"Sinocism is the Presidential Daily Brief for China hands"- Evan Osnos, New Yorker Correspondent and National Book Award Winner
1. Xi Meets With Provincial And Ministerial Officials, Lays Out Roadmap For Party Congress Work Report
It has been a routine practice of the CPC Central Committee for its general secretary to make a speech in front of high-level officials ahead of the once-for-every-five-years CPC national congress to unify Party members’ thoughts and chart out future development.
The tone-setting speech, which summarized achievements in theories and practices since the 18th CPC National Congress held in November 2012, was a concrete mobilization call.
Xi…made the remarks at the workshop attended by provincial and ministerial officials on Wednesday and Thursday.
The major achievements made in socialism with Chinese characteristics mean that the Chinese nation, which had experienced tribulations and hardships since modern times, has made a historic leap from standing-up to becoming better-off to getting stronger, Xi said. [ 站起来，富起来，强起来]
The great achievements also mean that socialism has taken on a strong vitality in China and kept opening up new development horizons, he said.
The major achievements mean that socialism with Chinese characteristics has expanded the pathway to modernization for developing countries, thus providing Chinese wisdom and Chinese solutions to problems facing mankind, Xi said.
China will keep deepening supply-side structural reform to push forward sustained and healthy economic and social development, President Xi Jinping has said.
Efforts should be made to prevent and defuse major risks, relieve poverty, and prevent and control pollution, Xi said at a workshop for provincial and ministerial officials held from Wednesday to Thursday in preparation for the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC).
The top 15 minutes of Thursday CCTV Evening News on Xi’s comments at the meeting. expect this to be a very good indication of what will be in the work report Xi presents at the 19th party congress, and a good reminder that Marxism does actually still matter to the CCP–习近平在省部级主要领导干部“学习习近平总书记重要讲话精神 迎接党的十九大”专题研讨班开班式上发表重要讲话强调 高举中国特色社会主义伟大旗帜 为决胜全面小康社会实现中国梦而奋斗:
中共中央召开党外人士座谈会 习近平主持并发表重要讲话_CCTV —Xi Jinping chairs meeting with “non-party members”, getting input for 18th Party Congress Work Report
2. PLA Reform Progressing, Xi In Command, 90th Anniversary of PLA Founding On August 1
Chinese President Xi Jinping has called for all-out efforts to push forward military reform with the support of the entire nation and the Communist Party of China (CPC). Xi…made the remarks Monday afternoon at a group study attended by members of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee.
CCTV Evening News on the study session 习近平在中共中央政治局第四十二次集体学习时强调 军队全力以赴全党全国大力支持 推动国防和军 蔡红硕 Cai Hongshuo was the discussant
The Scientific Research Steering Committee was set up early this year, according to a documentary aired on state broadcaster CCTV that revealed the new department for the first time.
The committee will fall directly under the Central Military Commission (CMC), which is chaired by President Xi Jinping.
3. North Korea Challenge Only Getting Worse
Comment: Beijing may really believe it has done almost all it can and the only realistic next step is for Trump to talk to Kim, but The White House is far from convinced.
Former U.S. officials and weapons experts said a successful test of a nuclear-capable ICBM would dramatically raise the stakes in the North Korean crisis, putting new pressure on North Korea’s neighbors and increasing the risk of miscalculation. “The danger is that decision time and warning is greatly reduced when North Korea has the weapons, and that escalation can happen quickly,” said Jon Wolfsthal, senior director for arms control and nonproliferation with the Obama administration’s National Security Council.
New U.S. sanctions aimed at curbing North Korean’s weapons programs, including measures aimed at Chinese financial institutions, can be expected “fairly soon,” a senior U.S. official said on Tuesday. Asked when such sanctions could be expected and whether they could come within 30 days, Susan Thornton, the acting assistant secretary of state for East Asia, told a Senate sub-committee hearing:
China stages high-profile naval drill off Korean peninsula | South China Morning Post Show of military might ahead of PLA anniversary aimed at demonstrating Beijing’s resolve amid heightened tensions over Pyongyang, analysts say
A review of official military and government websites and interviews with experts who have studied the preparations show that Beijing has implemented many of the changes in recent months after initiating them last year …Recent Chinese measures include establishing a new border defense brigade, 24-hour video surveillance of the mountainous frontier backed by aerial drones, and bunkers to protect against nuclear and chemical blasts, according to the websites.
Lighthizer, a longtime steel industry trade lawyer who served as deputy USTR in the 1980s, said there were many examples of China’s WTO violations, including dumping of products below cost, unfair subsidies for state firms and other “non-economic” policies.
“You have to take on their industrial policy one way or another,” Lighthizer said. “For example, they will develop an industry behind a closed market in China. When that industry is developed with subsidies and with protection, they’ll then let it loose on the world.”
