Xi-Trump Bromance Temporarily Rekindled; Facebook and Party Media; Daycare Abuse Scandal - Sinocism 11.9.17
|Bill Bishop||Nov 9, 2017|
President Trump has finished all his official meetings in Beijing and leaves for Vietnam in a few hours. The First Lady Melania Trump is staying a little longer to visit pandas at the Beijing Zoo and the Great Wall at Mutianyu, before returning to the US.
The Chinese put on quite a show and clearly Trump loved the pomp, flattery and the review of the honor guard:
The hosting of the military parade this morning was magnificent, and the world was watching. I've already had people calling from all parts of the world. They were all watching. Nothing you can see is so beautiful.
President Trump returned the flattery, as you would expect a guest to do.
Pomp and flattery aside, I do not agree with some of the conclusions that Xi played Trump. Trump has a good team of China people. The publicly declared achievements are not impressive but I believe there was much more going on behind the scenes. I expect Trump to return to the US and, barring a real breakthrough over the North Korea issue, begin rolling out a tougher policy towards China, especially on trade.
That said, the Chinese may be able to use the North Korea issue to delay the rollout of a tougher approach. North Korea is both problematic and useful to Beijing, and certainly since Trump became President it has come to dominate the US-China relationship at the expense of many other problem areas.
But patience across most US constituencies of the US-China relationship has frayed since Xi took power. The November 7 newsletter quoted Orville Schell on the increasing frustration. In the Thursday Washington Post John Pomfret articulated a similar view in Trump's Asia trip: Some frank advice for Chinese President Xi - The Washington Post:
Sources have told me that a recent meeting of the National Security Council appears to have concluded that China is a strategic competitor of the United States. These skeptics are the reason Trump has placed a new emphasis on a strong relationship with Tokyo. As you may have noticed, in barely nine months in office, Trump has spent more time with Japan’s prime minister, Shinzo Abe, than President Barack Obama did in the years the two overlapped.
The men and women who comprise Trump’s national security team are not the only ones changing their views on China. I have spent the better part of my professional life studying and living in your country. Yet I have never seen my fellow China experts in America more dispirited about the two nations’ relationship and more united in the belief that your country is mostly to blame.
Many of my colleagues, even those from the Democratic Party, are in complete agreement with Trump’s former aide, Stephen K. Bannon, that the United States is in an economic war with China and that Americans have done far too much to facilitate your nation’s rise. Few would publicly admit this, but I believe it is true because many of them have told me so. What’s more, the American business community that once functioned as the ballast in the relations between our two countries no longer supports your nation like it used to. Too many companies have been burned while doing business in China.
I am seeing and hearing and, after ten years in Beijing from 2005-15 and an engagement with the country since 1989, feeling the exact same things.
President Trump has been consistent for decades in his criticism of China and its trade practices, so the last 10 months of relative calm in the US-China relationship seem more an anomaly than the status quo.
Xi Jinping is also not stupid and while he much prefers a positive relationship with the US I think that the Chinese are prepared for and in fact are expecting much more friction with the US.
The Essential Eight
1. Highlights From The Trump-Xi Summit
And I have great respect for you for that, because you're representing China. But it's too bad that past administrations allowed it go get so far out of kilter. But we'll make it fair, and it will be tremendous for both of us.
My feeling toward you is an incredibly warm one. As we said, there's great chemistry, and I think we're going to do tremendous things for both China and for the United States. And it is a very, very great honor to be with you. Thank you very much.
The hosting of the military parade this morning was magnificent, and the world was watching. I've already had people calling from all parts of the world. They were all watching. Nothing you can see is so beautiful.
So I just want to thank you for the very warm welcome, and I look forward to many years of success and friendship, working together to solve not only our problems but world problems, and problems of great danger and security. I believe we can solve almost all of them and probably all of them.
The key topic of discussion was our continued joint effort to increase pressure on North Korea, to convince them to abandon their nuclear and missile program. President Trump and President Xi affirmed their commitment to achieve a complete, verifiable, and permanent denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula..
