Xi Sends Envoy To Pyongyang; VOA China Mess; Is China Really Leading On The Climate?; US Passport Cheaper Than Beijing Hukou--Sinocism 11.15.17

The announcement that Xi Jinping is sending Song Tao, head of the CPC Central Committee's International Department, to North Korea has people wondering if something is cooking around the North Korea crisis.

The official announcements in Chinese and English were brief:

Xi's special envoy to visit DPRK - Xinhua:

Song Tao, special envoy of General Secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee Xi Jinping, will leave for the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) on Friday.

Song, head of the CPC Central Committee's International Department, will inform the DPRK of the 19th CPC National Congress and visit the DPRK.


新华社北京11月15日电 中共中央总书记习近平特使、中共中央对外联络部部长宋涛将于11月17日赴朝鲜通报中共十九大情况并访问朝鲜

Song, supposedly a favorite of Xi, has as part of his job oversight of relations with foreign political parties. He has already visited Vietnam and Laos to brief officials on the 19th Communist Party congress. His predecessors visited North Korea after previous Party Congresses, so it would be a big deal if he were not traveling to Pyongyang now.

But this is obviously a very sensitive time with North Korea and the inclusion of the phrase "and visit the DPRK 并访问朝鲜" may suggest he has more on his agenda than just briefing about the 19th Party Congress. The official announcement of Song's trip to Vietnam and Laos did not include "and visit":

新华社北京10月26日电 中共中央对外联络部新闻发言人26日在北京宣布,中共中央对外联络部部长宋涛将作为习近平总书记特使于10月31日至11月3日赴越南、老挝通报中共十九大情况。

So we are left to speculate about what Xi may be working on. Will Song meet Kim Jong-un to deliver a warning? Does Xi, on the heels of his rapprochement with South Korea and the announcement of a December visit to Beijing by the South Korean President, have a plan underway for a broader deal to ease tensions?

Crafting a "Chinese" solution, even a temporary one, to the North Korea crisis would be a huge diplomatic win for Xi and China, would fit with the global aspirations articulated at the 19th Party Congress as well as the "major power diplomacy" efforts, and would damage US prestige and influence. President Trump seems to think he and Xi see eye to eye on North Korea, but that seems a bit of a stretch given the US and China’s disparate strategic calculations about the DPRK.

The Essential Eight

1. Voice Of America China Branch Fires Three Over Guo Wengui Mess

Comment: An ugly mess, clearly someone or some people have been lying, it would be very beneficial if the VOA’s Congressional overseers called everyone involved, including VOA top management, to the Hill to testify under oath. The threat of perjury might be clarifying. If Beijing wanted to manufacture an incident to damage VOA China Branch's credibility they could not have planned a better operation...And it is yet another reminder that Guo seems to poison just about everything he touches.

Voice of America fires three staff over explosive Guo Wengui interview | South China Morning Post

The IFJ said in a statement issued on Sunday that both Yang and Bao had resumed their work while the employment of Gong, Dong Fang and Li Su, a technician, had been terminated. The three staff members had allegedly violated certain regulations, including disobeying management’s orders and failing to follow journalistic practices, according to the IFJ.

Want the job? VOA has already posted an ad for the China Branch Chief job

Bill Gertz, who was Guo's interviewer for the aborted Hudson Institute talk and the rescheduled one at the National Press Club, has more details, and makes some disturbing allegations, in VOA to Fire Three Employees Over Controversial Radio Interview - Washington Free Beacon:

Sasha Gong, who was chief of VOA's China division, said those facing dismissal will appeal the decision. "VOA cited ‘insubordination' as the reason to fire me," she told the Free Beacon. "There are two facts they never mention. One, my interview plan was approved by the management. It was the management who wanted to change the plan under the pressure of the Chinese government."

Comment: As I wrote above, this is just ugly and Congress should demand clarifying testimony under the penalty of perjury.

2. 2017 U.S. China Economic and Security Review Commission Report

Comment: The report is always an interesting read, according to Reuters this year's report, to be released later today, includes a call to Congress to force official PRC media operating in the US to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act. Readers know that I have been saying for a long time that this needed to happen, and was coming. Awareness of Chinese Communist Party external propaganda and influence operations is on the rise in Western countries and now we may start to see more actions.

