"Sinocism is the Presidential Daily Brief for China hands"- Evan Osnos, New Yorker Correspondent and National Book Award Winner
As I mentioned in the last newsletter I am on the road this week to help a family member and so publishing will be sporadic at best.
China returns to work from the Dragon Boat Festival Holiday on Wednesday.
In case you missed the newsletters from last week here they are:
May 25-FONOP or no FONOP, Debt, Guo Wengui Not Going Away, Totalitarianism 2.0?
May 22–CIA China Spy Network Destroyed? Financial Regulatory Tightening Continues
The table of contents is now below the Essential Eight.
The Essential Eight
1. US-China Military Tensions Increasing
After a few months of apparent quiet, Sino-US maritime and aerial tensions are increasing. My understanding is that last week’s Freedom of Navigation Operation (FONOP) near Mischief Reef was more aggressive than any approved under the Obama Administration. More are coming, per this USNI report:
USNI News understands that earlier this month the Office of the Secretary of Defense presented the National Security Council a schedule for future regional FON ops to create a menu of options for the NSC to choose from when U.S. assets are in the region…
Opportunities for South China Sea FON ops during the early part of the Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group deployment in February were not acted on to allow the Pentagon time to develop a cohesive strategy for the region, several defense officials told USNI News over the last few months.
There have also been two recent dangerous encounters between US and PRC military planes, one May 17 over the Yellow Sea and another May 25 about 150 miles southeast of Hong Kong. The US says the intercepts were unsafe and unprofessional, the PRC side denies that:
“Related remarks from the US side are inconsistent with fact,” Wu Qian, a spokesman for the Defense Ministry, said on Sunday. “The Chinese aircraft investigated the US plane in accordance with the law, and related maneuvers were professional and safe.”
“Recently, the US military has frequently dispatched planes and ships into China’s waters and airspace, threatening our sovereignty and security, as well as putting the lives of front-line staff in danger,” he added.
Comment: If video of the encounters exist that support the US claims then the US should release the footage. What happens if there is an incident similar to the 2001 Hainan Incident that results in deaths on one or both sides?
2. North Korea
North Korea tested another missile this weekend. President Trump responded on Twitter:
North Korea has shown great disrespect for their neighbor, China, by shooting off yet another ballistic missile…but China is trying hard!
How hard Beijing is trying remains a bit of mystery, but Acting Assistant Secretary of State Susan Thornton told reporters in Beijing last week that China has ightened North Korea border controls.
But the public signals from DC seem a little mixed. One the one hand, the US, according to various reports has dispatched a third aircraft carrier strike group to the Western Pacific.
On the other, US Defense Secretary Mattis said Sunday that “it would be a catastrophic war if this turns into a combat if we’re not able to resolve this situation through diplomatic means.”
Meanwhile, the new South Korea administration’s ‘Moonshine’ clouds Trump stance on Kim Jong Un, according to the Financial Times:
Chun Yung-woo, a top former South Korean negotiator with the North, said the government’s new tilt was clear from the people with whom the president was surrounding himself, including Mr Moon.
“If you look at the president’s appointments, there are some influential people who are eager to engage with North Korea . . these are people who are sympathetic to North Korea. It will be painful for them to tighten the screws,” he said.
Comment: It sure looks like Beijing will try to apply just enough pressure on North Korea to keep Trump happy but not push Kim to the brink, while working the new South Korean administration to split it from the more aggressive US approach. How long that will work before Trump realizes and a nasty backlash occurs is the question, but I will bet it is closer than many think. One thing that I keep hearing is that Xi and his team quickly shifted from concern about Trump after the election to overconfidence that they can work him.
3. Beijing Should Pay Attention To Jared Kushner’s Woes
Jared Kushner, a key conduit for Beijing into the White House, appears to be in trouble. I believe Beijing has hedged in its conduits into the Trump administration but a diminution of Kushner’s influence may be still be unsettling to Ambassador Cui Tiankai and other PRC officials.
