Xi weighs in on United Front work and the private economy; Bytedance, Oracle and Trump ; Taiwan; RMB; Shen Zhihua

The top story on the Wednesday CCTV Evening News is a report about Xi issuing “important instructions” on the new "关于加强新时代民营经济统战工作的意见 Opinion on Strengthening the United Front Work of the Private Economy in the New Era". Xi's instructions were issued ahead of today's National Private Economy United Front Work Conference 全国民营经济统战工作会议.

This follows the release yesterday by the General Office of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party of the《关于加强新时代民营经济统战工作的意见 Opinion on Strengthening the United Front Work of the Private Economy in the New Era》that calls for improving Party control over private enterprise and entrepreneurs through United Front Work “so as to better focus the wisdom and strengthen of the private businesspeople on the goal and mission to realize the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.”

As I wrote in the Tuesday newsletter, among many other things the Opinion said that the Party aims to “build a backbone team of private businesspeople that is dependable and usable in key moments 打造一支关键时刻靠得住、用得上的民营经济人士骨干队伍.”

This new Opinion and the renewed focus from the United Front Work Department means we should expect even more patriotism and political correctness from the private sector. Those entrepreneurs and firms that understand and adhere to the Party line will likely see significant economic benefits. How and where foreign firms fit into this is unclear, but I will guess that it may make things more difficult for them politically and economically.

This United Front work will likely also raise more questions about the motives and actions of PRC firms operating globally. Article 7 of the National Intelligence Law already makes it very hard to argue that PRC firms and their executives could turn down requests to “support national intelligence work”, and now Xi and his CCP are mandating “a backbone team of private businesspeople that is dependable and usable in key moments 打造一支关键时刻靠得住、用得上的民营经济人士骨干队伍.” What that means is unclear, but it sounds ominous and giving Xi the benefit of the doubt does not have a great track record.

These developments come at an awkward time for Bytedance as it tries to craft a deal for TikTok in the US, but the company may have found the right partner, as this Washington Post report explains - Oracle’s courting of Trump may help it land TikTok’s business and coveted user data:

The proposed arrangement would allow ByteDance to retain ownership but outsource management of data to Oracle’s cloud-computing operations, according to people familiar with the deal who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss them candidly...

If that less restrictive arrangement is approved, it would seem to show that Oracle put itself in a position to persuade the president to dial back his earlier demands. Shortly after Trump’s 2016 election, Oracle chief executive Safra Catz served on his transition team. She has also dined at the White House with Trump. And Oracle co-founder and chief executive Larry Ellison hosted a fundraiser for Trump at his Rancho Mirage, Calif., estate in February.

Catz has also fostered a relationship with Trump’s trade adviser Peter Navarro, an aggressive advocate of banning TikTok in the United States rather than allowing the sale of its U.S. operations to an American company. But Navarro has been silent on the TikTok proposal that calls for ByteDance to remain an owner while Oracle becomes its technology partner because of his close relationship with Catz, according to a former U.S. official familiar with the matter..

The irony is that Navarro opposed a deal with Microsoft, which would have given a U.S. company control of TikTok and its data and algorithms, but he has said nothing about the Oracle arrangement, which would be far less protective of national security, the former official said.

It is impressive that this group appears to have even neutered Navarro, turning him from a vocal China hawk into a mute swan.

I wonder if officials back in Beijing now wish they had found ways to use Oracle and the Bytedance investors early on in their dealings with the Trump administration. They assumed Trump would be a transactional President with whom they could cut deals relatively easily. Maybe they were just using the wrong US conduits?

Today’s Essential Eight:

  1. Xi’s instructions to the National Private Economy United Front Work Conference

  2. TikTok

  3. Europe-China

  4. US-China

  5. More US arms sales and another senior official visit to Taiwan

  6. RMB appreciation

  7. Some China bits from Bob Woodward’s new book on Trump

  8. Historian Shen Zhihua 沈志华

Thanks for reading.


1. Xi’s instructions to the National Private Economy United Front Work Conference

On Xi’s instructions and the meeting - 习近平对新时代民营经济统战工作作出重要指示强调 坚持“两个毫不动摇”把民营经济人士团结在党的周围 更好推动民营经济健康发展_CCTV节目官网-CCTV-1_央视网(cctv.com)

Wang Yang, Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and chairman of the Central United Front Work Leading Group, attended the meeting and delivered a speech. He stressed that we should seriously study and understand the spirit of the important instructions of General Secretary Xi Jinping, deeply understand the importance of doing the united front work of the private economy in the new era from a high political level, adhere to the principles of trust, unity, service, guidance and education, and guide the private economy people to a complete and accurate understanding of the "two unwaverings" [unwavering support for private companies and unwavering support for State-Owned firms], firm institutional confidence, to put them Better unite around the Party and unite our efforts to achieve national rejuvenation.

中共中央政治局常委、中央统战工作领导小组组长汪洋出席会议并讲话。他强调,要认真学习领会习近平总书记重要指示精神,从政治高度深刻认识做好新时代民营经济统战工作的重要意义,坚持信任、团结、服务、引导、教育的方针,引导民营经济人士完整准确理解“两个毫不动摇”,坚定制度自信,把他们更好团结在党的周围,为实现民族复兴凝心聚力。

You Quan, head of the United Front Work Department, chaired the meeting and gave a speech

中共中央书记处书记、中央统战部部长尤权主持会议并讲话.

Other speakers included "comrades in charge of the United Front Work Department of the Cyberspace Affairs Commission, National Development and Reform Commission, United Front Work Department of the Zhejiang Provincial Party Committee, United Front Work Department of the Guangdong Provincial Party Committee, and representatives of relevant private entrepreneurs

中央网信办、国家发展改革委、浙江省委统战部、广东省委统战部负责同志,有关民营企业家代表"

The meeting was held in the form of a videoconference. Comrades in charge of relevant departments of the central and State organs and relevant people's organizations participated in the meeting at the main venue. Comrades in charge of the United Front Work Department of the Party Committee and the Federation of Industry and Commerce of all provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the Central Government, as well as the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps, attended the meeting at the sub-venues.

会议以电视电话会议形式召开。中央和国家机关有关部门、有关人民团体负责同志在主会场参加会议。各省、自治区、直辖市和新疆生产建设兵团党委统战部、工商联负责同志在分会场参加会议。

Xi stresses promoting healthy development of private sector - Xinhua

Xi...made the remarks in an instruction on related work.

The non-public sector of the economy is an important part of the socialist market economy, and it is of great significance to promote the healthy development of the sector and personnel engaged in the sector, Xi said.

He emphasized that it is an important task to unite and guide people in the private sector.

The instruction was conveyed at a video teleconference held in Beijing on Wednesday, highlighting the united front work relating to the private economy.

Xi Jinping stresses on private sector in post-pandemic economy - CGTN

Citing international and domestic challenges, the CPC Central Committee issued guidelines for strengthening united front work involving the private sector on Tuesday. It's the first time the CPC has issued such guidelines since reform and opening-up began in 1978.

Business people must "maintain high consistency" with the party regarding the political aspects of position, direction and principles, so that they can make more contributions to the economic recovery, said the guidelines.

The document also pledged to provide more support and improve the business environment as part of efforts to help private companies fend off the impact of the virus and ensure sustainable and high-quality development.

Chinese Communist Party Wants Bigger Role in Private Sector - Bloomberg

While it’s unclear what the new policy will mean for China’s millions of private firms, it comes as the state and party are pushing for greater control and influence over more of the economy. That increasingly unclear dividing line between public and private sector is one of the factors behind rising tensions with the U.S. and other states, with ostensibly private firms such as Huawei Technologies Co. seen overseas as tools of Chinese state power.

