Xi in Russia; Nationalism in the trade war is good; Arms sales to Taiwan
China is off Friday for the Dragon Boat Festival (端午节), so perhaps things from Beijing will be quiet through the weekend. No point in the bureaucrats undermining their holiday. Then again, it is a good time for US officials to mess up some official holidays if they are so inclined.
Xi and Putin are deepening their bromance. One of the Xinhua reports today quotes Putin as saying that Russia and China “jointly…promote the formation of a new international order based on the principles of equality, mutual benefit and win-win cooperation.” There is a reason Xi and the Party theory folks keep talking about “百年未有之大变局 changes unseen in 100 years” in the world.
Thanks for reading.
The Essential Eight
1. Xi in Russia
Acknowledging the world is undergoing profound changes unseen in a century, Xi said China and Russia shoulder an even greater expectation from the peoples of the two countries and the international community.
He added that the Chinese side is ready to join Russia in amplifying the positive effect of the two countries' high level of political relationship, bringing more benefits of bilateral cooperation to the two peoples, and presenting more China-Russia options for global affairs.
Noting that the world today is becoming increasingly uncertain and unstable, Xi said enhancing the China-Russia relationship is the call of history, and a firm strategic choice by both sides....
He said China and Russia, both permanent members of the UN Security Council, are going to continue working with the international community to safeguard the international order that is based on the international law with the UN at the core, maintain multilateral trading system and make new contributions to the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.
Addressing the audience at the Bolshoi Theatre of Russia, Putin said the bilateral relationship has gone through an extraordinary course of development over the past seven decades...
Russia and China jointly support multi-polarization of the world, safeguard international law as well as the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, and promote the formation of a new international order based on the principles of equality, mutual benefit and win-win cooperation, he said....
Xi also called for joint efforts to safeguard world peace, promote multi-polarization of the world and democratization of international relations, and build a more prosperous, stable and fair world.
Long statement on “upgrading” the relations that highlights areas where China and Russia will increase cooperation.
It said the two government will increasingly use their “unique channel” between the two President’s general office. It is a direct channel between Xi’s secretary and Putin’s secretary. It seems this first started with Li Zhanshu’s visit to Russia in 2015 as head of the general office of CCP’s central committee. Now in the role is Ding Xuexiang.
Also, on security, it is worth noting that while the two said it will forge closer military relations and will increase “cooperation” and “coordination” against terrorism, border defense and anti-narcotics, it stops at saying “cooperating” on cyber affairs. For that it mentions only “increase exchanges”. 扩大网络安全领域交流。
CCTV Evening News report on the Xi-Putin meeting
Xi and Putin reiterate and update the joint statement on strengthening global strategic stability they signed in 2016 - China, Russia agree to strengthen contemporary global strategic stability - Xinhua
China and Russia note with alarm the extremely dangerous actions of certain states that, out of their own geopolitical and even commercial benefits, destroy or adapt the existing system of arms control and non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction to their needs, the statement said.
Both sides urged actively promoting the three pillars -- nuclear disarmament, non-proliferation of nuclear weapons and peaceful use of nuclear energy, it said.
The two sides reaffirmed their unwavering commitment to the unconditional implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on the Iran nuclear issue and declared their rejection of unilateral sanctions by the United States against Iran, according to the statement.
Presidents Xi and Putin visited the "two residents" of the house, Ding Ding and Ru Yi. The panda house in Moscow Zoo was specially prepared for them.
A closer and stronger partnership between China and Russia, both permanent members of the UN Security Council, is also set to make the world more peaceful, stable and prosperous.
China and Russia share similar views on many regional and global issues. As they seek to better coordinate their foreign policies, they will continue to be a ballast stone and stabilizer in the world, which is now rife with uncertainties.
The dependence of the Russian economy on the US dollar was illustrated by three failed attempts this week during the St Petersburg International Economic Forum to exchange Chinese yuan for Russian roubles. Three major Russian banks refused to process the transaction, saying they would only sell roubles for US dollars.
Cooperation between the two nations' companies is not limited to the usual fields of energy and natural resources, Gao said. Collaboration on high-tech, healthcare, medicines, e-commerce and other emerging sectors has made good progress and its quickening pace indicates the huge potential for teamwork, he added.
