Xi reappears; More tax and fee relief; Patriotic films; Ding Jiaxi
Summary of today’s Essential Eight:
Xi reappears - Xi led the Standing Committee, the rest of the Politburo, and many other top leaders on a visit to the “Forging Ahead in the New Era“ exhibition in Beijing, “an exhibition on the great achievements of the Party and the country over the past decade”. At a speech for the opening of the exhibition Wang Huning said “The fundamental reason why historic achievements and historic shifts have been made in the cause of the Party and the country is the helmsmanship and leadership of General Secretary Xi Jinping and the sound guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era 新时代之所以发生伟大变革，根本在于习近平总书记掌舵领航，在于习近平新时代中国特色社会主义思想科学指引”.
Pre-Party Congress propaganda - More on the “Revitalization Library” and another argument for needing Xi to stay in charge.
More tax and fee relief - This week’s State Council Executive meeting again focuses on fee and tax relief, with deepening concerns about unemployment as the backdrop.
World Bank cuts 2022 GDP projections - The World Bank now forecasts that the PRC’s 2022 GDP growth will grow at 2.8%, barely half the rate of the rest of the Asia-Pacific region. The PRC leadership really set themselves up for disappointment by setting a GDP 5.5% “guidance” at the NPC in March, wish I understand the political logic of setting a target that just about everyone assumed was too high, even before the Shanghai lockdown disaster.
Local governments selling land to themselves? - Caixin on the growing trend of local governments desperate for revenue using their local government financing vehicles to buy land from the local governments, funded by bank loans. That does not sound either sustainable or like deleveraging?
Patriotic films for the October Holiday - One that it is a Top Gun-like story and another that is about bringing trapped PRC nationals home from a conflict zone.
Meta says stopped PRC campaign to influence US election - The campaign sounds small and poorly executed, but is a bad sign. If there are similar efforts on TikTok or Wechat, will we get reports on the activities from Bytedance or Tencent?
Ding Jaixi - A long and disturbing look by Reuters at the crackdown on lawyers through the case of Ding Jiaxi
Thanks for reading.
The Essential Eight
1. Xi reappears
Xi led the Standing Committee, the rest of the Politburo, and many other top leaders on a visit to the “Forging Ahead in the New Era“ exhibition in Beijing, “an exhibition on the great achievements of the Party and the country over the past decade”. At a speech for the opening of the exhibition Wang Huning said “The fundamental reason why historic achievements and historic shifts have been made in the cause of the Party and the country is the helmsmanship and leadership of General Secretary Xi Jinping and the sound guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era 新时代之所以发生伟大变革，根本在于习近平总书记掌舵领航，在于习近平新时代中国特色社会主义思想科学指引”.
Xi...made the remarks when visiting an exhibition on the great achievements of the Party and the country over the past decade.
Xi stressed that since the 18th CPC National Congress in 2012, the CPC Central Committee has united and led the whole Party, the country, and the people in solving many challenging problems that were long on the agenda but never resolved, making many achievements that concerned the nation's future, and overcoming many political, economic, ideological, and natural risks, challenges, and trials.
Historic achievements and shifts have taken place in the cause of the Party and the country, equipping the country with better institutions, firmer material foundations, and a more proactive mindset for realizing national rejuvenation, Xi added.
He called for more efforts in raising public awareness of strategic measures, transformative practices, breakthroughs, and landmark accomplishments over the past decade. He also urged a better understanding of the significance of the profound changes during this period in the history of the CPC, of New China, of the reform and opening-up, of the development of socialism, and of the development of the Chinese nation, so that the whole Party, the country, and the people will maintain historical confidence and enhance the historical initiative.
Is CCTV trying to say something with this stuffed tiger lurking behind Xi?
The exhibition -- "Forging Ahead in the New Era" -- opened Tuesday morning at the Beijing Exhibition Hall.
Wang Huning, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and a member of the Secretariat of the CPC Central Committee, addressed the opening ceremony and declared the exhibition open.
Wang hailed the decade since the 18th CPC National Congress in 2012 as a truly extraordinary and remarkable decade in the course of the development of the Party and the country...
The CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core has united and led the entire Party, the military, and all Chinese people in advancing a host of transformative practices, making many new breakthroughs and achieving a number of landmark accomplishments, Wang said.
With great success achieved for socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era, the last 10 years are a milestone in the history of the Party, the People's Republic of China, reform and opening up, the development of socialism, and the development of the Chinese nation, he said.
The fundamental reason why historic achievements and historic shifts have been made in the cause of the Party and the country is the helmsmanship and leadership of General Secretary Xi Jinping and the sound guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, Wang said.
Wang stressed the need to maintain a high degree of unity with the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core.
Who can forget the “Road to Rejuvenation” exhibit Xi visited just after he became General Secretary in 2012, in what seems like a different Era.
2. Pre-Party Congress propaganda
More on the “Revitalization Library” and another argument for needing Xi to stay in charge.
History is the best textbook. We will move forward, but we shall never forget what we have experienced. No matter how far we will have gone towards a bright future, we should not forget the past. As the world is undergoing profound changes unseen in a century and China's journey to its national rejuvenation enters a critical period, it is all the more important for us to draw on the lessons of history, reflect on the past, look to the future and press forward.
