"Sinocism is the Presidential Daily Brief for China hands"- Evan Osnos, New Yorker Correspondent and National Book Award Winner
Happy Monday…So far the Sinocism poll about Wang Qishan has 66.4% of respondents saying he will stay on at the 19th Party Congress. We will know soon enough, and we may not need to wait until November as there are plenty of rumors that the Congress will be held in October or possibly even late September. It is certainly a fun time for rumors, ones about trouble for Wang Jianlin and Fang Fenghui are noted in today’s newsletter. Perhaps the adage “where there is smoke there is fire” holds for these two, then again the air in Beijing is often quite smoky anyway…
The Essential Eight
“Tariffs. I want tariffs…China Is Laughing at us”–President Trump
Axios’ Jonathan Swan (his weekly Sneak Peak newsletter is a DC must-read) takes us inside a recent Oval office meeting in which Trump demands tariffs against Chinese goods.
The scene: The Oval Office, during Gen. Kelly’s first week as Chief of Staff. Kelly convened a meeting to discuss the administration’s plans to investigate China for stealing American intellectual property and technology. Kelly stood beside Trump, behind the Resolute desk. In front of the desk were U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, senior trade adviser Peter Navarro, top economic adviser Gary Cohn, and Trump’s former chief strategist Steve Bannon.
Trump, addressing Kelly, said, “John, you haven’t been in a trade discussion before, so I want to share with you my views. For the last six months, this same group of geniuses comes in here all the time and I tell them, ‘Tariffs. I want tariffs.’ And what do they do? They bring me IP. I can’t put a tariff on IP.” (Most in the room understood that the president can, in fact, use tariffs to combat Chinese IP theft.)
“China is laughing at us,” Trump added. “Laughing.”..
The nationalists in the White House took public credit for the China IP policy, arguing at the time that it would lead to a much-needed crackdown on Beijing. But now that he’s outside of the White House, you should expect Bannon and his allies to argue that what’s been done so far isn’t enough, and that Trump needs to treat China as an adversary in an economic war.
2. North Korea Tests More Missiles, May Be Prepping For Nuclear Test
Comment: Unsurprisingly, Kim Doesn’t seem cowed by threats and sanctions.
The United States, South Korea, and Japan didn’t seem to agree on what North Korea launched.
Seoul’s National Intelligence Service (NIS) told South Korean lawmakers at a closed door parliamentary session that it has detected signs of North Korea preparing for another nuclear test at its Punggye-ri underground test site.
“The firing of any ballistic missile is a violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions and we do view it as a provocative act, a provocative act against the United States and our allies,” said Tillerson on Fox News. “We are going to continue our peaceful pressure campaign as I have described that working with allies, working with China as well, to see if we can bring the regime in Pyongyang to the negotiating table,” Tillerson added.
Currently the situation on the peninsula is complicated and sensitive, Hua said. “Relevant parties should exercise restraint, refrain from any action that may irritate each other or intensify tensions, and make concerted efforts to maintain peace and stability on the peninsula.”
The “dual-track approach” and the “suspension for suspension” initiative proposed by China are practical and feasible ways to address security concerns of relevant parties in a balanced way, and to settle the Korean Peninsula issue in the current circumstances, Hua said.
There’s little dispute as to why North Korean leaders wanted nuclear weapons—to deter an attack and assure regime survival. But could it really happen? Many experts thought not. If you look at the academic theories about how nations nuclearize, few of them gave North Korea much of a chance. A program that was once derided as a “joke” is anything but funny anymore. In addition to raising a host of strategic problems for the United States, Kim Jong Un has demolished our assumptions about how nuclear weapons spread, and raises a first-order question of significant global importance: How did a nation President Nixon once derided as a “fourth rate” “pipsqueak” acquire nuclear weapons against the will of the world? How did Pyongyang manage to defy the experts?
3. Is The US Navy Underfunded To Meet The Challenge From China?
In interviews, more than a dozen current and former ship commanders who served in the western Pacific said the strain on the Navy’s fleet there had caused maintenance gaps and training shortfalls that had not been remedied or had received only cursory attention as leaders focused on immediate missions.
