The Sinocism China Newsletter 03.29.17–Anbang-Kushner Deal Dead, Alleged US Spy For China Arrested

According to the New York Post Anbang has ended deal talks with Jared Kushner’s family’s company. The article Chinese investor backs out of Kushner Companies project goes on to note that:

While the Chinese insurance company, Anbang, is no longer part of the redevelopment, other money partners are stepping forward, sources say. “Kushner Companies remains in active, advanced negotiations around 666 Fifth Ave. with a number of potential investors,” the spokesman added.

With Jared Kushner focused on his White House job — and no one wants to interfere with that mission — everyone at the Kushner firm, from father Charles to mom Seryl Kushner, and Laurent Morali, firm president, are maintaining a Chinese wall when it comes to investors.

The negative press that besieged both Kushner and Anbang made it clear they could not move forward together on the deal.

“Now, the Kushners are weighing [each potential investor] and whether there is a conflict or even a perceived conflict,” said a source.

If Anbang pulled the plug why did they do so? Was it just a bad deal financially, could they not get the money out of China to close it, or did the PRC government intervene out of concerns that a deal that so enriched the family of top Trump adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner was actually so sketchy that it could end up damaging US-China relations?

The Trump-Xi meeting at Mar-a-Lago is on for next week, though Xi is apparently not staying at Mar-a-Lago but rather at the Eau Palm Beach Resort and Spa in Manalapan. Regardless, all that PRC media exposure for Mar-a-Lago will be worth millions in free advertising for the property and may drive a surge in PRC membership interest. Have the Mar-a-Lago staffers thought about creating a membership plan and/or marketing push just for PRC citizens?

Just in time for next week’s meeting comes news today that a State Department employee has been arrested and charged with concealing extensive contacts with Chinese agents:

“Candace Marie Claiborne is a U.S. State Department employee who possesses a Top Secret security clearance and allegedly failed to report her contacts with Chinese foreign intelligence agents who provided her with thousands of dollars of gifts and benefits,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General McCord…

According to the affidavit in support of the complaint and arrest warrant, which was unsealed today, Claiborne began working as an Office Management Specialist for the Department of State in 1999. She has served overseas at a number of posts, including embassies and consulates in Baghdad, Iraq, Khartoum, Sudan, and Beijing and Shanghai, China. As a condition of her employment, Claiborne maintains a Top Secret security clearance. Claiborne also is required to report any contacts with persons suspected of affiliation with a foreign intelligence agency.

Despite such a requirement, the affidavit alleges, Claiborne failed to report repeated contacts with two intelligence agents of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), even though these agents provided tens of thousands of dollars in gifts and benefits to Claiborne and her family over five years. According to the affidavit, the gifts and benefits included cash wired to Claiborne’s USAA account, an Apple iPhone and laptop computer, Chinese New Year’s gifts, meals, international travel and vacations, tuition at a Chinese fashion school, a fully furnished apartment, and a monthly stipend. Some of these gifts and benefits were provided directly to Claiborne, the affidavit alleges, while others were provided through a co-conspirator.

According to the affidavit, Claiborne noted in her journal that she could “Generate 20k in 1 year” working with one of the PRC agents, who, shortly after wiring $2,480 to Claiborne, tasked her with providing internal U.S. Government analyses on a U.S.-Sino Strategic Economic Dialogue that had just concluded.

So who is the co-conspirator?

On a housekeeping note, I am going to make Sinocism a fee-based newsletter sometime in April. There will still be a free weekly version. The voluntary donation model just does not work, and the few of you who have contributed recently (thanks) will be credited when I switch to the paid service. I have not yet decided on the monthly pricing (but it will be at least $10/mo) and exact timing so look out for updates.