We also had a candid conversation about our economic relationship. President Trump called for China to give fair and reciprocal treatment to U.S. companies and exports to reduce the U.S. trade deficit and rebalance the economic relationship. ..
On critical issue of opioids, we've made some good progress on actions to curb the flow the harmful narcotics into the United States in order to save American lives. The President committed to take new actions, including agreements to control the export of new fentanyl precursors, sharing intelligence on drug trafficking, and exchanging trafficking information packages to identify individuals and criminal networks responsible for trafficking.
On Weiku.com, a website based in the eastern city of Hangzhou, close to 100 Chinese companies say they sell fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid. Vendors on one Beijing-based website, Mfrbee.com, sell chicken nuggets, basketball jerseys and carfentanil, the elephant tranquilizer that is 10,000 times as potent as morphine. A Shanghai-based chemical company, Shanghai Kaiwodun Biochemical, says it offers the designer drug U-47700 for $1,450 a pound.
A Kaiwodun sales agent said over a Skype text message that the company had many customers in the United States and time-tested methods for shipping, sending photos of brown sugar and monosodium glutamate packets and a fuel filter.
There was no joint announcement. This is the Chinese list of what they say as agreed to--Major consensus reached at Xi-Trump summit - Xinhua
In a moment, we will view a video of my granddaughter, Arabella, reciting traditional Chinese songs and poetry about your country's serene beauty and treasured customs. Our children so often remind us of our shared humanity and true dignity.
Comment: Did Xi then show a video of his daughter speaking English?
While there was no public mention of Taiwan in comments Xi and Trump made in front of reporters, the official Chinese foreign ministry statement about their talks did not mince its words.
“The Taiwan issue is the most important, most sensitive core issue in China-U.S. relations, and concerns the political basis of the China-U.S. relationship,” the ministry paraphrased Xi as telling Trump.
Chinese military experts said the tests were intended to send a message to the US by highlighting China’s nuclear capability at a time when both the US and Russia are intensifying their own tests of ICBMs and hypersonic vehicles.
2. The Trade Deals
We must immediately address the unfair trade practices that drive this deficit, along with barriers to market success. We really have to look at access, forced technology transfer, and the theft of intellectual property, which just, by and of itself, is costing the United States and its companies at least $300 billion a year.
Both the United States and China will have a more prosperous future if we can achieve a level economic playing field. Right now, unfortunately, it is a very one-sided and unfair one. But -- but I don't blame China. (Applause.) After all, who can blame a country for being able to take advantage of another country for the benefit of its citizens? I give China great credit. (Applause.)
But, in actuality, I do blame past administrations for allowing this out-of-control trade deficit to take place and to grow. We have to fix this because it just doesn't work for our great American companies, and it doesn't work for our great American workers. It is just not sustainable. I look forward to working toward that goal and to pursuing fair and lasting engagement.
The order, with a list value of $37 billion before customary discounts, consists mostly of previous agreements, officials with knowledge of the matter said. The pact is largely for jets that have been parts of deals since 2013, said one of the people, who asked not to be named because he wasn’t authorized to speak to the media.
On Thursday, amid a slew of Sino-U.S. dealmaking during President Donald Trump’s visit to China, the Foreign Ministry said entry barriers to sectors such as banking, insurance, securities and funds will be “substantially” eased. That will happen “in accordance to China’s own timetable and road map,” the ministry said, following a meeting between Trump and his counterpart Xi Jinping.
Chinese state media appeared pleased with the summit. The Global Times, a newspaper known for its nationalist rhetoric, declared that Trump “respects our head of state and has repeatedly praised President Xi Jinping in public.”
Tao Wenzhao, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Science’s Institute for American Studies, said in an interview that Trump’s decision not to blame China “shows that he understands the complex reasons behind the trade imbalance. The trade imbalance cannot be corrected overnight.”
3. Bipartisan Bill To Enhance The Committee On Foreign Investment In The US To Limit PRC Investment
Comment: It is the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act (FIRRMA). Updating CFIUS to deal with the China challenge is long overdue, the timing of this introduction, while the President was in Beijing, is interesting.
