Xi loves Party construction; Hong Kong; US-China talks; PRC cryptocurrency

Happy Tuesday, comments are embedded in the items below.

Thanks for reading.


The Essential Eight

1. Party construction

China's Xi tells officials not to be lazy and 'spend whole day eating' - Reuters

Chinese officials must not use the fight against corruption as an excuse to sit around and do nothing, idling their time away and “spending the whole day eating”, President Xi Jinping told a meeting of senior Communist Party leaders on Tuesday.

Xi highlights Party building in central Party, state institutions - Xinhua

Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, on Tuesday urged central Party and state institutions to make themselves exemplary institutions that the CPC Central Committee trusts and people are satisfied with.

Xi, also Chinese president and chairman of the Central Military Commission, told a meeting that central Party and state institutions should comprehensively improve the quality of Party building

CCTV Evening News - 习近平在中央和国家机关党的建设工作会议上强调 全面提高中央和国家机关党的建设质量 建设让党中央放心让人民群众满意的模范机关

Just days after the meeting reviewing the reform of Party and state institutions Xi also convened a meeting from July 7-9 on Central Party and state institutions. 

习近平指出,加强和改进中央和国家机关党的建设,必须切实加强党的领导,牵住责任制这个“牛鼻子”。各部门党组(党委)要强化抓机关党建是本职、不抓机关党建是失职、抓不好机关党建是渎职的理念,坚持“书记抓、抓书记”,领导班子成员和各级领导干部要履行“一岗双责”,做到明责、履责、尽责。机关党委要聚焦主责主业,真正发挥职能作用

It did not have the full grouping of officials that the earlier meeting this week had. Standing Committee members in attendance were Xi, Wang Huning, Zhao Leji and Han Zheng. 

习近平:决不能把反腐败当成不作为的借口 - 学习小组

Some highlights from the meeting, as noted by the "Study Xi Small Group"

针对一个时期以来一些地方和领域“为官不为”的现象和所谓“官不聊生”的说法,习近平态度明确——必须正确处理干净和担当的关系,决不能把反腐败当成不担当、不作为的借口。

local officials must not use anti-corruption as an excuse for not doing any actual work. This seems to confirm some reports about how local governments have been all paralyzed in recent year because the anti-corruption campaign was so harsh..

把对党忠诚纳入家庭家教家风建设。


Officials staying loyal to the Party is not enough, their families also need to be loyal to the Party


2. Hong Kong

Hong Kong leader says China extradition bill is 'dead' -- but stops short of full withdrawal - The Washington Post

she declined to formally withdraw the bill from the legislative agenda or meet protesters’ other demands, such as an independent inquiry into police use of force in quelling demonstrations. 

The Hong Kong government has “put a stop to” the legislative process around the bill, she said, dismissing fears that the legislature will restart the process at a later date.

“I reiterate here, there is no such plan,” she said. “The bill is dead.” ..

Joshua Wong, a prominent young activist, added in a tweet that Lam’s declaration was a “ridiculous lie.”

Hong Kong Leader, Carrie Lam, Says Extradition Bill Is ‘Dead’ - The New York Times

“The protesters are adamant on full withdrawal because, according to them, she cannot say the word because she is a stooge of Beijing,” said Willy Lam, an adjunct professor at the Center for China Studies at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. “They want to humiliate her.”

Extradition debacle proves Hong Kong’s government needs a radical shake-up to change the way it thinks and acts | South China Morning Post OpEd - Regina Ip

The mishandling of the extradition bill shows that the machinery for governance is all but broken. Drastic changes in officials’ mindset, as well as policies and systems, are the only way to preserve Hong Kong’s status as a vibrant and safe city

China's PLA signals it will keep Hong Kong-based troops in barracks - Reuters

The Chinese military commander responsible for Hong Kong has assured a Pentagon official that Chinese troops will not interfere in the city’s affairs – an apparent signal that they will stay in their barracks amid renewed political upheaval...

Major General Chen Daoxiang was speaking at the start of a meeting last month with David Helvey, principal deputy assistant secretary of defense for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs, according to people briefed on the discussion.

US barred Hong Kong consul from giving critical speech on protests | Financial Times $$

Kurt Tong, a career diplomat, left his post as US consul general to Hong Kong on Friday after less than three years in the role...

The speech, originally scheduled to be delivered at Hong Kong’s Asia Society in the afternoon on July 2, was watered down and made “off the record” at the last minute on the direct orders of the state department, according to three people familiar with the matter...