Based on the foundation of a sound understanding of the Party's history, we should learn the history of modern China and the history of China, to gain a clear grasp of where we come from and where we are going, get a clear understanding of what we Chinese communists are for, what we have done and what we are going to do, and clearly see why we were successful in the past and how we can continue to succeed in the future. We should bolster confidence in and raise awareness of our own culture, pass on the revolutionary culture, develop the advanced socialist culture, and promote the creative transformation and development of the fine traditional Chinese culture, so as to build a shared spiritual home for the Chinese nation. We need to digest the essence of the history, promote theoretical innovation, and better advance academic studies. We should develop theories of our own, communicate our thoughts and continue to adapt Marxism to the Chinese context and our times. We should be firm in our ideals and convictions, consolidate our inner strengths, and more effectively uphold and develop socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era, so that we can contribute our wisdom and efforts to the great national rejuvenation and make achievements and create glories of our own generation.
Also on Tuesday, the party announced it would publish a “library” of China’s past pursuit of “national rejuvenation”, in an apparent attempt to shore up support for Xi’s policy goals.
The five-volume collection, called the Revitalisation Library, focuses on the “great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation”, Xi’s umbrella policy slogan since he came to power in 2012...
Deng Yuwen, a former deputy editor of Study Times, the Central Party School’s official newspaper, said there was no precedent in the past three decades for publishing such a major compilation on the party’s long-term policy goal ahead of a congress...
“Previous practice was to collect the leader’s speeches and compile a series of selected works, or wenxuan, upon their retirement. It is very rare to see such a huge publishing effort on just one policy goal,” said Deng, who is now an independent scholar and researcher at the Centre for China Analysis and Strategy in the United States.
The Communist Party cannot afford to make “strategic mistakes” as it did during the Cultural Revolution, the former executive vice-president of the Central Party School has said.
He Yiting made the remark in an article published in Study Times, the school’s official publication, on Monday...
His was the latest in a string of recent articles and speeches by President Xi Jinping and other officials about the importance of having a grand vision and a paramount leader to take the country forward. They are part of a propaganda push in the lead-up to next month’s five-yearly party congress, when Xi is expected to secure an unprecedented third term as party chief.
He Yiting’s piece - 战略问题是党和国家的根本性问题--理论-中国共产党新闻网
理论自信何以更加坚定（深入学习贯彻习近平新时代中国特色社会主义思想） Second in the Renli Xuan People's Daily Series, this one on historical confidence. The theoretical underpinnings of that confidence of course being Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with China Characteristics for a New Era. An excerpt:
Since the Eighteenth National Congress of the Communist Party of China, the most fundamental reason why we have been able to overcome many long-term unsolved problems, accomplish many major events and important matters of long-term significance, withstand risks and challenges from politics, economy, ideology, nature, etc., and promote the cause of the Party and the country to achieve historic achievements and historic changes is that General Secretary Xi Jinping is at the helm as the core of the Party Central Committee and the core of the whole Party, and is guided by Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics in the New Era.
3. More tax and fee relief
This week’s State Council Executive meeting again focuses on fee and tax relief, with deepening concerns about unemployment as the backdrop.
China will allow market entities to defer payments of certain government-levied charges to further reduce financial burdens, and offer tax concessions for private pension schemes, according to a State Council executive meeting.
At the meeting, chaired by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Monday, decisions were also made to enhance government services, ensure a bumper autumn harvest with improved rural infrastructure, and promote the development of the self-employment sector...
"Market entities, especially micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, self-employed households and manufacturing firms now face considerable difficulties," Li said. "Postponing the collection of government-levied charges and deposits is an important step to support market players. All policies must be delivered on the ground without delay."
The meeting rolled out an additional set of fee deferral policies for the fourth quarter of this year. Payments of 14 government-levied charges, including farmland reclamation fees and sewage and household waste disposal fees, amounting to over 53 billion yuan (7.49 billion U.S. dollars) will be deferred without incurring overdue fines.
Localities will be encouraged to postpone the collection of sub-national government-levied charges for enterprises, and arbitrary charges will be strictly prohibited.
Payments of project quality deposits of various kinds, totaling approximately 63 billion yuan, will be deferred...
The meeting noted that such private pension schemes are useful complements to the basic old-age insurance scheme, and can better meet people's diverse needs and enhance social security safeguards.
Personal income tax concessions will be made available for these private pension schemes. Participants will be entitled to a contribution deduction of up to 12,000 yuan each year from their annual taxable income.
No tax will be levied on investment yields for the time being. The actual tax burden for receiving pension benefits will be lowered from its previous 7.5 percent to 3 percent. This policy will be applied retroactively to Jan. 1 this year...
The construction of existing agricultural and rural infrastructure projects will be accelerated, and a number of new projects will break ground, with investments worth over 300 billion yuan expected to be completed this year.
A draft regulation on promoting the development of self-employed individuals was also passed at the meeting.
The draft clearly stipulates equal access and fair treatment for self-employed people, the protection of their property rights and business autonomy, and policy support in taxation, fees and finance.
China has stepped up efforts to save jobs this year, with some 64.63 billion yuan (9.19 billion U.S. dollars) having already been offered to businesses this year. Unemployment insurance refunds totaling 44.84 billion yuan were given to some 7.21 million enterprises, or more than half of all employers covered by the social security net, in the first eight months of the year, according to the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security. The amount of money and number of beneficiaries were respectively 1.9 and 1.8 times their levels reported for the whole of 2021.
4. World Bank cuts 2022 GDP projections
The World Bank now forecasts that the PRC’s 2022 GDP growth will grow at 2.8%, barely half the rate of the rest of the Asia-Pacific region. The PRC leadership really set themselves up for disappointment by setting a 5.5% GDP “guidance” at the NPC in March, wish I understand the political logic of setting a target that just about everyone assumed was too high, even before the Shanghai lockdown disaster.
The World Bank has revised down its forecast for gross domestic product growth in the world’s second-largest economy to 2.8 per cent, compared with 8.1 per cent last year, and from its prediction in April of between 4 and 5 per cent for this year.