“The document shows China is trying to mobilize more resources around the national strategy amid the economic slowdown caused by the pandemic and the deterioration of diplomatic and trade relations with the US,” said Yue Su, China economist at the Economist Intelligence Unit, based in Shanghai. “The authorities will give priority to companies that assist in realizing policy goals when allocating financial and policy resources,” she said.

Another sign this has been building for a while into this rollout - July 21 Sinocism - Xi chairs symposium with business leaders; “Xi Thought” coming?; TikTok - Sinocism

The top news out of China today is Xi’s meeting with and speech to a group of public and private business leaders. Among his words of encouragement, promises of more effective policies to help the firms and appeals to patriotism...

Official transcript of Xi’s July speech - (受权发布)习近平:在企业家座谈会上的讲话-新华网

第一,落实好纾困惠企政策。要实施好更加积极有为的财政政策、更加稳健灵活的货币政策,增强宏观政策的针对性和时效性。要继续减税降费、减租降息,确保各项纾困措施直达基层、直接惠及市场主体。要强化对市场主体的金融支持,发展普惠金融,有效缓解企业特别是中小微企业融资难融资贵问题。要支持适销对路出口商品开拓国内市场。国有企业特别是中央企业要发挥龙头带动作用,带动上下游各类企业共渡难关。要加强国际合作,保护好产业链供应链。

First, I hope we will enhance our patriotic feelings. Enterprise marketing knows no borders, and entrepreneurs have their motherland. Excellent entrepreneurs must have a high sense of mission and a strong sense of responsibility for the country and the nation, and closely combine the development of their enterprises with the prosperity of the country, the prosperity of the nation and the happiness of the people, and take the initiative to bear the responsibility and share the worries for the country. Patriotism is the glorious tradition of excellent entrepreneurs in China in recent times. From Zhang Jian in the late Qing Dynasty to Lu Zuofu and Chen Jiageng during the war, and then to Rong Yiren and Wang Guangying after the founding of the new China [Bill: Rong and Wang “donated” all their businesses to the government], and so on, are all examples of patriotic entrepreneurs. Since the reform and opening up, a large number of patriotic entrepreneurs have emerged in China. Entrepreneurs' patriotism can take many forms, but the first and foremost is to run a first-class enterprise and lead it to strive and strive for the best, so as to achieve better quality, higher efficiency, greater competitiveness and greater influence.


2. TikTok

Republican Senators Send Letter To Trump Opposing TikTok-Oracle Deal - Bloomberg

“We remain opposed to any deal that would allow China-based or controlled entities to retain, control or modify the code or algorithms that operate any U.S.-based version of TikTok,” wrote the group, which included senators Marco Rubio, Thom Tillis, Roger Wicker, Rick Scott, Dan Sullivan, and John Cornyn...

“We are heartened that this deal still requires government approval, and if reports indicating this proposed deal will retain links to Bytedance or other Chinese-controlled entities, we strongly urge the Administration to reject such a proposal on national security grounds,” they said.

ByteDance to place TikTok's global headquarters in the U.S. - CGTN

ByteDance has decided to place TikTok's global headquarters in the United States in order to prevent President Trump from banning the popular video app, according to a plan presented to U.S. officials, sources told CGTN.

The plan said ByteDance, the parent company of TikTok, will remain the majority shareholder of the new U.S.-headquartered company, and tech company Oracle will be a minority shareholder.

Other potential U.S. investors, such as the world's largest retailer Walmart, which had launched a joint bid with Microsoft, would own a minority stake, said the plan....

ByteDance will continue to control TikTok and its core algorithms. In order to allay U.S. concerns about "national security," TikTok's U.S. data will be stored in the U.S., and Oracle will serve as the data service provider, the sources said.

Beijing unlikely to block ByteDance deal with Oracle, say experts | Financial Times $$

“There is no sale of any asset or any technology,” said one person directly involved in the protracted negotiations, which were carefully calibrated to avoid triggering resistance from either Beijing or Washington.

The person added that the deal was unlikely to require approval from regulators in Beijing. “As an enterprise software company Oracle will just be providing data security with a small minority stake,” the person said.

China’s ByteDance to Keep Majority TikTok Stake in Oracle Deal Under U.S. Consideration - WSJ $$

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has been the driving force inside the administration to find a deal that keeps TikTok in operation in the U.S., while Mr. Trump was initially inclined to ban the company. He agreed to let the company find a U.S.-based buyer, saying he wanted a portion of the proceeds to end up in the U.S. treasury.

Another person familiar with the talks said Mr. Trump’s concern would be addressed by pointing to the estimated 25,000 U.S.-based jobs the deal may create, and the amount of potential tax revenue the new company would generate in future years.

The TikTok view from China - Axios

Axios Re:Cap digs into the perspective from China, where TikTok's parent company is based. Our guest is CNBC Beijing bureau chief Eunice Yoon.


3. Europe-China

State of the Union Address by European Commission President von der Leyen

The relationship between the European Union and China is simultaneously one of the most strategically important and one of the most challenging we have.

From the outset I have said China is a negotiating partner, an economic competitor and a systemic rival.

We have interests in common on issues such as climate change – and China has shown it is willing to engage through a high-level dialogue. But we expect China to live up to its commitments in the Paris Agreement and lead by example.

There is still hard work to do on fair market access for European companies, reciprocity and overcapacity. We continue to have an unbalanced trade and investment partnership.

And there is no doubt that we promote very different systems of governance and society. We believe in the universal value of democracy and the rights of the individual.

Europe is not without issues – think for example of anti-semitism. But we discuss them publicly. Criticism and opposition are not only accepted but are legally protected.

So we must always call out human rights abuses whenever and wherever they occur – be it on Hong Kong or with the Uyghurs.

But what holds us back? Why are even simple statements on EU values delayed, watered down or held hostage for other motives?

European chief singles out China’s moves on Hong Kong, Xinjiang as she unveils new sanctions scheme | South China Morning Post

The European Commission chief singled out China’s human rights abuses in Hong Kong and Xinjiang in her maiden state of the union speech on Wednesday, as she announced an overhaul of the bloc’s sanctions scheme.

Ursula von der Leyen, the EC president, displayed tough rhetoric on China’s human rights records and trade practices while outlining the executive arm’s work in the year ahead...

“This House has called many times for a European Magnitsky act – and I can announce that we will now come forward with a proposal,” she said...

Meanwhile, Germany’s ambassador to the European Union also vowed to get tougher against China economically if Beijing continued unfair market practices for foreign investors.

Michael Clauss, who has also served as Berlin’s ambassador to Beijing, revealed on Wednesday that the EU’s 27 leaders would make key digital decisions next week as they mulled new strategies to confront China’s technological advance.

Germany’s Indo-Pacific Vision: A New Reckoning With China or More Strategic Drift? – The Diplomat

Critics of the plan, however, lament that it fails to grapple with the hard realities of Chinese power. It places its hopes in a flawed Code of Conduct between China and ASEAN to resolve tensions in the South China Sea, and criticizes “authoritarian actors and states” for spreading disinformation without naming names. Most tellingly, the document never mentions Taiwan, even as the United States moves the island republic closer to the heart of its regional agenda. “The new policy announcement offers no critical self-reflection about existing shortcomings of Berlin’s previous China engagement,” Andreas Fulda writes for RUSI.