Compounding the stress, the officers and crew said, the Navy allows ships to rely on grueling watch schedules that leave captains and crews exhausted, even though the service ordered submarines to abandon similar schedules two years ago…
“Every time Kim Jong-un rattles his saber, these ships get underway,” he added, referring to the leader of North Korea. “When the Chinese decide to build on a new island, these ships get underway. When underway, they are basically working around the clock. People get tired, and when they do, they make mistakes.”
In the past two decades, the number of Navy ships has decreased by about 20 percent, though the time they are deployed has remained the same, according to a 2015 report by the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments
Three reports in the past two years by the Government Accountability Office, an independent watchdog agency, spell out endemic problems. They found through interviews and Navy studies that U.S. sailors overseas often arrive to their assigned ships without adequate skills and experience. They end up on duty for an average of 108 hours a week, instead of the Navy-standard of 80 hours, the reports found.
Recent U.S. naval accidents in the Asia Pacific region will not interrupt “freedom of navigation” movements in the disputed South China Sea, the U.S. Pacific Air Forces commander said on Friday.
Such speculative reporting severely violates journalistic professionalism and is politically irresponsible. They lead people in a direction where no authoritative conclusion is drawn and affect how the public views this incident. The way that these media put values above the facts is striking.
That China would have the will and ability to make US warships and commercial vessels collide in international sea lanes is like a science fiction story. The media outlets which made up such stories are bigoted ideologically. The tone reflects the anxiety of the US which is not able to prevent this mysterious collision. The management of the US Navy seems terrible, and the professionalism of naval officers has also been met with doubts. Accusations that China was behind this collision can help ease pressure on the US Navy and fit into Western political correctness.
Citizens of Vietnam have developed an unusual national pastime: Across the country and on social networks, people trade suspicions that their government is secretly giving in to an aggressive China. And lately, there has been plenty of fuel for their rumors. Some blame a visibly diminished U.S. presence for giving Beijing an opportunity to act behind the scenes. Many blame officials in Hanoi for putting economic cooperation or alleged communist solidarity above questions of national pride. Last month, when a valuable project overseen by the Spanish company Repsol was suspended without explanation, both theories abounded.
4. India and China Cool Border Tensions, Both Sides Claim The Other Blinked
Comment: Just in time for this weekend’s BRICS summit in Xiamen. Did Beijing blunder into this standoff unintentionally?
The Doklam border crisis has ended as suddenly as it began. India announced both countries had agreed to mutually disengage their troops from the plateau along the Sino-Bhutan border. Beijing, in keeping with its recent tendency to speak in nationalistic hyperbole, said Indian troops were “retreating” and that it would continue to patrol the area. The two statements are not contradictory. China does not speak of what its troops will do. Patrolling upto a country’s claims area is allowed under the various Sino-Indian border management agreements and will now de facto be applied to the Sino-Bhutanese border as well. In effect, both governments seem to have agreed to go back to a status quo that existed before crisis began.
“On the afternoon of August 28, the Indian side has pulled back all the trespassing personnel and equipment to the Indian side of the boundary and the Chinese personnel on the ground has verified this. China will continue to exercise its sovereignty and uphold its territorial integrity in accordance with historical conventions,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said at Monday’s daily regular press conference.
5. More Internet Tightening, Don’t Expect Loosening After The 19th Party Congress, This Is The “New Normal”
China Bars Netizens From Commenting Anonymously – Sixth Tone In addition, the CAC said that websites should have a team of employees to review comments and deal with “illegal information,” but that these monitors should not interfere with public opinion by selectively deleting or recommending posts. The regulations also forbid employing people or using software to leave comments — a practice called shuijun.
Comment: Will be a good thing if this puts a real dent in corporate and propaganda department astroturfing.