Though Republicans and Democrats are at odds on many economic policy issues, they’re unified on this. An interagency working group on semiconductors, started by the Obama administration in 2015, has continued meeting under President Donald Trump. The group is weighing policies to make it more difficult for China to scoop up U.S. technology, according to people involved in the discussions.
New Challenge to U.S. Power: Chinese Exceptionalism – WSJ Once-reticent citizens now see their country as ascendant—and America in decline…
Comment: This was one of the top reasons I left in 2015, the resurgent nationalism, much of it deserved as China’s progress has been remarkable, but felt like it was tipping into jingoism and nasty anti-foreignism. That was before Trump, who so far has been masterful at extending the PRC’s period of strategic opportunity. And no, this sentiment exists not just because China has censorship, though I do hear that wishful thinking from some of the foreign pundits and experts, almost all of whom have spent little time in China recent years.
5. Sketchy HNA, Sketchy Guo Wengui. Hard To Believe What Either Say
But comments made by Adam Tan, HNA’s chief executive, deepened the mystery of who really owned Mr. Guan’s stake. Speaking to The Financial Times on Monday, he said that Mr. Guan, and another shareholder, Bharat Bhise, who had transferred much of his stake to Mr. Guan last year, had never actually owned the shares at all, “but had just held the stake for us,” Mr. Tan told the newspaper.
That has never been disclosed in regulatory filings, which had listed the two as the owners of the shares. Mr. Tan himself, along with Chen Guoqing, the brother of Chen Feng, HNA’s chairman, were the original owners of Tang Dynasty, a Hong Kong holding company that is a large shareholder in HNA’s complex web of ownership.
Numerous journalists, including Gadfly, have spent many months poking delicately at the notion that Guan and Bhise might be bai shoutao — so-called “white gloves” shareholders who hold the stock on behalf of the real investors, whose identities aren’t disclosed. The caution comes from the fact that the notion is explosive, and hard to prove definitively. For HNA’s CEO to come out and seemingly admit as much in an on-record interview says something about how far the company’s internal world view differs from that of the Western banks that HNA should now be doing its best to placate.
Yao Qing, the general manager of hi-tech firm GI Technologies, said allegations he was related to senior party leaders and controlled vast assets were “ridiculous”, Xinhua reported. “These fabricated rumours from Guo Wengui have had a very negative impact on me, my family and friends and my company,” he said in an interview carried by both Xinhua and Global Times on Tuesday. 郭文贵海外“爆料”真相再调查：“主角”现身击碎谣言_腾讯网
Chinese fugitive businessman Guo Wengui’s business empire continues to unravel, as he recently lost control of a $3 billion investment fund established with the support of the Abu Dhabi royal family after he bought luxury items, including a yacht, and made an unsuccessful investment in the Hong Kong stock market.
Satellite connectivity services provider Global Eagle Entertainment Inc. said it was terminating a tie-up to form a joint venture and receive up to $416 million from a unit of HNA Group after failing to receive clearance from the U.S. national security regulator.
6. Himalayan Hotspot Heating Up As China-India Standoff Continues
How India and China Have Come to the Brink Over a Remote Mountain Pass – The New York Times The dispute dates to contradictory phrases in an 1890 border agreement between two now-defunct empires, British India and China’s Qing dynasty, that put the border in different places. One gives Bhutan control of the area — the position that India supports — and the other China–Comment: Includes useful maps
Half of India’s population is under 26. Whatever the stakes on the remote Himalayan slopes, they are likely to carry an imprint of China as an adversary well into the rest of their lives. How does that help China?
China and India File Rival Claims Over Tibetan Medicine – The New York Times The two countries’ latest struggle is over which one will be able to formally tie the ancient practice of Tibetan medicine to its national patrimony. The prize: international cachet and the possibility of significant commercial rewards.
Dispatch from Doklam: Indians dig in for the long haul in standoff with China | South China Morning Post Indian soldiers on the border say they are quickly closing the capability gap with China and will not leave Bhutan to its fate
7. More Beijing For Beijingers: Fake Living In Beijing?
No Man’s City – A Chinese Blogger’s Powerful Essay About The “Fake Lives” of Beijing Residents | What’s on Weibo According to Mr. Zhang, the city’s rapid transformation has turned it into a place with no identity; a place that nobody can call home. The essay argues that Beijing has been overrun by migrant workers or waidiren (外地人, ‘people from outside the city’), and that these ‘outsiders’ have turned China’s capital into a place with staggering house prices and heavy traffic that lacks soul. The city no longer really belongs to native Beijingers, Zhang writes, as they cannot even recognize their old neighborhoods anymore.