Telecoms carrier Megafon will sell an almost 10 percent stake in its inter-based subsidiary Mail.Ru Group to Alibaba for a 24.3 percent stake in the partnership, while Mail.Ru itself will contribute its Pandao e-commerce unit to the new firm and pay USD182 million cash for 15 percent share, the Russian Direct Investment Fund said in a press release yesterday. The RDIF will have the option to purchase another USD194 million worth of shares in the venture.
Huawei, the Chinese technology company considered a security threat by the US, has signed a deal with Russian telecoms company MTS to develop a 5G network in the country over the next year.
China-U.S. trade has been mutually beneficial, and the United States has reaped substantial benefits from the bilateral economic and trade cooperation, China's Ministry of Commerce said Thursday in a research report...
"Strict control of the United States over exports to China is one of the important reasons for the trade deficit," the report read, adding that U.S. export control measures involve around 3,100 items in 10 categories, including mostly high-tech products.
If the United States liberalizes its export barriers against China to the same level as those applicable to France, the U.S. trade deficit with China would narrow by a third, the report cited the analysis by U.S. Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
According to the joint study of Chinese and U.S. commerce authorities, the U.S. goods trade deficit data has long been overestimated..
Although China had trade surplus, the bilateral trade benefits both sides, and the argument of "the United States being taken advantage of" does not hold water, said the report.
The report, in PDF on the MOFCOM site 关于美国在中美经贸合作中获益情况的研究报告
In his exchange with reporters in Ireland ahead of his departure for France, the president vented not only about his trade battle with Mexico but also with China, threatening to slap tariffs on yet another $300 billion in goods coming from the world's second largest economy.
“In the meantime, we're getting 25 percent on $250 billion, and I can go up another at least $300 billion,” he said. “And I'll do that at the right time.”
With that, he made to leave, telling reporters: “But I think China wants to make a deal badly.
“I worry that Chinese authorities ... underestimate how broadly the anti-Chinese sentiment is in Washington — it runs across the full political spectrum,” said Tim Adams, who is now president and chief executive of the Institute of International Finance (IIF), a trade association.
The U.S. Department of Defense has held talks with Malawi’s Mkango Resources Ltd and other rare earth miners across the globe about their supplies of strategic minerals, part of a plan to find diversified reserves outside of China, a department official said on Wednesday...
Although China contains only a third of the world’s rare earth reserves, it accounts for 80% of U.S. imports of minerals because it controls nearly all of the facilities to process the material, according to U.S. Geological Survey data.
“We are looking for any source of supply outside China. We want diversity. We don’t want a single-source producer,” Jason Nie, a material engineer with the Pentagon’s Defense Logistics Agency,
The discussions center on about 100 twin-aisle jets: 787 Dreamliners as well as 777X planes, the newest long-range aircraft in Boeing’s lineup, said one of the people, who asked not to be named as the talks are private. Negotiations have focused in particular on the 777-9 variant, the planemaker’s costliest jet with a $442.2 million sticker price, ahead of the model’s expected first flight later this month.
No deal is imminent, the people cautioned, and the trade war is a major complication for all involved. The Chinese side is waiting for guidance from the government before pushing forward with the discussions, according to some of the people, as the tit-for-tat fight between the U.S. and China intensifies.
3. Propaganda organs on US-China
Guangming Daily - Shen Yi of Fudan University lashes out against Chinese who “worship” or “fear” the US and who think China will lose in a trade war. He also criticizes Chinese economists bearish on the Chinese economy, media articles citing US demands on trade against China, and articles cautioning against radical nationalism. The article said all these, like it or not, have helped the US in attacking China and patriotic Chinese.
People’s Daily attacks those who criticized Chinese nationalism/populism in the trade war, suggesting censorship is needed. “There must be ulterior motives in those trying to connect normal patriotic sentiment with populism … it essentially reflects the distorted values of few. If these comments are allowed to spread freely, it could hurt the sincere feelings of patriots and therefore be of great harm.”
Similar article on Xinhua, denouncing these views as “crap”: that the US’ demands are somehow legitimate, that the US moves are not bullying in trade, and that supporting Huawei is nationalism.