Internet censorship in China: new rules aim to prevent anyone who hasn’t provided their real identity from commenting online — Quartz The new rules are the most recent instance of the Cyberspace Administration of China’s (CAC) efforts to enforce “real-name registration,” which aims to severely limit internet activity for users who do not provide identifying information. There are already rules in place that require using your real name to register for WeChat, mobile phone numbers, Weibo, and other services for a few years. But the latest rules target the relatively unruly world of online communities and discussion forums.
“For users who have not given identifying information, platforms for and providers of online communities may not allow posting of any kind,” the announcement declares. It adds that, on these platforms, “no content may appear that is prohibited by national regulations.” (Those are my translations; I tried to keep intact the confusing language often used in these Chinese government announcements.) The CAC announcement also requires these platforms to “investigate thoroughly” any users they think may be using fake names and retain all user data for government inspection.
CAC issues Internet Forum Community Services Management Regulations-互联网论坛社区服务管理规定-中共中央网络安全和信息化领导小组办公室
The inspections, which ended Thursday, are the first step toward evaluating how online services deal with their users’ personal information under the new law. The results of this first round of inspections will be announced in late September.
Authorities looked over the privacy policies of some of the biggest Internet names in China, including online shopping platform Taobao, Baidu Maps and the ride-hailing company Didi Chuxing.
CAC’s Ren Xianliang’s speech at the 17th Internet Media Forum on August 25 – 任贤良在第十七届中国网络媒体论坛上的致辞_中国经济网——国家经济门户
6. More Rumors Of Trouble For Wanda’s Wang Jianlin
Comment: Rumors have been swirling around Wang and his family, including one a couple of months ago that his son Wang Sicong had been stopped at the airport and prevented from leaving the country. Wanda denied this latest round of rumors, and the sourcing is sketchy, but Wang clearly is having some political issues given the way Beijing has recently clipped Wanda’s wings. It is a good reminder that in the eyes of the Chinese Communist Party no entrepreneur, no matter how large their company or how rich they are, is too big to fail or too big to detain. Investors making that assumption about any PRC CEO should revisit that view…
Wanda Group’s shares plummeted as much as 10% Monday morning over rumors denied by the company that its founder and chairman, Wang Jianlin, has been detained by Chinese authorities.
The property developer released a statement Monday saying that “individuals with ulterior motives have recently created and spread various vicious rumors regarding the chairman of Wanda Group.”…
Boxun, a Chinese-language political tabloid based in the U.S., reported over the weekend that authorities had prevented Wang and his family from leaving China. The report said Wang was stopped at Tianjin Binhai International Airport from departing for the U.K.
7. Death Of An Zhiwen Another Marker Of The End Of An Era
Comment: Caixin on the death of An Zhiwen, former Party Committee Secretary, vice director of the 1980s Commission for Restructuring the Economic System. He was one of the last of the post-cultural revolution generation reformers.
Caixin on the importance of not forgetting the reformers who emerged after the Cultural Revolution and served on the Commission for Restructuring the Economic System , now all dead-不能忘怀的那些体改委老人_观点频道_财新网
Caixin reports that Wang Qishan attended An Zhiwen’s memorial service at Babaoshan on August 24, though sp far there is nothing on his attendance in official Party media. It has now been 28 days now since Wang has appeared in official Party media, which could be a sign of nothing, a sign of trouble for Wang, or a sign of another tiger about to fall, depending on how you like to interpret things. Zhang Dejiang and Yu Zhengsheng were the other two standing committee members who attended. Xi sent a wreath – 各界人士送别“改革老人”安志文_政经频道_财新网
8. Did Han Chunyu Fake His Breakthrough Gene Editing Results?
When genetics researcher Han Chunyu and his colleagues at Hebei University of Science of Technology unveiled their unique genome editing technique in the journal Nature Biotechnology last year, scientists around the world took note…
In August, the Han team bowed to mounting pressure by retracting the academic paper. But the scientists admitted no shortcomings in their research.
In an open letter published by Nature Biotechnology on August 2, the Chinese team acknowledged that peers using their original research protocol had failed to replicate their findings.
“We are therefore retracting our initial report at this time to maintain the integrity of the scientific record,” they wrote. “We nevertheless continue to investigate the reasons for this lack of reproducibility with the aim of providing an optimized protocol.”