At the same time, expectations for the rest of east Asia and the Pacific have improved. The region, excluding China, is expected to grow 5.3 per cent in 2022, up from 2.6 per cent last year, thanks to high commodity prices and a rebound in domestic consumption after the coronavirus pandemic...
The World Bank also worried that the property slowdown represents a deep “structural” problem. To reduce the immediate risk of contagion from the property sector “turmoil”, the bank said Beijing needs to provide more liquidity support to distressed developers and financial guarantees for project completion. In the long term, however, fiscal reforms are needed to give local governments revenue sources beyond land sales, including a property tax.
The report in PDF
“The slowdown in external demand is the biggest uncertainty faced by China’s trade,” said Vice Commerce Minister Wang Shouwen during a press conference Tuesday in Beijing. “Our companies are reporting falling orders, as the demand from major markets is declining.”
Companies reported the weakest growth in sales prices since the last quarter of 2020 in the three months through September, according to indexes compiled by China Beige Book International in a report published Tuesday. That’s despite wages and input costs picking up slightly from the previous quarter.
5. Local governments selling land to themselves?
Caixin on the growing trend of local governments desperate for revenue using their local government financing vehicles to buy land from the local governments, funded by bank loans. That does not sound either sustainable or like deleveraging?
Local government financing vehicles (LGFVs) have played a key role in China’s economic and social development over the past two decades, especially in funding and building infrastructure investment on behalf of local authorities across the country.
Since last year they’ve been given yet another task by their local government masters — buying land and building homes to fill a massive funding gap triggered by a slump in revenue from land as cash-strapped developers disappeared from the market...
The slump in land sales has left many local governments struggling to finance the spending outlined in their 2022 budgets. In Chongqing, a municipality of 40 million people in southwestern China, the government budgeted for land income of 203.7 billion yuan. But in the first seven months, sales plunged 82% year-on-year to 23.6 billion yuan, well below expectations.
“Chongqing is very anxious and asking around for companies to buy land parcels,” a manager at a financial institution focused on land market financing told Caixin. If it cannot find developers to buy land, it will probably instruct LGFVs to step in, the person said.
Some local governments have allowed vehicles to delay paying for purchased land but have still handed it over so that the companies can use it as collateral to apply for bank loans which are then used to pay for the land, according to an industry insider focused on helping LGFVs raise finance...
“The exposure of LGFV risks is the final link in China’s deleveraging chain,” Ding Jiping, ratings director at China Lianhe Credit Rating Co. Ltd., said at a seminar earlier this month. “These investment companies are stuffed with debt and until the risk appetite of financial institutions is changed as a result of defaults, the country’s leverage ratio cannot come down.”
6. Patriotic films for the October Holiday
One that it is a Top Gun-like story and another that is about bringing trapped PRC nationals home from a conflict zone.
Seven films are set to debut during the National Day holidays (October 1-7). Four of these are "main melody" films - realistic patriotic works focusing on stories about the nation, the Communist Party of China and the People's Liberation Army - and three are animated movies...
Born to Fly [长空之王], directed by Liu Xiaoshi and starring Wang Yibo, Hu Jun and Zhou Dongyu, is set to hit theaters on Friday. In the film, young, excellent Chinese pilots put China's self-produced stealth fighter through its paces and protect the motherland's territorial air space without fear of difficulties or danger...
Next on the pre-sale chart is the film Home Coming [万里归途], based on the true story of bringing trapped Chinese nationals back to their homeland.
7. Meta says stopped PRC campaign to influence US election
The campaign sounds small and poorly executed, but is a bad sign. If there are similar efforts on TikTok or Wechat, will we get reports on the activities from Bytedance or Tencent?
This operation ran across multiple social media, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and two Czech petition platforms. This was the first Chinese network we disrupted that focused on US domestic politics ahead of the midterm elections, as well as Czechia’s foreign policy toward China and Ukraine. Chinese influence operations that we’ve disrupted before typically focused on criticizing the United States to international audiences, rather than primarily targeting domestic audiences in the US
Ben Nimmo, Meta’s lead official for global threat intelligence, said the operation reflected “a new direction for Chinese influence operations.”..
The posts appeared during working hours in China, typically when Americans were asleep. They dropped off noticeably during what appeared to be “a substantial lunch break.”
In one post, a user struggled with clarity: “I can’t live in an America on regression.”
Even if the campaign failed to go viral, Mr. Nimmo said the company’s disclosure was intended to draw attention to the potential threat of Chinese interference in domestic affairs of its rivals.
8. Ding Jaixi
A long and disturbing look by Reuters at the crackdown on lawyers through the case of Ding Jiaxi
Ding Jiaxi is caught in a sprawling crackdown in which hundreds of lawyers and others have been harassed, disbarred, detained or jailed. Their offense: using the courts to wage a battle for civil rights in China. The story of Ding’s ordeal, including allegations of torture and years of separation from his family, shows the Communist Party’s determination to crush the movement – and the activists’ resolve to carry on...
Ding’s ordeal is described in a submission to a court in Shandong Province by his lawyer. Jailers bombarded Ding with the soundtrack of a propaganda film about Chinese President Xi Jinping’s rule, blared at maximum volume, 24 hours a day, for 10 days. Interrogators later strapped Ding to a “tiger bench” for seven days straight. In this rack-like form of torture, the tightly bound prisoner sits bolt upright with legs stretched out horizontally, joints and muscles straining in agony.
After more than two years in custody, Ding, 55, went on trial in Shandong’s Linshu County on June 24 on charges of subverting state power, according to a copy of the indictment. The trial lasted one day and was held behind closed doors. The verdict has yet to be announced; Ding’s fellow rights defenders expect a heavy sentence.
