champions and setting them loose in global markets – resulting in distortions that negatively affect farmers, industrial producers, and workers in the Ministers’ home countries. The Ministers recognized the progress of their work, and the continued need to deepen their shared understanding, on the basis for strengthening rules on industrial subsidies and State Owned Enterprises, including how to develop effective rules to address market-distorting behavior of state enterprises and confront particularly harmful subsidy practices such as: state-owned bank lending incompatible with a company’s creditworthiness, including due to implicit government guarantees; government or government-controlled investment fund equity investment on non-commercial terms; non-commercial debt-to-equity swaps; preferential input pricing, including dual pricing; subsidies to an ailing enterprise without a credible restructuring plan; and subsidies leading to or maintaining overcapacity. ..

The Ministers recalled their shared view that no country should require or pressure technology transfer from foreign companies to domestic companies, including, for example, through the use of joint venture requirements, foreign equity limitations, administrative review and licensing processes, or other means. The Ministers found such practices to be deplorable.

4. Another top US intel official on the China threat

It sure likes look a coordinated PR campaign is underway

Intel chief Dan Coats warns of China's 'potent' cyber threat during Citadel event postandcourier.com:

Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats sounded the alarm about foreign interference in the U.S. democratic process during a speech Tuesday in Charleston — but he wasn’t talking about Russia this time.

Coats dedicated most of his 10-minute keynote address at The Citadel Intelligence and Cyber Security Conference to discussing the ambitions and strategies of China in the areas of cyberwarfare and intelligence gathering.

“In recent months, I have spoken out candidly about the persistent and pervasive Russian effort to undermine our democracy. This challenge continues to be at the forefront of our current threat environment,” Coats said, alluding to public pronouncements about the 2016 election process that put him at odds with President Donald Trump this summer.

Retired Obama NSC official Jeff Bader argues in a new brief for Brookings that as bad as things have gotten with China there is no way to manage the problems if we cut engagement--U.S.-China relations: Is it time to end the engagement?:

Engagement was never undertaken as a favor to China but because it was judged to be in the U.S. interest. Its abandonment would be highly likely to exacerbate hostility between the United States and China, persuade Chinese leaders and citizens alike that a more adversarial stance toward the United States is necessary, and advantage other countries operating in China that will not follow the U.S. path of disengagement. Continuing intensive engagement in no way would prevent alterations in U.S. policy to respond to challenges from China in the economic, digital, academic, and security fields. Indeed it would likely make policy changes more effective by giving China a continuing stake in the relationship with the United States.

5. CCTV turns 60

Xi calls for building world-class new mainstream media - Xinhua:

The CMG is a new broadcasting platform made up of CCTV, China National Radio and China Radio International.

This year is also the 60th anniversary of television broadcasting following the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949.

On behalf of the CPC Central Committee, Xi in the letter extended his sincere greetings to officials and staff of the CMG and people working in the television sector.

Identifying television as an important part of the Party's media work, Xi highlighted television workers' contributions to the cause of the Party and the people.

Under the leadership of the Party, those workers over the past 60 years have been maintaining the correct political orientation and the right tone, while focusing on the major task, serving the overall interests of the country, advocating the Party's ideas, conveying the people's aspirations and spreading mainstream values and positive energy, said Xi.

Xi also noted the achievements of CMG since its establishment in March, especially in regard to promoting in-depth integration and innovation in international communication to present a true, multi-dimensional and panoramic view of China.

Xi said he hopes that CMG and television workers across the country can uphold Party leadership, take a people-centered approach and faithfully fulfill their responsibilities and missions.

Xi also called on those workers to integrate radio and television, domestic publicity and international communication, and traditional and new media, as well as improve their international communication capabilities.