Trade, of course, is the limiting factor that prevents Germany from adopting a more confrontational approach. China has been Germany’s biggest overall trading partner since 2016, and Germany accounts for more than half of all EU exports to China. Many of Germany’s flagship brands are particularly dependent on the relationship – nearly half of Volkswagen’s revenue comes from China, while petrochemicals giant BASF initiated a new 10 billion euro investment in China in 2019. Germany’s “change through trade” policy may have failed to effect change, but it remains profitable.

Italy Hardens Stance on China, In Line With EU Investment Push - Bloomberg

Vincenzo Amendola, Italy’s minister for European affairs, said in an interview with Bloomberg on Tuesday that EU states have for too long failed “to make reciprocity a priority” with China.

“Italy is geared toward trade with everyone, but accords with China must today pass through a commitment of the 27, because foreign trade has to do with European sovereignty,” said Amendola, of the center-left


4. US-China

中科院院长:把美国卡脖子清单变成科研任务清单 Chinese Academy of Sciences President: turning the U.S. "stranglehold list" into a research task list

Comments from CAS head Bai Chunli 白春礼

Secondly, we must adhere to the goal-oriented, problem-oriented and result-oriented. At present, the development of science and technology in the country is transforming, and high quality economic development also requires high quality development of science and technology. Faced with the US crackdown on China's high-tech industry, we hope to do some work in this regard. We have already done some work in the early stages, and we will also make some new deployments in the next decade to address some key issues that are stuck. These new deployments have done several aspects, one is supercomputing, we have developed our own supercomputing system, which has also been applied to weather forecasting, molecular design, drug development, atmospheric forecasting, etc., and can also be used in basic research, cosmology research. Second, many key materials such as high-end bearings still need to be imported, We have turned the U.S. "stranglehold list" into our scientific research task list for layout, such as aviation tires, bearing steel, photolithography machines, as well as some key core technologies, key raw materials, we strive to focus on the most important areas of national attention in the future in the second phase, focusing on the whole institute's strength to do.

二是我们要坚持目标导向、问题导向、结果导向。当前,国家科技的发展正在转型,经济高质量发展也需要科技高质量发展。面临着美国对中国高科技产业的打压,我们希望在这方面能够做一些工作。前期我们已经做了一些工作,未来十年我们还会针对一些卡脖子的关键问题做一些新的部署。这些新的部署做了几方面,一是超算,我们自己研发出自己的超算系统,也已经应用到气象预报、分子设计、药物研发、大气预报等,还可以用到基础性的研究、宇宙学研究等。二是高端轴承等很多关键材料还需要进口,我们把美国卡脖子的清单变成我们科研任务清单进行布局,比如航空轮胎、轴承钢、光刻机,还有一些关键的核心技术、关键原材料等,我们争取将来在第二期,聚焦在国家最关注的重大的领域,集中我们全院的力量来做。

Comment: I would expect it to not only be a “research task list” but also an obtain by any means necessary “target list”.

Secretary Michael R. Pompeo And UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab At a Press Availability - United States Department of State

We also discussed the challenges presented to the world by the Chinese Communist Party, and the challenges that that same party presents to the people of China.

We’re all overcoming the virus that the CCP allowed out of Wuhan. But while we’re all recovering, the party’s aggression abroad and abuses at home have gotten even worse.

We appreciate the steps that the British Government has taken to face the China challenge in recent months. That includes remarkable work speaking up for the people of Hong Kong and offering many of them refuge, calling out repression in Xinjiang, and banning Huawei while working to phase out untrusted equipment.

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin's Regular Press Conference on September 16, 2020

CNR: According to the Los Angeles Times, the latest research from UCLA suggests that COVID-19 may have gotten to Los Angeles as early as December of 2019, before the World Health Organization was even privy to the cases in Wuhan, China. Do you have any comment?

Wang Wenbin: Over some time, there have been flurry of reports on when and where COVID-19 broke out, which should be taken seriously. WHO officials once said that origin-tracing is an ongoing process probably concerning many countries and localities. We should be open to the possibility of various origins.

This again indicates that origin-tracing is a very complex scientific issue, and we should not pin labels to the virus, politicize the pandemic and stigmatize other countries. We need to enable scientists around the globe to conduct international science research and cooperation. China will continue supporting WHO-led cooperation among member states on the zoonotic source of COVID-19 and in other fields and scientists around the world in conducting relevant scientific research. We also hope certain country will adopt a positive attitude towards cooperation with WHO.

China urges US to stop provocative actions in South China Sea - People's Daily

"It's a common trick for the US Air Force to impersonate the transponder code of civilian aircraft from other countries. It's known that by disguising its planes, US reconnaissance planes have entered the South China Sea over 100 times, "a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said at a routine press briefing on Wednesday.

Question: But did the US actually do this, or is the "South China Sea Probing Initiative" engaging in agitprop?

SCSPI was also behind this recent bit disinformation - US intends to force China to 'fire first shot' over Taiwan:

An EP-3E reconnaissance aircraft has been spotted in the northern "airspace" of Taiwan and flew to Japan over the East China Sea on Sunday and this unusual flight-path showed that the aircraft potentially took off from an airport on the island, according to information released by the website of the South China Sea Strategic Situation Probing Initiative (SCSPI), a Beijing based think tank.

According to the SCSPI, the aircraft was spotted in the south of the island conducting a reconnaissance mission in the South China Sea a day earlier, but with no landing signals showing it returned to the US' Kadena air force base in Okinawa, which means that the US aircraft may have not returned to Okinawa but landed on Taiwan island instead. The Chinese mainland warned this incident could be a serious provocation toward China and may escalate tensions.

However, Taiwan "air force command" responded on Monday that the information released by the SCSPI is "totally against the facts," Taiwan media cna.com reported.

Hegemonic practices won't last long - People's Daily Zhong Sheng

From a global point of view, the process of U.S. undermining other countries' interests with hegemony is also one that damages the international system. When the White House is going all out for its egoism, unilateralism and hegemonism, any country has the reason to doubt whether it will be the next target of suppression, bullying and robbery. Facing the economic frictions provoked by the U.S., all countries concerned have launched countermeasures. Besides, more and more countries are disgusted with the U.S. that forces others to choose sides.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned that Europe needs to reassess its relationship with the U.S. if the latter is not willing to shoulder its responsibilities as a global power. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov noted that the U.S. has recently stripped off its pretence and was ready to threaten or wield sanctions against others, and Russia opposes unilateralism in international affairs.

Flawed US policies caused its eroding national image, says China - People's Daily

Many surveys suggested that the US has been suffering from an eroding image because the country’s foreign policy is on a wrong track, and most say the US has handled the coronavirus outbreak badly, said Wang Wenbin, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson.

China’s WTO win over US offers no concrete reward but Beijing gets moral high ground, experts say | South China Morning Post

China’s Ministry of Commerce welcomed the verdict, stating that it hoped the US “will fully respect the ruling of the expert panel and the rules-based multilateral trading system, and take practical actions to meet China and other WTO members in jointly maintaining the multilateral trading system”.

U.S. officials need to stop spreading ‘political virus’ that fuels racial discrimination - People's Daily Zhong Sheng

As some U.S. politicians are bent on politicizing the pandemic and maliciously making China a scapegoat for their incompetence in containing the outbreak, the virus of racial discrimination against Asian Americans is also spreading across the country....

In history, the notorious Chinese Exclusion Act and crimes against Asian Americans such as sending a large number of Asians to concentration camps during the World War II have startled the world.