Today’s Links:

AnchorTHE ESSENTIAL EIGHT *

1. Trump in Palm Beach: Where will Chinese president stay?-Palm Beach Post President Donald Trump will meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach next week, according to Lantana Police Chief Sean Scheller. Scheller made the announcement Monday at the Lantana Town Council meeting, and said the Chinese president plans to stay at the Eau Palm Beach Resort and Spa in Manalapan. He will be in town April 6 (Thursday) and 7 (Friday) // Comment: I wonder how the Palm Beach police and Secret Service will deal with all the pro and anti-PRC protestors who are going to descend on palm Beach next wek

Related: While Trump is preparing for Xi Jinping’s visit, his pick for ambassador to China is still governing Iowa — Quartz Republicans have a majority in the Senate, but a hearing date has not yet been set. That’s because “Governor Branstad’s file is not complete,” said Sean Bartlett, spokesman for Ben Cardin, the top ranking Democrat on the committee. That means the committee “has not received all his paperwork from the Office of Government Ethics,” Bartlett said. “So there’s a delay either at the White House, State, or the OGE.”

Related: Gideon Rachman on ‘Easternization’: What Does a China-Dominated World Look Like? – The Atlantic Ahead of the Trump-Xi summit in Palm Beach, I spoke with Rachman about how he understands Trumpism, how the Trump administration might accelerate Easternization, and what a world dominated by China might actually look like. Below is an edited and condensed transcript of our conversation.

Related: Buyer of Donald Trump’s Childhood Home Said to Be a Chinese Woman – The New York Times The identity of the person behind Trump Birth House, the limited liability company that bought the home, is not known. But a person with direct knowledge of the deal said the buyer was a woman from China. A secretary for Michael X. Tang, the lawyer who represented Trump Birth House in the transaction, said on Tuesday that he was not available for comment.

2. China’s Big Three Near Completion | Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative Major construction of military and dual-use infrastructure on the “Big 3”—Subi, Mischief, and Fiery Cross Reefs—is wrapping up, with the naval, air, radar, and defensive facilities that AMTI has tracked for nearly two years largely complete. Beijing can now deploy military assets, including combat aircraft and mobile missile launchers, to the Spratly Islands at any time.

Related: Duterte to US: Why didn’t you send armada vs China islands? – ABC News Duterte said in a speech that U.S. Ambassador Sung Kim was unable to reply to the question when they met Monday in southern Davao city, where the president had a separate meeting with the Chinese ambassador. While criticizing the U.S., Duterte did not berate China’s behavior in his speech…”Had America really wanted to avoid trouble, early on … why did you not send the armada of the 7th Fleet which is stationed there in the Pacific, you just make a U-turn and go there and tell them right on their face, stop it?” Duterte said he asked Kim, referring to the U.S. naval fleet based in Japan.

Related: China, Philippines to hold talks on maritime issues in May – People’s Daily Online During the 20th diplomatic consultation between the two countries in January, China and the Philippines agreed to set up a bilateral consultation mechanism on the South China Sea issue to discuss issues of common concern and foster maritime cooperation and security.

3. As Trump reverses Obama’s climate plans, China’s leadership moment arrives – The Washington Post For years, U.S. opponents of climate action used China as an excuse. Why, they asked, should the United States adopt measures to slow climate change that would be overwhelmed by a rapidly growing Chinese economy, fueled by coal plants spewing greenhouse gases? How things have changed. This year, it is the Chinese government that has continued to embrace bold climate action, while President Trump on Tuesday moved to roll back a signature U.S. climate program aimed at capping emissions from coal plants and other sources — even as his administration is also seeking to slash government funding for research into better renewable technologies.

Related: China Aims to Cut Coal Imports in Shift to Cleaner Energy – Bloomberg Bloomberg Intelligence’s Joseph Jacobelli and Bloomberg’s Perry Williams discuss China’s energy policies with Bloomberg’s Betty Liu and Haidi Lun on “Bloomberg Daybreak: Australia.

Related: China Set to Displace North America With Carbon Capture Projects – Bloomberg Construction on the Yanchang Integrated Carbon Capture and Storage Project will begin after a final investment decision was taken to go ahead with the demonstration site, according to the Global CCS Institute, a non-profit organization that has provided technical and advisory support for the initiative. The project was undertaken as a part of China’s 2015 deal with the U.S. to combat climate change. When complete, it will be able to capture 410,000 metric tons of carbon a year. It’s one of eight large-scale CCS projects — in varying stages of evaluation and subject to approval — that China is considering, according to Tony Zhang, senior adviser at the institute.

