Have a nice weekend.
THE ESSENTIAL EIGHT *
1. All Eyes on China as U.S. Signals New Tack on North Korea – The New York Times Mr. Tillerson will be in China on Saturday, a day after saying in Seoul, South Korea, that the United States would not negotiate with North Korea on freezing its nuclear and missile programs. His interactions with his hosts in Beijing, and whether he takes a hard line with China over its support for North Korea, will be closely watched — as will be the response of China. A sign of the administration’s stance came on Friday as President Trump criticized both North Korea and the Chinese government. “North Korea is behaving very badly,” he said on Twitter. “They have been ‘playing’ the United States for years. China has done little to help!”
Related: US says ‘strategic patience’ on NK is over-The Korea Herald A joint news conference aside, Tillerson spent almost 2 1/2 hours with Japanese Foreign Minister Kishida including a dinner, and another hour with Prime Minister Abe. But his meetings with Yun and Hwang were each confined to about an hour, without a lunch or dinner gathering. Seoul officials said the US side opted not to have a meal together, citing the secretary’s “fatigue.”
Related: Remarks With Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se Before Their Meeting SECRETARY TILLERSON: As to — I will take the latter part of your question, first. As to the suggestion from the Chinese Government that we should stand down our joint military operations in exchange for engaging in talks, we do not believe the conditions are right to engage in any talks at this time. (Inaudible) and standing down our joint military operations. Those operations are an annual event. We’ve been carrying out these joint military operations for over 40 years. When those operations are to be undertaken, it is with clear transparency. We announce to the world that we are going to carry out these operations, so there is no surprise to anyone. And the purpose of those is made quite clear to the North Korean Government, as well. North Korea does not provide any of us the same type of transparency and forewarning when they choose to launch ballistic missiles. So, again, conditions must change before there is any scope for talks to resume, whether they be five-party or six-party.
Related: China to offer plan to defuse Korean tensions-CNN Ahead of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s visit to Beijing, Chinese officials say they will present a plan to help diffuse tensions on the Korean peninsula. CNN’s Matt Rivers has a CNN exclusive interview // Interesting that MoFa officials are going on camera with US networks. Lu Kang on NBC a few months ago, now Xiao Qian with CNN
Related: Ambassador Joseph Yun, Special Representative for North Korea Policy Travel to Beijing and Seoul Special Representative for North Korea Policy Ambassador Joseph Yun will travel to Beijing and Seoul from March 17-23 to continue our close coordination on North Korea policy.
2. Trump, Xi eye Mar-a-Lago summit-AFP according to officials, the plan is running up against differences over how to deal with issues like North Korea, what “deliverables” can come out of the talks and anger over leaks before the meeting was finalized.
3. Trump administration crafting big new arms sales to Taiwan, sources say The Trump administration is crafting a big new arms package for Taiwan that could include advanced rocket systems and anti-ship missiles to defend against China, U.S. officials said, a deal sure to anger Beijing. The package is expected to be significantly larger than one that was shelved at the end of the Obama administration, the officials told Reuters on the eve of a visit to Beijing by U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. // Comment: Nice that this leaks as Tillerson heading to Beijing
Related: Donald Trump is No Friend of Taiwan – Foreign Policy Research Institute – Shelley Rigger The absence of a clear explanation as to what went wrong between Trump’s phone calls with Tsai on December 2 and Xi on February 9 also causes anxiety for Taiwanese. If the call with Tsai was part of a strategy created by Taiwan’s friends in Washington, why did the president-elect go so far off script? And why didn’t his advisors prevent him from saying, not once but twice, that the one China policy could be a bargaining chip? Confusing messages from within the Trump camp (such as Vice President-elect Mike Pence saying not to read too much into the phone call at the same time others in the transition were saying it was an intentional policy shift) only exacerbated this anxiety. Another source of concern is the absence, to date, of people with Taiwan expertise – or even expertise in Asia more broadly – in the Trump White House. According to some reports, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross have ties to China; meanwhile, with the exception of Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, whose policy influence is unclear, and Navarro, none of the Taiwan experts who had been mentioned as possible appointees – Yates, Schriver, Blumenthal, Stokes, Feulner – have been tapped for positions. Matt Pottinger, the National Security Senior Director for Asia, studied in Taiwan, but his views are not well known
Related: Taiwan Plans Military Spending Surge to Counter Rising China – Bloomberg Military expenditures are targeted to rise to 3 percent of gross domestic product next year, up from about 2 percent this year, Minister of National Defense Feng Shih-kuan said Thursday while presenting a report outlining Tsai’s first major security review since becoming president. Taiwan plans to develop indigenous ships, airplanes, weapons and unmanned aerial vehicles, he told lawmakers in Taipei.