“Pompeo’s office called on Tuesday morning and ordered the speech be toned down and off the record,” said one of the people familiar with the matter, referring to the US secretary of state.

Question: Is the US sending mixed signals about Hong Kong? And did Pompeo make this decision because he thought the speech was wrong, or because he assumed Trump would be unhappy with it?

Media Boss Jimmy Lai Meets Pence, Pompeo on Hong Kong Issues - RFA

Hong Kong media boss and democracy campaigner Jimmy Lai met U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday to discuss concerns about the former British colony’s autonomy amid widespread protests over legislation that would allow the extradition of alleged criminal suspects to mainland China, their aides said...

“The two had a constructive discussion about the situation in Hong Kong, human rights, and the broader context with China and Taiwan,” said Mark Simon, an executive with Next Digital.

Beijing slams Hong Kong tycoon Jimmy Lai and US officials over Washington meetings on extradition bill, using words ‘national scum and Hong Kong sinners’ | South China Morning Post

On Tuesday the spokesman for Beijing’s foreign ministry commissioner said: “We would never sit idly and look on as national sovereignty, security, and the prosperity and stability of Hong Kong are being harmed.

“The collusion between internal and external forces, in bringing calamity to Hong Kong and its people, is destined not to end well.”

“They are willing to act as a political tool for foreign powers to oppose China and cause chaos in Hong Kong ... Their ugly face and despicable acts would be despised by all Chinese people, including Hong Kong compatriots. These national scum and Hong Kong sinners will always be nailed to the pillar of shame in our history,” the spokesman added.

news.gov.hk - No social credit system in HK

In a statement tonight, The Hong Kong SAR Government clarified that the claims made by Taiwan media reports and some online platforms saying the Mainland's social credit system will be implemented in the city are totally unfounded.


3. US-China

U.S., China Tentatively Move to Revive Trade Talks - WSJ $$

Senior officials from each side, including Robert Lighthizer, the U.S. trade representative, are set to speak by telephone this week, a U.S. official said. If successful, that could lead to face-to-face talks, likely in Beijing, people following the talks said.

“Who Knew Trump Would Offer a Truce With Xi?”: The Mystery of the Wall Street Trump Trades | Vanity Fair

Traders are talking about big options bets in advance of the president and others making news. Could they be related? “Maybe someone got lucky—or listened in to those private meetings.”

Ten Days Later, No Headline Chinese Ag Purchase Yet - POLITICO Trade

It seemed like a good sign when China bought 544,000 metric tons of U.S. soybeans the day before Trump met with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G-20 leaders meeting in Osaka, Japan, late last month.

But, 10 days later, no new sales have been announced following Trump’s promise that China “is going to be buying a tremendous amount of food and agricultural product, and they’re going to start that very soon, almost immediately.”

Trump also said his administration would give the Chinese “lists of things that we’d like them to buy” — there’s still no word on whether that has happened.

U.S. expects China to buy farm products amid ongoing trade talks: Kudlow - Reuters

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow on Tuesday said China was expected to move forward with agriculture purchases from the United States even as trade talks continued between the two countries.

Comment: The Chinese side has been pretty clear in the last few days that they will not be happening unless the US agrees to drop all tariffs as part of any agreement.

U.S. to provide licenses for sales to Huawei if national security protected - Reuters

Speaking at an annual department conference in Washington, Ross affirmed that the company would remain on the Entity List, meaning that licenses would likely be denied, but also offered an opening for some to be approved...

“To implement the president’s G20 summit directive two weeks ago, Commerce will issue licenses where there is no threat to U.S. national security,” Ross said

Forget about waiting out the Donald Trump era for a more cordial US president, former top American diplomat warns China | South China Morning Post

“I don’t think the Chinese government has any better record of understanding US politics, particularly US politics in the Trump era, than the Trump administration has in understanding Chinese politics,” said Daniel Russel, the former US assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs...

“The extended headbutting contest between the Trump administration and the Xi Jinping leadership” has limited both countries’ flexibility to compromise and created a “chilling atmosphere that makes it harder for traditional champions of the strong US-China relationship to be heard and to be persuasive,” he said.

China Eyes Trump's 2020 Strategy for Clues on Trade War Deal - Bloomberg

The biggest sticking point from China’s perspective is a U.S. demand to keep the punitive tariffs in place until Beijing actually implements reforms to state-owned enterprises and intellectual property. It’s politically unfeasible for Xi to accept any deal that doesn’t remove the tariffs: Nationalists in the Communist Party are pressuring him to avoid signing an “unequal treaty” reminiscent of those China signed with colonial powers.

