Xi's new world order for the New Era; Cui Tiankai gets to go home; Tesla's China problem

Can you construct a new world order using the structure of the existing world order? That increasingly seems to be Xi Jinping’s goal, couched amidst calls to “to safeguard the UN-centered international system, preserve the international order underpinned by international law”.

Xi’s speech today at the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2021 certainly fits with that theme. Xi and his CCP clearly see massive opportunities from the carnage of the pandemic and the multiple strategic disasters of US domestic and foreign policy to change fundamentally the substance of the world order while keeping the edifice in place. And their odds of succeeding look higher than the foreign policy elite in America and its allies would like to admit.

Is there a “Minsky Moment” concept for geopolitics? It is starting to look like Xi and his team think there is, or are at least willing to gamble on one.

Today’s Essential Eight items:

  1. Xi’s Boao speech

  2. Wang Chen on Xi Jinping Thought on the Rule of Law

  3. Xi again calls on China and Russia to safeguard international fairness and justice 

  4. Ambassador Cui Tiankai can finally go home

  5. Hong Kong

  6. PRC praise for New Zealand premature?

  7. Will Germany’s China policy change post-Merkel?

  8. Does Tesla have a growing China problem?

Thanks for reading.

The Essential Eight

1. Xi’s Boao speech

Full Text: Keynote speech by Chinese President Xi Jinping at the opening ceremony of the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2021 - Xinhua

This year’s annual conference is convened against a very special background. The theme of the conference—“A World in Change: Join Hands to Strengthen Global Governance and Advance Belt and Road Cooperation”—is most opportune and relevant under the current circumstances.

Now, the combined forces of changes and a pandemic both unseen in a century have brought the world into a phase of fluidity and transformation. Instability and uncertainty are clearly on the rise. Humanity is facing growing governance deficit, trust deficit, development deficit, and peace deficit. Much remains to be done to achieve universal security and common development. That said, there is no fundamental change in the trend toward a multi-polar world; economic globalization is showing renewed resilience; and the call for upholding multilateralism and enhancing communication and coordination has grown stronger. While we live in an age rife with challenges, it is also an age full of hope...

We need consultation on an equal footing to create a future of shared benefits. Global governance should reflect the evolving political and economic landscape in the world, conform to the historical trend of peace, development and win-win cooperation, and meet the practical needs in addressing global challenges. We need to follow the principles of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, uphold true multilateralism, and make the global governance system more fair and equitable. We need to safeguard the UN-centered international system, preserve the international order underpinned by international law, and uphold the multilateral trading system with the World Trade Organization at its core. World affairs should be handled through extensive consultation, and the future of the world should be decided by all countries working together. We must not let the rules set by one or a few countries be imposed on others, or allow unilateralism pursued by certain countries to set the pace for the whole world. What we need in today’s world is justice, not hegemony. Big countries should behave in a manner befitting their status and with a greater sense of responsibility...

In this age of economic globalization, openness and integration is an unstoppable historical trend. Attempts to “erect walls” or “decouple” run counter to the law of economics and market principles. They would hurt others’ interests without benefiting oneself...

We need solidarity and cooperation to create a future of health and security...

We need commitment to justice to create a future of mutual respect and mutual learning. Diversity is what defines our world and makes human civilization fascinating. The COVID-19 pandemic has made it all the more clear to people around the world that we must reject the cold-war and zero-sum mentality and oppose a new “Cold War” and ideological confrontation in whatever forms...

I would like to announce that once the pandemic gets under control, China will host the second Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilizations as part of our active efforts to promote inter-civilization dialogue in Asia and beyond...

…we will continue to work with other parties in high-quality Belt and Road cooperation. We will follow the principles of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, and champion the philosophy of open, green and clean cooperation, in a bid to make Belt and Road cooperation high-standard, people-centered and sustainable...

China will stay committed to peace, development, cooperation and mutual benefit, develop friendship and cooperation with other countries on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, and promote a new type of international relations. China will continue to carry out anti-COVID cooperation with the WHO and other countries, honor its commitment of making vaccines a global public good, and do more to help developing countries defeat the virus.

Chinese text of the speech - 习近平在博鳌亚洲论坛2021年年会开幕式上的视频主旨演讲(全文)-新华网

Xi warns against economic decoupling and calls for new world order | Financial Times $$

Shi Yinhong, director of the Centre on American Studies at Renmin University in Beijing, said there was no doubt that the US was the target of Xi’s remarks. “In the eyes of China, the US is still hegemonic,” he said.

Xi Jinping rebukes nations who ‘arrogantly instruct others and interfere’ | South China Morning Post

Zhu Jiejin, a professor of international relations with Fudan Univiersity in Shanghai, said Xi’s speech at Boao highlighted China’s wish to promote its own agenda.

“Boao is an opportunity to highlight China’s role in Asia and China’s voice in a multilateral setting,” Zhu said. “The Asia Pacific region will continue to be an important theatre of competition between China and the US, and the starting point of China’s global governance strategy.

“The US has long had a presence in Asia. But China, as a regional country, has a good foundation and should continue to amplify its advantage.”

Justice, not hegemony, is humanity’s common value: Global Times editorial

The Boao Forum is the first major international conference held mainly on-site this year. Its great significance lies in providing the world with an opportunity to reflect and discuss where humanity should head.

Today, the situation in the Asia-Pacific region and in the world is almost totally different from four years ago. The US has provided the decisive variable in this change. The US has used its strength and geopolitical advantage to forcibly bring the world into division and confrontation, and whitewashed its vicious actions with the label of defending liberal democracy and safeguarding rules. All these actions proved Washington's thirst for hegemony...

The world needs a political enlightenment movement to break free from the mind suffocation created by the US and to clarify the most basic international ethics. The West needs to review the Peace of Westphalia that has helped Europe out of the wars in the 17th century. They should learn how the treaties describe equality among countries regardless of their territorial size and how the countries should engage in non-interference of others' internal affairs. The treaty was the important starting point for the Western view of international order. The US and the West should not betray themselves by letting absurd acts "from a position of strength" prevail again...