U.S. Congress urged to require Chinese journalists to register as agents - Reuters:

The commission, created by Congress in 2000 to monitor national security implications of U.S.-China trade relations, said China’s state media expansion was part of a broader effort to exert greater control over how China is depicted globally, as well as to gather information..

It quoted testimony to the commission by the U.S. Government-funded rights organization, Freedom House, as saying it was a “loophole” that individuals working for Xinhua and China’s People’s Daily newspaper were not covered by the Foreign Agents Registration Act.

FARA, first passed in 1938 in the lead up to World War Two to combat German propaganda efforts, requires foreign governments, political parties and lobbyists they hire in the United States to register with the Department of Justice.

3. Official Praise For Xi's Major Country Diplomacy

Xi's APEC attendance, state visits chart new course for China's major-country diplomacy in new era: FM - Xinhua:

Chinese President Xi Jinping's attendance at Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting and state visits to Vietnam and Laos chart a new course for major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics in the new era, said Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi Tuesday.

It is generally believed in and out of China that Xi's trip is a significant action for the opening up of a new stage of Chinese diplomacy, a strong move in building a new type of international relations and a community of shared future for mankind, a marvelous roadshow of China's institutional ideas and development prospects, and a vivid display of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era.


Wednesday CCTV Evening News recap of Xi's recent diplomacy--[视频]开启新时代中国特色大国外交新征程_CCTV

4. Happy Trip Done, Trump Preparing To Drop The Hammer On US-China Trade?

Comment: It may depend in part on how well Xi can finesse the North Korea issue to keep Trump happy enough to keep it as the centerpiece of US-China relations.

Trump’s trade boasts in Asia mask looming China problem - POLITICO:

History may look back on Trump’s five-nation trip as a long lovefest before the crackdown on China’s industrial policies. Looming over the administration are the investigations and reports it has launched into various aspects of trade including steel, aluminum and intellectual property. Many of those reports and results have been delayed for months but Trump may feel renewed pressure from his base to act.

If Trump pulls the trigger in any of those investigations and imposes restrictions on Chinese exports or investment, Beijing is certain to retaliate either by filing complaints through WTO or by taking its own measures.

“My sense is he is going to very quickly turn to a tougher line, particularly on China,” Kennedy said. “It’s going to be a combination of targeting exports from the U.S., as well as [going after] American companies that have investments in China and making life much harder for them.”

5. Is China Really Leading On The Climate Now?

Why China Wants to Lead on Climate, but Clings to Coal (for Now) - The New York Times:

Energy specialists who follow China said the higher emissions projections, published this week by the Global Carbon Project, were to be expected. After steadily declining over the last three years, they say, China’s industrial emissions are projected to rise this year, reflecting how difficult it is for a country of China’s size and ambition to wean itself from coal...

But getting emissions down is not so straightforward, especially for a country of 1.4 billion people. It can be zig-zaggy, with ups and downs year to year, said Alvin Lin, the Beijing-based climate and energy policy director for the Natural Resources Defense Council, a research and advocacy group, and China will most certainly have many more ups and downs. He said he considered this year’s projected rise to be an “anomaly,” reflecting an uptick in economic growth, a boom in energy-intensive construction projects and sparse rains to feed hydroelectric plants, the country’s other main source of power.

China's Fossil-Fuel Burning in 2017 Outgunned the Carbon Cutters - Bloomberg:

An estimated 37 billion metric tons of CO2 will be released this year, 2 percent more than 2016 and marking an end to a three-year hiatus in pollution growth driven by less-wasteful energy use that had given many people hope emissions had peaked. The CO2 resurgence was caused mostly by China, which saw a rise in coal, oil, and gas use this year.

China's top climate official rules out carbon futures, tax: media - Reuters:

“In the initial stage we will not do carbon futures, because we are worried that suddenly entering the futures market with no experience could cause chaos in the market,” said Xie Zhenhua, China’s special representative on climate change, speaking at a briefing on the sidelines of climate talks in Bonn.