Ding is one of the highest-profile targets of the ruling Communist Party’s sprawling, multiyear clampdown on rights lawyers and legal scholars.
Sinocism is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
Business, Economy and Trade
The source, who is familiar with the yuan rate-setting process, said monetary authorities were prodding banks to include the so-called counter-cyclical factor in their daily fixings for the tightly-managed exchange rate.
It's an adjustment that 14 banks make to their yuan quotes that the People's Bank of China (PBOC) uses to set the daily reference rate, effectively introducing a bias to the fixing rate. It was abandoned in 2020 when the yuan rose sharply and authorities decided to let market forces dictate the rate around which the yuan is allowed to move.
1-8月全国规模以上工业企业利润同比降2.1% 制造业利润降13.4%—财经网 Between Jan and August, industrial profits dropped 2.1% compared to the same period last year and manufacturing profits sank 13.4% year on year. The biggest drop was recorded in the mining and oil & gas sectors. Out of 41 categories of industrial sectors, 25 saw profits decline.
拓展有效投资空间 系列重大工程将加快落地—新华通讯社《经济参考报》官方网站 From nuclear projects to roads and gas pipelines, China will proceed with another round of infrastructure push intended to “expand the room for effective investment,” the National Development and Reform Commission told reporters this week. To get these projects going, China will look to various funding sources, including central government funds, local special government bonds and funding from policy banks 政策性开发性金融工具。
已有37个城市放松限购 部分城市暂停限购—证券日报 So far, 37 Chinese cities have relaxed home purchasing rules, according to a tally by the Securities Daily. The relaxation in many cities are related to Hukou and the number of homes one can purchase. Additionally, home down payment requirements have also been lowered. In the past few months, however, certain cities have suspended the relaxation, with some limiting the rules to a select few city districts. Analysts remain skeptical that these rules will boost home sales significantly.
恒大地产深圳龙岗四项目引入国企龙岗安城投，合作“保交楼”—澎湃新闻 Evergrande Group announced that it’s working with a state-owned firm in Shenzhen to ensure that home projects in that city get completed. The company, in a Wechat announcement, said the state firm has expertise in real estate operation and is flush with cash. 拥有专业开放运营能力及强大资金实力。
多地鼓励国企收储商品房作保障房，各地有哪些条件—第一财经 In many Chinese cities, the governments are encouraging state-owned firms to buy commercial homes and then turn them into affordable housing. Analysts say the move is likely to help ease the housing glut in some cities while increasing supplies of affordable units.
商务部答21记者：今年前8月中国跨境电商增长势头好，将扩大跨境电商综合试验区范围—21世纪经济报道 China will promote cross-border e-commerce through e-commerce pilot zones, Wang Shouwen, a commerce ministry official, told the 21st Century Business Herald this week. “We will learn from these good practices and prepare to add another batch of cross-border e-commerce comprehensive pilot zones," Wang said. In 2021, Chinese exports related to cross-border grew 18.6% over a year ago, accounting for 4.9% of China’s total foreign trade. 2021年中国跨境电商进出口规模在高速增长基础上继续实现了18.6%的增长，达1.92万亿元，占中国外贸比重的4.9%，
分类施策，持续化解重点企业集团和金融机构风险—中新网 China’s central bank said last week that it has enough capital in its “financial stability funds” and will use them toward cases with major financial risks where capital need is acute. Such funds will receive capital injection from the central government and financial institutions but will also run in parallel with capital from issuers. 2022年，人民银行会同有关部门加快推动建立金融稳定保障基金。金融稳定保障基金定位于由中央掌握的应对重大金融风险的资金，资金来自金融机构、金融基础设施等市场主体，与存款保险基金和相关行业保障基金双层运行、协同配合，共同维护金融稳定与安全。在重大金融风险处置中，金融机构、股东和实际控制人、地方政府、存款保险基金和相关行业保障基金等各方应依法依责充分投入相应资源。仍有缺口的，经批准按程序使用金融稳定保障基金。目前，金融稳定保障基金基础框架初步建立，已有一定资金积累。
Developer Sunac China seeks to extend payment for 4 billion yuan bond for the third time | Reuters by pushing out the deadline by another 6 months, two sources with knowledge said on Tuesday. After the adjustments, Sunac will not pay the two remaining amortization payments scheduled for this year, and the last instalment will be delayed to March 31, 2024 from Sept 30, 2023, the sources said.
China Asks Funds to Limit Stock Sales Before 20th Party Congress, Sources Say - Bloomberg The China Securities Regulatory Commission and the Shanghai and Shenzhen stock exchanges made the request last week via so-called “window guidance,” said the people who declined to be identified because they are not authorized to speak publicly. The move is a fairly common operation to prevent big swings during volatile periods and major political events, the people added.
Denual of the above report - 接近监管人士透露：个别媒体关于经纪商和基金经理接受监管指导报道属不实消息 From Cailian:
According to people close to the regulators, the reports of some media about brokers and fund managers receiving regulatory guidance are untrue, and the regulatory authorities have not given relevant guidance to brokers and fund companies recently. Some senior executives of head institutions also confirmed to Cailian that the regulatory authorities will not intervene in the market, and said that adhering to the principle of marketization and rule of law and implementing "establishing a system, non-intervention and zero tolerance" are the basic principles upheld by the regulatory authorities, and will not interfere with the normal operation of the market due to short-term market fluctuations and different time nodes.
