The Sinocism China Newsletter 03.15.17

Apologies for the hiatus.

The big news since the last newsletter is that Donald Trump and Xi Jinping are scheduled to meet at Mar a Lago April 6-7. Rumors about such a meeting have been going around for a couple of weeks (I tweeted about it on March 2nd , Guo Wengui 郭文贵 tweeted from Mar a Lago on March 9 saying he was hearing the resort would soon be receiving a “Chinese VIP”). Mike Allen of Axios confirmed the rumors on Monday.

This is a good thing, much better they are talking than not, though expectations should be very low. Xi does not golf and the handshake could be awkward. Xi usually makes others reach across to shake his hand while Trump prefers the grab, yank and stroke. Good luck to the protocol people working this meeting.

Just hours after Mike Allen broke the news of the Trump-Xi meeting, Bloomberg muddied the optics with a story claiming that the Kushner family was close to a very sweet deal with Anbang-Kushners Set to Get $400 Million From Chinese on Marquee Tower. The New York Times followed a day later with more details in Kushners, Trump In-Laws, Weigh $400 Million Deal With Chinese Firm written by Mike Forsythe, ace Chinese corruption investigative journalist who is now in New York setting his sights on American princelings. Then Reuters reported that Anbang denies report of Kushner property Investment:

“The information about Anbang investment in 666 Fifth Avenue is not correct, there is no investment from Anbang for this deal,” a spokesman for Anbang said in a statement on Tuesday.

“There is no investment” does not sound the same as there have been no discussions or term sheets exchanged. Were Bloomberg and The New York Times wrong? I doubt it. Was Anbang told to stop by the PRC government? Possibly. Or did the Kushner-Anbang executives at realize that the optics at least of this deal, especially now, are awful? Any readers who know and want share can reach me on email or preferably on Signal at 3012460858.

The NPC was fairly uneventful this year, as expected. Everything is about working towards Xi and the 19th Party Congress, and so far all signs continue to point to Xi running or very nearly running the table at the 19th. Lots can happen in the next 7-8 months, as we learned in 2012, but at this point I would not bet on too much drama this year.

If you will be in Washington DC next Friday, March 24, you might want to check out the launch party of Big Daddy Dough’s Sino-licious parody rap album – “The Redprint: Rhyme and Reason in the Riddle Kingdom”. You can register here, BDD is fun and talented and there should be a good DC-China crowd turnout at the event.

Today’s Links:

AnchorTHE ESSENTIAL EIGHT *

1. U.S. May Soon Increase Pressure on China to Constrain North Korea – The New York Times The tough message was shaped in a series of White House meetings before Mr. Tillerson’s departure for Japan on Tuesday. It also followed more proposals at both ends of the spectrum — including opening up talks with North Korea and preparing for military action against its key missile and nuclear sites — that were set aside, at least for now. The result is that Mr. Tillerson is essentially adopting variants of the approaches that the Bush and Obama administrations took, though guided by Mr. Trump’s declarations that, unlike his predecessors, he will stop the North Korean program from developing a new intercontinental missile.

Related: China readying countermeasures against missile defence shield in South Korea, retired PLA general says | South China Morning Post The military will deploy its own system before Seoul sets up the American one // Comment: So if the PRC already has a system that works why the increasing official hysteria?

Related: Net Politics When China’s White-Hat Hackers Go Patriotic – Net Politics Only hours after China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) released the country’s first strategic document on cyberspace on March 1, which outlined the country’s vision for peaceful cooperation in cyberspace, patriotic Chinese hackers took down the website of a South Korean conglomerate at odds with Beijing.

Related: A corny pop ballad explains in one verse why China is so mad about THAAD — Quartz On March 8 Chinese pop singer Xie Tianming published a music video (link in Chinese) for a piece titled “Chant of Love.” Using fiercely nationalist rhetoric set to a syrupy synthesizer melody, the singer calls on Chinese people to boycott products made by Lotte, the Korean conglomerate at the center of China’s trade retaliation towards South Korea

Related: Backlash Against Web Celeb Reveals Perils of Pop Patriotism | Sixth Tone Netizens unimpressed with Mu Yalan’s attempts to cash in on anti-Korean fervor.