Guangming Daily - Chinese trade experts concluded in their recent conference that trade war will not make America great again
People’s Daily overseas edition WeChat account "Xiake Dao" published this article about how the US-China trade war is similar with the one between US and Japan in 1980s, and said China must learn from Japan’s mistakes and not compromise as Japan did. “Remember everybody, if you don’t fight, America will strike you, if you fight, American will strike you, in a case like this, [we] would rather deal a great damage to the US, than submitting to the humiliation as Japan did.”
Xinhua weighs in on America's bullying
latest Zhong Sheng - "Close your own door and block everyone else's way: Seeing the true colurs of some American politicians, who do whatever suits them"
The Economist Magazine's Simon Rabinovitch has updated his list of Zhong Sheng articles on the trade war:
While the United States is disrupting the international order and walking away from major international agreements and institutions, China has been devoted to improving global governance.
"It's very important to have a permanent member state of the size of China to be a champion of multilateralism in a world where the UN is a little bit under attack, just like multilateralism is," said Michael Moller, director-general of the UN Office at Geneva.
The United States is pursuing the sale of more than $2 billion worth of tanks and weapons to Taiwan, four people familiar with the negotiations said, in a move likely to anger China as a trade war between the world’s two biggest economies escalates...
The potential sale included 108 General Dynamics Corp M1A2 Abrams tanks worth around $2 billion as well as anti-tank and anti-aircraft munitions, three of the sources said.
Question: Will any US firm that sells arms to Taiwan be listed on China's new unreliable entity list, since from Beijing's perspective those sales harm national security?
In a statement on 6 June, the MND said that the US planned to sell to Taiwan 108 General Dynamics M1A2 tanks, 1,240 Raytheon BGM-71 TOW anti-tank missiles, 409 Raytheon-Lockheed Martin FGM-148 Javelin anti-tank missiles, and 250 FIM-92 Stinger surface-to-air missiles made by Raytheon.
China hopes that the U.S. will stop selling weapons as well as military connections to Taiwan, so as not to hurt the relationship between the two sides, Lu added.
The U.S. needs to go back on track and meet China halfway, he said.
5. Report: Offset Strategy with Chinese Characteristics
The study — written by former deputy defense secretary Robert O. Work and his former special assistant, Greg Grant — details what the authors describe as a five-pronged Chinese strategy to end and ultimately outstrip the American military’s technological superiority. The goal in the short term is to make it too costly for Washington to intervene in the Western Pacific, and to eventually become the world’s premier military force, according to the study.
“The Chinese People’s Liberation Army has been patiently stalking the U.S. military for two decades,” the report says. “It has studied the preferred American way of war and devised a strategy to exploit its weaknesses and offset its strengths — particularly its military-technological strengths.”
after considering what the Chinese military has accomplished technologically in little more than two decades and what they plan to do in the decades to come, any objective assessment must at least consider the possibility that the U.S. Joint Force is close to becoming the victim of a deliberate, patient, and robustly resourced military-technical offset strategy. The purpose of this paper is to describe this strategy and outline its key lines of effort.
While the conference was under way, a U.S. defense official confirmed to me, the PLA tested a new submarine-launched ballistic missile that drastically expands China’s worldwide nuclear deterrence capability. The message was clear: Beijing is not just talking — it’s acting to change the status quo...
Huawei has assigned as many as 10,000 of its developers to work across three shifts a day in offices in Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Xi’an to try to eliminate the need for American software and circuitry, according to people familiar with the matter. From janitors to drivers, everyone has been drafted into the struggle and told to brace for escalating political and market pressure...
“It’s not a question about if we can win—we have to win,” says a Huawei engineer, the head of a small research and development team responsible for communication chips who requested anonymity because employees have been warned not to speak to the press. “This is a war about China having an independent communications technology industry.” On an online employee forum, the following message was posted: “Warriors in golden armor shall never return home until they defeat Trump from America.”
Comment: Even if Trump backtracks on the entity listing and gives Huawei a reprieve as he gave ZTE one, the message is clear to everyone in China that they are far too vulnerable in their reliance on US technology, so something has already changed fundamentally.
Huawei Technologies has reduced or canceled orders to major suppliers for components that go into its smartphones and telecom equipment following its U.S. blacklisting, sources familiar with the matter told the Nikkei Asian Review.