Reuters reports that GOP Senator Charles Grassley, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee has:
requested a review of claims made by Chinese migration agency Qiaowai and the U.S. Immigration Fund (USIF) in the marketing of the One Journal Square project in Jersey City, New Jersey to potential investors in China.
The New York Times reported Sunday that President Trump is very upset at Kushner over his sister’s EB-5 shilling in China:
The most serious point of contention between the president and his son-in-law, two people familiar with the interactions said, was a video clip this month of Mr. Kushner’s sister Nicole Meyer pitching potential investors in Beijing on a Kushner Companies condominium project in Jersey City…
For Mr. Trump, Ms. Meyer’s performance violated two major rules: Politically, it undercut his immigration crackdown, and in a personal sense, it smacked of profiteering off Mr. Trump — one of the sins that warrants expulsion from his orbit.
Comment: Perhaps the exposure of the sketchy China fundraising by the Kushner Companies’ will finally lead to long-overdue reform or abolition of the EB-5 program.
4. Beijing Signaling More Control As 20th Anniversary Handover of Hong Kong Approaches
That National People’s Congress Standing Committee held a Symposium Commemorating 20th Anniversary of Hong Kong Basic Law. NPC Chairman and Politburo Standing Committee member Zheng Dejiang gave a speech that in which, according to the South China Morning Post, he announced Beijing’s plans to tighten grip on Hong Kong:
Judges and officials should “take the lead to learn the Basic Law”, Zhang said, in a call expected to cause unease among local lawyers. Under the Basic Law, Hong Kong’s mini-constitution, China enjoys “comprehensive” sovereignty over the city, said Zhang, who heads the National People’s Congress and the Communist Party’s working group on Hong Kong. He added that calls for self-determination or Hong Kong independence were attempts to shun that sovereignty…
the [Hong Kong] special administrative region should steadfastly implement the constitutional obligation of national security under the Basic Law.”
The South China Morning Post also reports that Zhou Nan, Beijing’s senior representative in Hong Kong during the 1997 handover, urges Hong Kong to ‘seriously consider’ enacting national security to ensure harmony. The last time Beijing tried this in 2003 there were massive protests, and Hong Kong society was not nearly as unsettled or wary of Beijing as it is now.
Comment: It is very hard to be optimistic about Hong Kong’s future. Beijing clearly intends to make it just another PRC city that is fully under the control of the Communist Party.
5. PRC Politics Never Dull
Xi’s long-time ally ally Cai Qi is now the Party Secretary of Beijing (Caixin in English), replacing Guo Jinlong. China’s Minister of Environmental Protection Chen Jining replaced Cai as acting mayor of the capital. Cai is a member of “New Zhijiang Army 之江新军” of Xi allies, and his rise, as the South China Morning Post notes, has been fast:
He has rocketed up party ranks in the last four years, rising from a modest official position in Zhejiang province to take the top municipal job in the capital in a promotion that all but guarantees him a spot on the top 25-member Politburo at the party congress later this year.
Meanwhile, Jiang Zemin keeps trying to remind people he is not dead as we head into the 19th Party Congress. Pictures are circulating of him making a recent visit to the Shanghai University of Science and Technology (江澤民現身：與胡錦濤較勁，還是給習近平添亂？（《點點今天事》） ~ 明鏡時報 ).
And Guo Wengui will not go away. In today’s webcast (Youtube) he launched a renewed attack on Wang Qishan, claiming he has obtained more evidence of his misdeeds. Guo has made some factual mistakes and appears to now be relying on netizen tips and investigative work of hirelings to dig up dirt, but some of this will stick. The China Digital Times has a useful roundup of some of his recent activities.
Comment: So far Xi looks to be getting the personnel changes he wants but the real battle will occur closer to the 19th Party Congress.