Business, Economy And Trade
Citic Bank Cuts Interbank Activities Amid Government Clampdown – Caixin Global The change came as the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) and the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) have been focusing on cleaning up interbank activities, which are seen as hotbeds of shady transactions. “Interbank interest rates are expected to remain high in the second half of this year as the regulatory crackdown deepens,” said Fang Heying, vice president of Citic Bank.
Chinese city, trying to cool home prices, is capping land bids: Xinhua – Reuters Comment: Market clearly not playing a deciding role… // The ceilings will be imposed in Changsha, capital of Hunan province in southern China. Xinhua said the rules for the coming auctions is that the winning price cannot be more than 50 percent above the starting bid. In the event that more than one developer puts in the maximum-allowed bid, the winner will be decided by a lucky draw, the state news agency said.
China to boost rental housing supply by allowing construction in rural land – Reuters The programs are part of broad efforts to ease a housing supply shortage, the ministry said in a statement on its website. 稳房价再出大招 13个热点城市村集体可盖租赁房给新市民
5 Things to Know About China’s Mixed-Ownership Reform – Caixin Global As the pilot program gets rolling with announcement of the first new plans, Caixin Global takes a look at some of the basics that make this reform different from others, and what lies ahead.
A-List Private Companies Line Up for Mixed-Ownership Reform Party – Caixin Global Word of the mixed-ownership reform plan first emerged nearly two years ago, with about 10 companies named as the first to participate. All three plans announced so far have seen participants sell a large stake in one of their major respective units to strategic investors, and also make stakeholders of key managers and employees. Next, the companies will work with their new partners to try to develop new products and services that play on each other’s strengths. // Caixin cover story on this 【封面报道】联通混改
Size Matters in This China Rally – Bloomberg Gadfly Among the 800-odd Chinese companies listed in Hong Kong, there is a drastic divergence in earnings and year-to-date returns, data compiled by Gadfly show. Large-cap companies — defined as those with a market cap of $10 billion or more — have so far reported median growth of 18 percent in sales and 23 percent in earnings for the first half. By comparison, the median small-cap company increased sales by 12 percent and earnings by only 9.5 percent.
Steel Company’s Restructuring Draws Creditor Ire – Caixin Global After a nearly 10-month tug-of-war between creditors and bankrupt Dongbei Special Steel Group Co. Ltd., the state-owned steel maker’s restructuring plan has been approved by the Intermediate People’s Court of Dalian. Some creditors including bankers have raised a red flag after claiming they were forced to accept unfair financial conditions, apparently as part of a government bid to keep the company alive.
Chinese-backed fund closes in on bid for chipmaker Imagination – Sky News A Chinese-backed fund is to test Theresa May’s pledge to subject foreign takeovers of British companies to closer scrutiny by lodging a formal bid for the struggling chipmaker Imagination Technologies. Sky News has learnt that Canyon Bridge Capital Partners has hired advisers from the Wall Street bank Citi to work on an offer for Imagination, one of Britain’s leading technology businesses.
China Is Creating the World’s Largest Power Company – Bloomberg The government of President Xi Jinping approved the merger of Shenhua Group Corp., the country’s top coal miner, with China Guodian Corp., among its largest power generators, the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission said Monday. With assets of 1.8 trillion yuan ($271 billion), the new entity will be the world’s second-biggest company by revenue and largest by installed capacity, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.
China Doesn’t Rule Out Banning Initial Coin Offerings – Caixin Global Sources said regulators including the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) and China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) are pondering oversight measures on initial coin offerings (ICOs), an increasingly popular means to raise cash or other virtual currencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum by issuing a new cryptocurrency.
U.S. beef not popular in Beijing: report – ECNS U.S. beef does not sell well in Beijing one month after it entered the Chinese market for the first time in 14 years, Securities Daily reported. A salesperson at a Beijing store told the paper that imported U.S. beef is expensive and looks darker than other beef, so buyers are more interested in buying fresh meat at competitive prices
China’s Central Bank Is Embracing a Supercharged Yuan – Bloomberg The signal that Chinese policy makers are comfortable with yuan strength saw the currency trade below 6.65 per dollar onshore, a level the yuan seemed to have stalled at following a hefty advance. The currency is the best performer in Asia this month, and shows no signs of slowing down.