The effect on the embattled Chinese company's supply chain, including cuts to orders of as much as 30%, is another possible sign that Washington's crackdown has started to hit the world's top telecom equipment provider and second-largest smartphone maker.
Consumer fear that Huawei phones will quickly become out of date has meant demand for its devices has “dropped off a cliff,” Ben Stanton, a U.K.-based analyst at Canalys, said by phone, citing discussions with phone carriers, retailers and distributors. “That is rooted in this fear that the device may lose features, be insecure, lose support or even lose tangible value.”
If he truly believes that Huawei is bent on helping the Chinese government spy on other governments, even after it has proposed to sign "no-spy" deals with possible partners, and even after countries have put themselves on high alert in response to the US sounding constant alarm bells, Pompeo should at least consider changing tactic, rather than keep on babbling about an imagined danger.
It has shipped more than 100,000 5G base stations, ranking top in the world, according to the company.
7. Xi and Party over God
A dozen Chinese Protestants interviewed by the Associated Press described gatherings that were raided, interrogations and surveillance, and one pastor said hundreds of his congregants were questioned individually about their faith. Like Guo, the majority requested that their names be partly or fully withheld because they feared punishment from authorities. After reporters visited Henan in June, some interviewees said they were contacted by police or local officials who urged them not to discuss any new measures around Christianity.
The party has long been wary of Christianity because of its affiliation with Western political values. Several Chinese human rights lawyers jailed for their work, including Jiang Tianyong and Li Heping, are outspoken Christians. So too are many Hong Kong pro-democracy activists, not least among them 2014 protest leader Joshua Wong.
“Chinese leaders have always been suspicious of the political challenge or threat that Christianity poses to the Communist regime,” said Xi Lian, a scholar of Christianity in China at Duke University. “Under Xi, this fear of Western infiltration has intensified and gained a prominence that we haven’t seen for a long time.”
Chen Quanguo, party boss in Xinjiang, marked the end of Ramadan by visiting Mosques in Urumqi, and vowed to protect the rights of Muslims.
The index dropped to 49.3 in June, according to the findings of the Yicai Chief Economist Survey published yesterday, from 50.2 in May, which was the highest reading so far in 2019.
The experts who joined the study all believed that stabilizing growth should be one of China's most important policy considerations to cope with the external trade situation. A third noted that the country should pay special attention to cutting taxes and fees to cushion the impact of higher US import tariffs on Chinese firms.
China has released a two-year action plan to promote the purchase of consumer goods from new energy vehicles to 5G handsets in the latest move to offset the escalating trade war with the United States that continues to hit the world’s second largest economy.
In a joint circular published on Thursday, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), the Ministry of Commerce and the environment protection ministry vowed to promote the upgrading and recycling of cars, home appliances, consumer electronics and other products.
The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), China’s state planner, said in a statement it is stopping local governments from imposing new restrictions on car purchases and cancelling existing ones that apply to new energy vehicles.
The measures, which apply to 2019-2020, include support to encourage car purchases in rural areas. The NDRC statement also called for more local governments to allow pickup trucks to enter their cities...
“The (April) draft was quite strong so I am quite disappointed about the policies,” said an industry association official who declined to be named as she was not permitted to speak to the media.
China released policies Thursday aiming to spur the purchase of electric vehicle (EV) amidst historically bad times for the auto industry.
The policies demand that local governments cease restrictions on EV sales or driving, according to an official plan co-released by the National Development and Reform Commission, the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, and the Ministry of Commerce.
Official release - 推动重点消费品更新升级 畅通资源循环利用
At the State Council executive meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang Wednesday, more measures were adopted to further implement the innovation-driven development strategy and incentivize business start-ups and innovation nationwide....
The government will draft and issue the Regulations on Improving the Business Environment and work to lower institutional transaction costs. Support will be given to support innovation and entrepreneurship demo centers in undertaking pilot programs in the approval and implementation of science and technology projects, rights confirmation of research findings and the commercialization of research findings...
Financial institutions will be guided to lower real interest rate and overall cost for loans made to micro and small enterprises. A higher ratio of non-performing loans made to micro and small firms will be allowed. The NPL ratio of such loans will be relaxed to no more than 3 percentage points higher than the overall NPL ratio from the current 2 percentage points. Venture capital firms will receive support in financing through bond issuance.