Asian Americans now still suffer continuous harassment, exclusion and structural discrimination in the U.S., arousing great concern among the international community and American people with breadth of vision.

Trump’s ‘Chinese virus’ slur makes some people blame Chinese Americans. But others blame Trump. - The Washington Post

when respondents were asked to rate the extent to which they blamed the Chinese government using a scale of 0 (not responsible at all) to 10 (extremely responsible), being exposed to the term “Chinese virus” had no effect.

Surprisingly, the use of the term “Chinese virus” prompted more respondents to blame Trump for the pandemic.

Dropping in on China’s ‘Parachute Generation’ - SixthTone

Over the past 15 years, hundreds of thousands of young Chinese opted to attend high school in the United States. Now, rising tensions and post-pandemic uncertainty seem set to make a difficult transition even harder.

Seven International Cyber Defendants, Including “Apt41” Actors, Charged In Connection With Computer Intrusion Campaigns Against More Than 100 Victims Globally | OPA | Department of Justice

The August 2019 indictment charged Zhang Haoran (张浩然), 35, and Tan Dailin (谭戴林), 35, with 25 counts of conspiracy, wire fraud, aggravated identity theft, money laundering, and violations of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (“CFAA”). The indictment charged Zhang and Tan with participating in a “Computer Hacking Conspiracy,” which targeted high-technology and similar organizations. The indictment also charged that, as an additional way to make money, Zhang and Tan participated in a “Video Game Conspiracy,” through which Zhang and Tan, together with others, sought to make money by hacking video game companies, obtaining and otherwise generating digital items of value (e.g., video game currency), and then selling such items for profit. In several instances, they used their unauthorized access to gaming company networks take action against other unrelated groups engaged in the same fraudulent generation of gaming artifacts, thereby attempting to eliminate the criminal competition.

One of the August 2020, indictments charged Jiang Lizhi (蒋立志), 35, Qian Chuan (钱川), 39, and Fu Qiang (付强), 37, with nine counts of racketeering conspiracy, conspiracy to violate the CFAA, substantive violations of the CFAA, access device fraud, identity theft, aggravated identity theft, and money laundering. The racketeering conspiracy pertained to the three defendants’ conducting the affairs of Chengdu 404 Network Technology (“Chengdu 404”), a PRC company, through a pattern of racketeering activity involving computer intrusion offenses affecting over 100 victim companies, organizations, and individuals in the United States and around the world, including in Australia, Brazil, Chile, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Pakistan, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam. The defendants also compromised foreign government computer networks in India and Vietnam, and targeted, but did not compromise, government computer networks in the United Kingdom.


5. More US arms sales and another senior official visit to Taiwan

Senior U.S. State Dept official to visit Taiwan for weekend memorial service | Reuters

U.S. Undersecretary for Economic Affairs Keith Krach will visit Taiwan for a memorial service for former Taiwanese President Lee Teng-hui on Saturday, the U.S. State Department said...

On Monday, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin was asked about the possibility of a visit by Krach to Taipei and said China firmly opposed official exchanges between the United States and Taiwan, while warning of serious damage to China-U.S. relations.

Exclusive: U.S. pushes arms sales surge to 'Fortress Taiwan,' needling China | Reuters

The United States plans to sell as many as seven major weapons systems, including mines, cruise missiles and drones to Taiwan, four people familiar with the discussions said, as the Trump administration ramps up pressure on China...

One industry source said President Donald Trump was slated to be briefed on the packages this week by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Some of the deals had been requested by Taiwan more than a year ago, but are only now being moved through the approval process. A State Department spokesman declined comment.

A senior U.S. official, citing Chinese assertiveness in the Taiwan Strait, said: “There is no equilibrium today. It is out of balance. And I think that is dangerous.”..

The senior U.S. official said Taiwan’s increased defense spending was a good step, but it had to do more.

“Taiwan, frankly, needs to do more in order to ensure that they indigenously have an ability to deter Chinese aggression,” the official said.

Tsai's risky secessionist collusion with US brings trouble to Taiwan society - Wang Shushen - Global Times

The Chinese mainland has an adequate "toolbox" to stabilize the cross-Straits situation and resist outside interference. It has every legitimate reason to restrict the entry of US politicians who collude with Taiwan secessionist forces to infringe upon the one-China principle. The mainland is totally legitimate to crack down on the secessionist organizations and individuals on the island. Any risky secessionist act by Tsai authorities in collusion with the US will bear corresponding consequences. This may even bring trouble to the whole of Taiwan society.

The author is associate research fellow at the Institute of Taiwan Studies, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences

This is interesting - Taiwan ties of Japan’s new defence minister Nobuo Kishi sparks reaction from China | South China Morning Post

Nobuo Kishi, 61, is the younger sibling of former leader Shinzo Abe, although he was adopted by his maternal uncle as a baby and carries his surname.

Kishi is known for his close ties to the self-ruled island of Taiwan, having represented the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) over the years in engagements with current Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen and other Taiwanese leaders.


6. RMB appreciation

China Lets Traders Push Yuan Toward Best Quarter on Record - Bloomberg 

The yuan has strengthened 4.5% since the end of June to 6.7566 per dollar, set for the biggest ever quarterly gain in Bloomberg data going back to 1981. The currency is the best performer in Asia in the third quarter, with the buying momentum close to the strongest since January

Asian Intervention in the Foreign Exchange Market is Back. Bigly. | Council on Foreign Relations - Brad Setser

while there are still-to-be resolved questions about the precise size of intervention in some smaller Asian economies, the really big mystery—as always—is China...

The yuan is appreciating (a bit) against the dollar, which tends to reduce hot outflows. Chinese investors move money out of China (on the down low) when the yuan is expected to slide, but at least in the past, they have also tended to want their savings at home when the yuan is moving up.

Yet reported reserves—especially reported reserves on the PBOC’s balance sheet—haven’t moved...

As a result, the balance of payments implies some actor or set of actors inside the Chinese economy have been adding to their foreign assets at quite a substantial clip.

If it turns out that asset accumulation is coming from state actors or actors that are borrowing foreign exchange domestically from the PBOC (Taiwan’s trick in the past for keeping the true foreign exchange position of its Central Banks in the shadows), well, currency intervention may become a real rather than a fake issue with China again too…

Setser also did a Twitter thread on this:

A Forgotten Tail Risk Rears Its Head Again: U.S.-China Trade - Bloomberg

For the time being, its currency, long a flashpoint, is strengthening noticeably. Indeed it has now returned to almost exactly the level at which it was pegged against the dollar during the financial crisis era. As China has had much higher inflation over the interim, this means the yuan is now much less competitive


7. Some China bits from Bob Woodward’s new book on Trump

The book Rage, on China. Some interesting parts about China from… | by Yufan Huang | Sep, 2020 | Huang Yufan

Pottinger was the one who suggested the travel ban on China in the early days of COV19. Pottinger reads Chinese social media closely and talks with people on the ground in China. His sources, most notably a Chinese doctor with perfect credentials helped him realize how dangerous COV is, way before the Chinese saying so.

China was not forthcoming at all, in phone calls with Chinese CDC officials, Fauci and Redfield repeatedly asked for permission to send in a team of US experts and asked the Chinese to share virus samples, but the Chinese are noncommittal. Trump later made similar requests in a call with Xi but to no avail. Fauci and Redfield thought it was because the Chinese were too proud to receive the help. But some “Chinese elites” told Pottinger that China may have the sinister goal of deliberately trying to spread the virus outside China. Pottinger didn’t buy it…

The several calls between Trump and Xi were overall very cordial. In only one call, Trump raised the issue about Zhao Lijian and his conspiracy theory that the virus may be brought to Wuhan by an American army athlete who were there to attend the military Olympics. “This is a ridiculous comment, you know, Trump said. It was tense, and they argued.”…

Mattis reminded Wei, “We weren’t part of the 100 years of humiliation” and that, “we haven’t been adversaries. The American people actually have an affection for China.”

