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Guo Wengui’s Voice of America (VOA) interview, discussed in yesterday’s newsletter, must have rattled Beijing to warrant such a coordinated propaganda campaign against him. As The South China Morning Post reports China has launched unprecedented international publicity war against wanted tycoon Guo Wengui.
That campaign includes a video posted to Youtube of fallen Ministry of State Security (MSS) Vice-Minister Ma Jian recounting his ties to Guo (郭文贵, aka Miles Kwok). Ma’s comments are summarized in The South China Morning Post’s How a powerful tycoon had a Chinese spy master in his pocket.
Ma Jian does not look like he is having a good time in detention.
The Beijing News has been especially prolific in the last day publishing stories about Guo, including:
—为多名高官“设局”的“战神”郭文贵秘史 on Guo’s “secret history” and work with corrupt officials to build his empire;
—马建供述：郭文贵对我言听计从 对张越常破口大骂 on ties Guo to Zhang Yue’s case. Zhang was the former head of the Hebei provincial Politics and Law Committee case who is on trial this week (Xinhua-Former senior Hebei official stands trial for bribery; CCTV has published a video of Zhang admitting his crimes in court);
—盘古公司两高管因参与郭文贵涉嫌犯罪活动被依法批捕 on two employees of Guo’s Beijing Pangu Investment Corporation who have now been formally arrested.
But coordinated campaigns are still copyrighted. The Beijing News issued a notice listing all the web sites that republished its work on Guo without permission.【新京报反侵权公告第37期】独家报道《红通疑犯郭文贵的暗战史》被金融界等多家网站侵权转载.
Caixin, which Guo has long seen as his nemesis, has a story on Guo’s purchase of Founder Securities and includes claims he collaborated with Ma Jian and Zhang Yue 郭文贵收购民族证券始末 与马建张越勾结内幕曝光.
The smear campaign is unlikely to be a complete work of fiction. You don’t get a piece of prime real estate in the 2000s on the central Beijing axis next to the Olympic Park to build a development like Pangu Plaza without doing things that provide at least snippets of veracity to a future smear campaign directed against you.
The Voice of America appears to have had good reasons for the abrupt termination of the live Guo interview but it created credibility problems for itself. Mike Forsythe of the New York Times reports in China Seeks Arrest of Billionaire Who Accused Officials’ Relatives of Graft that:
China’s government pressed Voice of America to cancel the interview, an official with the broadcaster said. The Foreign Ministry summoned its Beijing-based correspondent, Bill Ide, on Monday, where he was told that the interview would be viewed by China as interference in its internal affairs and told that it might affect the renewal of journalists’ visas, according to two people at Voice of America with knowledge of the meeting.
Officials from the Chinese Embassy in Washington also called Voice of America in an effort to stop the interview from taking place, one person with direct knowledge of the conversations said. The person added that at no time were executives at Voice of America contacted by the United States government about the interview. The people interviewed for this article spoke on the condition of anonymity to talk freely about communications with the Chinese government.
Voice of America executives, led by its director, Amanda Bennett [Editor’s Note: Mrs. Bennett oversaw the investigative reporting into Xi’s family while at Bloomberg], proceeded with the interview, with the understanding that the live portion last only one hour. The rest of the interview would be recorded to give reporters a chance to check Mr. Guo’s allegations and allow the Chinese government an opportunity to respond, the broadcaster said.
“In a miscommunication, the stream was allowed to continue beyond the first hour,” a Voice of America spokeswoman, Bridget Serchak, said in an emailed statement. “When this was noticed, the feed was terminated. We will release content from these interviews and will continue to report on corruption issues.”
Guo’s choice of Voice of America for his third “expose”, instead of MingjingTV where he aired his first two, always struck me as a strange decision, both for him and for VOA. The Voice of America is funded by the US government and the Chinese Communist Party has long viewed it, not without justification, as a tool for American attempts at subverting CCP rule. Guo’s appearance on the station to make explosive allegations about senior members of the Communist Party and PRC government will make it easy for Beijing to paint him as a tool of the US government bent on harming China.