Financial institutions will be encouraged to raise funds by issuing bonds to support lending to business start-ups and innovation activities.
Xinhua has wrapped up their “ten commentaries on China today”, Theme of the series: China’s economy is doing well, China will not compromise in trade talks, and nobody can stop China’s rejuvenation led by Xi Jinping
“The central bank rolled over the same amount of maturing 463 billion yuan worth of MLF on the day, and extended more to small- and medium-sized banks, bringing the total amount of MLF operations to 500 billion yuan,” the PBOC said a statement on its website.
Frequency of searches for the term “find a job” surged to the highest ever in April, according to an index compiled by the nation’s dominant search engine Baidu Inc
Business, Economy and Trade
Trade War Ended China's First Bull Market After Only 69 Days - Bloomberg The tech-heavy ChiNext Index slumped 2.4% Thursday, taking its decline since an April peak to 20%. The glum end to a holiday-shortened week was widespread across Chinese stocks, threatening the longest calm spell in months. Average daily turnover sank to the lowest since February, with concern over valuations and a rival tech board’s impact on liquidity also keeping dip buyers away. The ChiNext’s last bull run ended in 2017 after 200 days.
Brazil suspends beef exports to China due to 'mad cow' case - AP A spokesperson for Brazil’s agriculture ministry said Monday the suspension of exports was implemented automatically after the case was confirmed. Such a step is required under the two countries’ bilateral agreement.
China to Audit 77 Drugmakers in Fight Against Health Care Kickbacks - Caixin The Ministry of Finance announced (link in Chinese) Tuesday a list of 77 drugmakers that had been “randomly selected” for auditing in June and July. The list includes the local arms of three multinationals: Sanofi, Eli Lilly & Co. and Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. Also listed are some of China’s biggest domestic players, including Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical Group Co. Ltd., Jiangsu Hengrui Medicine Co. Ltd. and Shanghai Pharmaceuticals Holding Co. Ltd.
Why is US dollar access so restrained in China as trade war rages on? | South China Morning Post While China’s capital controls have limited how much access its citizens have to foreign currencies at home, banks and companies are finding it harder to obtain US dollars as the trade war not only hinders the nation’s ability to earn dollar revenue from exports, but also foreign lenders’ willingness to supply the US dollar to a slowing economy...Recent cases of individuals refused permission to buy US dollars at Chinese banks have started to accumulate, including one which involved a former central bank adviser, Yu Yongding.
World Bank debars state-owned China construction company - The FCPA Blog - The FCPA Blog The World Bank Wednesday debarred a Chinese state-owned engineering and construction company and two subsidiaries for "fraudulent practices" involving a project in Georgia. China Railway Construction Corporation Ltd. (CRCC), and its wholly-owned subsidiaries, China Railway 23rd Bureau Group Co., Ltd. (CR23) and China Railway Construction Corporation (International) Limited (CRCC International), were debarred for nine months.
SWIFT Obtains Approval for Fully Invested Subsidiary in China, Anticipates Rise in Cross-border Renminbi Settlement - China Banking News “SWIFT is about to obtain an operating license for a fully invested subsidiary in China,” said Alain Raes, SWIFT’s chief executive for the Asia Pacific and Middle East, to 21st Century Business Herald at the sidelines of the Greater China Financial Markets Forum on 5 June.
China’s Algorithms of Repression | Reverse Engineering a Xinjiang Police Mass Surveillance App In the initial publication of this report on May 2, 2019, Human Rights Watch stated that the IJOP app used a “facial recognition functionality by Face++” to “check whether the photo on the ID matches the person’s face or for cross-checking pictures on two different documents.” Megvii, the owner of Face++, told Human Rights Watch on May 1, 2019 that it had no relationship with IJOP, a statement we included in our report. Megvii contacted Human Rights Watch again on May 27, telling us that the Face++ account contained in the IJOP application code was never actively used, based on their own analysis of their access logs. Human Rights Watch has since confirmed that the Face++ code in the IJOP app, which was in the log-in function, was inoperable. We are grateful to Brunswick Group, which speaks for Megvii, for calling this to our attention. As Face++ seems not to have collaborated in the version of the IJOP app Human Rights Watch examined, we have decided not to highlight its name in our recommendation section, although we believe our recommendations are pertinent to any company providing public security technology operating in Xinjiang.