6. Anbang Fights With Beijing Municipal Government Over Land Deal
Unsettled Land Deal Linked to Anbang Leaves Pricey Beijing Plots in Limbo – Caixin Global In this instance, the preliminary developer is Beijing Central Business District Development and Construction Co. (CBD Development), a subsidiary of Anbang Insurance. It cleared the area, which was then auctioned as four plots. But CBD Development hasn’t allowed the transfer, despite requests by the local government, which is losing future tax dollars and amassing a huge late-penalty fee. According to a document from the Beijing land and resources bureau seen by Caixin, CBD Development said it won’t transfer the land because needed work hasn’t been finished for preliminary development and it wants a larger fee for its job. The dispute has blocked further development on the land. 《财新周刊》最新文章：安邦拒绝交地 CBD黄金地块撂荒五年
Comment: It is remarkable that Anbang could get away with this in the heart of Beijing. We will see how much longer they can, given the strong rumors about the detention of chairman Wu Xiaohui and a form of “house arrest” for once (and current?) major shareholder Chen Xiaolu. Who is Anbang’s political backer that gives it the chutzpah and the ability to defy the Beijing municipal government over such a high profile project?
7. The US-China Artificial Intelligence Competition
Is China Outsmarting America in A.I.? – The New York Times:
China is spending more just as the United States cuts back. This past week, the Trump administration released a proposed budget that would slash funding for a variety of government agencies that have traditionally backed artificial intelligence research.
“It’s a race in the new generation of computing,” said James Lewis, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “The difference is that China seems to think it’s a race and America doesn’t.”..
Chinese tech giants like Baidu, Tencent and Didi Chuxing have opened artificial intelligence labs in America, as have some Chinese start-ups. Over the past six years, Chinese investors helped finance 51 American artificial intelligence companies, contributing to the $700 million raised, according to the recent Pentagon report.
The Center For Strategic & International Studies has launched a new website for its China Innovation Policy Series, and it includes a video of the CSIS panel The Fat Tech Dragon: Baseline Trends in China’s Innovation Drive held last Friday.
Comment: The belief in many Western circles that censorship will prevent true innovation in the PRC will be tested. I am skeptical of that assumption, seeing the censorship as more of a tax and drag on innovation than an outright barrier to it.
8. QR Codes Are Everywhere
The rise of the QR code and how it has forever changed China’s social habits | South China Morning Post:
Xue Chengqi, a researcher specialising in human-computer interface at Southeast University in Nanjing, said the QR code’s China success is partly due to efforts by large Chinese internet companies such as Tencent and Alibaba to bring mobile-payment capability to every vendor. “From supermarkets to street pedlars, the QR code has been accepted and is used by every merchant,” he said. “The technology is simple and easy to use. A transaction can be completed almost instantly in any place with mobile phone signal coverage.
Comment: Because WeChat made it easy and beneficial for consumers and businesses.
Business, Economy And Trade
Politics And Law
Foreign And Defense Affairs
Hong Kong, Macao And Taiwan
Tech And Media
Society, Art, Sports, Culture And History
Energy, Environment, Science And Health
Agriculture And Rural Issues
Food And Travel
Business, Economy And Trade
Chinese securities regulator tightens up on selling by big shareholders | Reuters According to the revised rules, major shareholders are barred from transferring shares to a third party via block trades and then using that institution to sell into the market. The CSRC also will require listed companies to improve information disclosures regarding reductions in shareholdings and said it would severely punish those who wrongly reduced their holdings.
Revealed: the sneaky ways Chinese are moving money across the border | South China Morning Post In its list, the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) named and shamed five companies, accusing them of forging contracts or invoices to remit a combined US$226 million offshore since 2015.
House prices stabilize in Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region – Xinhua In Beijing and Shijiazhuang, capital of Hebei Province, new residential house prices rose 0.2 percent and 0.1 percent month on month in April respectively, while Tianjin saw a month-on-month decline of 0.1 percent, according to the National Bureau of Statistics. In April, the new residential house prices in Beijing, Tianjin and Shijiazhuang saw a year-on-year growth of 17.4 percent, 18.1 percent and 18 percent respectively.