习近平致信祝贺中央电视台建台暨新中国电视事业诞生60周年强调 锐意改革创新 壮大主流舆论 努力打造具有强大引领力传播力影响力的国际一流新型主流媒体 :


Xi congratulates CCTV on the 60th anniversary of its founding - CGTN:

CMG held a commemorative meeting in Beijing on Wednesday morning to mark the anniversary. Huang Kunming, member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and head of the Publicity Department of the CPC Central Committee, read Xi's congratulatory letter at the meeting.

6. Corporate re-leveraging?

China Deleveraging Is Going Into Reverse, New BIS Data Show - Bloomberg:

Chinese non-financial corporate debt is rising again as a percentage of gross domestic product following a year and a half of deleveraging from its mid-2016 record, according to new data from the Bank for International Settlements.

The ratio jumped to 164.1 percent in the first quarter of 2018 from 160.3 percent in the final three months of 2017, erasing more than half of the progress Chinese companies had made in reducing debt loads since the ratio topped out at 166.9 percent in the second quarter of 2016, the BIS data, published September 23, show.

7. Cadre cultural revolution continues

New CPC rules to expel members who express support for bourgeois liberalization online - Global Times:

Members of the Communist Party of China (CPC) will be expelled from the Party if they openly adhere to bourgeois liberalization online, according to the newly revised regulations on Party disciplinary action that will take effect in October.

The CPC Central Committee published the revised regulations in August and most of the new provisions added touch on punishments for violations of political discipline, especially disloyalty to the Party's central committee and corrupt behavior.

The circular not only sets a bottom line for Party members' political disciplinary actions, but also imposes stricter requirements on their online behavior.

Those who support the position of bourgeois liberalization and oppose the Party's decisions on reforms and opening-up through online platforms will be expelled from the Party.

Meanwhile, those who speak out against the Party's major principles online will be warned. And those who distort the Party's policies and damage the unity will be expelled from the Party.

"For a long time, cyberspace has become the major battlefield of ideology construction. The revised regulations aim to tighten the management of Party members, whose Party spirit was loose previously," Su Wei, a professor at the Party School of the CPC Chongqing Municipal Committee, told the Global Times on Tuesday.


What is "bourgeois liberalization" in 2018 China?

Will we start hearing about 里通外国 (have illicit relations with a foreign country; a popular charge during the Cultural Revolution) soon as well? Xi already seems to be veering back towards 自力更生 "self-reliance"...

8. The China challenge vs Trumpism

Trump keeps threatening to end foreign aid for disloyal countries. Here’s why it hasn’t happened. - The Washington Post 

For several weeks, a senior official at the National Security Council, Kevin Harrington, has led a review of U.S. foreign aid policy aimed at putting into practice Trump’s “America First” mantra and adjusting foreign aid priorities in the budget for fiscal 2020...

In the process, he has faced stiff resistance from officials at the Pentagon, the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development who have said his proposals were counterproductive and contradictory, and could cede influence to China, according to senior U.S. administration officials familiar with the meetings.

The proposals include revoking assistance to countries that do not vote with the United States at the United Nations and those that have developed strong financial ties to China, and providing loans to countries instead of grants, said the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.

Business, Economy, Finance And Trade

China's Bear Market Still Finds Fans Among Foreign Stock Buyers - Bloomberg So when trade tensions ease, or investors become inured to the headlines, the U.S.-China stock divergence is likely to narrow, with the mainland the main beneficiary. Foreign funds that bought A-shares could be the biggest winners. Potentially adding to the momentum, MSCI Inc. said Wednesday that it’s considering increasing the weighting of these stocks in its global indexes from next year, as well as embracing smaller tech shares.

Prices of hairy crabs 大闸蟹 and other seasonal specialties plummet amid government crackdown on graft - Global Times: Ten years ago, driven by the overwhelming demand for hairy crabs as prestigious gifts for officials, dealers found that buying and selling crab gift cards was a sure bet to come out ahead, because officials received far too many cards and sold them for extra cash...The overall market for the gift cards has collapsed, and unwanted gift cards are being sold to the public at 60 percent of the face price. Some gift cards are even being dumped for just 10 or 20 percent of the face value, the Global Times confirmed by checking Taobao, China's leading e-commerce platform.