“Now Mattis pushed closer to the bone. ‘Are you aware that it was the Americans that created the world that allowed the hardworking Chinese people to advantage themselves and move out of poverty?’ Mattis asked, turning to look at Wei. Trade with America had helped propel the dramatic modernization of China. Wei looked intently at Mattis and pulled him close, an apparent gesture of unusual affection.‘Yes,’ Wei said. ‘And we know we owe the Americans most of the thanks for this.’ No ambiguity. ‘Absolutely,’ he said. ‘We owe the Americans most.’

South China Sea: ex-US defence chief James Mattis told Beijing to play by the rules, Woodward book says | South China Morning Post

According to Woodward, the US general wanted Wei to know that war would be “extraordinarily tough” on the Chinese, whose military officers had not been involved in a major conflict since the war with Vietnam in 1979.

“I’ll just tell you,” Mattis said to Wei, “the country I would most be willing to fight would be one whose entire officer corps had never heard a shot fired at them. War is so different from training that a shock wave will go through them. I’ve got – probably 80 per cent of my officers have been shot at in one form or another. But I’d prefer not to put them through another war.”…

Wei’s response to these comments was not included in the book.


8. Historian Shen Zhihua 沈志华

H-Diplo Essay 267- Shen Zhihua on Learning the Scholar’s Craft: Reflections of Historians and International Relations Scholars | H-Diplo | H-Net

The first book I wrote and published after returning to academia was on the Korean War.[24] I hoped to resolve a puzzle I had first encountered over 20 years prior. The declassified Russian documents provided me with solid documentation for the endeavor, and I must thank Sergei Goncharov for his help.[25] In the book, I argue that Stalin’s aim in starting the Korean War was neither to aid Kim Il-sung nor to promote revolution in Asia. Stalin’s objective was to secure Soviet strategic interests in the Far East, i.e., to control exit to the Pacific and ice-free ports, such as Port Arthur and Dalian Port, which Mao intended to take back. Mao Zedong’s decision to send the Chinese troops to fight in the war stemmed from his determination to maintain the Sino-Soviet Alliance and to consolidate the Communist regime in China. I did not think that the outbreak of the Korean War was a result of the Sino-Soviet Alliance. On the contrary, it was a consequence of differences and contradictions within the Alliance. [26]

My next major project was to study the evolution of Sino-Soviet relations during the Cold War. I researched and published on the following topics: Soviet aid to China, the 20th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, the 1956 Polish and Hungarian Crises and their impact on China, China’s “anti-rightist movement” in the 1950s, the Taiwan Strait Crisis of 1958 and the rupture of the Sino-Soviet Alliance, among others.[27] These publications had much influence in China and drew attention from international academic circles as well. Scholars in Poland and Hungary invited me to their countries to attend conferences and give talks, and they published my articles in their academic journals. My research on Mao Zedong’s “anti-rightist movement” received favorable comments from Professor Roderick MacFarquhar of Harvard, who concurred with my view. I argued that when Mao Zedong first proposed that the people “speak out freely and air their views fully”—letting “one hundred flowers bloom”—he sincerely wanted to punish CCP officials. (He actually “achieved the same result by different methods” when he launched the Cultural Revolution in the 1960s). But Mao felt that the Polish and Hungarian Crises threatened CCP’s rule in China, and he thus reversed the course and turned against the “rightists.”

Many foreign scholars have little understanding of China’s national conditions, and they frequently asked Chinese scholars to show Chinese archival documents to prove their arguments. We felt embarrassed. In China, it is immensely difficult to acquire materials from state archives. The Chinese Archives pay much attention to taking good care of archival materials but do not encourage scholars to make use of them. Li Danhui and I traveled to more than 30 provincial and municipal archives in China, but we had very limited access to reading and photocopying archival documents. We had to make connections and court people in positions of power in order to get access. For instance, in order to research at Xinjiang Autonomous Region Archives and Yili Autonomous Prefecture Archives, Li Danhui’s father[28] made a phone call to Mr. Zhou, who was then Secretary the CCP Xinjiang Autonomous Region Committee. This made it possible for us to collect documents on the Ita Incident of 1962[29] at these two archives. Through the invention of Mr. Xi, who was then governor of Fujian Province, we were able to enter Fujian Provincial Archives to read the meeting minutes of the CCP Central Military Commission front-line headquarters during the Bombardment of Jinmen in 1958. Even these reliable and high-level contacts did not always guarantee success. For instance, we traveled thousands of miles to Tibetan Autonomous Region Archives, but we got nothing from Tibet

PRC Diplomatic History Scholar Shen Zhihua | 高大伟 David Cowhig's Translation Blog

Professor Shen has been outspoken. I came across an August 2019 article Zhang Xunhong article attacking Shen for ridiculing Mao, for criticizing PRC Korean War policies, for accusing Mao for thinking he was an emperor and other grievous errors.

The heart of the article is a sad sign of the times. Think historical nihilism!:

”As scholars in socialist countries, we are engaged in historical research. The most fundamental guiding ideology is Marxist historical materialism.

Engaging in historical research cannot be divorced from the objective reality of today’s society; historical workers live in the real world, and their view of history cannot be divorced from the real world in which they live. How to evaluate historical events and historical figures is related to how to understand and transform the real world. When we evaluate historical figures and events, we must base ourselves on the general trend of historical development. If you look at historical figures and events in isolation and one-sidedness, you will draw biased and even false conclusions. The wrong view of history is bound to have an inestimable negative impact on the stability and development of the real society.”


Business, Economy and Trade

Premier Li says China's economy expected to register positive growth in 2020 - Xinhua Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Tuesday said China is set to achieve its main annual targets and register positive GDP growth in 2020. Li made the remarks when addressing the Special Virtual Dialogue with Global Business Leaders hosted by the World Economic Forum, attended by more than 500 business leaders.

Summer 2020 — The China Dashboard Summer 2020 — Asia Society Policy Institute and Rhodium Group The Dashboard was born in the hope that China would prioritize convergence with liberal economic norms, and when it did so, that would be observed abroad in a timely manner so that an international consensus about mutual interdependence could be achieved. At a time of profound systemic dilemmas around the world, our indicators do present a conclusion, and it is consistent with China’s own policy pronouncements: China has not implemented reform in recent years and under the flag of COVID-19 is further deferring market liberalization even while talking about the importance of market allocation efficiency. This reality is driving the systemic rivalry with market democracies and will likely do so for some years to come regardless of electoral outcomes in any given nation.

China Tightens Funding Sources for Micro Lenders Such as Ant - Bloomberg China’s banking watchdog on Wednesday said loans financed by banks and shareholders shouldn’t exceed the firms’ net assets, while funds raised via bond sales and asset-backed securities will be capped at four times. The rules tighten key sources of funding for China’s 9,074 small loan companies that have issued more than 1 trillion yuan ($150 billion) in loans as of last year...Ant’s two small loan companies, Huabei and Jiebei, had asset-backed securities at about 4.7 times their net asset value as of June, based on calculations from Ant’s IPO filing.