World’s Most Painful Short Just Gets Worse for Evergrande Bears – Bloomberg Evergrande shares have more than tripled this year, hurting short-sellers and baffling even some of the most bullish stock analysts. Part of the sharp rally can be explained by Evergrande’s plan to raise money from strategic investors ahead of a planned backdoor listing on the mainland and speculation that the developer will benefit from rising home sales in smaller Chinese cities. A buyback spree has also propelled a 123 percent jump since late March — when short interest started climbing from a low point.
中国式“缩表” | 《财经》封面_原创频道_财经网 – CAIJING 央行“缩表”，是流动性调整的阶段性表象；银行“缩表”，则是金融监管组合拳的必然结果。在此期间，流动性成为去杠杆能否无风险推进的关键，央行货币政策由此备受考量 // Comment: Caijing cover story on the PBoC and commercial banks shrinking balance sheets
Insurance Dull and Boring? Not in China – Caixin Global Several analysts told Caixin that the tightening scrutiny of insurance products will hit many small insurers disproportionately hard as they were the ones who had relied heavily on sales of the investment-linked policies. “The regulator is forcing insurance companies to return to traditional protection-style policies,” a source with an insurance company told Caixin. “This is bound to affect the growth of the industry but it’s too early to say just how bad it will get.”
China to launch new gauge to improve interbank interest rate system | Reuters The gauge will be officially launched on May 31 and will include three fixing interbank repo rates for one-day, seven-day and 14-day contracts.
Politics And Law
CPC meeting reviews documents on inspection work – Xinhua The two documents consist of a decision to amend the Party’s regulation on inspection work and a special report on the inspection of the Party’s ideology-related organizations, according to a statement issued after the meeting…Ideology is very important work of the Party, the meeting noted, adding that publicity, culture and news organizations have undergone a thorough political “health examination” via inspections of these agencies. The inspections have strengthened the Party’s leadership over ideological work and promoted strict governance of the Party in the field, said the statement.
中共中央政治局召开会议 习近平主持会议-新华网 审议《关于修改〈中国共产党巡视工作条例〉的决定》和《关于巡视中央意识形态单位情况的专题报告》”会议指出，意识形态工作是党的一项极其重要的工作。十八届中央巡视对宣传、文化、新闻等单位进行了全面政治“体检”，加强党对意识形态工作的领导，促进意识形态阵地建设，推动意识形态领域全面从严治党。”
Outspoken Chinese law professor, government critic, silenced-AP He Weifang told The Associated Press Friday that he would no longer publish on social media after authorities repeatedly shut down his personal blog, his Weibo microblog and two WeChat accounts. He, a famed law professor at elite Peking University and key defender of imprisoned Chinese Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo, is the latest public intellectual to throw in the towel in President Xi Jinping’s China. Over the past half-decade, freedom of speech and other civil liberties have been rolled back while a radical movement devoted to the People’s Republic’s authoritarian founder Mao Zedong has flourished.
Former Chinese official executed following supreme court’s approval-Xinhua China’s Supreme People’s Court (SPC) announced Friday that Zhao Liping, a former senior political advisor in northern China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, had been executed after the SPC approved the death sentence.
China exonerates police in Yu Huan loan-shark killing case | Reuters “There were issues with police response not being up to specification in this case, but this does not constitute criminal dereliction of duty, and no criminal case will be filed,” the prosecutor in Shandong province said on social media on Friday.
China activists fear increased surveillance with new security law | Reuters Half a dozen activists contacted by Reuters say they already face extensive surveillance by security agents and cameras outside their homes. Messages they post on social media, including instant messaging applications like WeChat are monitored and censored, they said. The draft of a new law to formally underpin and possibly expand China’s intelligence gathering operations at home and abroad was released on May 16.
China takes steps to prevent civil servants from using posts for personal gain | Reuters Those in leadership positions or at the county level and above will not be allowed to work in businesses or for-profit organizations related to their previous administration for three years after resignation. Lower-level civil servants should also follow the rules, but with a limit of two years, according to Xinhua.