China’s debt-laden developers offer discounts and giveaways to sell more flats to boost cash flow | South China Morning Post Developers in first-tier Chinese cities have adopted numerous marketing tactics to capitalise on the holiday period, from the Mid-Autumn Festival this week to the upcoming National Day holiday on October 1, a traditional peak season for property sales. Tactics range from offering coupons for discounts amounting to as much as hundreds and thousands of yuan, referral schemes where a buyer gets a discount for introducing another buyer, and slashing prices to undercut the market.

German Firm’s Top Executives Resign After Chinese Company Takes Over - Caixin Global Ningbo Jifeng Auto Parts Co. Ltd. secured an 84.23% stake in Grammer AG on Sept. 10 in a move that aimed to take advantage of the overlap in their customer bases and the growing links between the German and Chinese automobile industries. Promises not to meddle in Grammer’s management and structure did not prevent the resignation Monday of its long-standing chief executive, chief financial officer and chief operating officer, however. The three are making use of a change-of-control clause, a company statement explained.

China leads the way in 'golden visa' investment in Portugal's property market | Reuters Interior ministry figures issued on Wednesday showed that the 6,498 non-Europeans granted residency since Portugal launched the scheme in 2012 had generated 3.97 billion euros ($4.7 billion) in investments, mainly in property.

Biggest U.S. Public Pension Looks to China for New Investment Chief - WSJ The California Public Employees’ Retirement System has offered the job to Ben Meng, deputy CIO of China’s State Administration of Foreign Exchange, one of these people said. The agency is in charge of China’s more than $3 trillion in foreign reserves. Mr. Meng previously worked for the California pension fund earlier this decade.


Politics, Law And Ideology

Disease Control Official Fired in Wake of Vaccine Scare - Caixin Global The head of the disease control center of East China’s Shandong province, which has been the hardest hit by a shoddy-vaccine scandal that affected hundreds of thousands of children, has been sacked from his post and placed under investigation, Caixin has learned. The removal and investigation of Bi Zhenqiang, 55, director and party chief of the Shandong Center for Disease Control and Prevention (SCDCP), was announced at a regular meeting of the agency’s midlevel officials on Tuesday, a source with the organization, who declined to be named told Caixin.

China sends ex-colleagues of former internet tsar Lu Wei to ‘education sessions’ | South China Morning Post Now authorities in his native Anhui, where Lu began his career, have tracked down his former colleagues and contacts and ordered them to attend “education sessions” to discuss his alleged misdeeds as part of a campaign that began in the province in May. The move was mentioned in an article published on the website of China’s top anti-corruption agency, the National Supervisory Commission, on Tuesday. 用身边的典型案例"当头棒喝"——安徽专题警示教育用"活教材"醒脑治病 

Liu Xia, widow of Nobel winner Liu Xiaobo, arrives in New York for human rights events | South China Morning Post First formal appearance since leaving China expected to be at panel discussion and awards ceremony hosted by Vaclav Havel Library Foundation

System to reinforce efficiency of public funds use - China Daily The guideline, jointly released by the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the State Council, aims to enable greater integration between budgets and performance management, and to improve efficiency of financial resource allocation and utilization. It calls for efforts to accelerate the establishment of a modern financial system that is in line with requirements for comprehensively deepening reforms, as well as a budget system that is standardized, transparent, scientific and with effective rates of compliance. The guideline recognized a number of prominent problems in the current performance management of budgets including cases where some local authorities and departments place more emphasis on boosting expenditures than on performance management.