Caixin - Cash-Strapped Retailer Gome Struggles to Pay Staff, Plans Debt Restructuring Money-losing Chinese appliances retailer Gome Retail Holdings Ltd. is struggling to pay staff and is planning to restructure its debt as its short-term borrowings pile up, sources with knowledge of the issue told Caixin. A number of Gome employees said they weren’t paid their salaries last month and that the company has delayed paying out first-half bonuses.
China Will Likely Ease Covid Restrictions and Reopen the Country by Spring 2023 - Bloomberg Pressure to reopen will build because the Covid Zero strategy has led to significantly weaker income growth and a sharp rise in youth unemployment -- outcomes that are at odds with President Xi Jinping’s policy goal of “common prosperity,” according to Morgan Stanley. // Comment: That seems logical, but the same logic could have been applied several quarters ago
Charts of the Day: Yuan’s Cross-Border Settlements Grew in 2021 - Caixin Global Cross-border yuan settlements grew to 36.61 trillion yuan ($5.12 trillion) last year, consisting of 18.51 trillion yuan in receipts and 18.1 trillion yuan in payments, according to the People’s Bank of China’s (PBOC) 2022 RMB Internationalization Report...The report, published on Friday, also indicated that cross-border yuan settlements are likely to keep growing this year as they rose 15.7% year-on-year to 20.32 trillion yuan in the first half.
Bangladesh aims for yuan trade as cushion against mighty dollar - Nikkei Asia Bangladesh Bank, the central bank, in mid-September said that authorized dealer banks (ADs) can carry out transactions in yuan for trade with China. To bring [a] wider scope, it has been decided that ADs may maintain accounts in [yuan] with their correspondents/branches abroad for settlement of cross border transactions executed in this currency," the central bank said in a circular. This builds on a 2018 move to allow AD banks to open foreign currency clearing accounts with Bangladesh Bank in yuan.
Chinese Company Aims to Sell 3 U.S. Resorts for $1.3 Billion - WSJ $$ Dajia Insurance Group Co. is putting up for sale the Montage in Laguna Beach, Calif., the Four Seasons resort in Jackson Hole, Wyo., and the Four Seasons in Scottsdale, Ariz...The Chinese company, which took control over most of the operations of China’s Anbang Insurance Group Co., had agreed in 2019 to sell the entire Strategic portfolio to South Korea’s Mirae Asset Financial Group for $5.8 billion. But that deal unraveled when the pandemic caused travel to dry up and hotel revenue to plunge.
China commodity trader woe a setback for Glencore | Financial Times $$ Glencore was selling about 600,000 tonnes a year of high purity copper into China through Maike, before the Xi’an-based trading group ran into liquidity constraints, according to people familiar with the matter. That level is equivalent to a fifth of Glencore’s sales of copper metal and concentrates last year, according to its annual report.
Caixin - Former Head of Exim Bank’s Beijing Branch Kicked Out of Communist Party Li Li, former Communist Party chief and president of the Beijing branch of the Export-Import Bank of China (Exim Bank), was expelled from the party, removed from public positions and turned over to prosecutors on corruption charges, the country’s anti-graft watchdog said Monday. Li is known as the “godmother” of China’s shipping industry as she initiated a large number of deals backing the sector
Chinese Startup RatingsDog Challenges Broken Credit Ratings System - Bloomberg Though not exactly a household name, Shenzhen-based Ratingdog has slowly been carving out a name for itself within China’s corporate-bond community by flagging risks well before defaults occur. Some creditors and fund managers, long used to seeing domestic raters assign “AAA” and “AA” levels for even defaulters, are turning to independent research firms such as Ratingdog to navigate a nascent market amid a liquidity crisis. // Question: How long until it angers the wrong company and gets a lesson in the importance of "positive energy"?
'Overinvested' China healthcare sector set for shake up, top venture fund says | Reuters China's massive health sector, comprising pharmaceuticals and fast-growing tech and biotech firms, has also been underpinned by rising public and private spending. "The whole healthcare sector was over-invested globally because of COVID-19," Nisa Leung, managing partner and head of healthcare investments at Qiming Venture Partners, told Reuters in an interview.
China to release more pork reserves to curb price hikes-Xinhua China will release more pork from government reserves to the market this week to tame price hikes, the country's top economic planner said Tuesday. It will be the fourth batch of pork released from government reserves this year. The previous three batches were released earlier this month. The retail price of lean pork has entered an alert zone of excessive rising, according to the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).
Politics and Law
China's top political advisor attends National Day reception-Xinhua China's top political advisor Wang Yang attended a reception on Tuesday to celebrate the upcoming 73rd anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China in Beijing and delivered a speech. The reception was jointly held by the General Office of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), the United Front Work Department of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of the State Council, the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council, the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, and the All-China Federation of Returned Overseas Chinese. // 全国政协办公厅 中共中央统战部 国务院侨办 国务院港澳办 国务院台办 中国侨联联合举行国庆招待会
Authorities give more details on election of delegates to 20th CPC National Congress-Xinhua The electoral work, running from November 2021 through July 2022, has successfully concluded, said an official of the Organization Department of the CPC Central Committee, adding that all the delegates are outstanding CPC members.
Math with CCP Characteristics - All Things Policy | Podcast on Spotify Creating slogans using numbers is one of the distinctive features of the Communist Party of China’s discourse strategy. In more recent years, one would have probably encountered phrases like the “two safeguards” or the “four self-confidences.” Why is it that the Party uses such a communications strategy? Also, what are the ideas that lie behind such slogans? In this episode, Pranay Kotasthane and Manoj Kewalramani decode the math of CCP slogans.
Former senior provincial legislator arrested for bribery-Xinhua China's Supreme People's Procuratorate (SPP) announced its decision to arrest Li Jiexiang, former vice chairman of the Standing Committee of Qinghai Provincial People's Congress, for suspected bribe-taking.