On Wednesday, Senator John Cornyn, a Republican from Texas, and Senator Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat from California, introduced legislation that could add thousands of companies with foreign ties to the list of those reviewed each year by Cfius and provide more funding to deal with that increase. A similar House bill was also introduced on Wednesday by Representative Robert Pittenger, a Republican from North Carolina.
Tencent has invested in more than 40 tech startups in the U.S. since 2011, joining fundraising rounds valued at $3.5 billion, the Journal recently reported, excluding investments in public companies. Recently, it led a $10 million investment round in Academia.edu, a San Francisco-based platform for scientists and academics to publish and review papers online, and it disclosed a $3 million investment in Innovega Inc., of Bellevue, Wash., which is building an augmented reality device into a contact lens.
People close to Tencent have said its investment strategy is driven by a desire to stay current on the latest ideas and products out of the U.S. tech sector.
Comment: And how many US venture capital funds has Tencent or its affiliates invested in as a limited partner? If you include all those deals you are talking hundreds of investments at least.
4. The Global Times Supports Trump In His Attacks Against "Fake News"
This doesn't come easily, as the initial impression of Trump was completely led by US media reports. These absurd reports deeply influenced Chinese public opinion. It wasn't until his election victory that the Chinese public realized they had been cheated by the American media.
Many leading US media outlets are now discredited among the Chinese public, partly because of their fake reports during the elections and subjective opposition against Trump.
It is unfortunate that President Trump agreed to hold a news conference that did not allow questions from any reporters, but it is worth remembering that during his 2009 visit to Beijing President Obama also agreed to allow no questions in his news conference with Hu Jintao.
5. Vice Premier Ma Kai Chairs First Meeting Of State Council Financial Stability and Development Committee
But Vice Premier Ma, no longer on the Politburo and due to retire in the Spring at the National People's Congress meeting, is a seat warmer for the next chair, who will likely be Vice Premier Liu He.
China appointed 71-year-old vice premier Ma Kai to lead a top-level committee on financial oversight, a sign the job may soon pass to the recently-promoted Liu He, a key economic adviser to the president...
“The appointment of Ma shows the head of the committee is a premier-level job,” said Hu Xingdou, an economics professor at the Beijing Institute of Technology. “Whoever succeeds Ma will take over the job -- and it’s very likely to be Liu He.”
The committee will review a strategic plan of financial reforms; coordinate China’s monetary policy and financial regulation; and forge policies on financial risk management so as to maintain country’s financial stability, Xinhua said.
The committee will also supervise financial regulatory bodies, and guide local financial development, Xinhua added.
The other big finance-related personnel change will be the replacement for Zhou Xiaochuan as head of the People's Bank of China. The consensus seems to be forming around Guo Shuqing as his replacement, but some very smart readers suggest that the odds may be just as good that Hubei Provincial secretary and former head of the Bank of Agriculture Jiang Chaoliang gets the PBoC job.
6. Chinese Communist Party Media Have Quite The Facebook Presence
As if to demonstrate the platform’s effectiveness, outside its borders China uses it to spread state-produced propaganda around the world, including the United States. So much do China’s government and companies value Facebook that the country is Facebook’s biggest advertising market in Asia, even as it is the only major country in the region that blocks the social network...
Each quarter China’s government, through its state media agencies, spends hundreds of thousands of dollars to buy Facebook ads, according to a person with knowledge of those deals, who was unauthorized to talk publicly about the company’s revenue streams.
It sounds like the PRC is also buying bots on Facebook
People’s Daily did not respond to questions sent to its Twitter, Facebook, or public email accounts. But a closer look at its fans via Fanpage Karma gives some credence to its critics.
First of all, most of its fans come from countries that are notorious for running “click farms,” where companies can buy Facebook “likes” and re-posts, rather than the biggest English-speaking countries
Does the revenue from the Chinese Communist Party external propaganda organs, along with Facebook's efforts to break into the Chinese market, make it susceptible to PRC pressure outside of China?
“We did receive a report from a representative of the Chinese government about that account,” Stretch said. “We analyzed that report as we would any other, and took action based on our policies,” he said.