4. 河南兰考:为了一份殷重的嘱托_CCTV Comment: March 28 CCTV Evening News top story on Lankao, Henan, emerging from poverty. Don’t ignore the propaganda example of Jiao Yulu or underestimate Xi’s determination to eradicate poverty

Related: 中央纪委公开曝光八起扶贫领域腐败问题典型案例—中央纪委监察部网站  //  Comment: CCDI announces eight “typical cases” of corruption in poverty alleviation efforts

Related: The End of Poverty in China? by Hannah Ryder – Project Syndicate China’s government is committed to finishing the task, with the aim of reducing rural poverty essentially to zero by 2020. The authorities first made the pledge at the United Nations in 2015, and have reiterated it in subsequent official settings. But fulfilling that promise – which would now entail improving the wellbeing of about 45 million people, roughly equivalent to Sudan’s entire population – will carry significant costs.

5. China’s Extraordinary Response to the 11-Nation Letter Over the Torture of Human Rights Lawyers « China Change When on March 1 Chinese media launched a sudden and all-out smear campaign claiming that the torture of human rights lawyer Xie Yang (谢阳) was a fabrication, and that Western media coverage of it was “fake news,” many of us wondered what this outburst was all about. A UN Human Rights Council meeting? The German Chancellor’s planned visit? Now we know. On February 27, diplomatic missions in Beijing from 11 countries wrote a letter, expressing their “growing concern over recent claims of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment in cases concerning detained human rights lawyers and other human rights defenders.”

Related: Letter to Beijing – WSJ  The U.S. hasn’t said publicly why it didn’t sign or who made the decision, but one State Department official told the Washington Post that the inaction was mainly the result of timing, as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is only recently on the job. President Trump is set to meet Mr. Xi in the coming weeks with a long agenda. An American signature on the letter would send a message that the U.S. won’t stay silent about human rights no matter the other bilateral priorities. // Comment: Will Trump raise human rights with Xi Jinping next week? And will he raise the case of Sandy Phan-Gillis, an American citizen who has been detained in China for two years, charged with spying? 

6. Chongqing police to punish those skirting China’s Great Firewall | South China Morning Post They ban individuals and organisations from establishing or using channels to connect to international networks, and target businesses that help users to connect to such services. The rules came into effect in July 2016 but the details were published on the government’s website only on Monday.

Related: Fei Chang Dao: Court Cites GFW Circumvention Software in Convicting Man for Three Tweets That Incited Ethnic Hatred According to a judgment issued by the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region Kuitun Municipal People’s Court in March 2016 (translated below) Tian Weiguo was sentenced to three years imprisonment for three posts he made on Google Plus and Twitter that “incited ethnic hatred.” In its judgment the court specifically noted that Tian had used software to circumvent China’s Great Firewall in order to make his posts on overseas websites.

7. China extradition deal collapses as Malcolm Turnbull pulls plug under pressure from Labor, backbenchers Comment: China is solely responsible for this, legitimate concerns that many were going to look past were made impossible to ignore by China’s prevention of Feng Chongyi from returning home to Australia, while Li Keqiang was still in Australia.

Related: Australia holds emergency meeting with China after extradition treaty failure | Reuters Eager to head-off any possible diplomatic fallout, Bishop met with China’s ambassador to Australia, Cheng Jingye, on Tuesday, the source said. The Australian newspaper reported that the ambassador expressed “disappointment” at the canceled vote.  //Comment: Did Bishop also demand that Feng Chongyi be allowed to return home?

Related: Former CSIS directors question Canada’s pursuit of extradition treaty with China – The Globe and Mail Two former Canadian spymasters are questioning the wisdom of pursuing an extradition treaty with China, an undertaking the Liberal government announced shortly after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made his first official visit to the Asian power.

8. ‘Made in China 2025’ Initiative Gets New Boost – Caixin Global The People’s Bank of China (PBOC), the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, and the three financial regulators who supervise banking, securities and insurance, pledged to give businesses better access to bank loans, initial public offerings, and bond issuance. They also called on insurance companies to mobilize their vast financial resources to invest in manufacturing companies, according to joint guidelines issued on Tuesday.