No Hashtags for Mahsa Amini on Chinese Social Media | What's on Weibo While the death of Mahsa Amini and the unrest in Iran is a major news story worldwide, the incident and its aftermath received relatively little attention in Chinese media, where the narrative is more focused on how Western responses to the issue are intensifying anti-American sentiments within Iran.
Foreign and Defense Affairs
Statement by Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on the First U.S.-Pacific Island Country Summit - The White House September 28-29, 2022. The Summit will demonstrate the United States’ deep and enduring partnership with Pacific Island countries and the Pacific region that is underpinned by shared history, values, and people-to-people ties. The Summit will reflect our broadening and deepening cooperation on key issues such as climate change, pandemic response, economic recovery, maritime security, environmental protection, and advancing a free and open Indo-Pacific.
Does this video show a Chinese navy fighter jet warning off a US destroyer? | South China Morning Post The video was released on a CCTV military programme to mark the 10th anniversary of the commissioning of China’s first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning. The video showed a fighter jet taking off from the deck of the Liaoning. A vessel resembling an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer then briefly appears below a Chinese jet.
Chinese navy’s newest Type 075 landing helicopter dock looks set to enter service | South China Morning Post The People’s Liberation Army’s third Type 075 landing helicopter dock (LHD) is expected to be commissioned soon as the Chinese military steps up training for possible military action in the Taiwan Strait. Military enthusiasts have posted pictures of the LHD berthed at a dock in Hudong Zhonghua shipyard in Shanghai, showing its new pennant number 33, on social media sites such as Weibo and WeChat.
Patrol spots Chinese, Russian naval ships off Alaska island | AP News This wasn’t the first time Chinese naval ships have sailed near Alaska waters. In September 2021, Coast Guard cutters in the Bering Sea and North Pacific Ocean encountered Chinese ships, about 50 miles (80 kilometers) off the Aleutian Islands.
Philippines to shut 175 offshore gambling firms, deport 40,000 Chinese workers | Reuters The Philippines will stop operations of 175 offshore gambling firms and deport about 40,000 Chinese workers, a justice ministry official said on Monday, part of a crackdown on the notoriously opaque online gaming industry. The sector emerged in the Philippines in 2016 and grew exponentially, as operators capitalised on the country's liberal gaming laws to target customers in China, where gambling is banned.
Ex-Wynn Resorts CEO Stephen Wynn May Face Trial in Foreign Lobbying Case - Bloomberg Former Wynn Resorts Ltd. Chief Executive officer Stephen Wynn may face trial in a lawsuit brought by the government to compel him to register as a Chinese lobbyist. The parties are unlikely to reach a settlement, according to a Tuesday filing in US District Court in Washington.
‘Never-seen-before equipment’ from PLA to appear at Airshow China 2022: senior colonel - Global Times When asked whether any new member of the 20 series would make debut at this year's show, Senior Colonel Shen Jinke, a spokesperson for the PLA Air Force, said at the press conference on Tuesday that, this year, the PLA Air Force would display its new achievements, including the capacity in long-range strategic delivery, air strikes and unmanned combat. "The audience this year will see flying displays and equipment they have never seen before," Shen said.
More countries oppose US, West’s politicization of human rights in China’s Xinjiang region at UN - Global Times On Monday, the US and a small group of Western counties, including Britain, Canada, Denmark Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden presented a draft proposal at the ongoing 51st session of the Human Rights Council to hold a special debate over the human rights situation in China's Xinjiang region at the council's next session in early 2023, media reported. On the same day, on behalf of nearly 70countries, a representative from Pakistan made a joint statement at the Human Rights Council to call on other countries to stop interfering in China's internal affairs on Xinjiang, Hong Kong and Xizang regions. They also opposed the politicization of human rights and double standards, or interference in China's internal affairs under the pretext of human rights.
Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin’s Regular Press Conference on September 27, 2022 NHK: The UN Security Council held an urgent meeting on the referendums on joining Russia in eastern and southern Ukraine. What is China’s position on this? Wang Wenbin: Let me first reiterate China’s long-standing position that the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries must be respected, that the purposes and principles of the UN Charter must be observed, that the legitimate security concerns of all countries must be taken seriously, and that all efforts conducive to the peaceful settlement of crises must be supported. On the Ukraine issue, China always stands on the side of peace and has been committed to promoting peace talks. We are ready to work with the international community and continue to play a constructive part in deescalating the situation. The Security Council, as the core of the international collective security mechanism, needs to make full use of the mediation tools provided for in the UN Charter and steer the situation in the right direction of ending fighting and promoting dialogue. The Council needs to take constructive and responsible actions in particular to accumulate conditions and open up space for political resolution.
Countries with the largest nuclear arsenals should reduce their nuclear arsenals first: Chinese envoy to the UN - Global Times For some time, certain countries have been obsessed with "major power strategic competition," constantly strengthening military alliances, provoking confrontation between parties, advancing forward deployment of strategic forces, and insisting on nuclear submarine cooperation. These actions aggravate the risk of nuclear arms race and nuclear proliferation, hinder international nuclear disarmament efforts, and run counter to the goal of eliminating nuclear weapons and building a world free of nuclear weapons. "They should be terminated immediately," Geng said.
Wang Yi’s meetings with European leaders at 77th UNGA highlight importance attached to China-EU relations: Chinese Foreign Ministry - Global Times During his attendance the 77th session of the UN General Assembly from September 13 to Monday in New York, Wang held meetings with 10 European leaders, dignitaries and foreign ministers from Serbia, France, Malta, UK, Portugal, Norway, Poland, Hungary and Germany as well as EU's High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, and had extensive, in-depth and frank communications on enhancing mutual understanding, promoting practical cooperation and addressing common challenges, said Wang Wenbin, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson, during a routine press briefing on Tuesday. These meetings and communications fully demonstrated the importance China attaches to the development of China-Europe relations, he said.