Chip Industry Wants $50 Billion to Keep Manufacturing in U.S. - Bloomberg The federal government needs to deploy $20 billion to $50 billion to make the U.S. as attractive a location for plants as Taiwan, China, South Korea, Singapore, Israel and parts of Europe, the Semiconductor Industry Association said in a study released Wednesday. Failure to do that threatens U.S. leadership of the sector as a whole, it added. The lobbying group, which represents companies such as Intel Corp. and Qualcomm Inc., is making the pitch at a time when it believes Washington is more open to listening.

Tycoon Behind Kangde Xin’s Massive Fraud Moves Closer to Prosecution - Caixin Four former senior executives of troubled Kangde Xin Composite Material Group Co. Ltd., including its founder and actual controller Zhong Yu, are set to face criminal trial for their alleged roles in an 11.5 billion yuan ($1.7 billion) fraud that triggered a series of bond defaults and a debt crisis at the company.

Exclusive: China Tightens Rules on Shipping Routes With U.S. to Get Runaway Costs Under Control - Caixin China’s Ministry of Transport will tighten its regulatory control of shipments between China and the U.S. to bring down shipping costs, a person familiar with the matter told Caixin. In the future, the ministry will require all container shipping companies on the Sino-U.S. route to submit their schedules and freight capacity ahead of time, and provide financial records.

Jack Ma’s Ant Group Wants Tech Analysts to Help Cover Its Stock - Bloomberg Several analysts who spoke directly with Ant investor relations staff interpreted the request as a sign that the company continues to emphasize its focus on being a technology provider rather than a financial services firm, and that Ant’s preference is to have tech analysts lead coverage of the stock.

Yicai - Beijing’s Environs Suffer Slack Property Market The property market in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region is mired in falling prices, in some real estate projects even lower than three years ago, though prices have gradually recovered in various other Chinese cities as the Covid-19 outbreak eases.

Yicai - Court Bans HNA Group, Chairman From Living It Up The court in Xi’an, the capital of China’s northwestern Shaanxi province, issued the so-called consumption restriction order yesterday after HNA failed to discharge on time a payment the court ordered on Aug. 13, according to public records on corporate data platform Qcc, which omitted other details of the case. Under China’s anti-opulence laws applicable to so-called dishonest debtors, the Haikou-based company and Chen Feng are barred from air travel, stays in star-rated hotels, real estate purchases and leasing of high-end offices. A court can fine violators or hold them in contempt and jail them.

Bulk Orders for Chinese Mooncakes Drop on Rising Prices - Yicai The price of mooncakes, a traditional Chinese pastry eaten during the Mid-Autumn Festival which falls on Oct. 1 this year, is likely to rise by 10 percent due to increased production costs, leading to a drop in large volume orders, The Beijing News reported today.

Are Batteries the Trade War China’s Already Won? - Bloomberg There are national security implications, too, for the U.S. and others from a battery supply chain dominated by China, a nation capable of wielding exports as a political tool. By 2025, China will have battery facilities with maximum production capacity of about 1.1 terawatt-hours’ worth of cells a year, almost double the rest of the world combined.

China plans to build two 600 km/h maglev lines - Global Times The plan of two 600 kilometer per hour high-speed maglev routes, including the Shanghai-Hangzhou maglev, and the Guangzhou-Shenzhen maglev, have appeared on the presentation of He Huawu, academician and vice director of the CAE, during a conference on modern transportation engineering technology on Wednesday, the paper.cn reported.

Alibaba’s Newest Business: Modernizing China’s Factories - Bloomberg China’s largest corporation unveiled Wednesday a factory it’s been operating under wraps for the past three years on the outskirts of its hometown of Hangzhou, churning out apparel for clothing merchants on its Taobao and Tmall marketplaces. Dubbed Xunxi, the so-called smart or connected factory is designed to showcase Alibaba’s newest line of business, offering data analytics and back-end technology to manufacturers so they can customize and fine-tune factories in response to consumer demand.

Inside Huawei’s campaign to influence Canadian public opinion - The Globe and Mail The list of the key influencers, obtained by The Globe and Mail, has been sent to the headquarters of parent company Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. in Shenzhen, which has shared it with the Chinese government, according to a source. The Globe is not identifying the source because they were not authorized to discuss internal Huawei matters. Huawei Canada’s public affairs and communication department prepared the dossier, and it lists and provides profiles of 30 former politicians, university professors, lawyers and business people who the documents say “have made relatively positive comments or provided valuable information on Huawei’s brand image, Huawei products, and the controversial affairs involving Huawei.”

Alibaba, China Mobile weigh $443 mln investment in blacklisted Dahua - sources - Reuters Dahua, China's second-largest surveillance equipment maker, is among Chinese tech firms that Washington last year placed on a blacklist of companies it said helped Beijing monitor and detain Uighurs and other Muslim minorities. Those blacklisted cannot buy U.S. technology without U.S. government approval.

Money-launderers use Chinese online shopping sites to funnel cash offshore | Financial Times $$ People wishing to evade China’s strict capital controls, for example to gamble on offshore websites, have been placing fake orders on the shopping sites, including on Pinduoduo, China’s second-largest platform by users. A corresponding sum is then credited to their gaming account. In recent months, several police forces across China have announced arrests in a slew of cases, alleging that at least Rmb14bn ($2.06bn) was laundered to offshore gambling sites through these fake ecommerce purchases and other methods.

Politics and Law

Xi inspects central China's Hunan Province - Xinhua Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, on Wednesday inspected central China's Hunan Province. In the village of Shazhou, Rucheng County, Xi visited places including a revolution-themed exhibition hall, a village service center, a clinic, a modern agricultural tourism demonstration base, a primary school, and the homes of villagers. Xi learned about education on the history of revolution, poverty relief industries, and progress in consolidating poverty eradication

Senior official stresses discipline inspection in poverty alleviation - Xinhua Zhao Leji, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and secretary of the CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, made the call during his inspection tour in southwest China's Guizhou Province from Sunday to Wednesday. Zhao cautioned against corruption, slackness, and dishonesty in work related to poverty alleviation as he visited impoverished households in a village.

China Takes Aim at Wasted Grain as Food Security Concerns Linger In a statement (link in Chinese) released Monday ahead of the autumn harvest season, the National Food and Strategic Reserves Administration highlighted the problem of wasted grain and soybeans during harvest, transportation and storage. By focusing on conserving staples before they hit the market, the central government has opened a new front in its campaign against food waste as authorities seek to safeguard a domestic food supply that has been disrupted by Covid-19 and severe summer flooding. Until now, the campaign has mostly focused on waste at the table, most notably in President Xi Jinping’s nationwide “clean plate” initiative (link in Chinese) in August that was followed by several restaurant chains rolling out controversial measures to limit how much diners could order.

"Clear Your Plate" campaign promoted in Chinese schools - Xinhua The Chinese Ministry of Education has released an action plan aimed at curbing food waste in schools and promoting the tradition of thrift among students. The education of diligence and frugality should be integrated into courses offered by schools, ranging from kindergartens to universities, the ministry said in the document.

这场座谈会为平安建设、扫黑除恶、教育整顿等明方向划重点-中国长安网 中共中央政治局委员、中央书记处书记、中央政法委书记郭声琨14日至16日在广西调研。中央政法委秘书长陈一新,广西壮族自治区党委书记、自治区人大常委会主任鹿心社,广西壮族自治区党委副书记、自治区主席陈武,中央政法委副秘书长雷东生,广西壮族自治区党委常委、政法委书记曾欣等分别参加调研。// Guo Sheng=kun went on an inspection tour of Guangxi

Teachers Petition Local Governments to Release Withheld Wages - SixthTone Teachers caught up in yearslong battles for unpaid wages have come forward after a recent high-profile case revealed that authorities in the southwestern Guizhou province withheld over 470 million yuan ($70 million) in funds from local teachers’ salaries and pensions. Now-retired teachers in Kangping County in the northeastern Liaoning province say they didn’t receive part of their salaries for nearly a decade, with some of the more aged among them reportedly dying before ever getting paid in full.