China police arrest 44 in $140 million online scam | Reuters China’s police have arrested 44 people over a scam which saw many as 93,000 people contribute start-up capital to “unfreeze” assets smuggled overseas when the Nationalist government was overthrown in 1949, police authorities said late on Thursday
Restaurants Ordered to Remain Open in Xinjiang Amid Ramadan Fast-RFA According to a recently issued notice entitled “2017 Work Conclusion on the Stability Maintenance of Xinjiang during the Ramadan Period,” the Industrial and Commercial Bureau of Aksu (in Chinese, Akesu) prefecture’s Bay (Baicheng) county has adopted several measures to “ensure social peace and harmony” during the holy month observed from May 26 to June 24 this year.
Shandong Loan Shark Killer Pleads Self-Defense at Appeal Hearing – Sixth Tone Central to the hearing — which was live streamed on the court’s Weibo microblog and watched by thousands of users — was whether defendant Yu Huan acted out of self-defense. The prosecutor said that “the nature of Yu’s defense was not identified in the first trial,” and that Yu’s behavior should be seen as “excessive defense.” During a statement at the end of the session, Yu himself argued that the law shouldn’t expect a 19-year-old to apply the right amount of self-defense in a dangerous situation
Foreign And Defense Affairs
Beijing curbs exports of big island-building diggers | South China Morning Post In a notice dated on Thursday, the Ministry of Commerce said that from June 1 all export deals for dredgers that might affect national security would require State Council approval.
China plans undersea observation system ‘for science and national security’ | South China Morning Post The 2 billion yuan (US$290 million) seabed observation systems will provide real-time information about the environmental conditions and seabed activities at a time when China is expanding its presence in both the East and South China seas.
High Stakes for Vietnam Prime Minister’s Visit to Washington | cogitASIA CSIS Asia Policy Blog A second and no-less important matter is security and, in particular, how Vietnam together with the United States and other countries can promote the realization of an East Asian maritime security environment that conforms to international law. In this area, cooperation between the two countries continues, symbolized by the recent U.S. delivery of coast guard vessels. These efforts should continue. As much as President Donald Trump enjoys waxing optimistic about Chinese president Xi Jinping’s character, recent signs from Beijing reflect aims that run counter to U.S. interests. The Vietnamese have rightly insisted that peace can only be secured by peaceful and legal means.
Sessions DOJ Cracking Down on Chinese Corporate Spies – Breitbart The supporting affidavit of FBI Special Agent Roman Rozhavsky cites the Chinese Communist Party’s 13th five-year plan and 2015 Chinese government white paper calling for the development of marine engineering technology in order to become a major marine power. The Chinese state-owned enterprise which is alleged to have received the stolen information on the manufacture of syntactic foam was set up in pursuit of those goals.
China changes student enrollment policies for army-Xinhua The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) will no longer recruit senior high school graduates and college students for reserve officers, the Ministry of National Defence (MOD) said Friday. Instead, the PLA will select and recruit college graduates, with new policies to be put in place to support the change, according to the MOD.
Chinese firms develop BeiDou navigation applications-Xinhua From shared bicycles to bank cards and unmanned patrol vehicles, China’s home-grown BeiDou navigation system has increasing numbers of applications linked to the everyday life.
Donald Trump regime proposes zero aid to Tibetan community in 2018 – The Hindu Leaders of the Tibetan community in the U.S. refrained from making comment on the issue, saying they are still reading the budget papers. At the same time, they observed that majority of the assistance to the Tibetan people, including for Tibet, so far have been Congressionally-driven.
Bob Carr walks out of Beijing dinner over slight | afr.com The former foreign minister, who famously used his 2014 memoir to lament the inhumanity of commercial business class travel (at least there’s one thing we agree on!), was back to his best in the Chinese capital recently. We understand Beijing Bob walked out of the Australian Business Awards dinner put on by the local chamber of commerce two weeks ago when his name failed to make the roll call of dignitaries acknowledged as the night got underway
China launches advanced satellite navigation positioning system – Xinhua The system, featuring faster speed, higher accuracy and wider coverage, will be compatible with other satellite navigation systems, such as the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System and Global Position System (GPS), Li said.