The world needs to understand that we are standing at the crossroads of whether to follow the US into a century of confrontation. One way leads to peace, development, cooperation and prosperity, while the other points to zero-sum game, fierce conflicts, and even the risk of war.

Original of that GT editorial - 社评:要公道不要霸道,人类真正的共同价值



Commentary: Asia's indispensable role in building better post-pandemic world - People's Daily Online

What Asia can contribute to the world is not just material, but also ideational.

Over the millenniums, Asia has been the cradle of an array of distinct civilizations. It is also the land that gave birth to the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, the now widely-acknowledged international diplomatic tenets. Tolerance to diversity and respect for differences among Asian nations is part of the reason why the continent can always maintain its exuberance.

Building a more sustainable and just world in the post-pandemic era requires more than ever different countries to accommodate each other's development interests, and build effective partnership to fix daunting global problems.

China’s Self-Defeating Economic Statecraft | Foreign Affairs

Even though China seeks to reshape the international system to reflect its priorities, that is a far cry from trying to overturn the order altogether

Question: Why overturn it if you can displace the countries leading it and reshape it in your vision? And how different is that displacement and reshaping from overturning?

2. Wang Chen on Xi Jinping Thought on the Rule of Law

Comment: Politburo member, vice chairman of the National People's Congress, head of the China Law Society and US sanctionee Wang Chen 王晨 has a long (16k+ character) essay in the latest issue of the journal "China Legal Science" titled "Xi Jinping Thought on the Rule of Law is a new development and leap in the sinicization of Marxist theory of the rule of law"

XJPTRL is going to be with us for a long time, so this essay is important for those who want to really dig into it.

Last December, Chen Yixin, Secretary-general of the Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission, also gave a long explainer of Xi Jinping Thought on the Rule of Law in Study Times, as discussed in the December 9, 2020 Sinocism.

As discussed several times previously, we should look at this as part of the march towards "Xi Jinping Thought", but we should also recognize that all these eponymous "Thought" categories, even if they are not eventually collapsed into a shortened "Xi Jinping Thought", mean that it is impossible for the CCP to shift away from "Xi Jinping Thought on XXX", and Xi’s influence, so long as Xi is alive. Xi no doubt understands that, just as Mao did.

The vision for Xi Jinping Thought on the Rule of Law is not just domestic. The excerpt below includes comments from Wang Chen that fit with Xi's Boao comments.

习近平法治思想是马克思主义法治理论中国化的新发展新飞跃 --理论-中国共产党新闻网


Xi Jinping Thought on the Rule of Law was founded in the great practice of comprehensively administering the country according to law, which is a new development and leap of Marxist theory of rule of law in China. This paper adheres to the combination of political theory, legal theory and academic theory, and explains this proposition from four aspects: Xi Jinping Thought on the Rule of Law is a scientific theoretical system with rich connotation and complete system; Xi Jinping Thought on the Rule of Law is the latest achievement of Marxist theory of rule of law in China; Xi Jinping Thought on the Rule of Law is an important part of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era; Xi Jinping Thought on the Rule of Law is the fundamental compliance and action guide for comprehensively governing the country according to law.


To build China under the rule of law as the world is undergoing profound changes unseen in a century, it is necessary to promote the domestic rule of law and foreign-related rule of law as a whole. The profound changes unseen in a century mean the turbulent reconstruction of the world order, the "Rising of the East and the decline of the West" in world power and the evolution of the international rule of law. Under the background of this era, General Secretary Xi Jinping was far-sighted and judged the situation, and put forward "promoting domestic rule of law and foreign-related rule of law in an all-round way" and "promoting domestic governance and international governance in a coordinated way" in a timely manner, so as to safeguard national sovereignty, security and development interests according to law. At present, there are many shortcomings and weaknesses in the domestic rule of law and the foreign-related rule of law. In accordance with the deployment requirements of the CPC Central Committee, we should speed up the strategic layout of foreign-related rule of law work, strengthen the rule of law thinking, use the rule of law, and comprehensively use legislation, law enforcement, judicial and other means to carry out foreign-related struggles, effectively respond to challenges and prevent risks. For example, improve the national security review, anti-monopoly review, national technical security list management, and unreliable entity list of foreign investment, and improve the ability to deal with overseas security risks and counter-measures; It is necessary to focus on "the belt and road initiative" and other areas with intensive overseas interests and outstanding overseas security issues, establish and improve the assessment and prevention mechanism of overseas legal and security risks, and ensure the safety of overseas investment projects in China; It is necessary to speed up the construction of the legal system applicable outside China's jurisdiction, strengthen foreign-related legal services, and safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese citizens and legal persons overseas and foreign citizens and legal persons in China; It is necessary to establish a sound mechanism for the identification of extraterritorial laws, strengthen the construction of specialized courts, arbitration institutions and mediation organizations, improve the level of judicial adjudication in foreign-related cases, improve the effectiveness and credibility of arbitration and mediation of commercial disputes, and better serve the construction of "the belt and road initiative" and international economic trade; To study the laws of different legal systems and countries, we should be familiar with the legal system and judicial procedures of law enforcement in big countries, and master the initiative of system competition and legal contest.

To promote the rule of law in China and foreign countries as a whole, we should also focus on promoting the reform of the global governance system and building a community of human destiny. Unswervingly uphold the Charter of the United Nations, which is the fundamental basis for handling international relations and the stability of international order, persist in coordinating the relations and interests of all countries with systems and rules, always be a practitioner of multilateralism, take the lead in being an advocate and defender of international rule of law, firmly safeguard the international system with the United Nations as the core and the international order based on international law, and firmly safeguard the central role of the United Nations in international affairs. We must actively participate in the formulation of international rules and be good at issuing more Chinese voices and injecting more Chinese elements in the formulation of international rules; Actively participate in international cooperation and judicial assistance in law enforcement and security, and jointly crack down on criminal activities such as violent terrorist forces, ethnic separatist forces, religious extremist forces, drug trafficking and smuggling, and transnational organized crime; Strengthen international cooperation against corruption, and intensify overseas pursuit, repatriation and extradition.