AI unicorn Megvii not behind app used for surveillance in Xinjiang, says human rights group | South China Morning Post New York-based HRW said in a correction at the end of a report released on Tuesday that its review of the Integrated Joint Operations Platform (IJOP) app, one of the mass surveillance systems used by the police and other authorities in the region, found that Megvii “seems not to have collaborated” in the development of that app.
Chinese AI start-up Megvii rethinks IPO plan this year | Financial Times $$ “Around Megvii in particular there’s concern about who they are selling to and what the end use of the products is,” said one tech sector banker. “Megvii’s critical vertical is surveillance and security and they earn more revenues from that compared with [rival] SenseTime.” He added that underwriters continued to “work fiercely” on the IPO but “at the very least they will have to go through the grinder with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange . . . because how can you be [suitable] for listing if you are put on the entity list?”
Politics and Law
中央宣传部、教育部、共青团中央部署在全国中小学开展“我爱祖国，同唱国歌”活动-新华网 Propaganda Department, Ministry of Education, Communist Youth League Center issue circular on primary and secondary students "I love the motherland, sing the national anthem together" campaign, part of the previously announced campaign to celebrate the upcoming 70th anniversary of the founding of the PRC 通知指出，“我爱祖国，同唱国歌”活动是庆祝新中国成立70周年“我和我的祖国”群众性主题宣传教育活动的重要组成部分，通过组织同唱国歌和爱国歌曲，在各地中小学唱响爱党爱国爱社会主义的时代主旋律，营造礼赞新中国、奋进新时代的浓厚氛围，引导激励广大青少年做担当民族复兴大任的时代新人，做德智体美劳全面发展的社会主义建设者和接班人。
China’s Top Brass Says Stricter Film, TV Censorship ‘Will Be the Norm’ – Variety The position was put forth in the new “Guidelines on Deepening the Comprehensive Reform of the Film and TV Industry to Promote their Healthy Development,” one of 10 documents reviewed and ratified last week at a meeting of China’s high-level Central Commission for Deepening Overall Reform. Led by President Xi Jinping, the body is responsible for mapping out policy guidelines for the country’s economic, political and cultural reform and overseeing their implementation.
“不忘初心、牢记使命”主题教育中央指导组培训会议召开陈希、杨晓渡出席并讲话--党建-人民网 Training meeting convened by the "remember the original aspirations" education campaign small leading group meets, Chen Xi and Yang Xiaodu give speeches. Chen, a Politburo member and head of the Organization Department, is the executive deputy director. Yang, a Politburo member and director of the National Supervisory Commission, is the deputy director of the group. Wang Huning is the head of the small group. 中共中央政治局委员、中央“不忘初心、牢记使命”主题教育领导小组常务副组长陈希出席会议并发表讲话。中共中央政治局委员、中央“不忘初心、牢记使命”主题教育领导小组副组长杨晓渡主持会议。
工商银行上海分行党委书记顾国明接受审查调查——中央纪委国家监委网站 Gu Guoming, President and Party Secretary of the Shanghai branch of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, is under investigation
Foreign and Defense Affairs
A belt-and-road court dreams of rivalling the West’s tribunals - Chaguan In the law courts of Communist China, power and political control count for more than fairness. The tribunals could one day matter a lot, should they be used to export a vision of international law that reflects that same, bleak worldview. At the moment, an obsession with power and order is hobbling the new tribunals. But that could change: China’s autocrats may not be as clumsy for ever.
Air Force Will Use Older F-35s to Simulate Enemy Fighters | Military.com "The F-22 [Raptor] guys are hungry to get at a fifth-gen adversary like a [Chinese] J-20," a fighter pilot told Military.com in 2017. "The problem is, no squadron can replicate it unless you have dedicated fighter [squadrons of aircraft like the F-35 or F-22] acting as adversary air."