人事调动“开创先河” 侍俊为何转任中共统战部_中国-多维新闻网 Shi Jun, a vice minister of public security, has been appointed vice head of the United Front Work Department. Professor James Leibold gives some background:

James Leibold@jleibold

Appointment of Shi Jun [侍俊] as Deputy Head of United Front Work Department tell us a great deal about the increasing importance of UFWD and stability maintenance [维稳] in Xi Jinping's 'new era'. Shi crushed Tibetan unrest in Aba Prefecture 2007-12 & now also Deputy Head of PSB pic.twitter.com/FseukMkhVq

September 26, 2018
James Leibold@jleibold

During Shi Jun's time in Aba, a Tibetan official called him “lord of monsters" [魔主]. It's an incredible open letter and definitely worth a read. Translated by @hpeaks back in 2012. https://t.co/wPQqAEIus1

September 26, 2018

Foreign and Military Affairs

Chinese National Arrested for Allegedly Acting Within the United States as an Illegal Agent of the People’s Republic of China | OPA | Department of Justice Ji worked at the direction of a high-level intelligence officer in the Jiangsu Province Ministry of State Security, a provincial department of the Ministry of State Security for the People’s Republic of China, according to a criminal complaint and affidavit filed in U.S. District Court in Chicago.  Ji was tasked with providing the intelligence officer with biographical information on eight individuals for possible recruitment by the JSSD, the complaint states.  The individuals included Chinese nationals who were working as engineers and scientists in the United States, some of whom were U.S. defense contractors, according to the complaint.。。According to the complaint, Ji was born in China and arrived in the United States in 2013 on an F1 Visa, for the purpose of studying electrical engineering at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago. In 2016, Ji enlisted in the U.S. Army Reserves as an E4 Specialist under the Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest (MAVNI) program, which authorizes the U.S. Armed Forces to recruit certain legal aliens whose skills are considered vital to the national interest

No discussion on Xinjiang between Pakistani minister, envoy: China | World | thenews.com.pk | Chinese foreign ministry has denied reports that Pakistan’s Religious Affairs Minister Noor ul Haq Qadri had raised the issue of alleged Chinese restrictions on Muslims in Xinjiang with its envoy in Islamabad.

China says plots to disrupt ties with Pakistan will fail | Reuters China welcomes the good start made in its “all-weather” partnership with Pakistan following the election of the new government under Prime Minister Imran Khan, State Councillor Wang Yi told Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly in New York. But “any conspiracies attempting to incite disharmony or interfere in China-Pakistan relations will not prevail,” Wang added, without elaborating, according to a statement released by China’s foreign ministry on Wednesday.

Pakistani businessmen demand release of wives trapped in China | Financial Times $$ A group of Pakistani businessmen have travelled to Beijing to petition for the release of their Chinese wives and children who were caught up in a sweeping detention campaign in Xinjiang.  The rare act of protest demonstrates how China’s security crackdown on the Uighur people, an ethnic group that traditionally practises Sufi Islam, could strain its relationship with an important ally in the Muslim world.

Pope Francis Admits His Deal With China Will Cause Suffering | Time Pope Francis acknowledged Tuesday that his landmark deal with China over bishop nominations will cause suffering among the underground faithful. But he said that he takes full responsibility and that he — and not Beijing — will have the ultimate say over naming new bishops.

LA CIVILTÀ CATTOLICA – The Agreement between China and the Holy See In what follows I shall try to bring into perspective the recent itinerary tied to the figure of Pope Francis, who has often expressed both his admiration for China and his desire to overcome obstacles to a solid and efficacious dialogue. We shall see how this desire has solid roots in the action of his predecessors; indeed, his commitment is a development of the premises laid down by preceding popes. I shall then look to assess the agreement, its logic and the stance that sustains it. Finally, I look at a series of positive challenges that the signing of this agreement relaunches.

Chinese Embassy rejects Swedish TV station’s apology - Global Times On Monday night the television station issued a statement on its website where Hall said the intention of the skit was to "highlight a Swedish problem" that "sinophobia still does not have the same sensitivity as other racism in Sweden." The editorial board made a mistake not uploading the entire show, meaning the real message got lost in translation, Hall said. "The purpose of posting the story on Youku was to capture Chinese reactions. This was a mistake by us when the whole of our message got lost, and we can understand that it saddened individuals. We regret that." Producer Jan Helin said SVT would not apologize for the show to China, the report said.