3. Xi again calls on China and Russia to safeguard international fairness and justice 

Xi, Putin congratulate 9th meeting of China-Russia dialogue mechanism between ruling parties - Xinhua

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday respectively sent congratulatory letters to the ninth meeting of the dialogue mechanism between the ruling parties of China and Russia, held via video link...

The combined forces of changes and a pandemic both unseen in a century have brought the world into a phase of fluidity and transformation, he said.

Xi called on China and Russia, as major powers of global influence, to deepen comprehensive strategic coordination in the new era, and to play an underpinning role in safeguarding international fairness and justice, maintaining world peace and stability, and promoting common development and prosperity.

习近平同俄罗斯总统普京分别向中俄执政党对话机制第九次会议致贺信 - 中国军网


4. Ambassador Cui Tiankai can finally go home

China, U.S. Close to Naming New Ambassadors as Rivalry Grows - WSJ

Beijing plans to appoint Qin Gang, an adept diplomat who has acted as President Xi Jinping’s chief protocol officer, as the next ambassador to Washington, according to officials with knowledge of the matter.

Washington is widely expected to name R. Nicholas Burns, a veteran diplomat who has served in both Democratic and Republican administrations, as its ambassador to Beijing, say people familiar with the administration’s decision making...

Since joining the Foreign Ministry in 1988, Mr. Qin has worked his way up from a junior aide, to the ministry’s spokesman, to become a vice minister responsible for overseeing European affairs and news as well as planning events for Mr. Xi. In recent years, he has accompanied Mr. Xi on many trips overseas and become a trusted aide to the leader.

Qin Gang Bio - Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Areas of responsibility: Europe, information, and protocol

His first job was from 1988-1992 - Staff, Beijing Service Bureau for Diplomatic Missions, the People's Republic of China

Comment: Qin is a Vice Minister but has never served as an Ambassador. It sounds like Xi thinks highly of him, which is key for what is a very difficult job. when Qin was MFA spokesman he had good relationships with some foreign media, though that was obviously a different Era.

As for US-China relations, the CCP is really leaning into discrediting the US globally. I know this has been a common theme over the decades but the global dissemination capabilities the CCP now has, especially over American social media platforms like Youtube, Twitter and Facebook, along with China's growing economic power and the diminution of the US over the last several years, gives them much more opportunity to make the messaging stick.

Facts on U.S. breaching international rules - Xinhua

Indulging in the superiority as the world's superpower, the United States habitually claims itself as the "defender of international law", blames unscrupulously other countries and slaps arbitrary sanctions on them under the pretext of safeguarding international rules.

However, the United States in fact makes its selfish political gains first and puts its national law above international laws. The self-righteous country willfully breaks treaties and withdraws from international organizations, changing like a weathercock.

Under the pretense of democracy and human rights, Washington constantly interferes in other countries' internal affairs, blatantly wages wars to encroach upon other countries' sovereignty, flagrantly undermines international order, and poses a grave threat to international security.

What the U.S. has done has severely violated international rules including the United Nations (UN) Charter. The U.S. attempt to press other countries to "abide by rules" is in fact nothing but force them to yield to a unipolar world order dominated by the United States.

5. Hong Kong

Shutdown of Jimmy Lai's Apple Daily in HK possible amid sale of paper's Taiwan edition: observer - Global Times

Apple Daily is currently avoiding the limelight, not only financially by selling off part of its business, but also by changing its wording and concepts. "For example, as a major force in slandering the mainland, the expression "Wuhan pneumonia" has been changed to COVID-19 recently. This is also influenced by public opinion in Hong Kong," Tang Fei, a member of the Chinese Association of Hong Kong and Macao Studies, told the Global Times on Tuesday...

The tabloid has been declining in credibility in Hong Kong as many people and media have started to call for Apple Daily to be banned in Hong Kong. On Monday, a group of residents went to the government headquarters to petition the government to ban the publishing rights of Apple Daily as soon as possible, Ta Kung Pao reported.

Ta Kung Pao, one of Hong Kong's major newspapers, published a commentary on Friday, urging that Apple Daily should be banned in accordance with the law, considering its long-standing role in inciting and leading secessionist activities in Hong Kong in the past...

Tang noted that the possibility of Apple Daily being shut down directly by local authorities in accordance with relevant laws cannot be ruled out, especially considering the great negative impact it had on Hong Kong society and youth, and it is likely that a liquidation is imminent.

Question: The discussion of shutting down Jimmy Lai's paper is increasing. If the Hong Kong edition of the newspaper is shut down, will the authorities start blocking access to the Internet edition of the Taiwan paper?

Beijing won total control of Hong Kong. Now, the 'brainwashing' begins. - The Washington Post

April 15, however, was not a normal Thursday. That occasion, the first “National Security Education Day” since China imposed a tough security law in June, was the most visible display of Hong Kong’s fall from a relatively free, boisterous territory to an Orwellian place that resembles the repressive mainland...

Hong Kong’s best legal minds continually tell me the law is a vague catchall, creating broadly worded crimes that could land people in jail for playing a song or uttering a slogan. They call the law “one of the greatest threats to human rights and the rule of law” in Hong Kong since the handover; it has already driven out thousands of people and led some companies, most notably the New York Times, to move employees elsewhere. Now, it was being portrayed to youngsters as something universal and observant of human rights.

Hong Kong's security law sends chill through arts community - Nikkei Asia

People in the arts industry are already expecting self-censorship to affect upcoming events, including Art Basel in May. "I believe many exhibitors will have censorship on the theme of artworks, as buyers may run into troubles after purchasing them," said Hong Kong Art School's Chan.

6. PRC praise for New Zealand premature?

Jacinda Ardern says New Zealand's new stance on Five Eyes isn't a backdown to China | Stuff.co.nz

Ardern was asked by Australian morning show ABC News Breakfast if this risked sending a signal to China that New Zealand was not “one” with its Five Eyes partners on issues of democracy and human rights.

Ardern rejected this, saying instead that New Zealand just believed that the Five Eyes group was not the best platform to deliver those messages.

“Those collective voices are important, but let's make sure we do it with the appropriate platform,” Ardern said...