This debate has picked up in China over the past month, with the party’s flagship People’s Daily newspaper warning obliquely in editorials that unidentified “capitulators” wanted China “to be a vassal, controlled and working for the United States.” The episode has undermined China’s trade negotiators, according to Wang Huiyao, an adviser to China’s cabinet and founder of Center for China and Globalization...

“Trump gave the hardliners plenty of space,” Wang said, adding that they consisted mainly of officials in the military and security. “It’s become politically incorrect to call for a deal.”

Question: Who are the "soft-liners" who must necessarily exist if we are to believe in the "empowering hardliners" line? And as one astute reader pointed out this morning, to believe that the Party-controlled media writing hardline editorials is a sign that Xi is under pressure from "hardliners" means that you believe Xi is not in control of People's Daily and the other propaganda outlets. That is not something I believe. 

I am wondering if in fact Xi himself is actually the biggest hardliner on the Standing Committee, and if he has decided that there is political value in the trade war, both to reset cadre and citizen views of America to something much more negative and competitive, and to use American “aggression” to offload the blame for the growing economic problems. The anti-American propaganda shift after the May breakdown in the talks was quite striking, and has utility not just domestically but also internationally in support of the PRC’s efforts to portray itself as the responsible power in the face of an unhinged America.

Note: Monday’s newsletter linked to another open letter about US-China relations. My mistake, I misunderstood the author and it is not yet ready for public consumption so please do not circulate it.


4. Taiwan

US approves major arms sale to Taiwan amid trade tensions with Beijing - CNNPolitics

The Pentagon's Defense Security Cooperation Agency said that the tank sale serves "US national, economic, and security interests by supporting" Taiwan's "continuing efforts to modernize its armed forces and to maintain a credible defensive capability." The agency also said that the Stinger missile sale would improve the security and defensive capability of Taiwan, which it called "an important force for political stability, military balance, and economic progress in the region."

Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States (TECRO) – M1A2T Abrams Tanks and Related Equipment and Support

The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to TECRO for the M1A2T Abrams Tanks and related equipment and support

China urges U.S. to withdraw arms sales to Taiwan - Xinhua

"The U.S. arms sales to Taiwan severely violate international law, the basic norms governing international relations, the one-China principle and the three China-U.S. joint communiques," Geng said. "It grossly interferes in China's internal affairs and undermines China's sovereignty and security interests."

The Chinese side is strongly dissatisfied with and firmly opposes such actions, and have lodged solemn representations with the U.S. side, Geng said at a press conference.

国台办:美方应立即撤销有关对台军售计划

美国国务院日前已批准向台湾出售总价值约22亿美元的武器装备,国台办发言人马晓光7月9日应询表示,外交部已就此表明我们的严正立场。美方此举粗暴干涉中国内政,严重损害台海和平稳定,我们坚决反对。美方应立即撤销有关对台军售计划,停止向“台独”分裂势力发出严重错误信号。再次正告民进党当局,任何挟洋自重、升高对立的行径必将引火烧身,自食恶果。

Comment: And expect President Tsai to make stopovers in the US, starting next week, on her way to and from meetings in the Caribbean


5. Bush Papers on 1989

The Other Tiananmen Papers | ChinaFile

As a way of marking the 30th anniversary of that secret trip and this decisive moment in U.S.-China relations, ChinaFile has published the documents in full and invited U.S. diplomats and national security officials who have covered China, as well as several longtime observers of the bilateral relationship, to read the documents and reflect on their significance. I prefer to let the documents speak for themselves, but I nevertheless join the Conversation below, with a couple brief observations of my own. —David Shambaugh...

Shambaugh - the documents clearly reveal the overwhelming realpolitik calculations and desire by President Bush personally to “preserve” the U.S.-China relationship at all costs. These documents illustrate the President’s higher regard for the importance of the relationship, over penalizing the Chinese authorities for their actions, and hence his obsession with getting the relationship “back on track.” Also surprising to me was Bush’s self-regard for his insights into China and his understanding of its history, owing to his time as Liaison Office representative in Beijing from 1974 to 1975, as well as his fawning language of personal “friendship” with Deng.

James Mann - As he clung to the old Cold War anti-Soviet partnership with China, Bush offered various public explanations for not taking stronger action in response to Tiananmen. One rationalization was a version of what I’ve called the “China Fantasy.” On June 5, 1989, the day after the crackdown, Bush told a press conference, “I think the depth of the feeling towards democracy in China is so great that you can’t put the genie back in the bottle and return to total repression.” Those words sounded far-sighted, but turned out to be wrong.