云南公安开展“大排查”,最大限度防止境外风险人员偷渡入境 On September 16, the Yunnan Provincial Public Security Department held a video conference for public security organs across the province to deploy and carry out a special campaign for “prevention of epidemics, major investigations, smuggling, and safety” to fight the fall and winter epidemic prevention and control.

Liao Guoxun elected mayor of Tianjin - Xinhua Liao was appointed acting mayor of Tianjin in early September.

Foreign and Defense Affairs

Xi congratulates Suga on election as Japanese PM - Xinhua In his message, Xi pointed out that China and Japan are friendly neighbors to each other, and are both important countries in Asia and the world. Developing a China-Japan relationship that features long-term stability and friendly cooperation not only serves the fundamental interests of both nations, but also contributes to peace, stability and prosperity in Asia and the world, Xi said. // Suga's name is 菅义伟 Jian1Yi2Wei3 习近平致电祝贺菅义伟当选日本首相 李克强向菅义伟致贺电--时政--人民网

Is China Escalating Tensions With Japan in the East China Sea? – The Diplomat A closer look at the latest developments in the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands dispute.

China-India border dispute: PLA raised combat readiness after exchange of gunfire, sources say | South China Morning Post Chinese troops on the country’s disputed border with India raised their combat readiness to the second-highest possible last week after an exchange of gunfire, but the alert was lowered after a meeting of the nations’ foreign ministers, military sources said. The increase, to second level, meant more weapons and troops were deployed to the front line, and training exercises were ramped up for commanders, officers and soldiers, a military source told the South China Morning Post.

China ready for peace, and war - Global Times - Hu Xijin There are different forces in India. Some ultra-nationalist ones stubbornly refuse the easy way, and stick to the hard way. When China engages in diplomatic negotiations with India, it must also use the only language those forces could understand - cooperation will last long when it is achieved through struggles.  China should continue to strive for a peaceful settlement of China-India border disputes, but must keep its army prepared. Without strong military pressure, India won't behave on border issues.

Alibaba Servers in India Stealing Data of Indian Users, Probe Soon: Intelligence Sources - News18 At least 72 servers based in India are allegedly sending data of Indian users to China, and at the centre of this are cloud data servers of Chinese technology group, Alibaba, top intelligence sources told News18 earlier today. According to the officials, Alibaba’s cloud data servers are widely popular among businesses because they offer services at a far cheaper rate than European servers. However, they are seemingly responsible for “data stealing” from India, and have been allegedly found to be sending over data to their home nation, China.

China belts out Punjabi numbers for Indian soldiers at Ladakh. It is a ‘62 trick - Hindustan Times While the Indian Army was not amused by Chinese military tactics, the military commanders rolled up in mirth after PLA troops on Finger 4 starting belting out Punjabi numbers to soften up the adversary into lowering their guard on the fiercely contested mountainous spur. If the north bank of Pangong Tso was jiving to Punjabi songs on PLA loudspeakers, a battery of loudspeakers were deployed by the Red Army at their Moldo Garrison in Chushul sector to remind the Indian troops of, what they claim, is the folly of their political masters.

China's third aircraft carrier takes shape, with ambitions to challenge U.S. naval dominance - The Washington Post High-resolution photos recently obtained by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), a nonpartisan think tank in Washington, show for the first time sections of the carrier being assembled in the open at a dry dock at the sprawling Jiangnan shipyard. The vessel, which will be China’s third carrier but the first to be equipped with modern technology, is likely to be larger than the previous two that were based on outdated Soviet designs. At the waterline, the new ship will be about 1,000 feet long and 130 feet wide, the photos show.

Australian government lawyer names China in interference investigation | Reuters A document lodged in the High Court on Sept. 1 by the Australian Government Solicitor is the first official acknowledgement that the investigation into an alleged plot to influence an Australian politician centred on China...John Zhang,who worked for NSW Labor politician Shaoquett Moselmane, has asked the High Court to quash the search warrants used to search his home, business and Moselmane’s parliament office.

Jacksonville Woman Pleads Guilty to Attempting to Illegally Exporting Maritime Raiding Craft and Engines to China | OPA | Department of Justice According to the plea agreement, Yang was employed by Shanghai Breeze Technology Co. Ltd., a company headquartered in Shanghai, People’s Republic of China. At the direction of co-conspirators in China, she attempted to order from a U.S. manufacturer seven combat rubber raiding craft equipped with engines that can operate using gasoline, diesel fuel, or jet fuel. These vessels and multi-fuel engines are used by the U.S. military and can be operated after being launched from a submerged submarine or dropped into the ocean by an aircraft. No comparable engine is manufactured in China. When the U.S. manufacturer suggested that Yang purchase cheaper gasoline-fueled engines, she insisted that she wanted to purchase the military-model multi-fuel engines.

This BLM Co-Founder and Pro-Communist China Group Are Partnering Up. Here’s Why. | The Heritage Foundation Go to the website for the Black Futures Lab, a venture of Black Lives Matter founder Alicia Garza, and click on the “Donate” button. It will ask you to send your money to an obscure organization, the Chinese Progressive Association, explaining that “Black Futures Lab is a fiscally sponsored project of the Chinese Progressive Association.” // Comment: This is getting a lot of play in sections of the US media landscape. If it is true then expect the US administration to make a big deal out of it

‘Artificial coronavirus’ study linked to Steve Bannon and Chinese fugitive Guo Wengui | South China Morning Post The study’s first author is Yan Limeng, a former University of Hong Kong postdoctoral researcher who alleged in July that HKU silenced her when she claimed to have discovered early in the outbreak that the coronavirus could be transmitted between people.

China donates mapping data to United Nations - China Daily The datasets, which are released every 10 years, are commonly known as the GlobeLand30. This year's dataset comprises 10 types of land cover, including forests, grasslands, glaciers and wetlands. A total of 966 sub-datasets are included. In 2014, China donated versions of the GlobeLand30 to the UN for the year 2000 and 2010, as a contribution toward global sustainable development and combating climate change.

China’s military looks to civilians to boost innovation | Free IISS analysis The recruitment of civilians into scientific research by China’s military is part of a broader national effort to boost civil–military innovation. But whether China’s military capabilities can be truly enhanced with this new talent on board depends on its concurrent development of military theories to fit new technologies, explains Kai Lin Tay.

Hong Kong and Macao

Hong Kong’s No 2 defends national security law as ‘vital’ in statement to UN Human Rights Council | South China Morning Post Chief Secretary Matthew Cheung maintains rights will be respected under the law, and that it is already having a positive effect UN rights chief Michelle Bachelet has urged Hong Kong to review the law ‘in response to any negative consequences’ for liberties

German think tank closes Hong Kong office over new law - AP A German think tank said Wednesday it is closing its Hong Kong office following China’s imposition of a sweeping new national security law on the territory. The Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom, which is linked to Germany’s opposition Free Democratic Party, said it could no longer ensure the safety of its employees as a result of the new law.