“Is that best done under the banner of a grouping of countries around a security intelligence platform, or it best done around a group of countries with shared values - some of which might not belong to that five eyes partnership? We should be collectively raising issues – be it Australia, New Zealand, the UK, Canada, the United States – or, say, Germany, and others.”

Mahuta’s speech also called for New Zealand to reduce its economic reliance on China, which is its largest trading partner.

Praise from the Foreign Ministry spokesman for the New Zealand Foreign Minister’s comments -Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin's Regular Press Conference on April 20, 2021

Wang Wenbin: We noted relevant reports and appreciates the fact that the New Zealand government attaches importance to and commits itself to developing bilateral relations. China and New Zealand are each other's important cooperative partners. Over the past 49 years since the establishment of diplomatic ties, China-New Zealand relations have made considerable progress and many "firsts" have been created in our cooperation. Under the new circumstances, China is ready to make joint efforts with New Zealand to carry forward the spirit of "striving to be the first", strengthen dialogue, deepen cooperation, remove distractions and work for greater development of China-New Zealand comprehensive strategic partnership.

In the meantime, I would like to point out that China is firmly determined to safeguard its sovereignty, security and development interests. We are always firmly opposed to other countries using the so-called Hong Kong, Xinjiang and other issues to interfere in China's internal affairs, and opposed to groundless accusations against China on cyber security and other issues.

7. Will Germany’s China policy change post-Merkel?

Life after Merkel: Germany’s ties with China head into the unknown | South China Morning Post

In two calls with China’s President Xi Jinping in the space of two weeks, official government readouts from Germany and China show that the sanctioning of German officials was not on the agenda. Nor were issues such as Hong Kong, Xinjiang, Taiwan or Huawei – Europe’s biggest talking points on China...

“I think [Laschet] at the moment promises continuity in terms of policy towards China, but he would be coming into a very different environment, probably have a coalition partner in the Greens that are much more hawkish on China and have a very human rights-focused foreign policy approach,” said Barkin.

Merkel: Retreat from multilateralism is world’s ‘biggest threat’ – POLITICO

Merkel warned that “if everywhere the institutions are questioned,” and resolutions such as from the U.N. Security Council are not enforced, “then I think we are in danger, so to speak, of first resigning ourselves to the fact that we have no obligation to find diplomatic solutions.”

In such a setting, “harsh words” can “quickly turn into provocative actions — if we look at what’s going on in the South China Sea, what’s going on in Taiwan,” the chancellor cautioned, referencing China’s aggressive behavior over territorial disputes in the region. “And from something like that, military conflicts can arise again.”

8. Does Tesla have a growing China problem?

Tesla (TSLA) Knocks Keep Coming as China Chides Over Vehicle Safety - Bloomberg

Tesla Inc. looks to be coming under increasing pressure in China with two government entities firing off missives about the company’s behavior and treatment of its customers in a single day...

The trouble started early on Tuesday when China’s state-run Xinhua news agency released a piece that said the quality of Tesla’s electric vehicles must meet market expectations in order to win consumers’ trust. The Palo Alto, California-based company should address consumer hesitation over purchasing its cars after issues ranging from malfunctioning brakes to blazes during the vehicles’ charging emerged, the article said.

A few hours later, the Commission for Political and Legal Affairs of the Communist Party of China Central Committee weighed in, posting a commentary on its WeChat account that said the automaker should respect Chinese consumers and comply with local laws and regulations. Making an effort to find the cause of problems and improve features is something any responsible business should do, and Tesla hasn’t done that, the Communist Party body that oversees China’s police, prosecutors and courts said.

The Commission for Political and Legal Affairs post -特斯拉必须面对中国客户的拷问:责任何在?担当何在!?_信任

Tesla Refuses to Compromise in Face of “Unreasonable Demands” after Angry Car Owner Protested at Shanghai Auto Show - Pandaily

Tesla said the woman is a car owner from Henan province, who is involved in a February traffic accident in which her Tesla car crashed into another vehicle. The woman claimed that the incident was caused by Tesla’s faulty brakes and asked for a full refund on the car. However, the company said the car crash happened due to excessive speed and during the past two months, it has been actively negotiating with the woman in an attempt to find a solution. “However, the car owner rejected all the plans we proposed,” the automaker said.

“We value every client, therefore we publicly pledge to take full responsibility if there are any issues regarding Tesla’s products,” Tesla said in a statement posted on its Chinese social media page late Monday, adding that it will also adopt an uncompromising attitude towards “unreasonable demands”.

Then the next day - 特斯拉道歉:我们就未能及时解决车主的问题深表歉意

"Tesla apologizes: We apologize for failing to solve the problem of the owner in time"

Comment: One of Tesla's mistakes was not solving the problem before it became a public spectacle that impacted public order

Yicai - Chinese Police Detain Two Tesla Owners for Causing Havoc at Shanghai Auto Show 

Each of the two women has been detained for five days for disturbing the public order and have been given a warning, the Qingpu district branch of the Shanghai police said today.

Business, Economy and Trade

Huarong Bonds Drop After Report Regulators Consider Restructuring - Bloomberg A potential restructuring or default for China Huarong would be the nation’s most consequential since the late 1990s. Any signs that Beijing is rethinking its support for a central, state-owned firm like China Huarong would have deep repercussions for the broader dollar bond market. The company is majority owned by China’s Ministry of Finance and is deeply intertwined with the nation’s $54 trillion financial industry.

Chinese premier urges consolidating growth momentum, ensuring people's livelihood - Xinhua Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has called for efforts to deepen reform and opening-up, enhance driving forces for innovation, consolidate the sound foundation of the country's economy, and guarantee people's livelihood...made the remarks during an inspection tour in southwest China's Sichuan Province from Monday to Tuesday...During exchanges with entrepreneurs from countries in Europe and Asia, Li said China will open the door wider to the world and will become an attractive destination for global investors in the long run.

China pledges targeted policies, necessary support for economic recovery | Xinhua Policies aimed at stabilizing employment and safeguarding market entities will not be trimmed, while measures to support small and micro-enterprises will be fully implemented, said Meng Wei, spokesperson for the National Development and Reform Commission, at a press conference on Monday. The planner vowed to continue stepping up financial services for market entities, strengthen the market regulation of raw materials, and alleviate corporate cost pressures.