Related: Taiwan ex-Vice President’s bodyguard arrested as Chinese spy | Taiwan News A retired national security special service task force commander who served as a bodyguard for former Vice President of Taiwan Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) was found to have engaged in spying operations for the Chinese intelligence agency after his military tenure. Several other spying operations made known to the public the past week include the news that at least 5,000 Chinese spies have infiltrated Taiwan’s military and government, and the detention of a Chinese student for spying. // Comment: How will the Trump administration guarantee that useful intel about any advanced weapons systems the US sells to Taiwan will not end up in Beijing thanks to the numerous PFC spies in Taiwan?
4. Chinese Plans for Disputed South China Sea Shoal in Question – WSJ In an unusual sequence of events this week, a state-owned newspaper quoted the mayor of a Chinese outpost in the region as saying that the local government would build an environmental-monitoring station on Scarborough Shoal—only to later delete the remark from the interview on its website. The Philippines claims Beijing has pledged no construction on the outcrop. The pledge has facilitated the recent rapprochement between the two countries, according to Philippine officials.
Related: Rubio, Cardin Introduce Bill Targeting Chinese Aggression in South China Sea – Press Releases – U.S. Senator for Florida, Marco Rubio U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Ben Cardin (D-MD) today introduced the South China Sea and East China Sea Sanctions Act, which would sanction Chinese individuals and entities that participate in Beijing’s illegitimate activities in the South China Sea and East China Sea.
Related: Philippine military says halts lawmakers trip to South China Sea island | Reuters one senior Philippine general said the cancellation of this week’s trip to Thitu Island, known locally as Pagasa, had more to do with concerns over how China would react.
5. It’s Time to Hit Pause on China Panic – Bloomberg View – Tom Orlick To put it another way, the big message of the NPC isn’t that China’s doubling down on an unsustainable strategy. It’s that the economy’s debt load may be edging toward a more manageable trajectory. To be sure, plenty could happen to knock China off course. At home, a slowing real estate market could eat away at demand. Auto sales have swung into reverse, after the government lifted tax incentives for buying new cars.
Related: Being bullish on China is no longer an outlier view – FT $$ Admitting you are a bull on China takes bravery. You’ll face a barrage of questions about the country’s draconian capital controls and unsustainable leverage. Then there’s the misdirected investment by Beijing and the resulting overcapacity the economy must absorb. However, an increasing number of analysts are publicly confessing their bullishness
6. China adds national pledge to curb housing prices in government work report | South China Morning Post The Chinese central government has added a new line in the final version of its annual work report, pledging to curb surging property prices in big cities, as home prices in central Beijing rise to levels on par with Hong Kong. A day after the revised government work report was published, the Beijing municipal government announced new measures to discourage home buying, including raising down payments for most property deals for second home purchases to an unprecedented 80 per cent.
Related: Beijing unveils measures to cool property market – Xinhua The minimum down payment ratio for second residential houses will be raised to 60 percent from 50 percent, according to the Beijing Municipal Commission of Housing and Urban-Rural Development on Friday. Those who have no home in Beijing but have housing loan records are also to be seen as second home buyers, it added.
Related: 北京、石家庄、广州、郑州…半月内16城加码楼市限购_第一财经 CBN notes that since February 28 16 cities have increased housing purchase restrictions
Related: Central Bank Raises Reverse Repo Rates in Bid to Cool Housing Market – Caixin Global The changes in the open market rates were not big enough to have an actual effect on the real economy, and the main purpose was to cool the latest frenzy in the housing market, Citic Securities analyst Ming Ming said in a research note. He added that the move is an attempt to squeeze leverage and support bank liquidity at the same time.
Related: Residency Rules for School Enrollment Drive Up Property Prices Near Beijing’s Best Institutions – Caixin Global Property bubbles emerged in areas around elite schools after the local government put more pressure on public schools to admit only those children who live locally. The trend is set to accelerate with the baby boom expected now that China has eliminated its one-child policy — many parents believe that choosing the right primary school for their child is vital to getting them into a good high school followed by a prestigious university. // Comment: Rational behavior considering the scarcity of spots in excellent schools in Beijing, the brutal winnowing process through the testing system to get into an elite university, and the fact that private schools are not an option in China if you want your child to go to a top Chinese university. So instead of spending $40k/yr (or $50k/yr+ in a place like NYC) for many years of tuition, you get free education at a good school by buying a property within that school’s catchment area. And it might increase in value…
7. China Leads Trade Push Against U.S. as Mnuchin Engages With G-20 – Bloomberg In meetings in Germany on Friday to discuss the G-20 communique — a kind of mission statement for the global economy — Chinese officials were the most insistent on a commitment to the rules-based system that the World Trade Organization represents, said officials with knowledge of the discussions.