We should expect Guo to become an issue in US-China relations, just as Ling Wancheng is, and one that the Trump administration will need to handle very carefully. Guo, a member of President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club, may know secrets almost as interesting as Ling does. Ling has remained silent in an unknown location.
The video of the entire VOA interview with Guo is available on Youtube. RFA has uploaded an 18 minute edited version to Youtube that contains the most exciting allegations. In addition to Guo’s claims discussed in yesterday’s newsletter, some of his other allegations include police torture and being given tasks by the MSS, including to meet with the Dalai Lama and work with overseas private detective agencies to track down fugitive corrupt officials.
What about Guo’s relatives, employees and assets back in China? Has he lost hope they will be released and so now wants to burn everything down, or is he playing high-stakes blackmail, giving Beijing a taste of what he can do while privately offering to hold back if he gets what he wants? This morning he threatened more “exposes”, writing on Twitter that he is not intimidated by Beijing and is considering releasing videos and other details about Standing Committee members and their family members:
We need to remember that yesterday’s allegations by Guo are so far unsubstantiated. The relevant organs in Beijing though are clearly concerned as Xi does not want any scandals between now and the 19th Party Congress that could threaten his plans. The US is much safer for Guo Wengui than Hong Kong was for Xiao Jianhua, but he is taking no chances and has several beefy bodyguards on his payroll.
And just a few weeks ago things were looking fairly dull heading into the 19th Party Congress…
THE ESSENTIAL EIGHT
1. Trump authorizes investigation into steel imports from China – Axios The details: The investigations will be implemented under the 1962 Trade Expansion Act — a decades-old law that could impose penalties on improper imports, specifically steel, from certain countries, specifically China. These import penalties have not been invoked since 1992, when the World Trade Organization was founded. Why this matters: It’s a significant step toward Trump’s “America First” policy. China’s overproduction of steel is also an issue for the economy, and imposing penalties on their imports could strain the US-China relationship, especially if done for the first time since 1992 and when Trump has relied on them for help with North Korea.
2. South Koreans Feel Cheated After U.S. Carrier Miscue – The New York Times On Wednesday, after it was revealed that the carrier strike group was actually thousands of miles away and had been heading in the opposite direction, toward the Indian Ocean, South Koreans felt bewildered, cheated and manipulated by the United States, their country’s most important ally. “Trump’s lie over the Carl Vinson,” read a headline on the website of the newspaper JoongAng Ilbo on Wednesday. “Xi Jinping and Putin must have had a good jeer over this one.”
Related: South Korea Tells Trump It’s Actually Never Been a Part of China – Bloomberg In an interview with the Wall Street Journal last week, Trump said Xi told him during a recent summit that “Korea actually used to be a part of China.” The comments sparked outrage in Seoul and became an issue in South Korea’s presidential race, prompting the foreign ministry to seek to verify what Xi actually said. “It’s a clear fact acknowledged by the international community that, for thousands of years in history, Korea has never been part of China,” foreign ministry spokesman Cho June-hyuck said at a briefing in Seoul on Thursday. // Comment: Not a great way to treat an ally, especially in the midst of a Presidential election
Related: Frank Gaffney: China ‘Considers Bad Behavior from North Korea a Strategic Asset’ Comment: Do Trump or his lieutenants listen to this Breitbart show? // Center for Security Policy President Frank Gaffney joined SiriusXM host Alex Marlow on Wednesday’s Bretibart News Daily to talk about the crisis in North Korea…“One of the ways in which they could do that, we believe, is through unleashing, perhaps via a nuclear device overhead – currently there are two North Korean satellites circling the Earth, and passing over the United States with regularity, that could conceivably house an electromagnetic pulse optimized nuclear weapon,” he explained. If detonated, such a weapon could “take out the United States by destroying our electric grid,” an offensive capability Gaffney described as a “game-changer” even before North Korea develops nuclear-tipped intercontinental ballistic missiles.
Related: Pence: The United States is not seeking negotiations with North Korea – The Washington Post He pointed to North Korea’s violations of the 1994 Agreed Framework negotiated by the Clinton administration and the violations of the 2005 denuclearization agreement negotiated by the administration of George W. Bush. “All of those negotiations and discussions failed, miserably,” Pence said. “The time has come for us to take a fresh approach. And the approach President Trump has taken is not engagement with North Korea but renewed and more vigorous engagement with North Korea’s principle economic partner [China].”