Comment: The other participants in the conversation are Evan Medeiros, Susan Thornton, James Green and Orville Schell. The whole thing is worth a read. 

I was always struck by what some people who were students in the city in 1989 would say whenever the subject of 1989 came up. “If only the protests had taken place several months later, when the USSR's hold on Eastern Europe cracked”...We will never know, but it is worth wondering what might have been with just a slight change in the timing...

We will also never know what would have happened if President Bush had taken a less urgent approach to making sure Deng knew he was still there for him in spite of the bloodshed.


6. PRC cryptocurrency coming?

I wonder what they will call it. Redcoin is taken.

Central bank unveils plan on digital currency - China Daily

The People's Bank of China, the central bank, is organizing market-oriented institutions to jointly research and develop a central bank digital currency and the program has been approved by the State Council, the country's Cabinet, Wang Xin, director of the PBOC Research Bureau, said at a seminar at Peking University.

The central bank has been watching the emergence of a new global digital currency called Libra, introduced by Facebook, the world's biggest social network company, on June 18.

"We will keep a close eye on the new global digital currency," said Wang, making the latest comment on Libra from the country's monetary authority...

Huang Yiping, director of the Digital Finance Research Center of Peking University and a former member of the PBOC monetary committee, said the birth of Libra serves as an "alert" for China's digital currency innovators and regulators.

Any role for Libra beyond the payment function could bring changes to the rules of the global monetary system, and regulators should pay close attention to that possibility, Huang said.

Yicai Global - Facebook's Libra Points to Crypto Future; China Must Plan Ahead, Ex-PBOC Governor Says

A stronger and more international currency could emerge in the future, according to the former governor of China's central bank, though it is not necessarily Libra, Facebook's own cryptocurrency.

"But in recent years there have been a number of institutions and people trying to create a currency that is more global," financial website Sina Finance quoted Zhou Xiaochuan as saying at an academic research forum today.

He suggested China study such trends as soon as possible and learn from the Hong Kong Monetary Authority's Hong Kong dollar issuing system where commercial banks issue notes and demand 100 percent guarantee for digital currency issuers.

Zhou’s comments per Sina - 周小川:Libra代表数字货币的趋势 中国应未雨绸缪|周小川_新浪财经_新浪网

Tron Cryptocurrency Responds to Swindled ‘Investors’ - Sixth Tone

Last week, scammers claiming to be associated with businesses owned by crypto-evangelist Justin Sun made off with $29 million in ill-gotten funds, sparking protests at a partner company’s office in Beijing...

Sun founded the Tron cryptocurrency — also known as bochang, or “wave field,” in China — in September 2017 and made headlines last month after he successfully bid $4.57 million for a charity lunch with billionaire investor and avowed crypto-skeptic Warren Buffett.


7. PRC Internet firms overseas

Amidst all the talk of possible US-China tech decoupling remember that China a decade ago made a conscious decision to decouple itself from the global Internet, even as its Internet firms tap overseas investors and capital markets and are increasingly trying to expand into overseas markets. Beijing’s forced decoupling does seem to have hurt the development of these firms.

Axios Media Trends - Chinese app downloads surge in U.S.

Shein, a major Chinese retailer, has experienced 2.5 million new installs in the United States alone, per Apptopia — its most ever from the country. This was only about 14.5% of its total app installs around the world. SHEIN is currently the #5 top advertiser on iOS in the Shopping category and #20 on Google Play. Shein is one of Facebook's biggest advertisers, and often uses Facebook ads to drive app installs in new markets, like the U.S.

DouYu, Shareholders Seek Up to $944 Million in U.S. IPO Restart - Bloomberg

The company, which delayed its IPO amid market jitters in May, filed Monday to offer 44.9 million American depository shares for $11.50 to $14 each. Current investors will offer an additional 22.5 million shares for sale, according to the company’s filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

TikTok Owner Hits 1.5 Billion Monthly Users - Caixin Global

ByteDance, the parent company of popular short video platform TikTok, said Tuesday it now has 1.5 billion monthly active users globally across its portfolio of apps. That’s 500 million more people than the figure for January, which Bytedance announced last month.

Report: Bytedance Expanding into Gaming with 'Oasis Project'- PingWest

"LatePost", which was founded by several veteran business journalists in China, recently reported that the Oasis Project has a few teams totaling around 100 people. Among different teams, nine titles were proposals in May for demo development. Unlike the casual mini-sized games that the firm previously tested, the new project will focus on the creation of heavy games.