Related: Sino-US trade friction ‘inevitable’ as Beijing awaits Trump envoy-FT $$ Mr Xi and Mr Li will also be interested in hearing from Mr Tillerson what exactly he meant when he said during his confirmation hearings in January that China should be denied access to its island fortifications in the South China Sea. “The important thing is not to cross red lines, for instance Tillerson talking about ‘denying China access’,” says Victor Gao, a former Chinese diplomat. “You can’t do it, so don’t say it.”
Related: Mnuchin Says U.S. Is Seeking to Avoid Trade Wars – WSJ Mr. Mnuchin said Washington is trying to rebalance unfair trade relationships that are harming growth in the world’s largest economic engine. Fixing those inequalities, such as when countries like China manipulate their exchange rates to gain a competitive trade advantage, actually will spur global growth, he said.
8. Coal Production Controls Not on Horizon, China says – Caixin Global “While coal prices remain in or above a reasonable range, we will not introduce measures to reduce quantitative production,” according to a statement posted Thursday on the website of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), China’s top economic planning agency.
BUSINESS, ECONOMY AND TRADE *
Did Xie Zhikun’s Nearly $1 Billion Go Missing? A Private-Equity Mystery – WSJ A representative of Mr. Xie sent two letters, which the Journal has reviewed, to XIO’s office in the Shard skyscraper in London. One letter says that in 2014 Mr. Xie provided 5.8 billion yuan—$940 million at the time—to help set up XIO and to fund the acquisitions of two medium-size companies. The letter demands answers about what happened to what it described as Mr. Xie’s “very significant” investment following six months of “unanswered requests for information and documents.” The second letter asks further questions about what happened to Mr. Xie’s money. Apparently unsatisfied, Mr. Xie in February sued in a Cayman Islands court, accusing XIO Chairwoman Athene Li and CEO Mr. Pacini of receiving “secret profits” from the alleged fraud. // Comment: Xie Zhikun is married to pop star Mao Anmin
VIDEO-Kid Rock Blasts Imported Grills With Shotgun: ‘In Your Face, China’ – Breitbart Kid Rock released a statement coinciding with the introduction of the grills, saying, “I’m not gonna lie. It is more expensive to make things in America. But it’s important to me. I love America, and I want to do all I can to create manufacturing jobs at home.”
Stopping China’s Mercantilism: A Doctrine of Constructive, Alliance-Backed Confrontation | ITIF China’s systematic mercantilism is a threat to the U.S. economy and the very soul of the global trading system. America cannot respond with either flaccid appeasement or economic nationalism; it must assemble an international coalition that pressures China to stop rigging markets and start competing on fair terms.
Trump Adviser Gary Cohn to Sell Stake in Chinese Bank Giant – NYTimes The stock that Mr. Cohn is selling is in the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, which with nearly $3.5 trillion in assets is the biggest on the planet, and it would be valued at about $16 million based on Thursday’s trading, according to details of his holdings in a set of documents issued by the Office of Government Ethics. // Comment: Buying ICBC shares in a side fund when Goldman did their investment turned out to be very lucrative for the participating partners
China Moves Forward With Further Bond Market Opening – Caixin Global Several foreign institutions interviewed by Caixin said a major concern about expanding bond investment in China is that the country’s efforts to clamp down on capital flight may affect cross-border cash flows.
Government Clampdown on Insurers’ High-Yield Offerings Hits Small Firms – Caixin Global Under regulatory pressure that forces them to start selling more-conventional insurance products, small insurers won’t have advantages in terms of marketing, product design, and internal corporate governance, a senior executive of a big Chinese insurer told Caixin. “Because of the liquidity challenge caused by the large number of universal life insurance products sold previously, these insurers are in dire need of cash, and it would prove extremely difficult for them to shift gears all of a sudden,” the executive said.