ANU data breach: China 'key suspect' in hacking of personal data - Sydney Morning Herald China is the key suspect in the theft of huge volumes of highly sensitive personal data from the Australian National University, which intelligence officials now fear could be used to "groom" students as informants before they move into the Australian public service...While it is understood there is no clear evidence yet that Beijing is behind the attack, sources said China was one of only a handful of countries able to carry out such a breach while remaining undetected.
Southeast Asia gains new leverage as China and US battle for influence - Nikkei Asian Review "We don't have to 'choose' between [the U.S. and China], because we have the pie," he said. "The pie is our strategic position and rapidly growing regional market. ASEAN has more confidence than before, because of what we offer: The fastest growing economic region in the world is East Asia. The market is here, people are here. We don't have to care what U.S. or China says -- it's up to us.".. The rapid rollout of the BRI scheme has prompted the U.S., with assistance from Japan, to recalibrate the "Free and Open Indo-Pacific" strategy, launched around 2016, toward development and investment aspects.
Hong Kong and Macao
Hong Kong Court Landmark LGBT Ruling Grants Rights to Gay Couple - Bloomberg In a unanimous ruling, the five justices ruled in favor of a local civil servant who argued that his husband, whom he had wed overseas in a country that recognizes same-sex marriage, was entitled to the same benefits as heterosexual spouses. Hong Kong doesn’t recognize same-sex marriage.
China Tried to Get Germany to Deny Hong Kong Activists' Asylum Claims - RFA "After getting clearance to read the files, my lawyer found a number of emails sent by the German refugee agency referring to the fact that the Chinese government had contacted Germany in around May or June 2018," Wong told RFA. "They were trying to get involved in the case, and trying to stop Germany from approving our asylum applications," he said. "I'm pretty sure that both the Chinese government and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government knew about our case as early as June 2018."
In Hong Kong, a Publisher Struggles to Document Tiananmen’s Carnage - The New York Times as Beijing’s influence has increased, one of the greatest reservoirs of those memories — Hong Kong’s publishing industry — is imperiled. On the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen crackdown, people who produce books documenting it and other key moments in Chinese history fear they will soon be driven out of business. “Independent publishing has been reduced to a nonprofit activity for preserving some important historical documents, memoirs and recollections,” said Bao Pu, the founder of New Century Press, one of the few surviving Hong Kong publishers focusing on modern China. “Otherwise it would be gone.”
Candidate Seeks Closer China Ties, Shaking Up Taiwan’s Presidential Race - The New York Times The rally last weekend was a prelude to Mr. Han’s announcement on Wednesday that he was running for president of Taiwan, jolting the race with a populist candidate who wants friendlier ties with China — a sharp contrast to the incumbent, Tsai Ing-wen, who rejects China’s claim that Taiwan is part of its territory.
Han Kuo-yu agrees to join KMT primary - Taipei Times When the five-member panel asked if he would like to participate, his answer was that he would, Han told reporters after a closed-door meeting with the panel at the Garden Villa hotel in Kaohsiung.
Tech and Media
Chinese cartoonist slams Twitter for refusing Tiananmen emoji - AFP Chinese artist Badiucao, whose anonymous political satire infuriated Beijing and earned him comparisons to Banksy, on Thursday announced a protest campaign against Twitter over what he says is its pandering to China.
Taiwan supermodel Lin Chiling marries Japanese pop band Exile member Akira | Taiwan News Taiwanese supermodel Lin Chiling (林志玲) and Japanese pop band Exile member Akira announced on social media they had gotten married Thursday (June 6). The announcement surprised the Taiwanese entertainment world, as Lin, 44, had long been romantically linked by the media with a variety of popular stars and businessmen.
Weibo User Wins 15,000 Kilograms of Watermelons From Alibaba Fresh-Food Unit - Caixin Global According to lucky-draw rules published last week, every 10 re-posts of a Hema marketing article will add 0.5 kilogram of watermelon to a prize pool, which in the end will go to one person. By Thursday, the day for the final announcement, the article had been re-posted over 300,000 times. That meant Weibo user “Bufuhshu” alone had won the 15,000 kilograms of watermelons.
Society, Arts, Sports, Culture and History
In China, a Viral Video Sets Off a Challenge to Rape Culture - The New York Times The images were meant to exonerate Richard Liu, the e-commerce mogul. They have also helped fuel a nascent #NoPerfectVictim movement.