Climate action by China, India to offset Trump: study - Reuters:

The Carbon Action Tracker (CAT) report, by three independent European research groups, said current policies meant the world was headed for a warming of 3.4 degrees Celsius (6.1 Fahrenheit) by 2100, down from 3.6 degrees (6.5) it predicted a year ago...

China was on track to over-achieve its pledge under the Paris Agreement to peak its carbon emissions by 2030, it said. And India was also making progress to limit a surge in emissions driven by more coal use.

6. Propaganda Posters 2.0

Thanks to the excellent site "What's on Weibo" for collecting these in one place.

Here's Xi the Cartoon - Online Animations Are China's New 'Propaganda Posters' | What's on Weibo:

In an era where China’s young generations are practically glued to their smartphone screens, China’s propaganda departments are stepping up their game. Online animated videos and gifs use bright colors, simple design, and a very likable Xi to deliver strong political messages.


7. Should We Start Calling State-owned Enterprises (SOEs) Party-owned Enterprises (POEs)?

Communist Party still at heart of China's state firm reform plans - regulator - Reuters:

Imposing party discipline on state firms remains a key part of China’s goals in its effort to fight graft, “upgrade” domestic industry and dominate overseas markets, Xiao Yaqing, chairman of the State-Owned Asset Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC), said in remarks published late on Tuesday.

Xiao said the reforms were part of efforts to build a new “socialism with Chinese characteristics” as well as other strategies set out by President Xi Jinping during the twice-a-decade Communist Party congress last month.

The cited article is from Xiao's chapter (党的十九大报告辅导读本:深化国有企业改革) in the 19th Party Congress Study Guide 肖亚庆:发展混合所有制经济 大力推动国企改制上市 

8. Cheaper To Get US Citizenship For Your Child Than A Beijing Hukou

Spend 300,000 RMB on a US passport or 3,000,000 RMB on a Beijing hukou? Pingwest takes a long look at the choices for affluent white collar workers of child-bearing age and describes how much cheaper it is to go to the US to have a child, who then automatically gets US citizenship.

花300万落户北京,还是花30万落户美国? |  PingWest品玩:

经何瑫介绍,小青在一家落地于洛杉矶的月子中心报了名。月子中心告诉小青,赴美生子一般分为两种,一种是让月子中心全程包揽费用大约为 30 万人民币,另一种则是自己租房、联系医院、跑签证,后者比前者节省大约 10 万元左右。 小青选择了前者,因为和 300 万元买一张北京户口相比,30 万元让孩子拥有美国国籍已经是一件十分划算的事情。

Business, Economy, Finance And Trade

HNA Group Fires Co-Founder and Head of Tourism Unit - Caixin Global Xin Di was ousted as chairman and chief executive officer of HNA Tourism Group Co. and as board member of HNA Group, according to an internal notice by HNA. Xin’s profile page was deleted from the company’s website...Xin, 59, was one of HNA’s founders. He joined Hainan Airlines in 1992. // Comment: no word yet on what he did, but to fire a founder like this it must have been bad

酷骑小蓝单车押金难退 黄牛收费代办 - 综合 - 新京报网 problems in the shared bike industry, has blue gogo run out of money and its founder gone to the US? Kuqi also having issues, customers can not get deposits back from either

Rail Operator Continues Strong Performance - Caixin Global China Railway Corp. (CRC) said its freight volume rose 12.8% in the first 10 months of 2017, reversing a continuous decline that goes back to 2012. Its freight volume for the January-October period totaled 2.4 billion tons, according to newly released data from the company.

Fear of Glut Grips Commodities as Xi Shifts China Economic Focus - Bloomberg The Bloomberg Commodity Index extended declines after sliding the most in six months on Tuesday. Futures in China also plunged in overnight trading. Concern is increasing that demand will weaken as the world’s second-biggest economy dials back amid a pledge by President Xi Jinping to focus on the quality of expansion rather than the pace of it

China Throws Lifeline to Developers Hitting Record Wall of Debt - Bloomberg Chinese developers facing a looming wall of debt repayments have been thrown a lifeline by regulators easing access to offshore financing.