China’s LeEco, Tesla wannabe, to sell Silicon Valley site amid cash crunch – sources | Reuters Chinese technology conglomerate LeEco is looking to sell a 49-acre U.S. Silicon Valley property less than a year after buying it from Yahoo Inc, sources said, in what is the latest effort by the firm to ride out a cash crunch.
How Franchising Has China’s Couriers Going Postal | Sixth Tone YTO, like the other delivery chains that make up China’s “Big Five” — STO, ZTO, Yunda, and SF — has built up its nationwide coverage by aggressively franchising its operations to local contractors. These contractors, in turn, agree on a commission rate and market themselves under the company’s name. Most operate out of low-rent, back-alley commercial spaces; some specialize in express delivery, and others do not. Lax franchise management and inadequate training mean that customer satisfaction with China’s courier services remains low // Comment: ZTO IPO’d in the US last year,
State-backed shadow funds drive up China valuations-FT $$ The class of investors — with names such as China Life Insurance and China Development Bank Capital — have become some of the most powerful private equity investors in the region over the past two years and have come armed with deep, captive funds that prove difficult for industry watchers to track.
Bipartisan push to raise US scrutiny of Chinese deals in food sector-FT Senate to consider strengthening CFIUS reviews of agricultural sector
China’s new bitcoin rules call for identity check – MarketWatch A draft of the guidelines says Chinese bitcoin exchanges would be subject to current banking and anti-money-laundering laws, and required to collect information to identify their clients, according to people familiar with the matter.
China social credit system: Ant Financial’s Sesame Credit and others give scores that go beyond FICO Sesame Credit is just one of several provincial-level or private pilot programs in China’s push to develop a nationwide social credit system — even as experts warn of data privacy and transparency concerns. The current implementations are currently unconnected, but may ultimately be combined under government leadership. Part financial credibility indicator and part compliance mechanism, the social credit system aims to generate a score for individuals and institutions in China
POLITICS AND LAW *
Communist Party elite pay tribute to late liberal leader’s wife | South China Morning Post Chinese President Xi Jinping and rest of the Politburo Standing Committee attend funeral for Li Zhao, wife of Hu Yaobang // Comment: Very sad, the real reformers have almost all died off, PRC does not make them like they used to
胡德平：回忆母亲李昭_文化频道_财新网 Comment: Caixin publishes Hu Deping’s “Remembering My Mother Li Zhao”
揭秘郭文贵海外爆料：老领导是赵洪祝？第一季后北京给巨款 已全面配合习近平 – YouTube Comment: Boxun offers its theory on what Guo Wengui is up to, claims Xiao Jianhua’s disclosures may bring down Jack Ma among other politicians and magnates
成都再现“雷洋”案：一司机被警方殴打致死 当局封锁消息 Comment: Traffic police reportedly beat an SUV driver to death in Chengdu after he runs into them. News. videos censored, RFA calling it “another Lei Yang case” in reference to the Renda graduate who was beaten to death by Beijing police
Code red: China finally starts to write a proper civil code | The Economist a piece of legislation that was passed on the final day may prove unusually important. It is known by the unlovely name of the General Principles of Civil Law. It sets the stage for China to pass its first civil code, an overarching law governing legal disputes other than those involving crimes. China has a civil-law system, which means that statutes are essential reference for judges.