工信部摸底筛查平台企业合规情况 _中国经济网 "The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology thoroughly screened the compliance of platform enterprises" - The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology thoroughly screened the compliance of platform enterprises - Zhao Zhiguo, director of the Information and Communication Administration Bureau of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, said at the press conference of the State Council Office on the 20th that the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has strengthened market competition supervision in the Internet industry, intensified compliance investigation and evaluation, and thoroughly screened the compliance of platform enterprises. They have carried out special rectification actions against unfair competition in the industry, focusing on rectifying malicious blocking, compulsory binding, traffic hijacking, illegal operation and other behaviors that disrupt the market competition order. They will strengthen credit management, implement disciplinary actions against dishonesty, and create a fair and open market development environment.

Chinese official blames US politics for lack of auditing agreement for US-listed companies | South China Morning Post “As for specific ways for PCAOB to check Chinese accounting firms, we believe we have provided workable proposals that can meet PCAOB demands and China’s national security requirements,” Fang said. “We had sent over the latest version on August 4 last year about a joint review with the PCAOB, but unfortunately, the atmosphere in the US since the US presidential election has not been favourable for China-US cooperation. And we haven’t received a reply from the PCAOB over whether our proposal is suitable or not. We have been sending an email on every month since last August, but they just didn’t reply to us.” // In a Microsoft Exchange spam folder?

China to require financial institutions to move towards green finance - c.bank gov | Reuters China will require financial institutions to transition towards green finance as early as possible, to help achieve the country's carbon neutrality goals, central bank governor Yi Gang told the Boao Forum on Tuesday.

Yicai - Shanghai’s Upcoming Double Five Shopping Gala to Outdo Last Year With E-Yuan Trials, More Events Shanghai’s second Double Five Shopping Bonanza, initiated last year on May 5 in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic to boost consumption, will be on a bigger and better scale than last year and test the use of the country’s sovereign digital yuan, the municipal government said today.

State Council approves pilot programs to further open up service sector - State Council The State Council approved the launch of three-year comprehensive pilot programs to further open up the service sector in Tianjin, Shanghai, Hainan province and Chongqing, according to a circular released on April 20, 2021. The pilot programs should focus on the development orientation of each place, promote reform and opening-up of the service sector, boost the modern service industry, and develop new strength in international cooperation and competition, the circular said. // 国务院关于同意在天津、上海、海南、重庆开展服务业扩大开放综合试点的批复(国函〔2021〕37号)_政府信息公开专栏

Yicai - Chinese Industry Can Cope With Commodity Price Hikes, Ministry Says The MIIT, together with relevant departments, said it will take measures to keep raw material prices stable, including cracking down on malicious speculation.

证监会加强系统离职人员投资拟上市公司监管_中证网 China is turning the heat on a new target in its crusade against misconduct in stock trading: former employees of the securities watchdog. The country’s securities regulator has vowed to improve information disclosure on shareholders at listed companies, which have attracted former employees of the CSRC system(证监会系统). The securities watchdog is studying rules to prevent former CSRC system employees from “becoming shareholders at listed companies in an unreasonable manner.”

财政部关税司司长蔡强谈RCEP:中国万事俱备、只等签署生效__财经 A taxation official with China’s finance ministry said that China has completed all the preparatory work for the RCEP and is ready to sign the treaty. “Everything that is needed is ready, and we’re just waiting to sign it and have it take effect.” Cai Qiang, the head of the taxation department of the finance ministry said this week.

猪肉价格连降12周,农业农村部称供应最紧张时期已过|界面新闻 Pork prices have declined for 12 consecutive weeks in China. In the third week of April, pork prices were down 27.6% compared to the same period a month before.

华晨集团“吃”5360万罚单!财务造假等多罪并罚-中新经纬 China’s securities regulator has slapped a 536 billion RMB fine on Brilliance Auto for a number of fraudulent behaviors related to bookkeeping, bond repayment and information disclosure.

Yicai - CSRC Is Alert to Risks From Foreign Fund Flows in China’s Stock Market, Vice Chairman Says The China Securities Regulatory Commission will do am effective job in preventing such risks, Fang Xinghai told the Boao Forum for Asia yesterday. The Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect and the Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect already cap daily fund flows, he said. The limit for funds entering the mainland is set at CNY50 billion (USD7.7 billion), while the outflow ceiling is CNY42 billion. “This acts as a precaution,” Fang said in his speech. But if capital flows cause big moves in mainland stocks, the regulator can order a temporary trading halt, as permitted under Stock Connect rules, he added.

Subsidies for Booming China-EU Rail Link Unsustainable, Maersk Exec Tells Boao Forum - Caixin Government subsidies for the China-Europe freight train service remain huge and that’s unsustainable, Jens Eskelund, managing director of Maersk China Ltd. and vice president of the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China, told the Boao Forum for Asia Monday. Eskelund’s comments come as rail freight trade between China and Europe surged last year. In 2020, China-Europe freight trains made a total of 12,400 trips, up 50% from the previous year.