How Amazon Lost in China - ChinaEconTalk 

This year Amazon made an unceremonious retreat from the Chinese market. In 2009, Amazon constituted a respectable 15% of Chinese e-commerce. Yet the latest reports put Amazon only at 0.6%. So what led Amazon, which has had considerable success in other overseas markets, to fail in China? 

In a longform analysis published recently in Southern Weekend, reporter Zhang Yue interviews a number of current and former Amazon China employees for an inside take on its failure.


8. Urbanization

China's Permanent Urban Population Rises to 830 Million amidst Reform of Household Registrations - China Banking News

China’s permanent urban population rose from 170 million to 830 million during the three decade period from 1978 to 2018, according to figures contained by the “Second Report on Economic and Social Development Accomplishments in the 70th Year of the Establishment of a New China” (新中国成立70周年经济社会发展成就系列报告之二) released by the National Bureau of Statistics on 8 July. 

The urbanisation rate increased from 17.92% to 59.58% across the same period for a 41.66 percentage point increase, while the number of cities in China increased from 193 to 672 and the number of established towns (建制镇) increased from 2176 to 21,297

The full report - 经济结构不断升级 发展协调性显著增强——新中国成立70周年经济社会发展成就系列报告之二


Business, Economy and Trade

报道称“80后”无养老金,人社部:对制度理解不到位 - 国内 - 新京报网 The ministry of human resources and social security came out to assure the public that there will enough pension money after report said China’s 30-year-olds may not be able to collect their pensions as the deficit of the pension fund continues to grow.

China Sheds Millionaires as Slowdown Shaves Fortunes - WSJ $$ The number of Chinese individuals with more than $1 million in financial assets slid 5% to 1.2 million during 2018 on the back of a $500 billion drop in the value of the assets they held, according to Paris-based Capgemini SE . The research shows China’s tug was a big contributor to a 2.9%, $2 trillion loss in wealth among the richest world-wide.

China's Noah Claims $490 Million Fraud Behind Missed Payouts - Bloomberg Noah Holdings Ltd., one of China’s largest wealth managers, levied accusations of fraud against Camsing International Holding Ltd., the Hong Kong-listed company that said last week its chairman had been detained by police.

Watchdog Probes Auditor After Massive Fraud at Kangde Xin - Caixin Ruihua Certified Public Accountants, one of China’s largest accounting firms, is being probed by the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC), an official from the inspection division said at a briefing. The firm has been Kangde Xin’s auditor since 2012, responsible for preparing the Shenzhen-listed company’s annual report and accounts.

Nine companies set prices for listings on China's Nasdaq-style tech board - Reuters The busy week of initial public offerings (IPOs) comes after an official announcement that the first batch of 25 companies will start trading on Shanghai’s tech-heavy STAR Market on July 22. This week alone, 21 of them are taking subscriptions from investors.

Internet Marketing Company Becomes the First to Withdraw High-Tech Board Application  - Caixin Global Papaya Mobile voluntarily applied to end its application last week, without giving a specific reason, according to a Monday notice from the Shanghai Stock Exchange. Prior to that, the bourse had conducted two rounds of reviews of Papaya Mobile and asked the company and sponsors for further explanatory materials in addition to its prospectus to a review committee.

Nintendo says to shift part of Switch console production out of China - Reuters Nintendo Co Ltd plans to shift part of the production of its Switch gaming console to Vietnam from China to diversify manufacturing sites, a spokeswoman at the Japanese video game maker told Reuters on Tuesday.

Log price collapse could impact jobs in New Zealand | RNZ News The problem stems from logs sitting on the wharves at ports in China, not being sent to construction projects inland. It has brought a sharp correction to a trend of strong growth that saw export revenue for logs rise from $4.683 billion in 2015 to $6.382bn in 2018. The latest fall, which happened in a matter of weeks, brought log prices down by 15 percent on a take it or leave it basis demanded by Chinese log importers. //Comment: Sinocism subscriber Peter Reward tells me that “this has happened twice before, just before a major slowdown in new floor area under construction (unsurprising as NZ logs and sawn timber are used as boxing and framing timber in China)”.