Chinese Bond Rout Continues as 10-Year Yield Touches 4% - WSJ Beijing’s domestic debt-financing costs are currently the highest among major economies, with the yield on its 10-year domestic bond topping rates in the U.S., the U.K., Australia, South Korea and much of Europe. China’s recently issued U.S.-dollar sovereign bonds, meanwhile, traded at a narrow spread of 0.25 percentage point over 10-year U.S. Treasury notes and were yielding 2.65% on Tuesday.

Tencent-backed Yixin’s IPO is Hong Kong’s 10th hottest ever as investors eye China’s online car sales growth | South China Morning Post China’s biggest online car retailer raises US$870 million in IPO that’s 560 times oversubscribed

Leading Rail-Builder Punished for Shoddy Work - Caixin Global A subsidiary of state-owned China Railway Construction Corp. Ltd. (CRCC) was penalized after its faulty engineering caused water to leak into several tunnels along the Shanghai-Kunming high-speed rail line, according to a recent statement from the National Railway Administration (NRA).

Yuan Now 'Much More Market-Oriented,’ Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Says - Caixin Global China’s foreign exchange rate has moved to a “much more market-oriented frame,” which the current U.S. administration has “recognized,” former U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said Wednesday. Lew spoke at the 8th Caixin Summit in Beijing via a video link from New York City.

Convertible Bond Market in Frenzy - Caixin Global From the perspective of investors: During the past month or so, convertible bond-trading accounts more than doubled to 5.9 million. The chance of getting an allocation could be as low as 0.0013%, slimmer than in most initial public offerings. From the perspective issuers: As of Nov. 7, 120 companies have announced plans to issue convertible bonds, involving 290 billion yuan ($43.6 million), according to data from Industrial Securities. Seventy of these companies announced their plans after new rules on share dumping were issued in May.

China Sustainability Drive Gives Bulls Hope, Morgan Stanley Says - Bloomberg Economists, analysts and strategists said in a 61-page report that they expect Beijing to tame borrowing and achieve a "near-stabilization" of its debt-to-gross domestic product ratio by late 2019. Incomes are expected to cross the $13,700 threshold to attain high-income status by 2025, two years earlier than they’d initially forecast.  //  Comment: Have not seen the full report, thanks to anyone who can share it

Another ‘Zombie Company’ Seeks Reorganization - Caixin Global Bankrupt Dalian Machine Tool Group Corp. has officially entered reorganization proceedings, becoming the latest Chinese “zombie company” to fail amid tightened liquidity and the sector’s overcapacity....In December, the firm began defaulting on what is now 3.8 billion yuan ($572 million) worth of bonds. And as of Oct. 30, it had unpaid bank loans of 8.34 billion yuan. Involved commercial lenders and trust companies include Industrial Bank Co. Ltd. and Ping An Trust Co. Ltd.

China Focus: Easier administrative approval benefits Chinese, foreign enterprises - Xinhua According to the report approved by the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), the government will strive to "transform its functions, further streamline administration and delegate powers, develop new ways of regulation and supervision, and strengthen its credibility and administrative capacity, building itself into a service-oriented government able to satisfy the needs of the people."

赵薇夫妇收购“大戏”面临证监会处罚 监管“鹰眼”将持续关注-新华网 actor Zhao Wei and her husband Huang Xiaolong getting pilloried in the media over their improper stock trading

Electric Company in Sichuan Denies Ban on Bitcoin Mining - Caixin Global The notice was intended for small generators in the region that have violated agreements with the State Grid to prioritize power supplies for local residents before businesses, the executive said. Among the nine small hydropower generators connected with the company’s network, six have been powering bitcoin mining facilities. As water supplies runs low in winter, the county has suffered a power shortage, the executive said.