Full text: Report on China’s economic, social development plan – Xinhua Following is the full text of the Report on the Implementation of the 2016 Plan for National Economic and Social Development and on the 2017 Draft Plan for National Economic and Social Development, which was submitted on March 5, 2017 for review at the Fifth Session of the 12th National People’s Congress and was adopted on March 15
Full text: Report on China’s central, local budgets – Xinhua Following is the full text of the report on the execution of the central and local budgets for 2016 and on the central and local draft budgets for 2017, which was submitted for review on March 5, 2017 at the Fifth Session of the 12th National People’s Congress and was approved on March 15, 2017:
Sinica Podcast: Chris Buckley: The China journalist’s China journalist In this podcast, recorded with a live audience in Beijing, Kaiser and Jeremy ask Chris about his tradecraft and sourcing of stories about elite Chinese politics, his views on Xi Jinping and the anti-corruption campaign, and what we can expect from the 19th Party Congress this fall. Chris also talks about the joys of journalism in a country that makes it very difficult to do. // Comment: Chris is my favorite reporter of Chinese politics. He is careful, his Chinese is excellent, his network very broad, and he and I tend to see eye to eye
直播：安邦吴小晖和川普女婿的曼哈頓房地產生意（《明鏡編輯部》第86期） – YouTube Comment: MingjingTV speaks with Mike Forsyhte of The New York Times about Anbang and the Kushners. Mike does the interview in Chinese
FOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS *
赵克石：积极稳妥推进部队全面停止有偿服务工作-新华网 务必一鼓作气不松劲。全面停止有偿服务，总体上分为停止可控托底、复杂敏感项目和纳入军民融合发展体系3个步骤实施。要按照军委统一部署，坚持先易后难、分步实施、压茬推进。要坚决卡住时间节点，制订路线图、签订责任状，持续用力推进；统一政策指导，严格甄别区分有偿服务、社会化保障和军民融合项目，分类逐项施策，绝不允许任何单位以任何理由开口子、搭便车、搞变通。要紧盯目标任务，坚持标准要求，主动研判形势，梳理矛盾诉求，研究思路对策，综合采取行政、法律和经济手段，把各个项目停止彻底，不达目的不收兵。//Comment: Zhao Keshi in Thursday People’s Daily on getting the PLA fully out of running private businesses. Guess it is not going as fast as desired…
中将谈军队停止有偿服务 党报:已进入攻坚阶段|军队停止有偿服务|赵克石|人民日报_新浪新闻 今天，关于这项工作推出了两个重磅消息： 其一，中央军委委员、军委后勤保障部赵克石部长在人民日报独家刊文《坚决贯彻党中央和中央军委战略决策，积极稳妥推进部队全面停止有偿服务工作》，深刻阐释这项工作的重要意义，回应了群众关切。 其二，最高人民法院近日印发《关于做好为军队和武警部队全面停止有偿服务提供司法保障工作的通知》，就人民法院贯彻党中央关于深化国防和军队改革的战略部署，充分发挥人民法院审判职能，为军队和武警部队全面停止有偿服务提供优质高效的司法保障提出要求。
China, Russia block U.N. council concern about Myanmar violence | Reuters China, backed by Russia, blocked a short U.N. Security Council statement on Myanmar on Friday, diplomats said, after the 15-member body met to discuss the situation in Rakhine state, where the country’s military is conducting a security operation.
The King and Xi: Saudi Leader Pitches for China’s Billions – WSJ officials from both sides stressed how the economies of China and Saudi Arabia increasingly complemented one another. While Saudi Arabia seeks foreign investment to help build a diversified industrial base, China’s leaders are urging companies to seek more business abroad as growth slows at home. China’s Foreign Ministry quoted Mr. Xi as saying China supported Saudi Arabia’s blueprint for economic reform.
French carrier to lead joint amphibious Pacific drill in show of force aimed at China: sources | Reuters In a display of military power aimed at China, France will dispatch one of its powerful Mistral amphibious carriers to lead drills on and around Tinian island in the western Pacific, with Japanese and U.S. personnel and two troop-carrying helicopters sent by Britain, two sources told Reuters.
Missile row drives Korean culture underground in China | Reuters “Korean dramas, and especially variety shows, are no longer being updated, so I can’t watch any more. There are no links – it’s a bit annoying, really,” said Cai. “For a lot of young Chinese who like Korean culture, it’s a real shame.” Cai added that eager viewers were already finding alternative channels.
The Other Side of the World: China, the United States, and the Struggle for Middle East Security | Center for Strategic and International Studies In this Brzezinski Institute report, Jon Alterman considers the ways in which the U.S. and Chinese governments have approached the Middle East and the Asian space leading to it and the implications that potential shifts would have not only for their bilateral ties but also for the future of geopolitics more broadly.
Stephen FitzGerald: Managing Australian foreign policy in a Chinese world This is an edited extract of the 2017 Whitlam Oration, delivered by Stephen FitzGerald, Australia’s first ambassador to the People’s Republic of China (1973-76), at the Whitlam Institute, Western Sydney University, on March 16, 2017.
China’s Premier to Visit Australia Next Week to Push Trade – Bloomberg Li will visit Canberra, Sydney and Auckland on the week-long trip from March 22 to March 29. It will be the most senior visit from a Chinese official since President Xi Jinping’s trip in 2014.
HONG KONG, MACAO AND TAIWAN *
Taxman cracks down on Uber Taiwan | Taiwan News The taxman sent officials to the headquarters of Uber Taiwan Wednesday to seize office equipment and to the Deutsche Bank to freeze NT$11.84 million (US$383,000) in company savings over NT$51.24 million (US$1.66 million) in unpaid business taxes.