Related: China’s Top Chipmaker Secures $22 Billion to Expand Globally – Bloomberg The state-linked chip-maker will receive a total of 100 billion yuan from China Development Bank, a policy lender overseen by the country’s cabinet, in the years till 2020. It’ll get another 50 billion yuan from a national chip fund set up in 2014 to drive advances in domestic semiconductors, Unigroup said in a statement on its website.

AnchorBUSINESS, ECONOMY AND TRADE *

Authorities Join Forces in Bid to Save Huishan Dairy – Caixin Global The liquidity crisis has drawn attention from the governments of both Liaoning province and its capital, Shenyang, where the dairy company is based. The Hongling Capital statement said the governments together have set up five emergency response groups of officials to cope with the restructuring of Huishan Dairy. A creditor commission has been set up and held its first meeting on Tuesday afternoon, where local government officials called upon creditors not to call in loans and not to file lawsuits — a move that aims to pave the way for the company to attract investors and “maintain social and financial stability.”

Huishan Dairy Denies Embezzlement Rumors – Caixin Global Huishan Dairy’s board of directors has been unable since March 21 to contact Ge Kun, who oversees the company’s treasury and cash operations and maintains relationships with major bankers, the company’s stock exchange statement said. Yang Kai, the company’s chairman, received a letter from Ge saying that recent work stress “had taken a toll on her health,” and so she was taking a leave of absence and did not want to be contacted, according to the statement.

Huishan Turmoil Highlights China’s $8 Trillion Shadow Loan Risk – Bloomberg Jilin Jiutai Rural Commercial Bank Corp., a major creditor to embattled China Huishan Dairy Holdings Co., said late Tuesday it has extended a total of 1.35 billion yuan ($196 million) in credit to the dairy producer, including 750 million yuan through the purchase of investment receivables from a finance lease company.

Three Cities Join Growing Push to Combat Frenzied Homebuying – Caixin Global Hangzhou, Xiamen and Fuzhou are joining the growing number of cities in China that are tightening rules on homebuying in an effort to cool down surging home prices.

Faraday Future cancels plans for second factory in San Francisco Bay Area – Business Insider Seen as a threat to Tesla at its inception, Faraday is primarily backed by tech billionaire Jia Yueting, the chief executive of the media and electronics conglomerate, LeEco. Jia’s company has had its own money problems and mass layoffs in the last few months, which were followed by the rumored sale of a 49-acre property LeEco bought from Yahoo less than a year ago in Silicon Valley. // Comment: And PingWest says all of LeEco’s US plans may be in jeopardy 交易叫停、卖地止血:乐视能保住美国的“第二主场”吗? 

LeEco’s $2 Billion Acquisition of Vizio Stalls – Caixin Global LeEco’s effort to buy the largest television manufacturer in the U.S. has stalled, as tighter currency controls in China put the $2 billion deal on hold. The delay comes at a convenient time for LeEco, which is facing a cash crunch acknowledged by its chairman, Jia Yueting, in November.

Fosun CEO Liang Xinjun Steps Down, Citing Health Reasons – Caixin Global Ding Guoqi, executive director and senior vice president, also stepped down to “devote more time to family commitments.” Liang, 48, co-founded the company in Shanghai with Chairman Guo Guangchang and other members in 1992…Wang Qunbin, another executive director, will replace Liang as CEO.

Shandong Gold Says It May Have Found China’s Biggest Gold Mine – Bloomberg The Xiling mine in Shandong province told local authorities it had found 382.58 tons of gold reserves and that the volume could reach more than 550 tons once exploration is completed in two years, which would make it China’s largest mine

Chinese Firm Takes Stake in U.S. Investment Bank Cowen – NYTimes CEFC has risen rapidly in Chinese energy and finance — two industries dominated by government interests — since it was founded in 2002 by Ye Jianming. Currently the firm’s chairman, he started the company when he was still in his 20s.

Chinese Investment in U.S. Aviation | U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission The report examines Chinese investment in U.S. aviation and related university connections with Chinese entities and assesses the implications of the resulting technology transfer on U.S. national security and aviation industry competitiveness. This report was prepared for the Commission by the RAND Corporation.