In Depth: The Challenges Facing China’s Nascent Deposit Insurance System - Caixin The Baoshang takeover put the spotlight on doubts that continue to plague the nascent deposit insurance system, including the fund’s small size relative to the country’s total deposits, vague responsibilities described by deposit insurance regulations, and a lack of independence from the central bank....Caixin previously learned that the deposit insurance fund accumulated more than 100 billion yuan by early 2019. At that size, the fund isn’t big enough to handle high-risk banks independently and is still under the control of the central bank’s Financial Stability Bureau

Politics and Law

Ex-Tomorrow Group aide released as China speeds up downsizing of Xiao Jianhua’s empire, sources say | South China Morning Post China’s plan to split up the business empire controlled by billionaire Xiao Jianhua appears to have gathered pace, with a former Tomorrow Group board secretary set free in June without trial after being under investigation for the last three years, three separate sources told the South China Morning Post.

青海厅官董金明被双开 七名“全国优秀县委书记”已落马_政经频道_财新网 Caixin - At least seven of the 102 county party bosses who were awarded in 2015 for excellent work now have been put under investigation for corruption.

哈尔滨市政法委书记、市扫黑除恶领导小组组长,落马 Ren Ruichen, Politics and Law Secretary of Harbin, under investigation

Huayi Brothers Announces Closer Ties to China’s Communist Party – Variety The firm has established a “CCP Huayi Brothers Media Co. Committee” in order to better “integrate party-building work into every aspect and step of the process of film and TV content creation,” Chinese reports cited the studio’s party secretary, Cao He, as saying. The move took place at a Monday meeting attended by local officials and about 100 Huayi employees, and comes amid a growing cultural tightening throughout China by the Communist government.

中共华谊兄弟传媒股份有限公司委员会正式成立啦 The CCP organization department of Beijing Chaoyang district announced that Huayi Brothers, China’s biggest private film and TV producer, has set up CCP party cell in the company. The company now has 115 CCP members, out of its 1933 employees. Chaiman Wang Zhongjun and party boss Cao He vowed to better include the party work in their film contents.

Reconstruction of Shenzhen urban village sparks controversy as 80,000 to be affected - Global Times A reconstruction project of chengzhongcun (villages in the city, or urban villages) is agitating migrant workers in Shenzhen as reports say nearly 20,000 of them were required to move out of the area within two months despite growing rent and other problems.  The situation provides a glimpse of local government's dilemma in managing chengzhongcun, a result of China's urbanization process, experts said, noting that measures to handle such challenges should always be people-oriented.

Top political advisor stresses new role of CPPCC lecture forum - Xinhua China's top political advisor on Tuesday called for efforts to make a video series, featuring lecture forums of political advisors, into an innovative platform of duty performance. Wang Yang, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) National Committee, made the call while attending the political advisors' forum in Beijing.

China: Statement by the China Human Rights Lawyers Group on the Fourth Anniversary of the ‘709 Incident’ | IAPL Monitoring Committee on Attacks on Lawyers The world was shocked by the mass detention of Chinese human right lawyers on July 9, 2015 –– in what became known as the “709 Incident.” Following the secret sentencing of “709” lawyer Wang Quanzhang (王全璋), who was tried for the crime of “subversion of state power,” people thought that the “709 Incident,” at least for the time being, should have come to an end. But in fact, the opposite is true. The relevant authorities not only have not ended their persecution of human rights lawyers; on the contrary, they have intensified their efforts.

Over 90 Million Records Leaked by Chinese Public Security Department - Bleeping Computer A publicly accessible and unsecured ElasticSearch server owned by the Jiangsu Provincial Public Security Department of the Chinese province Jiangsu leaked two databases containing over 90 million people and business records.

Foreign and Defense Affairs

人事观察|各军兵种晋升19名中将 不乏将门之后_政经频道_财新网 Caixin cited public reports in saying that PLA recently promoted 19 to Lieutenant General or Vice Admiral. Two of them studied in Russia, and another two have family members as KMT generals.

Banned at home, Twitter becomes a new tool for Chinese diplomats abroad - The Washington Post According to Chinese officials, Twitter is a destabilizing carrier of foreign influence, a platform banned inside China on national security grounds. Also according to Chinese officials: “We are pleased to join Twitter in which we can engage in more frequent and productive dialogue with Americans.” That was the optimistic message posted Monday by the Chinese Embassy in Washington as the delegation and its ambassador, Cui Tiankai, opened two new accounts on the social media platform.

Chinese vice president meets Malaysia's deputy PM - Global Times Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan met with Malaysia's Deputy Prime Minister Wan Azizah Wan Ismail on Tuesday, calling for enhanced bilateral ties...Also on Tuesday, Chinese Vice Premier Sun Chunlan and State Councilor Wang Yong met with Wan Azizah respectively.