Caixin, Institutional Investor Honor China’s Best Researchers, Institutions - Caixin Global CICC emerged as the big winner at Wednesday’s ceremony. The country’s first homegrown investment bank swept the awards

Politics, Law And Ideology

China corruption could lead to Soviet-style collapse, graft buster says - Reuters Yang Xiaodu, the deputy secretary of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, who was promoted to the ruling Communist Party’s 25-strong Politburo last month, said failure would risk the “red country changing color” - 杨晓渡人民日报撰文:推动全面从严治党向纵深发展 // Comment: I don't understand the argument that corruption and political discipline crackdowns will soften now that Xi is in his second term. That seems to me to be a significant misreading of the signaling.

学习时报网_邱学强:把握新时代战略导向夺取反腐败斗争压倒性胜利 作者系最高人民检察院党组副书记、副检察长 Qiu Xueqiang, Deputy Procurator-general and Deputy Party Secretary of the Supreme People’s Procuratorate, writes in Study Times on winning a decisive victory in the battle against corruption,

中共中央办公厅印发 《关于加强法官检察官正规化专业化职业化建设 全面落实司法责任制的意见》 - Comment: Document from the Central Committee General Office on increasing the standardization of judges and prosecutors, issue October 25. Professional ethics and Political thought construction, and especially resisting the corrosive influence of incorrect Western legal ideas, listed as the first task.  // 中共中央办公厅 2017年10月25日---(一)加强思想政治与职业道德建设 深化法官、检察官社会主义法治理念教育,坚决抵制西方错误法治观点侵蚀,坚持党对政法工作的绝对领导,坚定不移走中国特色社会主义法治道路。完善法官、检察官政治轮训制度,打牢高举旗帜、忠诚使命的思想基础,铸就绝对忠诚的政治品格,切实增强政治意识、大局意识、核心意识、看齐意识。加强法官、检察官社会主义核心价值观教育,健全职业道德准则、职业行为规范,加强职业伦理、职业操守教育,完善职业道德评价机制。建立健全法官、检察官统一职业培训和入职晋级宣誓制度。

苏荣女婿受贿近千万判8年 曾任张家界市副市长_新闻_腾讯网 Chen Danfeng, Su Rong's son-in-law and former deputy mayor of Zhangjiajie, sentenced to 8 years for taking nearly 10m rmb in bribes

天津市政协党组成员、秘书长李金亮涉嫌严重违纪,正接受审查_打虎记_澎湃新闻-The Paper Tianjin Secretary General Li Jinliang under investigation

Chinese Songwriter Formally Arrested For Song About Late Liu Xiaobo - RFA A Chinese musician arrested on public order charges for singing about late Nobel peace laureate and political prisoner Liu Xiaobo has been formally arrested, while his collaborator has been forced to leave Foshan, where he has a job and a family, a rights lawyer said on Tuesday. Singer-songwriters Xu Lin and Liu Sifang were being held in Nansha and Jiangxi respectively after they wrote songs together in memory of Liu, who died in police custody of late-stage liver cancer in July.

China: End Conversion Therapy in Medical Settings | Human Rights Watch The Chinese government should take immediate steps to stop public hospitals and private clinics from offering conversion therapy, Human Rights Watch said in a new report today. Those facilities’ “treatments,” which aspire to change an individual’s sexual orientation from homosexual or bisexual to heterosexual, are inherently discriminatory and abusive. “It’s been more than 20 years since China decriminalized homosexuality, but LGBT people are still subjected to forced confinement, medication, and even electric shocks to try to change their sexual orientation,” said Graeme Reid, LGBT rights director at Human Rights Watch. “If Chinese authorities are serious about ending discrimination and abuse against LGBT people, it’s time to put an end to this practice in medical facilities.”

The Chinese Communist Party’s Guide to Moral Living - The New York Times The priggishness of Communist Party censors is not new, but the escalation of puritanical policing in the past year reflects wider forces shaping Chinese society under President Xi Jinping. Following Mr. Xi’s high-profile crackdown on corrupt officials and thorough silencing of liberal intellectuals, the president’s most ambitious project with the wider public is underway: an attempt to govern not only citizens’ political outlook but, more than any leader since Mao, also the minutiae of their moral life.