Related: The ZTE Case | PIIE If Chinese officials as well as ZTE management were involved in moving toward this deal, it would be a good sign for the future of sanctions enforcement. But whatever Xi Jinping and Donald Trump manage to agree on regarding North Korea at the Mar-a-Lago summit, there is no reason for the US to cease and desist with respect to this particular type of sanction. This is not tactical—a way of getting North Korea back to the bargaining table—but fundamentally defensive: an effort to protect the US and its allies against North Korean capabilities.

2. Tomb Sweeping Day: Deadline for a U.S. China Policy | Scott Kennedy – Center for Strategic and International Studies The administration will also need to settle on an internal decisionmaking structure. At the moment there appear to be multiple power centers competing for President Trump’s ear. That is a difficult approach to maintain with such a complex, far-ranging relationship. The administration could instead permit a division of labor on economic and security issues among these different groups, or it could return to a more traditional hierarchical and integrated process. There are clear benefits to the last type of structure, which seems more stable and cohesive than the other two options; regardless, some kind of clarity on process would be an achievement.

Related: How to Get Tough on China, in Six Easy Steps | Foreign Policy – Ely Ratner If not managed correctly, however, driving a harder line with Beijing could easily result in a self-defeating confrontation, if not conflict, that severely damages the interests of the United States. This is not a reason to be timid or risk-averse, but instead an argument for a more disciplined, coordinated, and comprehensive approach to Asia policy than the Trump administration has evinced to date. As National Security Adviser H. R. McMaster embarks on what may be a months-long process of Asia policy development, here are six steps the Trump administration should take now to begin laying the groundwork for a more concerted competition with China.  //  Comment: Mr. Ratner was deputy national security advisor to Vice President Joe Biden from 2015 to 2017

Related: Tillerson’s quiet trip to Asia – POLITICO At a Monday briefing for foreign journalists, the State Department’s acting top official for Asia said the Obama administration policy that came to be known as “the pivot to Asia” is defunct. As for an alternative, said Acting Assistant Secretary of State Susan Thornton, “we haven’t seen in detail what the formulation will be, or if there even will be a formulation.” It is unclear how Tillerson might be advising President Donald Trump.

Related: China Headlines: Xi Jinping: Leader of China’s great revival – Xinhua Xi is leading more than 1.3 billion people on the march toward the Chinese Dream — an end to the worst kinds of poverty, and the rejuvenation of a nation that has already made astonishing progress in creating prosperity. The 63-year-old reformer has brought his own thinking to bear on problems that will be faced down the road, especially after a year of tumultuous world events. With the concerns of the people his first and foremost concern, Xi’s experience, commitment, determination and ability to govern and lead have become something of a rarity on the global political stage.  // Comment: Zing

3. China Is High on List of U.S. Problems, Lighthizer Testifies – Bloomberg “In the past, it is my judgment that China was a substantial currency manipulator,” Lighthizer said. “Whether China is manipulating the currency right now is another question. That’s up to the Treasury secretary.”..The WTO isn’t set up to effectively deal with China’s industrial policy, said Lighthizer, who said the U.S. needs “imaginative” solutions on trade litigation. There are official forums to encourage China to reduce overcapacity, where progress can be made, but there also needs to be trade-law enforcement so it’s more expensive for Chinese producers, said Lighthizer. He cited overcapacity in Chinese steel and aluminum as “troubling.”

Related: China’s WTO Bench Honed Over 15 Years Girds for U.S. Trade Fight – Bloomberg “The Chinese have gone from being outside the system to providing greater leadership inside the system,” said Scott Kennedy, director of the Project on Chinese Business and Political Economy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. “China has been a huge beneficiary of the WTO and a big supporter of it. They see it as essential to China’s economic success.”

Related: Trump’s Top China Expert Isn’t a China Expert | Foreign Policy Peter Navarro doesn’t speak Chinese, and has scant in-country experience. Should that matter? // Comment: There have been a few reports recently saying that Navarro’s views are losing out to those of more mainstream officials like Gary Cohn. So far that looks positive, but so long as Steve Bannon is in the White House no one should assume Navarro’s views won’t gain traction.

Related: Trump’s attack dog on trade-Politico As more of Trump’s Cabinet officials win Senate confirmation and move into their offices, Navarro will have to share responsibility over trade policy with a number of others, but he is still expected to have a seat at the table in upcoming negotiations: over NAFTA, for example, and bilateral trade deals with allies from the United Kingdom to Japan. And as he does, he’ll carry with him his Trumpian worldview, as well as his Trumpian style.