China willing to share its 5G development opportunities with world: FM - Xinhua China is willing to share its 5G development opportunities with the world to benefit people in more countries, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi has said. Wang made the remarks when meeting the press with Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz here on Monday.

The new Yellow Peril? - SupChina Today SupChina is launching the Sinophobia Tracker to provide an ongoing record of prejudicial and inflammatory statements from public figures in the United States and other signs of official targeting of ethnically Chinese people, rather than the Chinese government.  // The tracker. Has anyone launched a tracker of people, ethnic Chinese or not, who have been convicted in the US of crimes related to espionage, economic or otherwise, IP theft and other offenses for the benefit of the PRC? The US DoJ just released the information sheet "Information about the Department of Justice’s Attorney General China Initiative, AAG Demers bio and a compilation of China related criminal cases since Jan. 2018"

‘Psychological fear’: MIT scientists of Chinese origin protest toxic US climate MIT scientists who spoke to Nature described a variety of discomfiting experiences with government officials in recent months — and said they were changing their behaviour in response to the climate on campus and around the country.

Chinese scientists facing greater scrutiny by United States - The Boston Globe A Chinese postdoctoral student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology shared information on social media about China’s recruitment program for US-based faculty last fall, and within days he was flagged as suspicious and interviewed by federal agents. At Brigham and Women’s Hospital, government agencies have asked for more detailed information about the backgrounds of Chinese scholars and scientists working in its labs.

Analysis of Sweden's decision to bar extradition to China - RSDL Monitor The court judges that any trial of Qiao will significantly deviate from a standard that is acceptable in accordance with Article 6 of the ECHR. The verdict states that, from what is known about the Chinese judicial system, not least the fact that it is not independent and that it is controlled by a political power (the Chinese Communist Party), one may question whether or not it is possible to trust possible assurances about the treatment of Qiao, in line with the ECHR.

Former prisoner takes on China's 'so-called' justice system - Newsroom UK-based China expert Peter Humphrey is making himself available to any court in the world where defence lawyers are trying to save someone from being sent back to China, and that includes New Zealand. Humphrey, who was an investigator in China for 15 years before being arrested and spending two years in prison, has offered his testimony in the case of Korean-born, New Zealand resident Kyung Yup Kim, should the Crown decide to appeal a recent decision that calls into question China's human rights record.

Why the United States should sanction the mastermind of China’s crackdown on the Uighurs - The Washington Post OpEd - Jonathan Schanzer Chen Quanguo is the man behind China’s “reeducation centers.” He is an obvious candidate for Global Magnitsky sanctions...Chen remains one of the worst human rights abusers of our time. The evidence against him is irrefutable. These are two compelling reasons for the White House to act, trade talks or not.

China to deepen military cooperation with Caribbean countries, Pacific island countries: defense minister - China Military Chinese State Councilor and Defense Minister Wei Fenghe on Monday said China is willing to deepen military exchanges and cooperation with the Caribbean countries and Pacific island countries under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Wei made the remarks when meeting with attendees of the Fourth Forum for Senior Defense Officials from Caribbean and South Pacific Countries held in China.

New stealth jet project moving ahead on pace - China Daily China's development of the FC-31, the country's second stealth fighter jet, is proceeding smoothly and on schedule, according to its chief designer. Sun Cong, president of the Chinese Aeronautical Establishment under Aviation Industry Corporation of China, said at a news conference on Thursday in Shenyang, Liaoning province, that people should be patient and wait for good news from the project.

Gaining Competitive Advantage in the Gray Zone: Response Options for Coercive Aggression Below the Threshold of Major War | RAND In this report, the authors use insights from their extensive field research in affected countries, as well as general research into the literature on the gray zone phenomenon, to sketch out the elements of a strategic response to the gray zone challenge and develop a menu of response options for U.S. officials to consider.

Hong Kong and Macao

Chinese state media target Macau's Suncity in online gambling report - Reuters Suncity enabled Chinese players to bet through online casinos in the Philippines and Cambodia and utilised underground banks to move capital out of the country, the report. “The annual amount bet through online gambling in the mainland is more than one trillion yuan ($145 billion), equivalent to nearly twice the annual income of China’s lottery,” the report said. // 特大国际网络赌博平台深度渗透国内 _ 经济参考网

Hong Kong's Penny Stock Crashes Belie SFC Cleanup Pledge - Bloomberg Two years after Hong Kong’s securities regulator vowed to nip irregularities in the bud, flash crashes are still plaguing the world’s fourth-largest stock market. This year’s wave rivals the notorious “Enigma Network” that prompted the last bout of regulatory hand-wringing in 2017

Taiwan

小英「台灣總統」賀文藍營氣炸 總統府霸氣回應了 - 政治 - 自由時報電子報 Rockville MD and Yilan, Taiwan set up sister city relationship. Tsai Ing-wen signs the proclamation as "the president of Taiwan".