Alibaba’s Regulatory Trouble Continues With Steel E-Commerce Probe - Caixin Minmetals established its online trading unit Minmetals E-Commerce Co. Ltd. as a wholly owned subsidiary in 2012. Alibaba’s investment three years later helped create a business-to-business steel trading platform called Wuage.com (五阿哥) that launched in 2016. The e-commerce platform provides services including online trading, logistics and financing throughout the steel supply chain. The tie-up also presented an opportunity for Minmetals to introduce Alibaba as a partner in its mixed ownership reform

中国人民银行有关部门负责人就《金融机构反洗钱和反恐怖融资监督管理办法》 答记者问

China Tightens Anti-Money Laundering Regulations for Financial Institutions - Caixin Financial institutions are required to set up a comprehensive internal control system, which should include a self-assessment mechanism, as well as risk control and audit measures, according to regulations (link in Chinese) recently published by the People’s Bank of China (PBOC). The regulations will take effect on Aug. 1. “As international requirements regarding anti-money laundering become more stringent, it is necessary to further urge financial institutions to improve the internal control systems and risk management policies,” the PBOC said in the statement

Is This the Real Life? Is This Just Fantasy? - Andy Rothman The fantasy is the year-on-year (YoY) comparison to the first quarter of last year, when much of China was shuttered in response to COVID-19. The weak base results in figures such as a 33.9% YoY rise in real (inflation-adjusted) retail sales, because those sales declined 22% in the first quarter of last year. Similarly, industrial value-added rose 24.5% YoY in 1Q21, following an 8.4% decline a year ago. The base effect also generated a fantastical 1Q21 GDP growth rate of 18.3%, as GDP fell 6.8% YoY in 1Q20. Clearly, comparisons to the first quarter of last year are not a useful guide to the coming quarters. Real life, however, can be discerned by comparing the latest data to pre-pandemic, 1Q19 data. This comparison reflects a healthy, sustainable, domestic-demand driven economy, albeit one which has not yet fully shaken off all of the impact of the pandemic.

Politics and Law

Exclusive: Yet Another Corrupt Executive Exposed at China’s Biggest Policy Bank-Caixin A former operating chief of the China Development Bank (CDB), the nation’s biggest policy lender, has been placed under investigation by the Communist Party’s graft-buster on suspicion of taking bribes worth millions of yuan, sources with knowledge of the matter told Caixin. Zhang Maolong, 68, is being investigated by a group dispatched by the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) to the bank and the local anti-corruption agency in Beijing...The probe comes eight years after Zhang’s retirement....During Zhang’s three-year term, he took millions of yuan in bribes, including from a private company involved in the construction of a CDB branch’s office buildings, the sources said. //国家开发银行原运行总监章茂龙接受审查调查-中央纪委国家监委网站

The Elephant in the XUAR: III. “In accordance with the law” – art of life in chinese central asia - Gene A Bunin This is the third in a series of five articles highlighting the massive expansion of the prison system in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region that has taken place in recent years. The prisons have been running in parallel with the much-covered concentration camps (“vocational training centers”) and possess many of the same traits, interning hundreds of thousands without real due process and engaging in labor exploitation. However, while international action has led to many, if not most, detainees being let out from the camps, those in prisons have been given sentences that often range from 10 to 20 years, and have yet to see any real concessions.

Documentary on 'toxic' textbooks in Xinjiang puts China's education ministry on high alert - Global Times Teaching materials related to the long-term peace and stability of China and the compilation of textbooks should be regarded as an important political task, Zheng Fuzhi, deputy education minister, said at a Monday meeting attended by representatives from education departments, colleges and universities, publishing industry and textbook review experts. Zheng required building up stronger teams to focus on textbook management, compilation, and review. A standard management system with more specific criteria will also be set up to serve different studying phases and different teaching materials, he said.

UPDATE: Court accepts lawsuit of Xinjiang enterprise suing Adrian Zenz over 'forced labor' rumor - Global Times A local court in Kashi, Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, has accepted the case of a Xinjiang local textile enterprise suing the notorious anti-China German scholar Adrian Zenz for fabricating "forced labor" rumors against the enterprise, a local news website reported on Friday.

Golf Gear Factory Workers Get Raw Deal Over Vibration Syndrome Cases - Caixin The employees at Zhongshan Guangsheng Sports Equipment Co. Ltd., a golf clubhead manufacturer located in Zhongshan, South China’s Guangdong province, claim they contracted hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS) as a result of their work...The major problem facing the workers is that the current occupational disease classifications do not specify the HAVS, a lawyer familiar with the matter told Caixin.

Foreign and Defense Affairs

Xi says China to work with Saudi Arabia to build fair climate governance regime - Xinhua  Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Tuesday that China is willing to work with Saudi Arabia and other members of the international community to build an equitable climate governance regime that is cooperative and beneficial to all. In a phone conversation with Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Xi also called for concerted efforts to push for a comprehensive and effective implementation of the Paris Agreement on climate change in accordance with the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities...Calling China a trustworthy good brother and important strategic partner of Saudi Arabia, the crown prince said his country is willing to work with China to deepen their friendship and mutual trust, strengthen mutually-beneficial cooperation in such fields as energy, economy and trade, and cement the strategic synergy between Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030 and the Belt and Road Initiative, so as to further lift the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries.Saudi Arabia, he said, firmly supports China's legitimate position on issues concerning its core interests. // Comment: Xi willing to talk with MBS, while Biden is not?

Xi congratulates Diaz-Canel on election as head of Cuban Communist Party - Xinhua He added that in the new situation, he is ready to work with Diaz-Canel to strengthen political guidance for the relations between the two parties and countries, carry forward bilateral traditional friendship, deepen exchanges and cooperation, and jointly push for continuous development of the socialist causes of China and Cuba

Xi says China to cooperate with Indonesia against "vaccine divide" - Xinhua Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Tuesday that China, while comprehensively promoting domestic vaccination, will continue to carry out vaccine cooperation with Indonesia, help Indonesia build a regional vaccine production center, and jointly resist the "vaccine divide."...Noting that Indonesia and China are good friends and good brothers, Widodo said Indonesia hopes to learn from China's relevant experience, and stands ready to deepen bilateral economic and trade ties, actively promote the construction of the Jakarta-Bandung high-speed railway, strengthen people-to-people exchanges, and jointly build the Belt and Road

New Details Emerge of China's Maritime Militia at Whitsun Reef - Foreign Policy - Martinson & Erickson The Philippines is regaining the initiative in the South China Sea. In an apparent policy shift, it has begun sharing unprecedented amounts of information about Chinese actions in the Spratly Islands, the archipelago of disputed rocks and reefs off the western coast of the Philippines. While Manila’s precise motives are unclear, its newfound transparency is creating fascinating new opportunities for understanding Beijing’s maritime strategy. This is especially true when it comes to China’s fleet of Spratly fishing vessels, some portion of which operates under the command of the Chinese military—units of the People’s Armed Forces Maritime Militia (PAFMM).