U.S. launches probe into Chinese aluminum foil imports | Reuters The United States has launched a probe to determine whether imports of Chinese aluminum foil should be subject to anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties, the Commerce Department said on Tuesday, just weeks after the U.S. foil industry accused the world’s top producer of dumping.

Audi Backs Off Plan for Second Joint Venture in China – Caixin Global Audi agreed to relaunch the SAIC joint venture plan when annual sales volume in China reaches 900,000 cars, roughly 50% more than current sales, according to Li Yanwei, an analyst at China Automobile Dealers Association. Audi also agreed not to establish a new sales network and to sell cars through Audi’s current China dealership network.

In China, Deals Thought to Be With Disney Turn Out Less Than Magical – The New York Times The Walt Disney Company said on Wednesday that it had parted ways with Mr. Meng — it did not say whether he resigned or was fired — after opening an investigation into allegations that he had signed deals with local governments for Disney-related projects. The brazenness of the apparent duplicity highlights the risks for foreign companies operating in China

Chinese tech giant Tencent buys 5% stake in Tesla – LA Times

China Stocks Have Best Start to Year Since 2006 – Bloomberg

China telecom firm ZTE removed from U.S. trade blacklist | Reuters

Watch out Macau and Vegas: Beijing’s global gambling crackdown revealed | South China Morning Post

AnchorPOLITICS AND LAW *

CPC Central Committee calls to institutionalize education campaign – Xinhua According to a circular issued by the general office of the CPC Central Committee made public on Tuesday, the campaign was launched in 2016 and focuses on the study of the Party Constitution and code of conduct, as well as the speeches made by Xi Jinping, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee. A series of remarks made by Xi are the latest achievements in the theoretical system of socialism with Chinese characteristics, and they mark the latest development of contemporary Marxism in China, it said. 中共中央办公厅印发《关于推进“两学一做”学习教育常态化制度化的

CPC stresses clean selection of cadres – Xinhua A conference held by the Organization Department of the CPC Central Committee urged that CPC cadres should maintain loyalty to the Party and ensure a clean political environment.

Chinese leaders attend funeral of former senior political advisor – Xinhua Xi Jinping, Li Keqiang, Zhang Dejiang, Yu Zhengsheng, Liu Yunshan, Wang Qishan, Zhang Gaoli, as well as Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao either visited Wan when he was in hospital or extended their condolences after his death. //Comment: CCTV Evening News on the funeral, second story, 4:15 minutes 万国权同志遗体在京火化 Hu JIntao makes an appearance in this report, looks like he has lost weight

China to Review Life Sentence in Slaying of Debt Collector in Wake of Public Uproar – Caixin Global There is no question that Yu Huan, 22, stabbed and killed the debt collector, who had come with a dozen associates last year to demand additional interest payments from the son and mother. The altercation broke out at the family automotive brake-pad factory located in Liaocheng, about 500 km south of Beijing. But an investigative article by China’s Southern Weekly published last week that quoted witnesses saying the debt collector had exposed himself to the mother during the shakedown sparked a huge online debate. That article led the regional court in Shandong province, which administers Liaocheng, to order a review of the sentence as well as to tell prosecutors to check out whether police had acted properly when called to the scene shortly before the slaying.

中宣部新命名一批全国爱国主义教育示范基地-新华网 近日,中宣部新命名41个全国爱国主义教育示范基地。目前,全国爱国主义教育示范基地总数达到428个,基本覆盖了从中国共产党成立到解放战争胜利各个历史时期的重大历史事件、重要人物和重要革命纪念地。// Comment: Ministry of Propaganda announces another set of “Patriotic Education Demonstration Bases”, now there are 428 nationwide

Former senior political advisor, police chief of Tianjin stands trial for graft – Xinhua The people’s procuratorate of Zhengzhou City in central China’s Henan Province alleged that Wu Changshun took advantage of his posts to illegally hold 342 million (about 49.7 million U.S. dollars) in public funds through companies directly under his control. Wu was also indicted for accepting bribes worth about 84.4 million yuan directly or through his family, and seeking personal interests by embezzling public funds amounting to 101 million yuan for the profit-making activities of entities. 天津市政协原副主席、市公安局原局长武长顺贪污、受贿、挪用公款、单位行贿、滥用职权、徇私枉法案一审开庭 // Comment: That is a lot of money, death penalty level?