Related: Schwarzman Sees Trump Reducing Criticisms of China on Yuan – Bloomberg President Donald Trump will likely temper his criticisms of China, including his campaign claim that the country manipulates its currency, one of his top economic advisers said. “I don’t think that there’s going to be issues regarding China as a currency manipulator and some of the other things,” Steve Schwarzman, the chairman of Trump’s strategic and policy forum, said Sunday on CNN.

Related: Ford’s China Deal Shows How ‘Unfair’ Trade With China Can Be | The Daily Caller The Chinese auto market is designed to make domestic manufacturing a requirement. If a company attempts to export cars to China, it will face a 25 percent tax; however, the company can avoid tariffs by building the cars it intends to sell in country. For this reason, Ford intends to produce luxury cars in Chongqing.

4. Obama White House Blocked Needed U.S. Arms Sale to Taiwan-Bill Gertz The Obama administration blocked a $1 billion arms sale to Taiwan in December that was needed to improve the island’s defenses despite approval from the State Department and Pentagon, according to Trump administration officials.

Related: Taiwan takes possession of two US frigates – Taipei Times Despite calls for the two decommissioned US vessels to be named after naval heroes, they are to be named after a former Taiwan governor and a poet

5. Businesswoman Who Bought Trump Penthouse Is Connected to Chinese Intelligence Front Group | Mother Jones China experts say CAIFC exists to cultivate relationships with former leaders and retired military officials and diplomats of various countries, including the United States and the United Kingdom, in order to influence foreign defense policies toward China and the Far East. To sum up: An influence-peddler who works with a princeling tied to Chinese military intelligence placed $15.8 million in the pockets of the president of the United States // Comment: Another deal in which at best the optics are bad

6. 2017 NPC Session: Legislations, Reports, Resolutions & More – NPC Observer This post serves as a portal to all the documents relating to the recently concluded plenary session of the National People’s Congress (NPC). Currently, only Chinese documents are available. English versions of some of the documents should be available in a few days; this post will then be updated accordingly

Related: News Analysis: China on track to national supervision system – Xinhua “Under the CPC leadership, the Party and the state have different responsibilities but are not separate from one another, and we should be clear-cut and self-confident about that,” Wang said. “Within the Party, the government, the army, the people, academics, and east, west, south, north, center — the Party leads everything,” said Wang, repeating a remark made at a CPC meeting last year that has become familiar to many.

Related: Nothing to see but comfort for Xi at China’s annual parliament | Reuters “Xi does not want any unexpected drama ahead of the congress and has gone out of his way to ensure a low-key parliament,” said a senior Beijing-based Western diplomat…The only evidence of intrigue flickered briefly into life on Chinese social media on Wednesday, as some users parsed the wording of Premier Li’s farewell, wondering if it supported speculation that Li might not have Xi’s backing to keep his job in the autumn. “See you again, if there’s the opportunity,” Li said as he left the stage.

Related: Token Dissent Plummets in China as Comrade Xi’s Power Increases – Bloomberg Only 14 of the 2,838 lawmakers who turned up Wednesday for the closing session of the National People’s Congress voted against approving the annual report on the government’s performance and targets for the coming year. That compares with the 101 dissenting votes cast in 2013

Related: China’s political propaganda gets a digital makeover – BBC News They can claim success in one respect: at the very least they are getting young people to talk about the congress

7. Xinjiang’s Rapidly Evolving Security State – Jamestown- By: Adrian Zenz, James Leibold Using data gleaned from public service postings, it is possible to map the development of this security state in Xinjiang. Beginning in 2006, XUAR public and civil service jobs have been publically advertised on the Chinese Internet in an effort to increase transparency. These recruitment adverts contain a range of useful information, such as the number and types of positions plus specific requirements for residency, ethnicity, and education, among other details. By aggregating recruitment adverts across hundreds of regional websites and then disaggregating and analyzing the resulting data, we have compiled a unique dataset that chronicles the ballooning security footprint in Xinjiang.

Related: Chinese construction team builds mosque with tallest minaret in Africa-China Daily Located in Algeria, the mosque’s minaret stands 265 meters high.