Related: A reckless North Korea remains China’s useful ally-FT $$ The uncomfortable truth for the US is that Beijing remains inclined to tolerate its exasperating client state for as long as Washington looms as China’s chief strategic competitor. This orientation is so entrenched that anything less than a genuine — and potentially terrifying — crisis may fail to shift it. // Comment: And if North Korea is Trump’s top ask to the Chinese how much progress will he make on The South China Sea and other thorny issues?
3. China Shakes Up Regulators in Scramble for Stability – WSJ The back-to-basics push is meant to neutralize chances a financial flare-up could detract from the Communist Party’s once-in-five-years leadership conclave expected late this year, when President Xi Jinping needs support to increase his power. “This is completely defensive,” says Anthony Neoh, a longtime adviser to Chinese financial policy makers and a board member of giant Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd. “Markets have a way of running away from governments all the time.”
Related: PBOC’s Ma Says China Weighing Impact of Shadow Banking Rules – Bloomberg Any new rules on wealth management products and other asset management offerings will be rolled out gradually, Ma Jun, chief economist of the research bureau of the People’s Bank of China, said at an economic forum in Washington. The rebounding economy has created room for expedited structural reforms, Ma said.
Related: China’s banking regulator warns trust firms of rising danger: sources | Reuters China’s banking regulator sees “severe risks” from funds flowing into the real estate, coal and steel industries through the trust industry, a major part of the shadow banking sector, two sources with knowledge of the matter said on Thursday. Deng Zhiyi, head of the Trust Department at the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC), recently told trust firms at this year’s work meeting that the risks may be higher than originally estimated, the sources told Reuters.
4. China launches first cargo spacecraft Tianzhou-1 – Xinhua China aims to build a permanent space station that is expected to orbit for at least 10 years, and the debut of the cargo ship is important as it acts as a courier to help maintain the space station. Without a cargo transportation system, the station would run out of power and basic necessities, causing it to return to Earth before the designated time.
Related: China to take major step toward space station with Tianzhou-1 cargo mission on Thursday | gbtimes.com The Long March 7 Y2 will deliver Tianzhou-1 to low Earth orbit, where it will rendezvous and dock with the Tiangong-2 space lab, which is currently orbiting at an altitude of around 390 kilometres and travelling at 7 km per second. The main goals of the mission are autonomous cargo delivery and testing the transfer of liquid propellant to Tiangong-2 in microgravity – processes and technologies which are crucial to plans for maintaining and supplying the planned Chinese Space Station (CSS) and its astronauts.
Related: Why China’s New Cargo Space Ship Is So Important | The Diplomat Western policy that imagines China is only re-creating capabilities matured during the Cold War has yet to awaken to the real challenge China is posing in methodically creating this supply chain. By focusing on the past, the West mistakenly imagines a space race while missing what is in fact a “gold rush” in space. This gold rush is determined by China’s quest for renewable energy, to include resources to be mined from asteroids, the moon, and SBSP, that will boost its long-term economic developmental goals. Dr. Namrata Goswami is a MINERVA Grantee of the Minerva Initiative awarded by the Office of the Secretary of Defense in the United States
5. A backlash against same-sex marriage tests Taiwan’s reputation for gay rights – The Washington Post the groundswell of support that spurred hope for marriage equality has spurred a bitter backlash that has experts and advocates wondering if and when the law will move ahead. Over the last year, mostly Christian community groups have mobilized against the marriage-equality movement, warning, contrary to evidence, that same-sex partnerships are a threat to children, that giving LGBT families legal protection will hurt Taiwan.