用新思想武装头脑 用新作为开创未来——学习贯彻党的十九大精神中央宣讲团宣讲活动综述-千龙网·中国首都网 A Xinhua roundup of the main messages of the Central Propaganda Team dispatched to discuss the 19th Party Congress

Foreign and Military Affairs

Philippines' Duterte lauds China's help at 'crucial moment' in Marawi battle - Reuters Duterte credited China with supplying what he said was the rifle that on Oct. 16 killed Islamic State’s regional point man, Isnilon Hapilon, and said he would present that weapon to China as a mark of appreciation for its help in the war in Marawi City.

China says Venezuela can 'appropriately' handle debt load - Reuters Venezuela’s cash-strapped government on Tuesday vowed it was making debt payments responsibly, even as two ratings agencies declared partial default on a crippling debt load that has fueled hunger and disease.

New submersible to be used to explore South China Sea: expert - Global Times "Shenhai Yongshi will be used in the South China Sea and help explore the biological and mineral resources in the deep sea," Chen Xiangmiao, a research fellow at the National Institute for the South China Sea, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

Zimbabwe crisis: Army 'secures' Robert Mugabe and takes control of Harare - The Telegraph Rumours were swirling this on Wednesday morning that Mr Mugabe and his wife have been offered safe passage to Singapore, but this could not be confirmed. China said on Wednesday  that Zimbabwe military chief General Constantino Chiwenga's visit to China last week was a normal military visit. Gen Chiwenga, an ally of Mr Mnangagwa, demanded on Monday that Mr Mugabe immediately cease “purging” the former vice president's allies in the party and in government.

The Chinese Air Force's First Steps Toward Becoming an Expeditionary Air Force | RAND As China's economic, diplomatic, and security interests continue to expand, the People's Liberation Army (PLA) and, in particular, its aerospace forces (including its air force, naval aviation, and space capabilities) will require more robust power projection and expeditionary capabilities on par with China's expanding global footprint. In addition to traditional security concerns (e.g., Taiwan and maritime territorial disputes), such issues as countering terrorism, humanitarian assistance/disaster relief, and sea-lane protection have now become factors in the PLA's training, doctrine, and modernization efforts. Command of space — including the military use of outer space — is also of increasing interest to the PLA as it seeks to develop new capabilities and operating concepts to support its growing range of military missions. This report focuses on the PLA Air Force's initial steps toward becoming an expeditionary air force, a development that will have important implications for the reach of China's military and its ability to protect China's emerging overseas interests. Key Findings

The Creation of the PLA Strategic Support Force and Its Implications for Chinese Military Space Operations | RAND A major part of China's reform of its military was the creation in 2015 of the SSF, a new organization designed to better integrate space, cyber, and electronic warfare capabilities into PLA operations.

Murder suspect likely to stay in Japan, experts say - China Daily Legal experts said on Tuesday that a Chinese suspect who will stand trial in Japan after being accused of killing a Chinese woman last year is unlikely to be returned to China, but the victim's mother could file a civil lawsuit in China to demand compensation if the man is convicted. Jiang Ge, 24, a graduate student from Qingdao, Shandong province, who was studying in Japan was found dead with multiple stab wounds in the corridor of her Tokyo apartment on Nov 3 last year

China's Power: Up for Debate | Center for Strategic and International Studies videos of the sessions online

China builds world’s fastest wind tunnel to test weapons that could strike US within 14 minutes | South China Morning Post A hypersonic vehicle flying at this speed from China could reach the west coast of the United States in less than 14 minutes. Zhao Wei, a senior scientist working on the project, said researchers aimed to have the facility up and running by around 2020 to meet the pressing demand of China’s hypersonic weapon development programme.

Pakistan stops bid to include Diamer-Bhasha Dam in CPEC - The Express Tribune Pakistan has withdrawn its request to include the $14-billion Diamer-Bhasha Dam in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) framework after Beijing placed strict conditions including ownership of the project, said Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) Chairman Muzammil Hussain on Tuesday.

Hong Kong, Macao

Hong Kong soccer fans defy Beijing by booing Chinese national anthem - Reuters Hundreds of Hong Kong soccer fans booed and jeered the Chinese national anthem at an Asia Cup qualifier match on Tuesday in defiance of Communist Party rulers in Beijing.