8. Massive parade tipped for PLA’s 90th birthday | South China Morning Post Beijing is likely to hold a large-scale military parade to mark the 90th anniversary of the establishment of the PLA, just a few months ahead of a party leadership reshuffle scheduled to take place late this year, military sources say. A PLA general from the ground force said President Xi Jinping, who is also chairman of the Central Military Commission, was expected to inspect troops on PLA Day on August 1.

 


AnchorBUSINESS, ECONOMY AND TRADE *

《财经洞察》中国“一行三会”合并计划已搁置 MPA新规成就央行霸主地位 | 路透中文网 Comment: Is the financial super-regulator plan dead? Any expected dates for the long-mooted National Financial Work Conference?

Fed Rate Path Looms Over China’s Central Bank – WSJ the Fed still looms large behind the Chinese central bank’s domestic agenda. As the U.S. raises rates, expectations that the dollar will strengthen against the Chinese yuan have solidified, a force that could accelerate capital outflows from China.

Two major Chinese cities to impose new property curbs to deter speculators | Reuters China’s northeastern port of Qingdao has joined more than two dozen major cities in rolling out property curbs as speculators from outside flood the market, while Nanjing in the east intensified policy curbs to tame the market // Comment: And reports of several more

Multinationals Are Rethinking How They Lobby Xi’s China – Bloomberg The Conference Board, whose 1,200 members include Nestle SA and Wal-Mart Stores Inc., is among those exploring how multinationals influence policy, including their greater focus on party organs. The research group expects to publish in May the results of a study on the “changing dynamic of party-state relations” // Comment: Look forward to the report, idea not new, CSIS’ Chris Johnson and Scott Kennedy wrote an excellent piece on it in 2015-“China’s Un-Separation of Powers: The Blurred Lines of Party and Government“, as did Paulson Institute’s Evan Feigenbaum and Damien Ma, also in 2015-For Xi, Politics Comes First and Economy Second. Xi is all about rebuilding the Party and pushing it back into all aspects of the PRC. Remember, one of Xi’s job during the 17th Party Congress was Party building.

Demand for Digging Equipment Offers Fresh Hope for Growth – Caixin Global Sales of excavators had been falling for years before reversing last year and reaching a 15-year high of 14,530 units in February, up nearly 300% from the same period last year, according to the China Construction Machinery Association.

Acupuncture and Amusement Parks: China Rolls Out Service-Economy Gauge – China Real Time Report – WSJ The country’s new “Index of Services Production” rose 8.2% in January and February, the National Bureau of Statistics said Tuesday in its maiden release of the monthly indicator, compiled from data it has long collected. It said the recent rise compared with 8.1% a year earlier.

China to Ease Visa Rules to Woo Foreign Talent – Caixin Global A new pilot program unveiled by the Ministry of Public Security on Thursday allows anyone who has been employed in China for at least two consecutive years to apply for a five-year work permit. Earlier, most foreign employees had to apply for a new work permit every year, even when hired on multiyear contracts.

Breakdowns Ebb on China’s High-Speed Rail – Caixin Global The malfunction rate for high-speed trains dropped by 15% last year, marking a major turning point for a national network that includes more than 22,000 km of track costing more than 4 trillion yuan ($580 million).

Three China Banks Disciplined for Failing to Curb Loan Growth – Caixin Global The disciplinary moves in recent months that targeted the Bank of Ningbo, Bank of Nanjing and Bank of Guiyang were not made public. But analysts familiar with the banks said they failed to meet MPA standards for “general lending,” which includes conventional loans to companies and individuals as well as bond purchases, off-balance-sheet investments, and various loans to other financial institutions.

Boeing’s first overseas factory to be built in China’s Zhoushan – China Daily In the joint-venture completion center, Boeing’s 737 aircraft will be installed with flight entertainment systems and seats. The plant in Zhoushan, 287 km southeast of Shanghai, also provides services such as coating, repair and maintenance of Boeing aircraft.

地方坏账银行再“扩编”达35家 _ 经济参考网 _ 新华社《经济参考报》官方网站 在政策的松绑效应和各地政府的推动之下,地方坏账银行再迎一波设立高峰。最近,山东省的泰合资产管理有限公司、宁波市的宁波金融资产管理股份有限公司和福建省的兴业资产管理股份有限公司先后注册成立。据《经济参考报》记者不完全统计,截至3月13日,全国已设立的地方资产管理公司(AMC)达到35家。与此同时,云南、新疆均在筹备首家地方AMC,安徽、重庆、广东亦在筹备辖内第二家地方AMC。

China to Invest Some Social Security Cash in Stock Market – Caixin Global Lou Jiwei, the chairman of the National Council for Social Security Fund (NCSSF), also sought to reassure workers and retirees of the safety of their nest eggs. Lou said on Wednesday that the government will ensure that 95% of investment of provincial pension funds in financial markets, including deposit insurance products, bonds and stocks, will be profitable.