Politics And Law
Top anti-graft inspector at China’s finance ministry under investigation for graft – Reuters Mo Jiancheng was suspected of “serious discipline breaches”, a euphemism for graft, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection said in a statement. // Comment: Wonder if he tipped anyone off about upcoming actions? Caixin in 财政部纪检组长莫建成被查 候补中委里递补顺位排名第一 that he was an alternate member of the central committee, had served as a senior official in Jiangxi. 17 alternate central committee members and 7 former senior Jiangxi provincial officials have now fallen. Creating central committee vacancies is important before the 19th party congress, I recently spoke with an official whose boss was taken out; their explanation was not that he was corrupt but that team Xi wanted to create another central committee vacancy they could fill…
Trusted aide of China’s Xi Jinping tasked with rooting out corrupt officials, ensuring loyalty | South China Morning Post Shu Guozeng, a native of Hangzhou who worked under Xi when he was party secretary of eastern China’s Zhejiang province, was recently appointed head of discipline inspection at the general office of the party’s Central Committee.
Xi calls for right direction in mass organization reform – Xinhua Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, made the remarks in an instruction to a symposium on mass organization reform. The work on mass organizations is an important component of the undertakings of the CPC, and mass organization reform is an important part of overall reform, Xi said.
Leaked audio indicates fugitive tycoon Guo Wengui asked former Obama homeland security chief to help him extend stay in US | South China Morning Post Comment: Several heavily edidted recordings of Guo have appeared online. Have the security services hacked into Guo’s phone and can activate his microphone? // The comment by Kevin Tung of the law firm Kevin Kerveng Tung PC follows the publication of a recording between Guo and former US Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson wherein Johnson, now a partner at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, offered to represent Guo in his bid to apply for the right to remain in the US.
Founder of Chinese rights watch website may face life sentence if convicted of additional charge – Amnesty | Hong Kong Free Press HKFP Rights watch website founder Liu Feiyue may face an additional charge of “leaking state secrets,” after a local security bureau made a submission stating it had sufficient evidence to warrant the charge, according to NGO Amnesty International.
The coming-of-age of China’s sixth generation: A new majority in the party leadership – Cheng Li To be sure, the upcoming 19th National Party Congress will not constitute a full-fledged transition. Not only will Xi Jinping and Li Keqiang remain in power, but observers can also expect the Politburo Standing Committee (PSC)—the country’s supreme decision-making body—to maintain a majority of fifth-generation leaders. Likewise, it is unclear whether any sixth-generation leader (by definition, one born in the 1960s) will be identified as the heir apparent to Xi Jinping. Nor can China analysts meaningfully forecast how many sixth-generation leaders will enter the new PSC and the Politburo
In Tibetan Buddhist heartland, Communist Party takeover threatens religious academy’s soul | South China Morning Post Over the decades, Larung Gar has operated as an independent centre of learning and since Jigme Phuntsok’s death in 2004 has been administered in turns by a group of revered khenpos, or senior monks. But today the academy is facing an existential threat – it will soon to be taken over by a Communist Party committee headed by a local police officer.
Draft Revision of Procuratorates Organic Law Leaked – NPC Observer On Saturday, the WeChat public account “刑法库” published what it claims to be the draft revision (“Draft”) of the People’s Procuratorate Organic Law (“Law”)—along with an accompanying explanation prepared by the NPC Internal and Judicial Affairs Committee (“Committee”)—that is due to be reviewed by the NPCSC this week. For various reasons not elaborated here, we believe the Draft is authentic.