6. Director-General Zhang Jun Published Article Entitled “China’s Economic Diplomacy Entered the New Era” Zhang Jun, Director-General of the Department of International Economic Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, recently published a signed article entitled “China’s Economic Diplomacy Entered the New Era” on Foreign Affairs Journal, Spring 2017. The full text is as follows:
7. Railways on Track to Gain as Northern China Puts Brakes on Coal-Carrying Trucks – Caixin Global the long line of coal-carrying trucks passing through cities in northeast China will soon come to an end, as central ministries and local governments in March jointly announced a plan to ban diesel-powered coal trucks in the region encompassing Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei province to tackle the severe air pollution. About a dozen ports in Tianjin, Hebei, and Shandong and Liaoning provinces are covered by the ban.
8. China Exclusive: Xi urges promoting 21st Century Maritime Silk Road – Xinhua Chinese President Xi Jinping has vowed efforts to promote the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road and advance opening up and development under the Belt and Road Initiative. Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, made the remarks during an inspection tour in south China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region on Wednesday. // Comment: Just the beginnings of the propaganda rollout over this inspection tour, only a few pics here 习近平到广西考察调研, should get the full CCTV treatment soon
BUSINESS, ECONOMY AND TRADE
China Unveils $55.2 Billion in Tax Cuts to Boost Growth – Caixin Global Wednesday’s announcement followed Li’s promise made last month in his Report on the Work of the Government to slash 350 billion yuan in taxes and 200 billion yuan in administrative fees. China’s high tax levels and various other government charges, sometimes imposed in a discretionary and opaque manner, have drawn complaints from business owners who have seen profits squeezed as the country’s economic growth has slowed.
BlackRock Offers Vote of Confidence to Mainland China’s Stock Markets – WSJ BlackRock Inc., BLK -1.70% the world’s largest asset manager, said Thursday that it supports including mainland shares in the benchmarks of MSCI Inc., MSCI 0.46% whose indexes are used by global money managers to guide trillions of dollars in investments
Economic Watch: China’s central SOEs continue efforts to cut overcapacity – Xinhua China’s central government-administered state-owned enterprises (SOEs) have pledged to continue to cut production overcapacity in some industrial sectors, aiming to reduce steel capacity by 5.95 million tonnes and coal by 24.73 million tonnes. “Detailed plans have been made by central SOEs,” said an insider who prefers to remain anonymous.
How China’s Largest TV Maker Invested in Georgia to Globalize its Brand – Paulson Institute Until, recently, Hisense has primarily been an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) for firms like Hitachi, Dynex, and Insignia, many of which are in-house brands of retailers such as Sears and Best Buy. In other words, Hisense mostly made TVs for other companies’ brands but had no distinctive brand recognition itself. But Hisense USA recognized this branding deficit. And so, more recently, the company has begun to focus on laying the groundwork for a strategic shift from an OEM to having its own branded products in the US market. That is the story that lies at the core of this case study.
China’s Bitauto raises $1 billion from internet giants Tencent, Baidu | Reuters It is the latest in a series of investments Bitauto has raised from three of China’s biggest technology companies.
President Trump’s New Order Gives China Tech Opportunity To ‘Hire American’ Too : NPR The same week that President Trump issued his hire American executive order, the president of one of China’s top tech companies said his company wants to do the same thing. Baidu’s President Ya-Qin Zhang hit the Stanford University campus trying to recruit American computer science students.
China Sage Tips ‘Destruction’ of Leverage Trades as Stocks Slide – Bloomberg Markets are only starting to feel the heat from China’s campaign to cleanse its financial system of risk. That’s the view of Hao Hong, chief strategist at Bocom International Holdings Co. in Hong Kong who accurately called China’s boom-and-bust equity cycle of 2015.
China Statistics Agency Sets Up Special Arm to Combat Fake Data – Bloomberg The new enforcement team was formed to meet demands from the central government to improve data quality, according to a statement published on the website of the National Bureau of Statistics on Thursday.
China’s LeEco plans sale of $420 million Beijing real estate – sources | Reuters The two people said LeEco hoped to sell the 50,000 square metre Beijing property in the Sanlitun district by divesting from two firms it owns – Beijing Fortune Times Property Co Ltd and Beijing Baiding New Century Business Management Co Ltd.