72 Taiwan schools found to have signed ‘inappropriate’ study pledges–FocusTaiwan During a two-week investigation, 72 schools reported to the ministry that they signed such study pledges with their Chinese counterparts from 2005-2017, Education Minister Pan Wen-chung (潘文忠) said. The ministry “does not recognize” such pledges, he added.
TECH AND MEDIA *
Google, Facebook Build a Data Highway to Asia—Financed by a Chinese Developer – WSJ Backers hope to have Pacific Light operating in late 2018. The elder Mr. Wei’s company, Pacific Light Data Communication Co., will own 60%, Eric Wei said, and Google and Facebook will each own 20%. The project cost is estimated at $500 million, and the Chinese company hired U.S. contractor TE SubCom to manufacture and lay the 17-millimeter wide, 7,954-mile long cable.
Oriental DreamWorks Heads for Restructuring, Sale | Variety The sources say that Comcast is in talks with Oriental DreamWorks’ Chinese backers, including China Media Capital and Shanghai Alliance Investment Ltd., about possibly giving up DWA’s 45% stake in the venture. If that happens, it would mark the end of one of the highest-profile linkups between Hollywood and China.
Alibaba Makes 1 Billion Yuan Game-Distribution Play – Caixin Global At the core of its new push into game distribution is an alliance with four existing operators: Russia’s Mail.ru Group, Holland’s TFJoy, China-focused Efun and Middle East-focused ONEMT. That combination reflects Alibaba’s view that while Western gaming markets are more mature, there is still plenty of room for growth in developing markets like the Middle East and Russia.
Paramount Working to Keep Film-Financing Deal on Track – WSJ Viacom Chief Financial Officer Wade Davis is in China meeting with the companies, Shanghai Film Group Corp. and Huahua Media, according to people familiar with the matter. The studio has been in turmoil since the financing arrangement was announced two months ago, including the ouster in February of Paramount Chief Executive Brad Grey, who negotiated the deal
网信办：新浪网易等6网站整改效果良好 准予通过年检 -中新网 // Comment: CAC says Sina, Global Times, Netease among 6 sites that have appropriately rectified themselves and so can pass the annual inspection
Ant Financial Partners With Bike Sharing Firm Ofo To Expand Use Of Sesame Credit – China Money Network Users with over 650 in Ant Financial’s Sesame Credit, a personal credit rating system, can rent fofo bikes without having to pay the RMB99 (US$14) deposit. Shanghai will be the first city to implement the new tool.
Apple Pledges New Centers in China as Cook Set to Address Major Government Conference – WSJ Mr. Cook is expected to mention those commitments in a speech on innovation and corporate social responsibility at the China Development Forum, an event for discussion between China’s senior leadership and global business executives that begins Saturday.
SOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY *
Tai Chi Encourages Calm. So Why Are Its Chinese Fans Stressing Out? – The New York Times “Both South Korea and Japan are competing with us to get tai chi registered,” Mr. Zhang told reporters. “Especially South Korea. Some people there are claiming tai chi was invented by Koreans. And since South Korea has already registered the Dragon Boat Festival as theirs, we should be alarmed.”
ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT, SCIENCE AND HEALTH *
China’s New-Energy Vehicle Sales Fire on All Cylinders – Caixin Global Sales of new-energy vehicles, including electric cars and hybrids, grew by 30% in February from a year earlier to 17,600 units, much better than the sales of only 5,700 a month earlier, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM). The pullback in January was due to a sudden government move in December to re-evaluate the catalog of vehicles eligible for incentives, affecting nearly 2,200 models.
AGRICULTURE AND RURAL ISSUES *
Farmers Slash Corn Planting as China’s Stockpiles Decay – Bloomberg While China’s agricultural output has surged along with its robust economic growth, state-run stockpiles are overwhelming demand and prompting the government to reevaluate costly buying programs intended to bolster food security. With the end of a support-price system last year and a 20 percent slump in futures, the corn harvest probably will drop in 2017 for a second straight year. The government is also trying to find other uses for the deteriorating grain reserves such as ethanol for vehicle fuel.
Migrant Parents Pen Letter to Government About School Quota | Sixth Tone With fewer than 90 days to go until primary school registration begins, migrant workers sent a letter earlier this month to the education bureau of Guangzhou, the capital of southern China’s Guangdong province, to request more places for their children in public schools.
The Beijing Rooftoppers Who’ll Do (Almost) Anything for the Shot – That’s Beijing Comment：Have any died yet? seems like very much a 找死 exercise
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