China official says Xinjiang’s Muslims are ‘happiest in world’ Writing in the official Xinjiang Daily, the region’s deputy foreign publicity director, Ailiti Saliyev, said Xinjiang was stable, harmonious, prosperous, open and modern. Visitors see this for themselves when they visit, subverting the impression created in Western media of the opposite, he added. // Comment: Yakexi
Foreign And Defense Affairs
Appointment of new chief to raise military’s combat ability: expert – Global Times The promotion of Li Zuocheng as the new military chief of staff demonstrates China’s determination to improve the military’s combat capability, experts said on Sunday. According to the Ministry of National Defense, Li Zuocheng has been promoted to the post of chief of the Joint Staff Department of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), replacing Fang Fenghui.
中央军委原参谋长房峰辉转任全国政协接受调查 Comment: Boxun, behind the latest Wang Jianlin rumor, is also claiming that Fang Fenghui is under investigation. Anything is possible, but Boxun does not have a good track record. But this is certainly grist for the crazy pre-19th Party Congress rumor mill // 本社从北京军方消息人士处获悉，中共十九大前军方高层此波人事调整，将是一次重新洗牌式大震荡，部分现职将领离任后，将面临当局清算式调查。其中原中央军委联合参谋部参谋长房峰辉，日前被免职后已确定安排到全国政协任闲职，同时接受军纪委调查。房的问题与郭伯雄有关，不排除成为军方又一个出事的现职上将。
How a murky company with ties to the People’s Liberation Army set up shop in B.C. | Vancouver Sun The opening of a gallery and North American headquarters here by Poly Culture was the culmination of intense behind-the-scenes courting by local politicians — especially Liberal MLA Teresa Wat, then B.C.’s international trade minister — and was hailed in government documents as a major economic win and “significant day for British Columbia in its relationship with China.” But at a time when Canada’s review of foreign investments has come under increased scrutiny — such as in the case of Anbang, an opaquely structured insurance corporation with links to China’s leading families and military figures — questions abound about the long-term investment plans by Poly Culture and China Poly Group, a company with deep military roots and a controversial past.Braving security fears, Chinese seek ‘Silk Road’ riches in Pakistan – Reuters Numbering in the thousands, this second wave of Chinese arrivals are following in the wake of workers on Belt and Road projects. Some are opening restaurants and language schools, while others are working out what products they could sell to a market of 208 million people, or what goods they could make cheaply in Pakistan to sell around the world.
[视频]六集大型政论专题片《大国外交》今晚播出——全景展现党的十八大以来中国特色大国外交的恢宏历程_CCTV //Comment: Starting 8.28 CCTV will air a 6 episode show “Great Power Diplomacy” extolling the PRC’s diplomatic successes under Xi Jinping
Chinese team achieves breakthrough in undersea quantum communication – Global Times The experiment was conducted by Jin Xianmin, and his team from Shanghai Jiao Tong University. In their experiment, the team was able to conduct communication secured by quantum mechanics between two underwater points several hundred meters apart, Jin told the Global Times, adding that the team was also able to securely communicate with satellites and aircraft from a point several meters underwater.
Forcing China to Accept that International Law Restricts Cyber Warfare May Not Actually Benefit the U.S. – Lawfare – Julian Ku As I argue in a paper recently published by the Hoover Institution, China’s interpretation of the international laws regulating the use of force by nation-states differs in fundamental ways from the legal interpretation followed by the U.S. These legal differences mean that even if China agrees to apply international law to cyber warfare, that would probably not prevent or reduce the possibility of cyber conflict with the United States.
Chastised by E.U., a Resentful Greece Embraces China’s Cash and Interests – The New York Times While Europe was busy squeezing Greece, the Chinese swooped in with bucket-loads of investments that have begun to pay off, not only economically but also by apparently giving China a political foothold in Greece, and by extension, in Europe. Last summer, Greece helped stop the European Union from issuing a unified statement against Chinese aggression in the South China Sea. This June, Athens prevented the bloc from condemning China’s human rights record. Days later it opposed tougher screening of Chinese investments in Europe.