Tech And Media

Marbridge Consulting - Alibaba Leads Investment in U.S. AI Chip Designer Kneron  Comment: sounds like just the kind deal a more empowered CFIUS might want to look at // U.S.-based artificial intelligence chip designer Kneron recently completed Series A funding of over USD 10 mln led by Alibaba Entrepreneurs Fund with participation from Taiwanese display device manufacturer Himax Technologies, CDIB Capital, chipmaker Qualcomm, Beijing-based mobile intelligent terminal operating system, products and technology provider Thunder Software Technology (300496.SH), Sequoia Capital, and Chuangye Bang Angel Fund.

Qualcomm invests in Chinese AI facial recognition startup SenseTime - Reuters SenseTime and Qualcomm had announced a strategic tie last month to collaborate on AI, which will see SenseTime’s proprietary algorithms deployed in smart devices...SenseTime is developing technology that employs AI to quickly identify and analyze identities using cameras, and has been used in limited tests by Chinese authorities to track and capture suspects in public spaces such as airports and festivals.

Firm modifies violent mobile game to include socialist core values - Global Times Wildness Action, the mobile game released by NetEase Games in October, recently topped the free games in the Chinese mainland's Apple Store, but changed violent elements into "harmonious" ones with Chinese characteristics. The Global Times on Tuesday found red banners with slogans such as "safeguard national security, safeguard world peace" popping up frequently in the game. The slogans also include excerpts from the report delivered at the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China that reflects China's core values.

Chinese maker of Star Wars robot close to raising US$400m in largest funding round | South China Morning Post UBTech Robotics, the Chinese maker of Star Wars Stormtrooper robots that can respond to voice commands and recognise faces, is close to raising US$400 million in a funding round led by Tencent, according to people familiar with the matter.

NetEase Targets Big Rise in E-Commerce Imports From U.S. - Caixin Global To facilitate the anticipated big boost in imports to China, NetEase said it is building a new warehousing facility in the U.S. state of New Jersey, complementing its three existing ones in the New York City and Los Angeles areas. NetEase added Kaola targets higher-end buyers, with per-customer transaction value more than twice the average for China’s cross-border e-commerce sector.

Tencent’s Profit Is Better Than Expected - Bloomberg China’s largest social network operator reported a 61 percent rise in revenue to 65.2 billion yuan ($9.8 billion) in the September quarter, outpacing the 61 billion yuan projected. That also marked the biggest gain in sales since 2010, when revenue was a mere one-fourteenth of its current level. Profit also beat estimates.

马化腾深度长文,制造业与互联网深度融合,将是数字经济的主场战_36氪 Pony Ma on how manufacturing and the Internet can combine to create a truly digital economy

Society, Art, Sports, Culture And History

Exhibiting the Cultural Revolution, Part 3: Dazibao Exhibitionism As part of the Fairbank Center’s exhibition of dazibao (大字报 “big-character posters”) and woodcuts from 1960s China, we present a four-part series on Cultural Revolution-era artworks. Jie Li, Professor of East Asian Languages and Civilizations at Harvard University, presents part 3 on the exhibitionism of dazibao.

Chinoiresie | Collecting the Red Era in Contemporary China ‘Red relics’ are objects from the ‘Red Era’, a term that can indicate any period after the founding of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in 1921, but most often refers to the decades between 1949 and 1976. Many collections are strongest in objects from the Cultural Revolution (1966–1976), a highly controversial period that saw the production of abundant and hugely diverse material culture.  //Comment: A fascinating subject. I did my Master thesis on Mao Badges, saw them as a way to better understand the collective insanity of the cult of Mao--Badges of Chairman Mao Zedong (毛主席像章), The Cult of Mao and The “Cult” of Xi 

著名经济学家、北大教授萧灼基逝世 曾指导李克强硕士论文 - 国内 - 新京报网 economist Xiao Zhuoji has died at 84, was Li Keqiang's MA thesis advisor 

Energy, Environment, Science And Health

China fires up next-generation neutron-science facility : Nature News & Comment China is revving up its next-generation neutron generator and will soon start experiments there. That will lift the country into a select group of nations with facilities that produce intense neutron beams to study the structure of materials.