China gathers state-led consortium for Aramco IPO – sources | Reuters Saudi Aramco, a key exporter to China along with Russia’s Rosneft, is due to list next year, with a potential $100 billion equity sale that is expected to be the world’s largest to date. The planned Chinese investment makes it more likely that the national energy giant would seek a listing in Asia, with Hong Kong currently the frontrunner among bourses in the region, the same people said.
Vanke Invests 3 Billion Yuan in Real Estate Agent Lianjia – Caixin Global Leading real estate developer China Vanke Co. Ltd. is investing 3 billion yuan ($436 million) in Lianjia, a source familiar with the situation told Caixin ahead of a potential initial public offering (IPO) for one of the nation’s leading property agents.
Beijing government says property curbs show results, despite March price gains | Reuters “With demand dropping, it’s possible (Beijing) housing prices, especially in the resale market, may drop,” a city government spokeswoman told a news conference, a post on the government website showed.
北京楼市新政:下月起购二手房须以自己银行卡付款_网易新闻 Comment: Starting in May Beijing will require buyers and sellers of secondary homes to use bank cards in their names for the transaction
POLITICS AND LAW
县委书记的楷模 百姓心中的丰碑–习近平总书记对廖俊波同志先进事迹的重要指示在广大党员干部中引起强烈反响-新华网 近日，习近平总书记对福建南平市委原常委、副市长、武夷新区党工委书记廖俊波同志先进事迹作出重要指示。中央组织部专门印发通知，要求认真学习贯彻习近平总书记重要指示精神，广泛开展向廖俊波同志学习活动。 // Comment: The propaganda about Liao Junbo as a model county secretary is ramping up
China gets tougher with officials’ personal information declaration – Xinhua China has published stricter regulations on officials’ personal information declarations, requiring them to report to the Communist Party of China (CPC) their personal and family assets and investments, marital status and overseas travel, among others. 中共中央办公厅、国务院办公厅印发《领导干部报告个人有关事项规定》和《领导干部个人有关事项报告查核结果处理办法》-新华网
Xi Jinping elected delegate to 19th CPC National Congress – Xinhua A total of 2,300 delegates to the national congress, slated for the second half of 2017, are being elected by 40 electoral units across the country. The election will be completed by June.
贵州选举产生出席党的十九大代表 习近平全票当选-新华网 4月16日至20日，中国共产党贵州省第十二次代表大会在贵阳召开，会议选举产生了贵州省出席党的十九大代表。在贵州参选的中央提名的代表候选人习近平同志，以全票当选党的十九大代表。
China’s Xi Jinping kicks off congress with formal election in ally’s province-Reuters Though Xinhua did not explain why Xi would be representing Guizhou – in China’s Parliament he represents the commercial hub of Shanghai – but the province’s top official, Chen Miner, is a trusted confidant of Xi.
Qiao Mu: “I Quit Because I Don’t Want a Work Unit” – China Digital Times (CDT) One academic who has seen his career path disrupted amid Xi’s ideology drive is the outspokenly liberal Qiao Mu (乔木), who until tendering his resignation this month was a faculty member at Beijing Foreign Studies University.
Former senior Taiwan affairs official sentenced to 15 years for graft – China Daily Gong Qinggai, a former senior official with the Chinese mainland’s Taiwan affairs body, was sentenced to 15 years in prison for accepting bribes totaling nearly 53.53 million yuan (around $7.78 million) on Thursday.
FOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS
China is building the world’s largest nuclear submarine facility | Popular Science When this enclosed submarine factory begins operation later this year, the Bohai Shipbuilding Heavy Industry Co. (BSHIC) will be able to quickly build nuclear submarines. Assembling SSNs in a building also provides the advantage of sheltering against the weather, not to mention nosy spy satellites.
习近平接见新调整组建军级单位主官 对各单位发布训令-新华网 新华社北京4月18日电（记者 李宣良）中共中央总书记、国家主席、中央军委主席习近平18日接见新调整组建军级单位主官，并对各单位发布训令，强调要坚决贯彻党中央和中央军委决策指示，以党在新形势下的强军目标为引领，贯彻新形势下军事战略方针，坚持政治建军、改革强军、依法治军，聚焦能打仗、打胜仗推进各项工作，聚精会神锻造召之即来、来之能战、战之必胜的精兵劲旅，为实现中国梦强军梦作出新的更大的贡献。
Spanish police arrest 25 in suspected Chinese mafia bust | Reuters Spanish police have arrested 25 Chinese nationals suspected of forming a criminal gang whose primary business was trafficking and sexually exploiting women in Barcelona brothels.