Tech And Media
Tencent joins the fray with Baidu in providing artificial intelligence applications for self-driving cars | South China Morning Post Members of the alliance included Sebastian Thrun, who spearheaded Google’s driverless car and Beijing Automotive
Inside Tencent’s Fight To Win Mobile Payments — The Information $$ The WeChat Pay merchant meeting—one of many that take place across China—is a reminder that the crucial part of building a smartphone payment business is navigating the vast offline world of traditional stores and restaurants. Just as Apple and Google have endeavored—with limited success in the U.S.—to sign up retailers for their payment services Apple Pay and Android Pay, WeChat Pay and Alipay are battling to win brick-and-mortar clients. The Chinese mobile payment giants are working closely with tens of thousands of small middleman agents across China that in turn help millions of local merchants—including many mom-and-pop stores—integrate mobile payment apps into their offline operations.
Society, Art, Sports, Culture And History
Sports development in perfect harmony with China Dream: President Xi – Xinhua Chinese President Xi Jinping on Sunday called on the people to open up new development areas in sports in order to enable the country to become a world sports power as soon as possible. President Xi made the remarks during his meeting with individuals and groups who are advancing China’s sporting cause, both professionals and amateurs, as well as representatives of medal winners in sporting events for ordinary people held during the 13th National Games. 习近平：开创我国体育事业发展新局面 加快把我国建设成为体育强国
China to make sure 2022 Winter Olympic Games great success: President Xi – Xinhua Chinese President Xi Jinping said here on Sunday that China will fully honor its commitment to host “a fantastic, extraordinary and excellent” 2022 Winter Olympic Games. Xi made the remarks when meeting with International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach, who was here to attend the opening ceremony of the 13th Chinese National Games to be held Sunday night in the northern port city of Tianjin.
Woman Thrown From 19th Floor by Man Who Pursued Her for 8 Years – Sixth Tone Netizen reactions since the court revealed the details of the case have overwhelmingly condemned Wang, the victim. One highly upvoted comment reads: “I think the woman deserved it. If you don’t like someone, then accepting their gifts is just toying with them! That’s why he was pushed to do it! It is understandable.” The Hangzhou court has given no indication of how it will sentence Xue, though in March an abusive husband received a suspended death sentence for killing his wife, journalist Hong Mei.
Bow wow! Retired Chinese police dogs spend their golden years in comfort thanks to kindly cop | South China Morning Post A police dog handler from eastern China has won the hearts of people across the country after the story of how he cares for his retired canine colleagues was told in an online video. 曾经的战友，一辈子“亲人”，民警老白的“警犬养老院”
Beijing Elderly Lose Homes to Get-Rich-Quick Scheme – Sixth Tone About a year earlier, lenders persuaded Li to take out a mortgage on her apartment. They introduced her to another man, who promised to invest the loan money in wealth management products with monthly interest yields of 5 percent. What Li didn’t foresee was that the deal was a scam that would end in eviction from her family home of more than three decades and losses of around 2 million yuan (about $301,000).
Woman sentenced for beating, starving nanny from China – AP A woman accused of beating and starving a woman she brought from China to work as a nanny in Minnesota will be deported after she spends a year in jail. Lili Huang, 36, pleaded guilty to charges of forced labor and third-degree assault. She was sentenced Thursday to a year and a day in jail.
Energy, Environment, Science And Health
Chinese scientists say they’re close to trials transplanting pig organs into humans | South China Morning Post “We have patients dying from organ failure and their desperate relatives pleading for them to have the chance to live,” Zhao said. “But when we turn to the authorities in charge of approving the clinical trials, all we get is silence. We understand it must be very hard for the government to make a decision, but it’s time we got an answer,” he said.
Xi stresses efforts to build ecological civilization – Xinhua Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, made the remarks in an instruction on the achievements of a forest farm in the country’s northern Hebei Province. Efforts to pursue green development and an ecological civilization should be made generation by generation to create harmony between humans and nature, and leave a better environment for future generations, Xi said. // Comment: See CCTV 习近平对河北塞罕坝林场建设者感人事迹作出重要指示强调 持之以恒推进生态文明建设 努力形成人与自然和谐发展新格局 and an upcoming editorial in the August 29 People’s Daily
Xi faces one of his greatest tests yet – China’s environment | South China Morning Post China Central Television’s 7pm news broadcast is the most watched news programme, through which the Chinese leadership publicises its priorities. Nowadays, it prominently features environment-related stories daily, along with Xi’s words “green mountains and clear water are equal to mountains of gold and silver”.