China consumer day show skewers Nike shoes, Muji foods | Reuters The show also took aim at fake eye doctors for scamming patients, animal breeders for over-using medicines to make animals grow faster, and China’s Wikipedia-like Baike.com.

 


AnchorPOLITICS AND LAW *

郭文贵声称傅政华不完全自由 《明镜》电视YouTube帐号被封 备受争议的中国资本大鳄郭文贵日前在《明镜》新闻网第二次爆料后引发轩然大波,3月13日,郭文贵又在推特上发出一段视频,当中傅政华至少被两名彪形大汉紧跟,期间有记者提问,傅政华滞后了一下脚步,似乎有话要说,但在彪形大汉推搡下,匆匆走向两会会场。 郭配文称“傅快完了……你看他后面跟着的人是中纪委的、内保的。” 一名消息人士向本台提供了一段郭文贵回应这一帖文的录音,称最新消息证实,傅政华处在不完全自由状态下// Comment: The Guo Wengui claims playing out on Twitter and Mingjing are interesting. He is now in the US, Bloomberg had a good piece on him in 2015-Death Threats and Dawn Raids: Welcome to China’s Anti-Graft Drive. Guo is on Twitter, has been attacking Boxun with allegations it has taken money from the CCP, is on a mission to destroy senior public security official Fu Zhenghua, and in two videos on MingjingTV, whose account was suddenly removed from Yutube so they are no longer accessible, made all sorts of allegations against Bruno Wu (吴征, husband of Yang Lan) and Caixin’s Hu Shuli. Exactly what game is being played I am not yet sure.

财新传媒声明_财新网首页_财新网 2017年1月26日和3月8日,北京盘古氏投资有限公司实际控制人郭文贵两次在境外华文网媒发声,其中,对财新传媒及财新传媒总编辑胡舒立女士的声誉进行了诋毁和攻击。这是其继2015年3月底之后的新一轮侮辱诽谤行为。 // Caixin’s statement slamming Guo Wengui’s recent remarks

China’s Xinjiang offers leniency for ‘terrorists’ who turn themselves in | Reuters Police, courts and prosecutors in Xinjiang’s southern region of Kashgar offered “leniency” or “exemption from punishment” in return for full confessions to a wide range of crimes – from planning and inciting terrorism or separatism to making explosives, guns and ammunition.

Li Zhao, wife of reformist leader Hu Yaobang, dies at 96 | South China Morning Post Wife of reformist leader was also well-connected to the top leadership // Comment: There was video from the memorial going around WeChat that I posted in Twitter, one here, another here 

High Work Report Approval Should Not Derail Push for Judicial Reform, Expert Says – Caixin Global Judicial authorities should not be fooled by high approval rates among lawmakers for work reports and become distracted from the underlying problems plaguing the judicial system, Zhang Jianwei, a professor at Tsinghua University’s School of Law, said Wednesday.

网络评论是大家和专家的共同事业-来源:《红旗文稿》2017/5  作者:易涤非 网络评论工作是新形势赋予大家和专家的共同事业。需要警觉的是,虽然宣传工作、群众工作是我们党的光荣传统,但在网络时代发扬这一传统仍然会招致某些别有用心的污蔑攻击。比如,某些特殊势力及其附和者,热衷将网络评论员称为所谓“五毛党”“网络水军”,企图污名化、妖魔化网络评论工作。殊不知,对饱经风霜、久经考验的人们来说,这类现象早已是见怪不怪。历史上,不是曾有过指责农民运动为“痞子运动”、诽谤鲁迅先生是“卢布党”的反动力量吗?那些污蔑者“而今安在哉”?     网络评论工作的性质是“讲理”,任务是报道真相、传播真知、探求真理,这就决定了所有网络评论员必然在服务大众、维护人民利益中取得进步和支持,决定了这项事业必有蓬勃的生机和光明的未来。 (作者单位:中央网信办网评局)// Comment: Official from Cyberspace Administration’s Internet Comments Bureau takes to Red Flag Manuscript to discuss Internet Comment work

 


AnchorFOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS *

Duterte: Concern over Chinese ships in Benham Rise ‘exaggerated’ | The Philippine Star Duterte’s friendly tone towards China was very different from that of Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, who previously expressed concerns over the presence of Chinese vessels in Benham Rise.   Duterte believes that reports about the presence of Chinese ships in Benham Rise were just exaggerated.