(1) HEY SWEDEN HEY SWEDEN freestyle - YouTube nationalist rap group CD REV has released a new track to diss Sweden...catchy

The People’s Liberation Army Strategic Support Force: Leadership and Structure – Project 2049 Institute By: Rachael Burton and Mark Stokes | The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Strategic Support Force (PLASSF) is one of the most significant components of the People’s Republic of China’s (China, PRC) ongoing military reform and reorganization. Based on limited sources available, the PLASSF appears intended to integrate the launch, tracking, and control of satellites with the operational units that apply the services that the satellites provide, such as command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance. This paper aims to provide an overview of the Strategic Support Force’s role within the PLA, its leadership structure, and the biographies of its core decision makers. In addition, it examines how the PLASSF’s presumed ability to provide “cross-domain fusion” helps to augment synergies among PLA assets, which could enhance the PLA’s capacity to further project power in the Indo-Pacific region.

China, Laos vow to deepen bilateral ties between parties, countries - Global Times Senior official of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Zhao Leji on Wednesday concluded his official good-will visit to Laos, where he and Laotian officials agreed to deepen bilateral ties and cooperations between the two countries as well as ruling parties. Zhao, also a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and secretary of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the CPC, started visiting Laos on Sunday

Senior CPC official mourns passing of Vietnamese president - Xinhua Zhao Leji, a senior official of the Communist Party of China (CPC), mourned the passing of Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang on Wednesday in Hanoi. Commissioned by General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee and Chinese President Xi Jinping, Zhao, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, conveyed condolence to the late president's family on behalf of Xi, the CPC, the Chinese government and the Chinese people.

Former Hong Kong minister Patrick Ho offered US$2 million cash to Chad president Idriss Deby in a gift box, US prosecutors allege | South China Morning Post The accusations by co-defendant turned witness Cheikh Gadio, a former foreign minister of Senegal and an international consultant, were conveyed in a letter from US Department of Justice prosecutor Geoffrey Berman to Ho’s defence team in May.

The Pentagon’s New Ambassador to Silicon Valley Is Hawkish on China - Defense One Michael Brown, the former Symantec CEO who just became the new head of the Defense Innovation Unit, believes that the United States must act now to avoid further falling behind China in a tech race.

Capital of Laos Seeks Stronger Ties to China - The New York Times In recent years, Chinese investment in resource-rich Laos has strengthened the country’s economy, which is projected to grow by 7 percent this year. Vientiane’s hot property market reflects this trend. Hoping that China’s Belt and Road Initiative will improve connectivity with its neighbor, Laos is preparing for a new wave of Chinese investment in its property sector. Crucial to these hopes is a 260-mile, $5 billion rail line that Beijing seeks to extend through Laos to Thailand, a much larger market.

坚持依法治密 推进新时代保密工作转型升级--时政--人民网 The director of the National Administration for the Protection of State Secrets summarizes the achievement of the work of protecting state secrets since Xi came to power.



A Homage to Chinese Communism Is Destroyed in Taiwan - The New York Times For the last two years, tensions have been brewing in a sleepy Taiwan village after a contractor hired to expand the local Buddhist temple wound up taking over the site, evicting the nuns and converting it into a shrine to the Chinese Communist Party, the historic rivals of the Taiwanese government. This week, those tensions came to a head after county officials moved ahead with plans to raze part of the historic temple. The decision was made after The New York Times reported last week on the temple’s fate, stirring outrage among Taiwanese who were upset that such a bold display of support for the mainland government could be allowed on the island.