The New Thing in Chinese Oil? America – Bloomberg Gadfly The U.S. ranked 32nd in the list of Chinese import sources in 2016, according to data from the Chinese customs authorities. That’s below Mongolia and Sudan, and only just above war-torn Yemen.But all that has changed dramatically this year, with U.S. crude exports to China leapfrogging sales from OPEC countries such as Libya and China’s neighbors Vietnam, Kazakhstan and Australia.
Agriculture And Rural Issues
Green gold: how China quietly grew into a cannabis superpower | South China Morning Post Yang Ming, the head scientist of China’s Cannabis sativa research programme at the Institute of Industrial Crops at the Yunnan Academy of Agricultural Sciences, said many farmers who used to grow flax in the province had quickly made the leap to hemp cannabis, thanks to the much higher returns. But just how many farmers or how much land was devoted to the crop was a national secret. “It’s a big figure. It cannot be revealed to the public. Many farms are, strictly speaking, illegal under current law and regulations,” he said.
Chinese universities tighten ideological control of teaching staff | South China Morning Post comment: how are the foreign university partners to handle this? // The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, the party’s powerful disciplinary watchdog, last week published “rectification reports” on eight top-tier universities it inspected this year. Seven have set up a “teachers’ affairs department” under their Communist Party committees to improve “ideological and political work” among teaching staff.
Food And Travel
Rats On Site, Spoons Used to Clean Drain Land Hot-Pot Chain in Hot Water – Caixin Global The city began inspecting all local restaurants of Sichuan Haidilao Catering Co. Ltd. over the weekend after the Legal Mirror ran an exposé featuring uncover videos of rats and other sanitation problems at two of the chain’s restaurants in Beijing.
Menu Decoder: Meet Baijiu, China’s Favorite Spirit: DCist One brand in particular, Guotai Legend, is seeing the result of this push in tentative inroads in the D.C. area. Their Guotai Legend baijiu, 43 percent alcohol by volume, has won over several local bar managers, gatekeepers to a key constituency of the U.S. cocktail kingdom. The group tends to be more forgiving of even the harshest baijius, favoring adjectives like “earthy” and “funky” where others might use less flattering terms.
Families who’ve lived in old Chinese town for generations being kicked out to make way for tourists | South China Morning Post It’s not what the residents of Chikan’s old town expected when the nearby Kaiping diaolous – fortified, multi-storey dwellings – were put on the World Heritage List by Unesco in 2007. The riverfront town – known, like the diaolous, for a unique blend of Western and Chinese architectural styles – was eerily quiet last month, with seven residents telling the South China Morning Post the local government had disrupted roads and blocked bridges to encourage people to accept compensation payments and leave.
The American who wants to be Chinese – Xinhua Wearing his bright red armband and speaking fluent Mandarin, from a distance 62-year-old Gao Tianrui could be taken for any regular Chinese man. But on closer inspection, things are not quite what they seem: Gao’s real name is Terry and he is American. Having lived in Beijing for more than 20 years, Terry Crossman has finally fulfilled his Chinese dream: becoming a public security volunteer. Life as a Xicheng Dama (elderly woman of Xicheng) has even made him an online celebrity. // Terry Crossman bio
Beijing’s traditional courtyard homes to get modern amenities | South China Morning Post Drainage systems, air conditioning units to be installed as part of a local authority’s comprehensive clean-up scheme
Jobs And Events
AP Looking For Reporter In Beijing The Associated Press seeks a talented journalist with a track record of breaking stories and producing distinctive enterprise to join AP’s cross-formats reporting team as a newsperson in Beijing. Reporting to the Greater China News Director, this reporter will aim to consistently break news and produce distinct, deeply reported enterprise in all media formats that meets the needs of AP members and customers in Asia and globally.
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