7. Xinjiang's United Front Office Lists The 75 Signs Of Religious Extremism
Authorities have relied on a list circulated earlier this year of “75 Signs of Religious Extremism” to detain Uyghurs amid a string of harsh policies attacking their legitimate rights and freedoms enacted since Communist Party secretary Chen Quanguo was appointed to run the region in August 2016.
Among the signs of extremism on the list were “conducting business as usual” and “women who wear religious clothing to work” during the holy Islamic month of Ramadan, “storing or purchasing large quantities of food for home” and “acting abnormal,” and “praying in groups in public outside of mosques.”
The list on the Xinjiang United Front Website 识别宗教极端活动（75种具体表现）基础知识
8. Chinese Netizens Care More About Abuse Of Toddlers At A Ctrip Daycare Center Than They Do About the Trump-Xi Meetings
Footage of toddlers being abused at the daycare center of China’s Ctrip company is widely circulating on Weibo, triggering anger amongst Shanghai parents and Chinese netizens...
**Here is the video **of the parents confronting the teacher, security guards lost control, parents beat her, dragged her by the hair, forced Wasabi into her mouth and nose like she did with the kids
The day care center in question is located inside the headquarters of Ctrip, the country’s leading online travel agency, in the western part of Shanghai. The facility was established in partnership with the district women’s federation in February 2016 to serve the company’s more than 10,000 employees, as the city encourages employers to provide child care services for working moms.
Messing with people's kids, especially when the parents are white collar Shanghainese, is combustible
Business, Economy, Finance And Trade
China Sees No Letup in Inflation - Caixin Global The consumer price index (CPI) jumped 1.9% in October from a year ago, the biggest increase since January’s 2.5%, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said. Although the number beat the median forecast of 1.8% in a Bloomberg News survey of economists, it remains well below the government’s full-year inflation ceiling of around 3%.
WeWork is going to move even faster in China for the coming year: Q&A with WeWork Asia head What the company has accomplished so far is pretty impressive. “We have been in this market for 16 months with 9 locations across Beijing, Shanghai, and Hong Kong in operation. We just announced another 4 newly added locations to be open in early 2018, adding the total locations of WeWork in China to 13. The average occupancy rate is as high as 90%,” WeWork Asia Managing Director Christian Lee told TechNode. This would make China the second largest country for WeWork in terms of number of locations operated, next only to its homeland in the US, where WeWork has been operating for 7 years.
起底赵薇和她背后的隐秘富豪：一场饭局结识马云|赵薇|马云|证监会_新浪科技_新浪网 Actor/Investor Zhao Wei and her husband fined, punished by the CSRC for improer trading
Black Friday's Got Nothing on Alibaba's Singles' Day Sale - Bloomberg Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. is prepping for Singles’ Day, an annual Nov. 11 online shopping fiesta that Citigroup Inc. estimates could generate a record 158 billion yuan ($24 billion) of sales this year. The bargains bonanza, which began in 2009 as an excuse to get lonely Chinese consumers to shop, now far outstrips sales during Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the U.S.This yea
As China Moves To Other Energy Sources, Its Coal Region Struggles To Adapt : Parallels : NPR The city of 4 million got rich off of coal, once, and became known as China's coal capital. Shanxi Province has a quarter of the nation's proven coal reserves. But now China is closing and consolidating its coal mines under state ownership — 25 have closed this year alone — and the region has not quite figured out how to rebound. The province produced 14.7 percent fewer tons of coal in 2016 from the previous year.
Chongqing Steps Up to Rein In Microlending Risks - Caixin Global The local government of Southwest China’s Chongqing municipality, where microlenders are highly concentrated, has recently taken steps to rein in the risks posed by the region’s rapidly growing unsecured short-term loan sector.
Politics, Law And Ideology
全面把握中国特色社会主义进入新时代--时政--人民网 Li Zhanshu has a long piece in the November 9 People's Daily on comprehensively grasping that socialism with Chinese characteristics has entered a new era
Why Xi Jinping’s (Airbrushed) Face Is Plastered All Over China - The New York Times In the front-page version of Mr. Xi’s portrait, the color and saturation were adjusted, hiding gray hairs and skin imperfections and giving the photo the feel of a painting, said Hany Farid, a professor at Dartmouth College and an expert on photo forensics.