China claims right to decide on Scarborough’s fate | The Philippine Star In July 2016, a Hague-based arbitral tribunal under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea has declared the Scarborough Shoal or Bajo de Masinloc as a common fishing ground. The ruling also dismissed China’s nine-dash line, which claims Scarborough part of China’s sole jurisdiction as baseless. Lorenzana said that the United States considers the supposed reclamation of the shoal as a “red line.” “We received reports from the Americans that there were (Chinese) barges already loaded with soil and construction materials going to Scarborough but the Americans, I think, told the Chinese not to do it,” Lorenzana said.

Duterte asks military to tell China vast sea area ‘is ours’ Duterte said he ordered the military to assert ownership of Benham Rise in a friendly way, repeating that his country has no option but to be diplomatic because “I cannot match the might of China.” “My order to my military, you go there and tell them straight that this is ours, but I say it in friendship,” Duterte said in a news conference when asked about the issue in the waters facing the Pacific Ocean.

Pakistan Using Chinese Surface-to-Air Missile System-Breitbart “LY-80 LOMADS [missile system] increases our response capability to current and emerging air defense threats,” Pakistani Army chief Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa said at the system’s induction ceremony in Pakistan.

Saudi king’s visit puts Beijing in Middle East spotlight | South China Morning Post Diplomats and observers say the 81-year-old king’s four-day China trip further underscores China’s steady rise as a counterbalance to US influence in a changing geopolitical landscape.

Xi underlines innovation in military upgrading – Xinhua Speaking to national lawmakers from the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) at the ongoing annual parliamentary session, Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, said efforts should be made to provide greater science and technology support for the PLA.

China’s Navy Gets a New Helmsman (Part 2): Remaining Uncertainties – Jamestown Part 1 of this series discussed Vice Admiral Shen Jinlong’s background, meteoric rise, and recent promotion to PLAN Commander. However, his appointment raises a number of questions about his role in the PLA Navy’s modernization, his promotion’s implication for China’s promotion system, and about his predecessor’s continued presence on the Central Military Commission. Part 2 will explore these important factors in depth and suggest possible conclusions and implications.

China begins new work on disputed South China Sea island | Reuters An image of North Island in the Paracels group taken on March 6 shows recent work including land clearing and possible preparation for a harbor to support what experts believe may be eventual military installations. Initial work was damaged in a typhoon last year

We must move closer to China, says ex-envoy FitzGerald-The Australian “Australia must now rethink the orientation of foreign policy, and the focus we give to China, Asia and the US,” he will say in a speech tonight. “This is not to say we should roll over and let China tickle our tummy. “But we must clear away the mental baggage of dependence, so we can see China clearly, understand it in terms of our national interests, and deal with it on our terms. It is we who are living in the Chinese world, not the US. And it’s we who have to work out how we respond to its disruptions.

 


AnchorHONG KONG, MACAO AND TAIWAN *

Could Taiwan be up next in THAAD trouble? – The China Post Hong Kong-based magazine Asia Week (亞洲週刊) last month published excerpts of an article written by a former Taiwanese naval commander, Lu Li-shih (呂禮詩), who said the military suspected that the U.S. could be selling THAAD to Taiwan soon. The move, Lu said, would enable the U.S. to counter ballistic missiles positioned in southern China aimed at Guam.

Taiwan’s ex-president Ma Ying-jeou charged with leaking details of wiretap probe | South China Morning Post The investigation was into the activities of Wang Jin-pyng, Ma’s political rival and a former speaker of the legislature, and former Democratic Progressive Party whip Ker Chien-ming.

Taiwan says Chinese military threat grows, U.S. regional strategy unclear | Reuters China’s accelerated military development and recent activity by its military aircraft and ships around Taiwan pose an increased threat to the self-ruled island, according to a Taiwanese government defense report draft reviewed by Reuters. The 2017 Quadrennial Defence Review (QDR) also highlights the uncertainty over the future strategic direction of the United States in the region, the impact of Japan flexing its military capabilities and “conflict crisis” potential in the disputed South China Sea.