Chinese Communist Party targets university known for global outlook | South China Morning Post Shantou University, which has had Pullitzer Prize winners teach at its journalism school, is under fire for not toeing ideological line

AnchorFOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS *

中央军委办公厅印发《关于开展维护核心、听从指挥主题教育活动和推进“两学一做”学习教育常态化制度化的意见》-新华网  Comment: CMC Office follows on the circular issued by the general office of the CPC Central Committee made public on Tuesday about institutionalizing the education campaign.

China applauds U.S. Supreme Court’s decision regarding “comfort woman” statue – Xinhua China on Wednesday applauded the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to reject an appeal filed by Japanese-Americans seeking the removal of a “comfort woman” statue in California. “The conscription of comfort women was a grave anti-human crime of Japanese militarism committed against Asian countries victimized during World War II,” said Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang at a daily press briefing. “The crimes of Japanese militarism are irrefutable and cannot be denied.”

TASS: Chinese vice premier to visit Russia in late March The Arctic: Territory of Dialogue” forum is one of the key platforms for discussing the problems and prospects of the Arctic region. It is aimed at pooling the world community’s efforts for the effective development of the Arctic region. Participants in the forum that has been held since 2010 discuss improvement of living standards in the Arctic territories, the development of the transport system and environmental issues

Liberals reverse course on Chinese takeover of Montreal high-tech firm – The Globe and Mail The Trudeau government has approved a Chinese takeover of a Montreal high-tech firm, a deal that national-security agencies had warned Ottawa in 2015 would undermine a technological edge that Western militaries have over China. Hong Kong-based O-Net Communications announced on Monday that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s cabinet had given it the green light to acquire ITF Technologies, a leader in fibre-laser technology.

China’s Marine Corps is getting bigger and stronger | Popular Science At the center of the plan multiplying the relatively small force five times—from about 20,000 uniformed personnel to potentially over 100,000 Marines.

Noida: Protests after Chinese national ‘tears’ Indian flag, throws it in dustbin | noida | Hindustan Times The incident, reported from the Sector 63 Noida office of mobile phone company Oppo, triggered protests by hundreds of employee, prompting the police to step in.

A US jury just convicted two men for selling a secret Oreo-whitening technique to China — Quartz The method was stolen from chemical giant DuPont and sold for more than $20 million to a Chinese state-owned rival, Pangang Group, whose previous attempts to buy the recipe from DuPont had been rebuffed. The conviction of Walter Lian-Heen Liew and Robert Maegerle, handed down on March 6 by a US federal jury after six weeks of testimony, is part of a growing trend trend of economic espionage committed on behalf of Chinese firms

What does Chinese investment mean for New Zealand? | Stuff.co.nz There are also geopolitical considerations, with China trying to boost its leadership credentials through “soft power” as the United States increasingly looks inward, having withdrawn from the 12-nation TPPA free trade deal under Donald Trump. So should we be wary about taking sides? Jacobi says it’s not about New Zealand picking a winner, but doing whatever deals are possible while “pushing on any open doors there are in the US”.

America’s hidden role in Chinese weapons research | South China Morning Post Many of the scientists returning to China have worked at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, the birthplace of the atomic bomb, the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, which plays a key role in today’s US nuclear weapons programme, or the Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio. While the numbers remain unknown, so many scientists from Los Alamos have returned to Chinese universities and research institutes that people have dubbed them the “Los Alamos club”.