Comment: An interesting Twitter thread from the German Ambassador to the US in response to a claim that Chancellor Scholz will visit Beijing later this year:
Exclusive: US cyberattack against leading Chinese aviation university intended to control infrastructure equipment, steal personal info: source - Global Times The cyberattack launched by the US National Security Agency (NSA) against Northwestern Polytechnical University in Northwest China's Shaanxi Province - well-known for its aviation, aerospace and navigation studies - was aimed at infiltrating and controlling core equipment in China's infrastructure and stealing private data of Chinese people with sensitive identities, the Global Times learned from a source close to the matter on Tuesday. // CVERC report - 西北工业大学遭美国NSA网络攻击事件调查报告（之二）
The cost of China’s information vacuum | Financial Times $$ “My friends and colleagues in China are discouraged by their deans to collaborate with US scholars, and they are discouraged from publishing in English,” says Wang, pointing to a speech in which Xi admonished scientists at the elite Tsinghua University in Beijing a few years ago that China’s own scholars should publish in China. “So there’s certainly a whole host of policies to discourage them to collaborate with us.”
US goes further down wrong road of space militarization - China Military Facts have proven that America's obsessive development of space weapons will not help it achieve the strategic ambition to dominate the space. On the contrary, it will seriously damage the global strategic balance and cause the arms race to overspill into the outer space. The outer space is a common domain for human activities. The US should act responsibly, stop pushing space militarization, and truly live up to its responsibility for maintaining peace and security in the space. 事实证明，美国执意推进太空军备建设，不但无法实现自身统治太空的战略野心，还会严重破坏全球战略平衡，使军备竞赛外溢到太空。太空是人类活动的共有领域，美方应采取负责任的行为，停止推进太空军事化进程，切实承担起维护太空和平与安全的应有责任。
China's biggest air show could take off again without C919 narrowbody jet | Reuters The normally biennial show will be held from Nov. 8 to 13, with 740 businesses expected to take part offline and online, organisers said at a media conference in Beijing, up from 700 in 2021 when it held a show meant to take place in 2020 that was delayed because of the pandemic. This year's show will include participants from 43 countries and regions, up from 40 a year ago, according to the organisers. China requires international travellers to quarantine for a week on arrival.
Chinese National Convicted of Acting Within the United States as an Unregistered Agent of the People’s Republic of China | USAO-NDIL | Department of Justice JI CHAOQUN, 31, was found guilty on one count of conspiracy to act as an agent of a foreign government, specifically the People’s Republic of China, without first notifying the Attorney General; one count of acting as an agent of the People’s Republic of China without first notifying the Attorney General; and one count of making a material false statement to the U.S. Army. The jury acquitted Ji on two counts of wire fraud...Ji worked at the direction of high-level intelligence officers in the Jiangsu Province Ministry of State Security, a provincial department of the Ministry of State Security for the People’s Republic of China. Ji, a Chinese citizen residing in Chicago, was tasked by Xu Yanjun, a Deputy Division Director within the Ministry of State Security, with providing an intelligence officer with biographical information on certain individuals for possible recruitment by the JSSD. The individuals included Chinese nationals who were working as engineers and scientists in the United States, some of whom worked for U.S. defense contractors.
China’s Rise in the Global South: The Middle East, Africa, and Beijing's Alternative World Order - NCUSCR As China and the United States increasingly compete for power in key areas of U.S. influence, great power conflict looms. China’s Rise in the Global South examines China’s behavior as a rising power in two key global south regions: the Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa. Dawn Murphy compares and analyzes thirty years of China’s interactions with these regions in several areas: politics, economics, foreign aid, and military. From the Belt and Road Initiative to the founding of new cooperation forums and special envoys, Dr. Murphy’s book offers an in-depth look at China’s foreign policy approach to the countries it considers its partners in South-South cooperation.
Corporate America is fretting over Taiwan risks, regulatory filings show | Financial Times $$ The number of annual regulatory filings citing Taiwan as a risk factor has risen significantly over the past 12 months, according to Financial Times calculations based on Sentieo data. In March, a popular time for releasing so-called “10-k” reports, 116 companies mentioned Taiwan as a risk to their business, and the rolling 12-month average this month reached its highest level in at least 16 years. Technology companies represent the sector most concerned, with those in the semiconductor industry raising the loudest alarm.
A Taiwan perspective on what is at stake after Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan - Brookings We are in a time when China has told created fabrications about its claims over Taiwan and backed them up with massive investments and muscle-flexing. Beijing has touted its efforts to create a common destiny for all mankind, even going so far as to write such efforts into the CCP Charter in 2017 and the PRC Constitution in 2018. They have manipulated bureaucratic notes and references to Taiwan in the United Nations system to forge supportive impressions for their narratives about Taiwan. They have further sought to sell this narrative with the release of a white paper on August 10, right after China finished a series of live-fire drills, and aerial and maritime exercises around Taiwan.
Axios China: Taiwan prepares cyber defense Taiwanese tech tycoon Robert Tsao recently pledged approximately $20 million in funding for Kuma Academy, a company founded last year to help Taiwanese people prepare for a potential Chinese invasion.