China signs six polar research agreements-China Daily Parties to the agreements included the Norwegian Polar Institute, Argentina’s National Directorate of the Antarctic and Russia’s Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute, according to a news release from the administration. It said the memorandums pertain to a wide range of fields such as on-scene inspections, scientific study, logistical support, and personnel and technical exchanges.
Keynote Speech by H.E. Zhang Yesui Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs At the Special Meeting “Our Antarctica: Protection and Utilization” Jointly Shoulder the Responsibility of Antarctic Governance And Write a New Chapter in Antarctic Protection and Utilization Beijing, 23 May 2017
China ‘strongly dissatisfied’ with G7 statement on East, South China Seas | Reuters In their communique on Saturday, G7 leaders said they were concerned by the situation in the South China Sea and East China Sea. They also called for a demilitarization of “disputed features”.
With Premier Li in Europe, China set to deepen, enrich ties with EU – Xinhua Chinese Premier Li Keqiang’s upcoming visit to Europe from May 31 to June 2 is expected to further deepen and enrich China’s relations with the European Union (EU) at a time of increasing global uncertainty. During the three-day visit, Li will travel to Germany and Belgium, where he will meet with European leaders in an effort to enhance mutual political trust and expand pragmatic cooperation between the two sides, to inject fresh impetus into China’s relations with the two countries.
Why the Trump era could mean riskier business for Beijing | South China Morning Post In a report released on the weekend, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences also said Washington would pile more pressure on Beijing to tackle Pyongyang, and the United States would not retreat from the Asia-Pacific, despite Trump’s “America First” pledges. The report examined the last months of Barack Obama’s administration and the first months of Trump’s term and concluded that Trump was “more determined than Obama to take diplomatic and military risks in key international issues”.
Hong Kong, Macao And Taiwan
NBC News Exclusive: a Look at Taiwan’s Military Drills As China Looms Comment: Nice PR for Taiwan, whose idea was it? No mention by the correspondent of successive ROC administrations allowing the degradation of Taiwan’s fighting capabilities in the face of repeated warnings from multiple US administrations. For more on this see the May 18, 2017 New York Times OpEd Taiwan’s Failure to Face the Threat From China by Enoch Wu, a former noncommissioned officer in the Taiwanese Army special forces
China Charges Activist From Taiwan With ‘Subverting State Power’ – The New York Times Lee Ming-cheh, a human rights advocate from Taiwan who was detained in China in March, has been formally arrested on a charge of “subverting state power,” the Chinese government has announced, amid a continuing crackdown on civil society organizations. His arrest, announced on Friday, marks the first time the Chinese authorities have charged someone from Taiwan with subversion.
Tech And Media
Rela, China’s leading lesbian app with over 5 million registered users, gets shut down: Shanghaiist China’s leading lesbian app Rela (热拉) was shut down last week following a viral incident at Shanghai’s marriage market in People’s Park in which a group of mothers of LGBT children were kicked out by police while trying to raise awareness for gay rights.
Qiu Yang Becomes First Chinese Director To Win Short Film Palme d’Or | China Film Insider The 28-year-old director won the award with A Gentle Night, a 15-minute short film about a mother searching for her missing daughter on the eve of the Lunar New Year in a small Chinese town.
Don’t worry, Hollywood. China’s not a threat – LA Times – John Pomfret That said, before we unspool into a tizzy of anti-Chinese paranoia, it’s important to remember two things: China’s film industry remains abysmal artistically, and it has begun to flail financially. Indeed, while some American observers worry about China’s takeover of the U.S. entertainment industry, their Chinese counterparts, with some justification, fret that it could end up the other way around.
共享充电宝创始团队离职 王思聪还可能”吃翔”吗？_网易新闻 Comment: report that the funding software team and the hardware director of battery sharing firm JieDian, which raised at least 300m RMB, have quit.