Q&A: Moniz looks to get U.S. nuclear scientists more engaged with China and Russia | Science | AAAS

China’s Saudi drone factory compensates for US ban | Middle East Eye

A Quick Note On Rising People’s Liberation Army Air Force Activities in Tibet | Delhi Defence Review

On State TV, Chinese Forces Storm a Compound a Lot Like Bin Laden’s – NYTimes

More clashes in Paris as family of dead Chinese man dispute police account of shooting | South China Morning Post

AnchorHONG KONG, MACAO AND TAIWAN *

‘Let me visit my husband,’ wife of detained Taiwanese rights activist urges Beijing | South China Morning Post Chinese authority states Li Ming-che is in good health, after being picked up crossing into Guangdong province from Macau

Beijing will rely more on ‘legal means’ to strengthen authority in Hong Kong | South China Morning Post

AnchorTECH AND MEDIA *

Behind the Decline at China’s Tech Giant Baidu — The Information Current and former Baidu employees blame the company’s management for many of its woes. They describe a sprawling internet conglomerate that has spread its resources thin while struggling to find new revenue sources. Some employees complain that the company’s investment strategy in new business areas often came too late because Baidu was reacting to innovations instead of leading them. Others at the company’s cash-cow search advertising business expressed frustration that they are carrying the weight for other teams that grab attention but make little money.

Axios-Behind the fall of Quixey September 2014: Alibaba goes public, in the largest tech IPO of all time. Changes to the corporate structure mean that Quixey is now working with different people (Alibaba’s Joe Tsai, for example, is no longer directly involved), and quarterly road-maps are soon supplemented by weekly deliverables (sometimes sent directly to Quixey engineers from Alibaba engineers, as the latter company’s various fiefdoms become more pronounced). Quixey finds the changes disruptive and doesn’t believe Alibaba is holding up its end of the monetization bargain.

Google makes its Translate mobile apps available for users in China | TechCrunch

Death of 11-Year-Old Boy Puts Shared-Bike Operators in Hot Seat – Caixin Global

AnchorENERGY, ENVIRONMENT, SCIENCE AND HEALTH *

Westinghouse Files for Bankruptcy, in Blow to Nuclear Power – The New York Times General Electric, a pioneer in the field, has scaled back its nuclear operations, expressing doubt about their economic viability. Areva, the French builder, is mired in losses and undergoing a large-scale restructuring. Among the winners could be China, which has ambitions to turn its growing nuclear technical abilities into a major export. That has raised security concerns in some countries.

Underground labs in China are devising potent new opiates faster than authorities can respond | Science In late 2015, the drug agency persuaded its Chinese counterpart to add 116 synthetic drugs to its list of controlled substances; fentanyl and several analogs were included. In response, underground Chinese labs began tweaking the fentanyl molecule, which is easy to alter for anyone with basic knowledge of chemistry and lab tools. By adding chemical groups, unscrupulous chemists have created new, unregulated variants, some of them even more potent than the original.

Global Drugmakers Poised for Windfall of Approvals in China – Bloomberg

A bigger catch: China’s fishing fleet hunts new ocean targets-FT $$

AnchorEDUCATION *

Stakeholders in China’s education sector ponder the future of and competition surrounding international schools in Beijing – Global Times Avenues Beijing is meant to be a cooperation between Avenues and the High School Affiliated with Renmin University of China and would hold over 3,200 Chinese and foreign students. It was scheduled to open in 2016 but has yet to open its doors. It is not the first time the school has missed its own deadline  //  Comment: but Keystone, rumored to be backed by Wen Jiabao’s some Winston, doesn’t seem to have any issues, and apparently got a special exemption to accept PRC passport-holding kids. wonder how…

AnchorFOOD AND TRAVEL *

Hilton Expands Resort Footprint With Debut In Tibet Autonomous Region | Hilton Hotels & Resorts Global Media Center LINZHI, China and MCLEAN, Va. – Hilton (NYSE: HLT) today announced the opening of Hilton Linzhi Resort in China’s Tibet Autonomous Region. Hilton Linzhi Resort is Hilton’s first hotel in the region and home to Tibet’s first nine-hole golf course. //  Comment: If Karma plays a role in stock prices Hilton might be a short…

AnchorBEIJING *

Beijing to keep permanent population under 23 million – People’s Daily Online The Beijing Municipal Commission of Urban Planning (BMCUP) announced on March 28 that it has finished compiling the city’s overall plan from 2016 to 2030. Public opinion on the draft will be solicited from March 29 to April 27.

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