Tech And Media

WeChat updates add pressure to subscription account content creators · TechNode The WeChat content market expects the updates to further marginalize accounts with declining readership and those hoping to attract readers with eye-catching images. This appears as a further step towards the news feed model of Jinri Toutiao, China’s leading Chinese news platform operated by ByteDance. WeChat, though having denied following ByteDance, is shifting its WeChat account subscription management towards “reading efficiency improvement”.

Briefing: Unoffical Tencent Music’s financial figures unveiled ahead of IPO · TechNode A widely circulated document has brought Tencent Music’s financial performance to light. According to the unofficial report, the streaming service’s revenue in 2016 and 2017 was RMB 5 billion and RMB 9.4 billion, respectively. Its revenue is expected to reach RMB 18 billion in 2018—a 91.5% increase from the year before. The document also revealed that Tencent Music currently has 700 million active users on its platform, 120 million of which are paying subscribers. Tencent has not confirmed the authenticity of the figure

How Would the New Chinese E-commerce Law Change Taobao? As new e-commerce laws were passed by the National People’s Congress this late August and will become effective in 2019, stricter regulation may lead to a fading market dominance of Taobao, now the largest business-to-customer e-commerce service provider. Thanks to the latest version of the e-commerce law, the platform may be at risk of facing more lawsuits, losing more sellers and, consequently, a decline of business


Energy, Environment, Science And Health

Tiangong-2 space lab to remain in orbit until July 2019 - Global Times China's space lab Tiangong-2 will continue to operate in orbit before it makes its return to Earth in July 2019 in a controlled manner, Zhu Zongpeng, the chief space lab designer, announced on Wednesday. Zhu made the announcement at a press conference held by the China Manned Space Engineering Office on Wednesday to mark the second anniversary of the space lab's launch in September 2016.

China hides key oil data, leaving market players guessing - Nikkei Asian Review Beijing has recently stopped publishing certain details on its oil trade in a move that complicates life for oil producers trying to calibrate their output by projecting global supply and demand, and increases the chances of their making a wrong call. China has long released monthly statistics on its refining activity, crude and refined product imports and exports, but not offered data on the end-user consumption of fuel, a crucially important figure. In a country of 1.38 billion, consuming 12-13 million barrels per day or 12-13% of the world's oil, computing that data is not easy. But it needs to be done.

Satellite images show 'runaway' expansion of coal power in China  | The Guardian Chinese coal-fired power plants, thought to have been cancelled because of government edicts, are still being built and are threatening to “seriously undermine” global climate goals, researchers have warned. Satellite photos taken in 2018 of locations in China reveal cooling towers and new buildings that were not present a year earlier at plants that were meant to stop operations or be postponed by orders from Beijing.


Food And Travel

Chinese-speaking tourists attack swan by Swiss lake ‘over missed photo’ | South China Morning Post Widely shared video shows woman teasing bird then grabbing it by the head and neck

China’s popular dried tangerine peel recalled after high levels of lead found in snack also sold abroad | South China Morning Post The brand of preserved snack, Jiabao jiuzhi chenpi, is available in countries including Malaysia, Singapore, Australia and the United States

Foreign airlines to face new rivals on popular China routes as restrictions ease | Reuters Foreign airlines that fly on 20 popular long-haul routes to China will face fresh competitive pressure as Beijing begins to ease decade-old restrictions on Oct. 1, allowing more Chinese carriers to offer service.



Singaporean owner of troubled Beijing school promises to pay wages owed to teachers, East Asia News & Top Stories - The Straits Times The management of the troubled Singaporean-run Beijing BISS International School promised to pay former and current teachers their unpaid wages by this Friday (Sept 28), according to a letter shown to parents on Tuesday (Sept 25).

北京最新禁限目录全文首发!东西城禁止新建纯商品住宅_搜狐新闻_搜狐网 this will be good for Beijing real estate prices... As part of the Jing-Jin-Ji integration and relocation of Beijing's noncapital functions, Beijing is banning construction of new commodity housing in Dongcheng and Xicheng districts and 3A hospitals within fifth ring road