Tech and Media

Disney mixes up Chinese elements in 'Mulan' trailer: net users - Global Times The film tells the story of a young woman who pretends to be a man in order to fulfill her father's military service and protect the country, adapted from an ancient Chinese story circulating in the Northern Dynasties (386-581). Some sharp-eyed net users found the houses, makeup and dress more characteristic of the Tang Dynasty (618-907), "the most well-known image of ancient China," as film critic Shi Wenxue noted.

Huawei granted mapping license for autonomous driving push · TechNode The country’s natural resources ministry granted the permit on Friday which removes barriers for Huawei, a key Tier 1 supplier for future smart connected vehicles

Society, Arts, Sports, Culture and History

Chinese Christians Worship Freely for First Time in Taiwan - Breitbart Some members of the persecuted Early Rain Covenant Church in China were reportedly able to worship publicly for the first time on Sunday in democratically ruled Taiwan after communist authorities shut down their congregation in China as part of Beijing’s widespread crackdown on ethnoreligious minorities across the Asian country.

Chinese Christians flee China amid crackdown on church: ‘No longer safe for us’ | Fox News More than 100 members of Early Rain were taken into custody from the church or their homes on Dec. 9 and 10, according to Human Rights Watch. Those detained included Wang Yi, the pastor, who made a point of holding a prayer service on June 4 each year to commemorate the 1989 bloody crackdown on democracy protesters in Beijing's Tiananmen Square, which China's government has tried to erase from history. Since then, they have been under constant Orwellian watch under the state.

US-China trade war, tariffs could cause a Bible shortage in America - USA Today That’s because millions of Bibles – some estimates put it at 150 million or more – are printed in China each year. Critics of a proposed tariff say it would make the Bible more expensive for consumers and hurt the evangelism efforts of Christian organizations that give away Bibles as part of their ministry.

US-China trade war proves the 'last straw' for Pace Beijing | The Art Newspaper 

Drink-driving Maserati driver in China crashes into BMW which bursts into flames, killing 2 on board - The Straits Times 

Energy, Environment, Science and Health

Central Government Rejects Claims Three Gorges Dam Is Structurally Unsound - Caixin The statement came after a screenshot from Google Maps circulated on Chinese social media that appeared to show the giant dam had contorted since construction finished in 2006. If it were to burst it would be catastrophic for “half of China,” warned the user who originally posted the screenshot to Twitter.

46 cities to accelerate trash sorting programs according to local conditions - Global Times The Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development  published a trash sorting program including 46 pilot cities, of which nine have introduced the regulations. Beijing is the first city in the legislative framework, China Central Television (CCTV) reported on Saturday.

Beijing

Beijing Sets Rules to Prevent Apartment Overcrowding | Sixth Tone Effective from Monday, the new policy prohibits homeowners from renovating the interiors of their properties or increasing the number of beds to accommodate more tenants. The housing commission also said that rental properties should not be less than 5 square meters in size and that no room should accommodate more than two tenants.

Education

New guideline regulates student recruitment in Chinese schools - Xinhua Primary and middle schools, which provide compulsory education schooling in China, are now banned from recruiting students based on exam results, contest awards or certificates, according to the guideline. The guideline also prohibited them from organizing interviews or evaluations to select students.

Chinese Education Stocks Drop as Beijing Vows Tighter Regulation - Bloomberg New guidelines issued by the State Council covering the first nine years of schooling aimed to better regulate "non-compliant, off-campus" classes and competitions. The government also said officials would oversee registration, fee, advertising and antitrust issues for public and private schools.

Rural and Agricultural Issues

Yicai Global - An Inside Look at China's National Grain Reserves in Zhuozhou China Grain Reserve Management, which controls China's national grain and edible oil reserves, recently opened up one of its secretive silos to Yicai Global reporters. // Why are the doing a press event?

深入实施乡村振兴战略,书写好中华民族伟大复兴的“三农”新篇章 ——学习《习近平关于“三农”工作论述摘编》 闻 言 《 人民日报 》( 2019年07月09日 06 版)