 


AnchorTECH AND MEDIA *

China’s Censors Briefly Lift Veil on Film Review Process | China Film Insider The less than 10-minute piece broadcast on the “Walk Down Chang’an Avenue” program on CCTV-13 on Saturday night featured China Film Bureau chief Zhang Hongsen in a walk-and-talk Trump to host Xi at Mar-a-Lago interview with CCTV reporter Gu Bing.

Revisions to Patent Law Increase Coverage of High-Tech Industry – Caixin Global The revisions to the Guidelines for Patent Examination will extend proprietary-rights protection to business models and solutions with “technical characteristics.” Analysts said the changes will arm technology firms with a weapon to safeguard their legal rights.

In Search of Revenue, Baidu Overhauls Its Business Engine – Caixin Global In addition to competitive challenges, Baidu’s reputation is still recovering from advertising scandals that rocked the company last year. Its bottom line has been hurt by money-losing businesses. And government regulators have been tightening rules for online advertising, its biggest revenue source.

China’s Finance Giant On the Move — The Information $$ A partnership with Emtek, one of Indonesia’s largest conglomerates that has TV broadcasting, telecom, messaging and payment businesses under its umbrella, would provide Ant with a foothold in Southeast Asia’s most populous country with 250 million people

Beijing to release national artificial intelligence development plan | South China Morning Post Wan Gang, the minister of science and technology, said that the plan, which aims to facilitate the adoption of the technology in a wide range of areas, including “economy, social welfare, environmental protection and national security”, is expected to be released soon

The Tax Man Cometh for China’s Wealthy Net Celebs | Sixth Tone the tax bureau of Beijing’s Chaoyang District has urged one unidentified live-streaming platform to pay back taxes of 60 million yuan ($8.7 million), Beijing Youth Daily reported Monday.

 


AnchorSOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY *

Ancient Tomb Decorated with Vibrant Murals Found in China-LiveScience A 1,000-year-old circular tomb, whose walls are decorated with colorful murals, has been discovered in Datong City, in northern China.

Richard Solomon, Kissinger aide involved in ‘Ping-Pong diplomacy’ with China, dies at 79 – The Washington Post Richard H. Solomon, a China scholar who assisted in the historic “Ping-Pong diplomacy” that led to the opening of U.S.-Sino relations in the 1970s, who became an authority on China’s pressure tactics during negotiations and who, as a top American diplomat, helped end a long-running conflict in Cambodia, died March 13 at his home in Bethesda, Md. He was 79. // Comment: Among his many good works is Chinese Negotiating Behavior: Pursuing Interests Through ‘Old Friends’

The Souls of China: Trailer – YouTube Comment: NIce book trailer by Jonah Kessel. The book looks very interesting, here on Amazon

 


AnchorENERGY, ENVIRONMENT, SCIENCE AND HEALTH *

China’s ‘airpocalypse’ linked to Arctic sea ice loss – BBC News The air pollution that lingered over eastern China for nearly a month in 2013 has been linked to the loss of Arctic sea ice the previous autumn. A study says the haze lasted much longer because the melting ice and increased snowfall altered wind circulation patterns.

China smashes solar energy records, as coal use and CO2 emissions fall once again With millions of jobs up for grabs, China seizes clean tech leadership from U.S.

 


AnchorEDUCATION *

俞敏洪首度回应卸任耿丹学院:民办大学艰难生存_政经频道_财新网 //Comment: Caixin interview with New Oriental founder Yu Minhong on the sad tale of his failure to build a private university


AnchorFOOD AND TRAVEL *

China has finally developed a taste for lobster—and it’s keeping Maine fishermen flush with cash — Quartz As demand has picked up, a slew of vendors have taken to selling Maine lobsters via online platforms, such as Tmall, Alibaba’s Amazon-like retail site. Tellingly, they’re selling them under the moniker “Maine big lobster,” not Boston. // We spent about 10 days in Maine last summer, we were staying on a friend’s island and bought lobsters directly from lobster boats. The videos and pictures we posted on Wechat of the process from purchasing to devouring were extremely popular. We ran into to a lot of PRC tourists, especially on Mt. Desert. The state has a good brand in the PRC.

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