In China, EU′s Mogherini talks North Korea, ′New Silk Road′ | DW.COM During a high-profile visit to Beijing, the EU’s foreign policy chief has urged cooperation in reducing tensions with North Korea. She described China and the EU as “global powers” with a shared responsibility.
About ChinaMed ChinaMed’s primary research aim is to analyze the increasing interconnections between China and the wider Mediterranean region, and to explore their potential impact on regional and global dynamics.
HONG KONG, MACAO AND TAIWAN
Detained Hong Kong bookseller Gui wins Swedish free speech prize | Reuters Gui Minhai is one of five Hong Kong booksellers who went missing in 2015 and later appeared in mainland Chinese custody. The four others have returned to Hong Kong. [nL4N19A038] Awarding him the annual Anna Politkovskaya Memorial Prize, Publicistklubben said Gui had “despite personal risk … shown great courage as a publisher and challenged the narrow-mined political agenda of the Chinese regime”.
President Tsai Dodges Another Cross-Strait Bullet – Taiwan Sentinel The decision by the Taiwanese government earlier this week to deny political asylum to a Chinese dissident who had left his tour group at the weekend may have saved the Tsai Ing-wen administration serious headaches amid a controversy surrounding the detention of a Taiwanese rights activist in China.
TECH AND MEDIA
NXP sells Advanced Semiconductor Stake to Chinese Buyer – Caixin Global NXP said it sold its 421 million Advanced Semiconductor shares to Shanghai Pudong Science and Technology Investment Co. Ltd. for 99 Hong Kong cents (13 U.S. cents) each, giving the transaction a total value of HK$417 million, according to a company announcement on Wednesday.
WeChat tipping feature runs afoul of iOS App Store rules – TechNode Originally, the WeChat team encouraged Official Account owners to use QR codes embedded in posts from Official Accounts, allowing users to transfer funds to authors’ individual accounts. These codes began to appear yesterday afternoon. However, the latest announcement states that all tipping functions have been disabled on the iOS version of the app.
Haiyin To Help Bring $1B Chinese VC Money To University Start-Ups In US – China Money Network Chinese venture firm Haiyin Capital has partnered with the National Council of Entrepreneurial Tech Transfer (NCET2) to establish a joint venture to provide Chinese venture funding to start-ups formed at American universities.
Apple in Hot Seat as China Targets Livestreaming Porn – Caixin Global A young woman who recently livestreamed herself through the Huoshanzhibo app changing clothes at 3 a.m. resulted in app viewership quickly spiking, according to a broadcast news report Sunday on state-run CCTV. The television report came two days before regulators told Huoshanzhibo and other app operators to clean up their content. Apple was the only app platform cited in the cyberspace administrator’s latest statement, although China’s Android stores offer livestreaming apps as well.
SOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY
Chinese park hobbles energetic street dancers | South China Morning Post Dancers at the People’s Park in Zhengzhou, the capital of Henan province, were asked to stop their activities early on Wednesday morning, the Zhengzhou Evening News reported. Park director Gao Yong said the decision was made for multiple reasons, in part because the large crowds of dancers and bystanders were trampling the park’s flowers and grass. There were also instances of stealing and other types of conflict stemming from the number of people in the park, and some pedestrians were “taking advantage” of the revelry to live-stream the dancers, according to Gao.
Furor in China Over Team’s Banner: ‘Keep Homosexuality Far From Campus’ – The New York Times “Protect traditional Chinese morals,” said a banner carried on campus by members of the women’s basketball team. “Defend core socialist values. Resist corrosion from decadent Western thoughts. Keep homosexuality far from campus.” A photo of the students with the banner, posted online by the team’s coach on Sunday, provoked immediate outrage, with people across China calling on the university to fire the coach and punish the students.