Society, Art, Sports, Culture And History
The US businesswoman who opened a veterinary hospital in Beijing – FT $$ Peng is not a vet. She’s a businesswoman whose love for pets inspired her to set up the International Center for Veterinary Services (ICVS), the first fully foreign-owned veterinary hospital in Beijing. She’s caught the wave in a country where pet ownership has gone from a sign of bourgeois decadence to status symbol to middle-class norm in just a few years.
Yao Ming’s PE firm seeks $250 mln for overseas sports assets with China angle | Reuters Yao Capital, the Chinese private equity firm co-founded by former NBA superstar Yao Ming, said it aims to raise $250 million for its first U.S. dollar fund that will invest in overseas sports assets with relevance to the Chinese market.
Bank Investigates Allegations of Suggestive Texts to Interns – Sixth Tone Victims of sexual harassment increasingly turn to social media outlets like Weibo to expose perpetrators. Last December, a senior manager at a Beijing branch of China’s Minsheng Bank Corp was suspended after social media posts revealed that he had asked a female employee to meet him at a hotel. And in September 2016, an executive at a Swiss company was fired after singer Li Mao posted on Weibo that her sister, an intern at the company, had been harassed by him.
Energy, Environment, Science And Health
Backgrounder: Xi Jinping’s remarks on scientific innovation – Xinhua Chinese President Xi Jinping has asked society to learn from late geophysicist Huang Danian, who made outstanding contributions in education and scientific research. Huang, known for his expertise in deep Earth exploration technology, helped China soar in a number of technical fields, transforming the nation into one of the world’s leaders in deep Earth exploration.
Chinese chemical plants accused of polluting the air under cover of darkness | South China Morning Post Alhough festooned with banners calling for the construction of “beautiful villages” and the “upgrade” of Hebei’s highly-polluting heavy industries, the sprawling complex of chemical plants shadowing the villages of Nansitou and East Luzhuang often operates unchallenged by environmental regulators, residents say.
习近平主持中共中央政治局第四十一次集体学习 – 中华人民共和国国防部 Comment: Xi chairs Politburo study session, the 41st under his tenure, on promoting green development and green living // 习近平在中共中央政治局第四十一次集体学习时强调 推动形成绿色发展方式和生活方式 为人民群众创造良好生产生活环境…学习开始时，播放了有关生态环境保护的专题片。随后，何立峰、姜大明、陈吉宁、陈政高、陈雷同志先后发言，他们结合本部门工作实际谈了对推进生态文明建设、推动绿色发展、加强环境保护等方面的体会和意见。
Agriculture And Rural Issues
The World Is About to be Flooded With Cotton – Bloomberg China continues to unload inventories to supply the domestic market, dimming the demand outlook in the No. 1 consumer. At an auction on Friday, the nation sold 13,700 tons out of 29,500 tons offered, according to the website of state-owned China National Cotton Information Center. “People used to say that because so much of the world inventory was within China, that it was bullish, because it was never going to come out,” said Gillian Rutherford, who helps oversee about $12 billion as a commodities portfolio manager for Pacific Investment Management Co. in Newport Beach, California. “Now, we are in the reverse situation.”
专家：小麦托市收购应打破垄断 引入面粉加工企业_政经频道_财新网 新一轮小麦托市收购启动在即，如何有效缓解当前中储粮及其代储库粮食仓储能力不足、监管不到位、出库效率低、流通能力差的局面？东方艾格分析师马文峰认为，小麦临时收储应引入大型面粉加工企业等多元市场主体参与
Can Free Speech on American Campuses Withstand Chinese Nationalism? | ChinaFile Conversation Comment: Good ChinaFile conversation on the Yang Shuping University of Maryland commencement speech mess
Food And Travel
China installs or upgrades over 50,000 toilets in its “toilet revolution” – Xinhua The figures were released by the China National Tourism Administration (CNTA) in a report titled “Progress of the toilet revolution” Friday. The number accounted for 92.7 percent of the official target the government announced for the three years through to 2017.
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