Ancient skull from China may rewrite the origins of our species | New Scientist An analysis of an ancient skull from China suggests it is eerily similar to the earliest known fossils of our species –found in Morocco, some 10,000 kilometres to the west. The skull hints that modern humans aren’t solely descended from African ancestors, as is generally thought.

China puts massive island airport project on hold over environmental fears | South China Morning Post The State Oceanic Administration confirmed that it ordered a halt on July 25 to reclamation for the artificial island off the coast of Sanya in Hainan province. The SOA told NGO Friends of Nature last week that the project’s environmental impact assessment (EIA) report was not approved before construction started on the 26 square kilometre island in Hongtang Bay earlier this year. The massive project is being built next to the Sanya Coral Reef National Nature Reserve and a habitat for the protected Chinese white dolphin, and has attracted controversy since its plan was unveiled three years ago.

China's renewable energy wastage targets may be hard to meet this winter: NEA - Reuters “Winter is typically the toughest season for power generated from wind farms and solar plants to connect to the grids. Some regions will face pressure to prevent a rebound of wind and solar waste rates,” said the NEA in the statement.

Shanghai Pharma buys U.S. Cardinal Health's China business for $557 million - Reuters Cardinal Health put its China business up for sale in July amid worries that the country’s upcoming drug distribution reform could slow its growth. The sale drew keen interest from state-backed Chinese pharmaceutical companies and private equity firms.

On Thin Ice: Xinjiang Glacier Could Melt Away in 50 Years - Sixth Tone Since 1959, Li’s station has closely monitored the receding glacier, and recent findings have exacerbated the scientists’ concerns. Between April 2016 and April 2017, the eastern and western sections receded 6.3 meters and 7.2 meters, respectively, with the recession rate for No. 1 West at its highest since 1993. Meanwhile, in 2016, Glacier No. 1’s mass balance — measured by the gain or loss in ice volume between seasons — recorded the second highest loss on record, with more of the glacier melting away in the summer.


耶鲁毕业生组队四川种橘扶贫:睡过鸡舍_温度计_澎湃新闻-The Paper 耶鲁毕业生辜家齐在达州市赵家镇乡村住几个月了,帮当地农民打造柑橘品牌,养跑山鸡。他还带着一个公益队伍,成员来自清华、南加州、华威大学等,大家都希望为国做点事  //  Nice story of grads from prestigious schools including Yale and Tsinghua going to a rural village to volunteer to help them build businesses to escape poverty...seems like a new, concerted surge of propaganda around the downsides of studying abroad/staying abroad and the upsides if returning to the motherland

China still top nation sending students to U.S. - Xinhua China remained the overseas country with most students in U.S. universities in 2016-2017 academic year, according to the U.S. Consulate General Shanghai. A total of 350,755 Chinese students were enrolled at U.S. institutions of higher education in the academic year, up 6.8 percent, retaining China's top slot for eight years in a row, it said during a press conference Tuesday.

Improving China’s Rural Education, One Headmaster at a Time | Alizila.com They say it takes a village to raise a child, and the Jack Ma Foundation is putting that saying into action every day through its Rural Headmaster Initiative...As part of the program, last month, 18 Chinese headmasters from rural areas from 10 provinces were selected to participate in a 10-day visiting program to the U.S. They witnessed firsthand how rural education is executed there and what American educators are doing to level the playing field for children in resource-scarce areas.

U.S. charges Chinese woman in college exam fraud - Reuters Xinyan Wang, a student at Lehigh Carbon Community College in Pennsylvania, on six different occasions since July took college entrance exams under other peoples’ names, according to a criminal complaint filed in federal court in Boston. Wang, 27, most recently on Oct. 20 in Boston took the GRE admissions exam for graduate school using a counterfeit Chinese passport and a visa in another person’s name that contained photos that resembled her, according to charging papers.

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