Virtual reality brings Old Summer Palace back to life-China Daily The team, lead by Guo Daiheng, a professor from the Architecture School of Tsinghua, briefed their digital study on the imperial palace and their achievements at a press conference on April 18. Guo’s mentor was well-known late Chinese architect Liang Sicheng. It took Guo and her team 15 years to complete the digital restoration.
How Weibo Became the Public Face of Private Web Users | Sixth Tone Far from being obsolete, China’s ever-changing microblogging platform constantly shapes social participation.
Father’s Regret Over Sending Daughter to Study in US Goes Viral | Sixth Tone A father’s anger over losing his only child to the United States has caused web users to question the value of sending students overseas for their education. In an interview with local Party newspaper Guangzhou Daily on Tuesday, Zhang Yong described how his daughter had married an American and intends to stay in the U.S., 10 years after she left home to pursue her degree. // Comment: The Weibo topic #独生女留学嫁老外#
China drafts law on public libraries-Xinhua The new functions of libraries, such as digital resources and online services, are also included in the draft. “It’s an important step to further institutionalize public cultural services in China,” said Li Guoxin, member of the national panel for the public cultural service system.
ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT, SCIENCE AND HEALTH
The New Garbage Policy That Has China’s State Media Singing – Paulson Institute Garbage disposal is a huge challenge in China: most gets incinerated, releasing greenhouse gas emissions, many of them toxic with heavy metal and other materials. That’s one reason an innovative kitchen waste recycling project won the recently announced fourth annual Paulson Prize for Sustainable Cities.
China’s biggest airline bans shark fin cargo | South China Morning Post In a letter to WildAid Hong Kong, seen by the Post and confirmed by the airline, China Southern’s vice-president Han Wensheng said the company “attached great importance to the issue” and had “taken immediate action”.
Colorful Hebei pits heavily polluted – China Daily A cluster of red and yellow pits occupy a strip of arable land in Dacheng county, of which the largest covers more than 170,000 square meters, equal to 23 standard soccer fields. Surrounding the pits is black sludge, and piles of dark-red waste residue were discovered at a nearby industrial zone, according to aerial photographs provided by Chongqing Liangjiang Voluntary Service Center, an NGO, which went viral online on Wednesday.
中央环保督察专治地方沉疴–法制网 截至目前，中央环保督察已经完成了对15个省（区、市）的环保督察，问责6408人，约谈6842人，立案查处案件达8969件。而这些案件中相当数量属于地方多年解决不了环保老大难问题。 // Comment: Central Environmental Inspection Teams are finding a lot of problems with enforcement in the 15 provinces they have inspected so far
State Council to reform mineral resource equity benefit system-SCIO According to the plan, fees for mining exploration and exploitation rights will be turned into mineral resource equity benefits for the government, the share proportion of which is 4:6 between central and local governments. The occupation of mineral resources will also be charged, divided 2:8 between central and local governments.
AGRICULTURE AND RURAL ISSUES
China’s planned land reform: not enough to protect farmers from land grabs – Blog The announced revision of the Land Administration Law could be an important step towards a better protection of farmers’ rights. But as long as the root causes of the problem – urbanization pressures and fiscal constraints – are not addressed, China’s farmers will be at the losing end of the battle with land-hungry developers and local authorities.
鸡肉价格大跌背后：白羽鸡生长周期缩短近半–百度百家 Comment: chickens raised faster so chicken prices dropping fast. How exactly do you cut the time to raise a chicken for processing by almost half?
北京大学召开党风廉政建设警示教育大会——中央纪委监察部网站 Comment: CCDI reports on discipline problems found among Peking University administrators and employees
Beijing’s migrants no longer welcome as city caps population-FT $$ “They needed us when Beijing was growing but now that it’s developed, they don’t want us any more,” said one woman who has lived in Beijing since she arrived as a 15-year-old nanny 23 years ago. The shop she ran profitably for 10 years was torn down this month. In 2016 the capital tore down 30m square metres of small shops, restaurants and fruit stands deemed “illegal construction”. It is targeting the destruction of 40m sq m this year, shrinking the land zoned for construction to 2,760 sq km by 2030 while expanding parks and gardens.