Tokyo police suspect Chinese military behind cyberattacks - Nikkei Asia Tokyo Metropolitan Police filed a case on Tuesday against an engineer, who is a member of the Chinese Communist Party, for allegedly taking part in cyberattacks that targeted Japan's space agency JAXA and about 200 other Japanese companies and research institutions. Naming the Chinese government directly in Japanese cybercrime cases is rare. The suspect is a male in his 30s, sources close to the matter revealed

Tencent-Rakuten deal exposes limits of Japan investment rules - Nikkei Asia Japan amended its Foreign Exchange and Foreign Trade Act to tighten oversight on foreign investment into critical industries. When the revised law went into force in May last year, with China seen as the major impetus, it lowered the minimum stake requiring prior screening to 1% from 10%. Yet a Tencent subsidiary gaining a 3.65% stake in Tokyo-based Rakuten in a share issue announced in March, which should have been a test case for the new rules, was not subject to a prescreening.

Chinese FM denounces Japan's pseudoscience on radioactive water, urges it to take responsibility - Global Times Japan should uphold a scientific attitude, face up to opposition from the international community and correct its irresponsible decision to dump radioactive water into the ocean, instead of confusing the public with pseudoscience, China's Foreign Ministry spokesperson said Tuesday. Japan's claim that China and South Korea have lower standards for the treatment of wastewater from nuclear power plants than Japan is complete pseudoscience, said spokesperson Wang Wenbin at a press conference.

Colleges’ Foreign Cash at Risk as Congress Targets China’s Clout - Bloomberg The proposal would give U.S. national security officials new authority to scrutinize foreign gifts and contracts of more than $1 million to schools if the funding is related to research and development of “critical technologies” and provides access to material nonpublic technical information.

China-Built Port City Plan Challenged in Sri Lanka’s Top Court - Bloomberg Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court on Monday began hearing petitions challenging President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s plan to set up a panel to lure investment into a Chinese built port city in Colombo.

China offers Sri Lanka a lifeline as critics question cost - Nikkei Asia The island's tightening financial straits, however, eased a bit last week after China Development Bank extended a loan of $500 million, the second tranche of a $1 billion bailout Colombo sought from Beijing last year as the coronavirus struck. The latest loan comes just weeks after China approved a $1.5 billion currency swap with Sri Lanka.

Bangladesh: Cases Filed against Thousands Over Workers’ Violent Protest at Chinese-backed Plant — Radio Free Asia Security has been beefed up for Chinese workers at a power plant in southeastern Bangladesh, and police have filed cases against thousands of local workers who went on a rampage Saturday, leading officers to shoot dead five of them, authorities said Monday. More than 3,500 Bangladeshi workers upset over unpaid wages and work hours during Ramadan allegedly burned vehicles and attacked police at the sprawling, facility still under construction in the Banshkhali sub-district of Chittagong

Hospital Researcher Sentenced to Prison for Conspiring to Steal Trade Secrets and Sell to China | OPA | Department of Justice An Ohio man was sentenced yesterday to 33 months in prison for conspiring to steal exosome-related trade secrets concerning the research, identification and treatment of a range of pediatric medical conditions. Yu Zhou, 51, of Dublin, Ohio, pleaded guilty in December 2020 to stealing scientific trade secrets related to exosomes and exosome isolation from Nationwide Children’s Hospital’s Research Institute for his own personal financial gain. Zhou also conspired to commit wire fraud. “Yu Zhou sought to exploit U.S. taxpayer dollars intended to fund critical, life-saving research at Nationwide Children’s Hospital through the whole-sale theft of their trade secrets,” said Assistant Attorney General John C. Demers for the Justice Department’s National Security Division. “Zhou’s greed was encouraged and enabled by a series of Chinese Government programs which incentivize thievery in an attempt to supplement China’s own research and development goals on the back of American ingenuity and investment

Chinese vice president hopes for more Boao views - Xinhua Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan Tuesday expressed the hope that the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) can form more Boao views with Asian countries' wisdom to improve suggestions for the long-term development and prosperity in Asia. Wang made the call Tuesday when meeting with members of the BFA board of directors and the forum's strategic partners. Wang attended the BFA Annual Conference 2021 opening ceremony on the same day and exchanged views with representatives from the business circle.

Chinese COVID-19 vaccine producers mull technology transfer to tackle global vaccine inequities - Global Times Chinese COVID-19 vaccine producers such as Sinovac and CanSinoBIO are mulling technology transfers to other countries to help address the global vaccine inequity issue, company executives said at the 2021 Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) on Tuesday.

China, Mexico pledge enhanced cooperation to promote ties - Xinhua China's top legislator Li Zhanshu on Tuesday held talks via video link with Oscar Eduardo Ramirez Aguilar, speaker of Mexico's Senate, and both sides pledged enhanced cooperation to promote bilateral relations...For his part, Ramirez said Mexico regards China as an important partner of cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region, and thanked China for providing vital support to Mexico in its COVID-19 response. Mexico is firmly ready to make positive contributions to promoting ties with China, advance pragmatic cooperation and deepen friendship between the two peoples, he added.

China conducts aerial bombing drill after US-Japan statement on Taiwan | South China Morning Post The People’s Liberation Army’s Eastern Theatre Command, which oversees the Taiwan Strait, deployed dozens of H-6K strategic bombers in a nine-hour live-fire drill, according to state television. The bombers took off in groups from a military airport in eastern China in combat formations amid low-visibility conditions and headed towards an “unknown shooting range”, the CCTV report said.

China Suspicion, ‘Foreign Plot’ Fears Hamper Africa Vaccine Plan - Bloomberg From suspicions about Chinese-made vaccines in Zimbabwe and conspiracy theories in Ivory Coast about Covid-19 being “a planned event by foreign actors” to Somalia, where the Islamist militant Al-Shabaab group is warning people they’re “guinea pigs” for AstraZeneca, large sections of Africans are steering clear of vaccines. Only about 17.5% of the doses available in Ivory Coast and 19% in Zimbabwe have found their way into arms.