Two Party members held accountable for bringing in damaging overseas books - Global Times China Discipline Inspection, a newspaper run by the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the CPC, reported on Wednesday that Party members who bring books, audio and video products, or e-books have to be held accountable in accordance with Party discipline regulations. The report cited two officials, surnamed Li and Wang from a State-owned enterprise (SOE), who brought two books which distorted the history of the People's Liberation Army and defamed some former leaders in China after their overseas business trip. The public security bureau detained them for spreading the books among friends and relatives.
Conditions Ripe for Nationwide Thought Control - China Digital Times (CDT) WeChat essayist YouShanDaBu (游山打捕) asks what conditions would be needed to enable an effective nationwide thought control campaign. The WeChat post has since been deleted, but is archived at CDT Chinese and translated in full below:
Harassment and house arrest in China as Trump has 'beyond terrific' time | World news | The Guardian Human rights defenders and their families placed under heavy surveillance by Xi Jinping’s agents as US president is feted
Public security organs urged to play bigger role in building a safe China - Xinhua Guo Shengkun, head of the Commission for Political and Legal Affairs of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, made the remarks Wednesday at a meeting of public security officials studying the meaning of the congress in Beijing. 努力在学懂弄通做实党的十九大精神上走在前列
用习近平新时代中国特色社会主义思想武装全党--理论-人民网 Shi Zhongquan, deputy director of the Party Research Office, on using Xi Thought on the Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era to arm the entire Party...
Foreign and Military Affairs
U.S. and China Hold Second Counter Nuclear Smuggling Consultation - US Department of State The United States and China convened their second nuclear smuggling consultation on November 9th in Shanghai to reaffirm their joint commitment and continued resolve to counter the threat of nuclear terrorism. The consultation was the culmination of a weeklong engagement, beginning with a tour highlighting the operations of the radiation detection system at the Port of Yangshan and a scenario-based policy discussion focused on U.S. and Chinese response to a fictional smuggling scenario.
Chinese Studied Trump's Every Move Prior to State Visit - Free Beacon A special government unit linked to the Chinese military is code-named Skyheart and made up some 350 officials who work around the clock at a secret facility in western Beijing called Western Hills, site of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) general staff headquarters where China's underground nuclear command and control complex is based, according to a person familiar with the operation.
Xi publishes signed article ahead of Vietnam visit, calling for closer cooperation - Xinhua Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday reviewed the China-Vietnam friendship "forged with blood" by the older generation of leaders and the two peoples and called on both sides to make greater efforts to promote bilateral ties. Xi made the remarks in a signed article published in Nhan Dan, the official newspaper of the Communist Party of Vietnam.
Satellite imagery offers clues to China’s intentions in Djibouti - Defense News Indeed, retired Indian military satellite imagery analyst Col. Vinayak Bhat examined satellite imagery of the facility and called it a “massive fortress” able to “easily accommodate over a brigade-strength force,” adding that it would allow China to “monitor all shipping movements through the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden” as well as “exert influence in the African continent.”
Military, armed police required to study CPC congress spirit - Xinhua By the end of next year, officers at regiment-level and above should all receive education courses, and the CMC would conduct inspections "in appropriate time." From now to June next year, the CMC will dispatch lecturers to major military command areas, while the headquarters of different forces will also send out lecturers to lower units. 中央军委印发《意见》要求全军和武警部队认真学习宣传贯彻党的十九大精神
Trump Is Ceding Global Leadership to China - The New York Times - Antony J. Blinken With Mr. Trump ceding ground to China, the liberal international order that defined the second half of the 20th century could give way to an illiberal one.
Hong Kong, Macao
Defiant Hong Kong football fans boo China's national anthem | World news | The Guardian Hong Kong football fans loudly booed and jeered China’s national anthem at a match on Thursday, defying Beijing days after Communist leaders tightened penalties for disrespecting the song.