Tech and Media
TikTok Ghosts Republican Lawmakers on China Data Issues - Bloomberg While TikTok’s popularity among US teenagers has never been higher, bipartisan criticism of the platform has surged. The harshest rhetoric is coming from Republican lawmakers and officials with whom TikTok representatives haven’t met during their charm offensive—and who could be more relevant if the GOP takes the House this November. Despite hiring McCarthy’s former political director, TikTok has yet to have a formal conversation with the minority leader or with Republican House Whip Steve Scalise, according to congressional aides, who asked not to be named discussing private meetings. TikTok also hasn’t held formal meetings with Senators Marco Rubio of Florida and Josh Hawley of Missouri, who are both prominent Republican China hawks, the people say. Representatives for TikTok say some elected officials are uninterested in listening to facts that could undermine their precooked narratives about the platform.
Rural love story hit movie 'Return to Dust' banned in China ahead of party congress — Radio Free Asia "Return to Dust," a love story about a couple who marry and eke out a living for themselves from farming despite being rejected by their own communities, was removed from online streaming platforms, with fans asking the movie's producers for the reason behind the move on social media.
Streaming of live online performances, such as concerts, music festivals and operas, shall be conducted in “delayed” mode, according to draft regulation published on September 23 on the website of China’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
Such a broadcast delay would enable specific personnel assigned by internet platforms to do real-time supervision of online performances and block what they determine as problematic content. The ministry is soliciting public feedback until October 10, a routine procedure before the regulation takes effect.
Under the proposed regulation, internet platforms are required to apply for pre-approval in cases where foreign performers are involved in the online show. Pre-approvals are also required to stream shows held or recorded outside mainland China
Tycoons Behind China Surveillance Giant Get Richer on EV Listing - Bloomberg Fu Liquan and Zhu Jiangming made their fortunes with a video-surveillance firm the US blacklisted for human rights abuses. Now they’re getting even richer with the listing of their latest venture: an electric-car startup deeply intertwined with their first business. After their Zhejiang Dahua Technology Co. became one of the biggest beneficiaries of China’s push to keep tabs on the country’s 1.4 billion people, Fu and Zhu entered the market for electric vehicles, starting Zhejiang Leapmotor Technology Co. in 2015.
NIO buys stake in Australian lithium firm Greenwing - PingWest Australian lithium company Greenwing Resources today announced a strategic financing agreement with NIO in which the Chinese EV maker will buy a stake worth A$12 million. Through its wholly-owned subsidiary Blue Northstar Limited, NIO agreed to subscribe to 21,818,182 Greenwing shares at a deemed issue price of A$0.55 per share.
The Real Story Behind China’s Battery-Draining Push Notifications - SixthTone More than 80% of Chinese smartphones run Android, which is built around Google apps and services largely inaccessible on the Chinese mainland. For many users, the absence of the Google Play Store and Gmail is little more than a mild inconvenience. For others, it hardly ever crosses their minds. Because they’ve never even used Google’s services before, they don’t have the sense that they could be missing out on anything. But there’s one Google service that’s proven both difficult to replace and increasingly impossible to ignore: push notification management.
Society, Arts, Sports, Culture and History
In China’s Hinterlands, Young Women Can’t Find a Man. Literally. - SixthTone In vast swathes of China, there is an acute shortage of college-educated men. It’s a gender imbalance born of many Chinese families’ conservative social attitudes: When their children graduate from college, parents tend to encourage their sons to go and seek their fortunes in the big cities, whereas they often pressure their daughters to return home and secure a safe, public sector job...Though data on this trend is scarce, several Chinese studies have reported similar migration patterns, with young women far more likely to return to their hometowns after college than young men. Ouyang Jing, a professor at the Jiangxi University of Finance and Economics, says her research has found stark gender imbalances in white-collar workplaces across rural China: county-level schools, for example, have almost no young male teachers, she says.
Energy, Environment, Science and Health
9月27日0至18时，天津新增阳性感染者31例，疫情主要集中在两个大的片区-新闻中心-北方网 Tianjin cases rising again, doesnt look like it will be a fun October Holiday in the city // 2022年9月26日0至24时，天津市新增本土新冠肺炎确诊病例4例，滨海新区3例，河西区1例；新增本土无症状感染者38例，滨海新区25例，河西区7例，西青区3例，河东区1例，津南区1例，北辰区1例。 2022年9月27日0至18时，天津市新增本土新冠肺炎确诊病例1例，在东丽区；新增本土无症状感染者16例，滨海新区6例，西青区5例，宝坻区2例，河西区、红桥区、南开区各1例。新增新冠病毒感染者（待分型）14例，滨海新区12例，河西区2例。
Nine people arrested in Beijing for organizing carpooling in COVID-19 risk areas; testing lab fined for not following govt guided price - Global Times The Beijing police said they had received reports that some carpool ads were posted on social media platforms offering services for people from COVID-19 risk areas in North China’s Tianjin and Hebei so that they could enter Beijing. The police immediately launched an investigation. As of Tuesday, the police have arrested nine suspects. The nine people confessed to the crime of organizing carpooling into Beijing for people from epidemic risk areas in order to make high profits. The investigation is continuing.
China publishes world's first stem cell related intl standard China spearheaded and published the world's first international standard on stem cell research on Saturday, signaling that the country has become a globally recognized front-runner in this cutting-edge field that may revolutionize medicine, experts said. The document, named ISO 24603, lists the various requirements and regulations for cultivating and using human and mouse pluripotent stem cells. It is also the first stem cell related standard for the International Organization for Standardization.
China's Fishing Operations Raise Alarms Worldwide - The New York Times The arrangement of transferring catch to another vessel is not illegal, but according to experts, the use of the motherships makes it easy to underreport the catch and disguise its origins. Other places also deploy deep-water fleets, including Japan, South Korea and Taiwan, but none do so on the scale of China.
Sinocism is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.