China includes Pfizer, Moderna, J&J coronavirus vaccines in travel health code applications - The Washington Post China has quietly begun accepting U.S. coronavirus vaccination records in travel applications to the country, as it seeks to negotiate mutual recognition of vaccine passports with other nations. The Chinese embassy in Washington said in an online notice late last week that Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccine records can be submitted as part of an application for a coronavirus QR “health code” — China’s version of a vaccine passport and a requirement to enter the country.

Report: China, Russia fueling QAnon conspiracy theories - Yahoo News The analysis by the Soufan Center, a New York-based research firm focused on national security threats, found that nearly one-fifth of 166,820 QAnon-related Facebook posts between January 2020 and the end of February 2021 originated from overseas administrators... For much of last year, the report found, Russian actors dominated the foreign QAnon space on Facebook. But they have been overtaken in recent months by those based in China as the government there has ramped up its disinformation efforts in response to increased tensions with the United States, the report says. From Jan. 1 to Feb. 28, 2021, 58 percent of foreign-based QAnon posts came from administrators in China — more than double that from Russian administrators, the Limbik analysis found.

Hong Kong and Macao

China's justifiable judgment tolerates no foreign interference - People's Daily Zhong Sheng Recently, nine anti-China disruptors, including Jimmy Lai Chee-ying, Martin Lee Chu-ming and Albert Ho Chun-yan were convicted according to law, which was an unquestionable matter that mirrored justice...Hong Kong affairs are a mirror that reflects the bizarre phenomenon in certain western countries that still hold onto colonialism, power politics and hegemony, and don't want to wake up from the Cold War dream. They are doing everything to make something new out of clichés and shamelessly playing the old tricks of new wine in old wineskins.

Biased tone, misinformation ‘major mistakes’ by BBC on HK riot: Chinese scholar - People's Daily Online There were some major mistakes that the BBC made in its latest TV program Newsnight, including a biased tone and misinformation on the illegal protests led by radical anti-government figures who were wrongfully deemed "pro-democracy activists," a Chinese scholar who recently engaged in an online debate with Hong Kong secessionist Nathan Law told the Global Times. Victor Gao, chair professor of Soochow University and vice president of the Center for China and Globalization, was invited to BBC's Newsnight to debate with Law, after other opposition figures such as Martin Lee Chu-ming and secessionists like Jimmy Lai Chee-ying were sentenced, which the BBC host described as 60- and- 70-something men being thrown into jail for participating in "peaceful" protests. When the host emphasized they were "peaceful protests," the BBC got it wrong, Gao noted


Taiwanese men who attacked Hong Kong bookseller get longer jail terms after appeal | South China Morning Post Taiwan’s High Court has sentenced three men to longer jail terms of six to eight months for attacking Hong Kong bookseller Lam Wing-kee with red paint a year ago.  Cheng Chi-lung, 52, and brothers Tseng Shih-cheng, 34, and Tseng Shih-feng, 28, all from the southern city of Kaohsiung, were found guilty of assaulting and insulting Lam and damaging his belongings by throwing paint at him in the Taipei attack.

PRESS RELEASE: European Values Center for Security Policy to Open Taipei Office in 2021 – European Values Center for Security Policy The ambassador of the Republic of China (Taiwan) in Prague, H.E. Liang-Ruey Ke, has signed a partnership agreement with the European Values Center for Security Policy (EVC) regarding his government’s support for the opening of EVC’s planned Taipei office.

Taiwan seizes chance to host foreign reporters kicked out of China | Financial Times $$ Taiwan is courting journalists fleeing China, spotting an opportunity to boost its visibility and build international support as concerns mount that Beijing is flirting with the idea of invading the country. Last year, more than 20 journalists made the journey across the Taiwan Strait from China.

Tech and Media

Wang Xing’s Meituan, Jack Ma's Alibaba in Great Chinese Rivalry - Bloomberg raised a record $10 billion to develop promising technologies like autonomous delivery vehicles and drone delivery to reduce labor costs and expand the footprint of Meituan’s food and e-commerce network. These investments, analysts say, will be key to supporting what Wang has previously called its “top priority”: community e-commerce, an arena where tech giants from the likes of Alibaba to JD.com Inc. and Pinduoduo Inc. are all seeking a foothold.

Society, Arts, Sports, Culture and History

'Completely unfounded': Chinese archaeologists refute 'alien theory' about Sanxingdui Ruins - Global Times Chinese archaeologists once again refuted the "alien theory" floating around the corners of the internet about the ancient Sanxingdui Ruins in Southwest China's Sichuan Province. They note relics that are similar to those found at the Erlitou Site in Central China's Henan Province show the two cultures communicated with each other, but the idea that this is the work of aliens is "completely unfounded."

Energy, Environment, Science and Health

Yicai - China’s New Guangzhou Exchange May Start Trading Carbon Futures The first product traded on China’s fifth futures exchange, inaugurated yesterday in the southern city of Guangzhou, could be greenhouse gases as the country explores developing a futures market for carbon emissions.

谁在逼“张煜医生”删帖?-新华网 A Xinhua commentary commentary calls for an investigation into who forced Dr. Zhang Yu to delete his [Zhihu] post?" Zhang, who wrote a post accusing the Third Hospital of Beijing Medical University of shady cancer treatments, now says he deleted the post "due to unbearable pressure and possible consequences."

Chinese Wind Industry Growing Competitive, but Unlikely To Dominate - Macro Polo Even though China has a strong position in the wind supply chain, in the foreseeable future there will still be regional concentration of supply chains outside the country. There are several reasons why the wind power supply chain is more diffuse, chief among them how the industry operates and local market policies. These dynamics make it difficult for Chinese firms to replace current wind turbine equipment suppliers in other markets.

Rural and Agricultural Issues

Yicai - China Sets Target of 650-Million-Ton Grain Harvest This Year The crop planting area must reach at least 116.6 million hectares and the acreage of corn fields should increase by 666,000 hectares, said Liu Lihua, deputy director of the MOA’s plantation management department, adding that the area is a binding indicator. The central government will also hike spending on grain production by a third to CNY24 billion (USD3.7 billion) from last year, the largest amount in recent years, Liu said.