Hong Kong pupils ‘have poor knowledge’ of modern Chinese history ... and some think Mao is a woman | South China Morning Post The findings were part of a report on DSE performance released on Tuesday by the Examinations and Assessment Authority. Last week, officials announced the decision to make Chinese history an independent and compulsory subject for pupils from Form One to Form Three in 2018. For pupils from Form Four to Form Six, Chinese history has been an independent elective subject since 2009.
Tech And Media
How one US data company is helping feed China's hungry AI - TechNode US-based Remark wants to bring all the data from all the major social networks around the world onto one platform. The company has amassed data on 1.3 billion people from social and consumer sites including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Sina Weibo, Alibaba, Baidu and Tencent—and you are likely one of them. Currently, they are developing artificial intelligence algorithms and, aside from China’s big data players, they are working with international consumer brands and fintech companies in China.
共享快递盒 环保还需降成本_凤凰资讯 Suning will use a recyclable delivery package for the Singles Day 11.11 deliveries, cost for the box is 25 RMB but supposedly can be re-used 1000 times. Why doesn't Amazon do this?
Tencent-backed search firm Sogou jumps 10 percent in U.S. market debut - Reuters investors expect a massive base of Chinese smartphone users to help the Tencent-backed search engine company narrow the gap with market leader Baidu.
Tencent Develops Mobile Version of Hit Survival Game - Sixth Tone Internet giant Tencent announced Wednesday that it has developed a smartphone equivalent to “PlayerUnknown Battlegrounds” (PUBG), and eager gamers hope it will satisfy both them and China’s entertainment regulators.
Society, Art, Sports, Culture And History
No Country for Disabled Men - Sixth Tone Around 12 million people in China live with mental disorders and intellectual disabilities — ranging from autism spectrum disorder to Down syndrome and psychotic disorders. Many of them have trouble communicating with others and controlling their emotions, and often rely on their parents for care into adulthood. But as their parents age, the question of future care becomes increasingly pressing.
UCLA trio could face lengthy legal proceeding in China; basketball team moves on without them - LA Times “This is Louis Vuitton; it’s not a pack of chewing gum,” Lewis said, “so we can assume this is an object of some value. If we’re dealing with some sunglasses, it’s possible you could have some imprisonment of some sort, but there’s other punishments that could be possible including probation. It doesn’t have to be prison; there’s no requirement of that.”
All to play for: China's football revolution - FT Video $$ Ben Bland spends a week at Guangzhou R&F football club to see for himself how the sport is growing in China
Mixing Chinese Opera With Pop Music, Jason Zhang Becomes a Social Media Hit | What's on Weibo A song that mixes pop and rap with traditional Yue opera has become a viral hit on Chinese social media..The hashtag ‘Zhang Jie Sister Lin Fallen From Heaven” (#张杰天上掉下个林妹妹#) has thus far received more than 170 million views on Weibo.
Regulator bans individuals from creating new martial arts forms - Global Times People who practice martial arts or work in the industry need to adhere to certain values and cannot be allowed to create derivative martial arts forms, attack, defame or discriminate against others, or hold fights in private, the General Administration of Sport stated in a notice released on Wednesday.
Energy, Environment, Science And Health
Alipay Wants to Cut Out Lines at Hospitals - Caixin Global Under the new service, Alipay users with a credit score above 650 on Ant Financial Services Group’s Sesame Credit, qualify for 1,000 yuan ($150) in credit at Shanghai’s Huashan Hospital Affiliated with Fudan University, the online payment platform said on Tuesday. These users can use the credit to pay for any medical fees incurred at the hospital.
China’s Race to Find Aliens First - The Atlantic As America has turned away from searching for extraterrestrial intelligence, China has built the world’s largest radio dish for precisely that purpose.
Chinese scientists caution against European origin theory for Giant Pandas - CRI Debate about where today's modern pandas originated from is underway again, after a Canadian paleoanthropologist recently discovered 10 million-year-old teeth belonging to a species of panda in Hungary. An article in New Scientist magazine suggests these fossilized teeth could be evidence that giant pandas originated in Europe. However, Chinese scientists point out that it's too early to jump to such a conclusion, the Beijing News reports.