Vice premier meets high-level delegation of Macao SAR disciplined forces - Xinhua Vice Premier Han Zheng on Wednesday met with a high-level delegation of the Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR) disciplined forces led by Secretary for Security Wong Sio Chak. Han, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, heads the central leading group on Hong Kong and Macao work.

Tech and Media

Arm China investor sues company, escalating CEO spat amid sale | Reuters The legal case, which has not been reported, was launched by Ningbo Meishan Bonded Port Area ARM Investment Management Partnership and went through a pre-hearing in a Shenzhen court last week, court records show. The pre-hearing was closed to the public and no further details were immediately available. Arm is involved in a standoff with Allen Wu, the chief executive of its Chinese division, Arm China. He has refused to step down amid allegations of breaches of conduct.

Beijing’s concerns loom over Nvidia’s $40bn Arm deal | Financial Times $$ Zhu Jing, the vice-chairman of the Beijing Semiconductor Association said a US company cannot be trusted with ownership of Arm, whose energy efficient chip designs are used in 95 per cent of the chips designed in China. “Look at how the US is treating Huawei. If Arm is acquired by a US company, everyone will be worried,” Mr Zhu told The Paper, a Chinese state-owned newspaper.

Just How Screwed is Huawei? - ChinaTalk There are many who think speculators are making bad bets. Some commented online that any company’s product can be replaced; when prices for one brand rise, consumers will choose another. “They are hoarding goods and trying to drive up prices. They are just going to get their hands crushed,” one netizen wrote. “I originally planned to buy a Huawei phone, but when I saw that prices were up 200 RMB, I just gave up,” another responded… Xiaomi, Oppo, and Vivo are all profiting, too. One owner of a phone store said that with Huawei prices continuing to climb, customers are turning to Xiaomi and other brands

Xiaomi Vice Chairman Promises Not Sell More Stock After Selling Over $1 Billion in Company Shares - Caixin Xiaomi vice chairman and executive director Lin Bin has pledged that he will not dispose of any more shares in the company over the next five years in an effort to maintain market confidence in the Chinese smartphone maker, according to a stock filing Tuesday. The promise was made after Lin cashed in on Xiaomi’s surging stock price to the tune of HK$7.89 billion ($1.02 billion) by unloading 350 million Class B shares in the company

Going global: Comparing Chinese mobile applications’ data and user privacy governance at home and abroad | Internet Policy Review Our analysis showed variations across apps and within the Chinese and international-facing versions in their data and privacy governance in app design and policies. Baidu has the most unsatisfactory data and privacy protection measures, while ByteDance’s TikTok/Douyin and TopBuzz/Toutiao offer more comprehensive user protection from different jurisdictions. Moreover, this paper highlights the role of platform owners (e.g., Google and Apple) in gatekeeping mobile app privacy standards and the role of the state in imposing a data protection framework on overseas versions of China-based mobile apps.

ChinaTalk: The Mulan Debacle - ChinaTalk Podcast Turning a beloved movie of female empowerment into a dull endorsement of the patriarchy, autocracy and mass forced labor is no easy feat, but Disney Magic is one hell of a drug. Think tanker Rui Zhong and novelist/meme goddess Xiran Jay Zhao join to discuss.

Society, Arts, Sports, Culture and History

Call to Assess Students’ Mental Health Sparks Privacy Concerns - SixthTone Mental health assessments will be added to compulsory health examinations for high school students and college-bound graduates, China’s top health authority said Friday. The new policy has incited wide discussion in the days since it was announced, much of it centering around privacy concerns and potential discrimination.

Her Husband Abused Her. But Getting a Divorce Was an Ordeal. - The New York Times A graphic video of a husband beating his wife has shocked China, shedding light on the prevalence of domestic violence and the difficulties of obtaining a divorce.

Jeremy Lin leaves Beijing Ducks, seeks return to NBA - NBC Sports This decision has really been the hardest in my life,” Lin, who has complained about the rough-house treatment he received in the CBA, told his seven million followers… “Every morning I would wake up at 4am or 5am, thinking, thinking and thinking all the time. In the end, although Shougang (the Ducks) has treated me incredibly well … giving me everything I wanted, in the end, I feel that I still have NBA dreams. “I still have time to play (there) and I have to chase this.”

今年学车有了新变化:新司机要学“回头开车门”-千龙网·中国首都网 《北京市文明行为促进条例》已于今年6月1日起施行,其中提出:“机动车驾驶人及乘车人下车时,用远离车门一侧的手开门,转头观察车辆侧方和后方通行状况,避免妨碍他人通行。”这就是上文提到的“回头开车门法”,又叫“荷式开门法”。因为该方法的普及,荷兰每年被车门撞伤的骑行者仅占骑行伤亡事故的0.2%。//Driving students in Beijing are now being taught the "Dutch Reach" for looking back into traffi when opening car doors, to reduce risks for cyclists

China’s Communist Party has sought to cover up population crisis by obfuscating census data | The Indian Express If we dive deeper, we find that the Chinese census of 2000 shows that there were 90.15 million Chinese in the age group 5-10. Fifteen years later, this cohort would be in the age group 20-25, but in 2015 that number is 100.31 million. Rather than the population in this cohort falling because of normal mortality, it has increased by over 10 million. If we follow this cohort in 2018, the latest figures which are available, that number swelled to 113.38 million, meaning that there are 23.23 million extra ghost people. Of these, 9.8 million are men, while 13.35 million are women.

Suzhou Museum: Why I.M. Pei failed to learn the lessons of the ancient Chinese - ThinkChina - Cheng Pei-kai Cao Xueqin (author of Dream of the Red Chamber) was indeed astute and had a clear mind. With just a few words, he accurately described and dissected the fatal flaws and far-fetched interpretations of man-made landscape architecture.      Jia’s criticisms could be used to evaluate the architecture of the Suzhou Museum and reveal the difficulties that I.M. Pei faced when he was designing it. The Suzhou Museum is an ingenious design because of its use of Suzhou landscape features filled with Chinese cultural emblems in transforming something man-made into a work of nature. This is its gain. The problem is that while these features and cultural emblems have been used, they seem very intentional and forced in showcasing Suzhou landscape’s “natural artistry”. Every scene before our eyes is the work of man, leaving behind traces of copious management. While it is based on the traditional style, it is far from being a work of nature. This is its loss.

Energy, Environment, Science and Health

Northwest China’s Lanzhou Finally Recognizes Extent of Last Year’s Brucellosis Outbreak - Caixin The Lanzhou Health Commission has confirmed that 3,245 patients have been infected with brucellosis, marking the first time this year that the capital of Northwest China’s Gansu province has issued an official tally about the outbreak of the highly contagious disease, which occurred in November. The disclosure came a day after a Caixin report on Monday exposed the local government’s lack of both disclosure and formal diagnosis caused thousands of patients to miss the window for receiving the most effective treatment for the disease.

Brucellosis infections in NW China worse than earlier revealed - Global Times A total of 3,245 people had tested positive for Brucellosis as of Monday in Lanzhou, Northwest China's Gansu Province, after a local Brucella leakage in July-August 2019. The number is way more larger than expected and raised widespread concern over the disease's spread and its consequences. More than 21,000 people had been tested as of Monday, of whom 4,646 had initially been classified as positive, with 3,245 confirmed positive by the Gansu Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the China News Service reported on Wednesday.

SW China border city's COVID-19 tests in full swing to quell epidemic risk - Global Times The China-Myanmar border city Ruili in Southwest China's Yunnan Province, which has ground to a halt after illegal border crossings, has tested more than 80,000 residents so far, aiming to detect COVID-19 infections and nip the spread of the virus in the bud.