一个城市的生活无法“假装”|北京人|城市|生活_新浪新闻—Xinhua responds to the essay, not happy
8. New York Times Magazine On The Perils Of Being A Rights Lawyer
The last five years have brought severe setbacks for China’s lawyers — especially those who work on the rule of law. Sida Liu, the Toronto professor, has called this divergence the ‘‘dual-state model.’’ ‘‘They use one system for ordinary legal cases and use another, much harsher system for sensitive cases,’’ Liu told me. ‘‘They draw a line between the acceptable and the unacceptable.’’ When that line is crossed, ‘‘they can do anything to you.’’
Business, Economy And Trade
China willing to sacrifice economic growth to control systemic risks: senior party official “(China can’t let smaller risks) eventually lead to large systemic risks that would cause serious harm to China’s economy,” Yang Weimin, a senior economic official for the Communist Party, told reporters. “We would rather sacrifice in some other areas, while also dealing with the relationship between stable growth and risk prevention”, said Yang.// Comment: And he says 2H 2017 will also focus on limited risk from local government debt 中财办副主任：下半年将限制地方债风险
China’s June Reserves | Council on Foreign Relations-Brad Setser The big picture is that the combination of controls, stronger growth, and an apparent commitment to keep the yuan basically stable (facilitated by the dollar’s own weakness) has brought pressure on China’s reserves down to trivial levels.
China may change reserve requirement on yuan forward settlement – sources – Reuters “Market expectations have changed, expectations for a strong dollar is no longer so strong now. So it’s a good timing (to make changes to the current policy), and it might be hard to have such a weak dollar again,” one of the sources said. Another source said the impact on the foreign exchange market was likely to be limited even if the authorities planned to scrap the reserve requirement, adding that the plan is not finalised.
Reform of central SOEs to be done by this year, govt says – China Daily With some exceptions, China will include all central State-owned enterprises that have not been reformed in a modern corporate system by making them legal persons by the end of this year. The exception will be those in the financial and cultural sectors. The move is expected to help clear away institutional barriers for further SOE reform.
China’s Tough-Talking Theme-Park Mogul Surrenders to Minnie Mouse – WSJ Yet Mr. Wang’s management team approached the design and operation of its theme parks as property developers rather than storytellers, people familiar with the matter said.
Brokerage Guodu Says Incommunicado Chairman Unable to Do Job – Caixin Global Midsize securities brokerage Guodu Securities Co. Ltd. said in a statement that its chairman Wang Shaohua can no longer perform his duties because the company has lost contact with him. Wang has been under investigation by local prosecutors in eastern China’s Jiangxi province since May, people familiar with the matter told Caixin.
Foxconn announces new factory in Wisconsin in much-needed win for Trump and Scott Walker – The Washington Post The new facility, which will make flat-screen displays, will be located in the congressional district of Republican House Speaker Paul D. Ryan in Wisconsin, one of the critical battleground states that propelled Trump to victory in November.
Didi-Uber merger under probe over anti-trust concerns: ministry Comment: Has Uber’s China closed? // China’s Ministry of Commerce is investigating the acquisition of Uber China by onetime rival ride-hailing firm Didi Chuxing due to anti-monopoly concerns, a spokesman said at a news briefing on Thursday. Gao Feng said the ministry had discussed the acquisition with Didi Chuxing many times and launched investigations over the merger in accordance with anti-monopoly laws and other regulations. CBN-滴滴优步是否垄断一年后仍胶着，再看商务部碰不碰VIE
China’s Largest Peer-to-Peer Lending Platform Calling It Quits – Caixin Global In his announcement, Hongling President Zhou Shiping said Thursday the company will wind down existing lending and borrowing products. He didn’t say what would be next for the company, given that it is abandoning its core business of P2P lending.
China May Be Getting a Handle on Its Debt Woes – Bloomberg China is on track to see its best nominal GDP performance since 2011, even as credit growth remains moderate. First-half GDP numbers show that the economy is now requiring less credit to produce growth — the least in six years, in fact. So far this year, it’s taken 2.9 renminbi worth of new loans to produce one renminbi of new GDP growth. That’s down from an average credit intensity of just over 4 renminbi in the first half of the year between 2012-2016, an almost 30 percent reduction.
Price Dispute Shows How China’s High-Speed Train Market Has Gone Off the Rails – Caixin Global China’s main railway operator is demanding the nation’s top railway equipment-maker slash its prices on the next generation of high-speed trains. The demand for lower prices highlights an unusual battle between two major state-run companies, both of which are vying to boost profitability in the era of state-owned enterprise (SOE) reform.
Politics And Law
New TV Series Lifts Lid on Corrupt Leaders – Caixin Global Five senior Communist Party officials caught in the anti-graft net appeared on state TV to reflect on their misdeeds or crimes in the latest installment of a documentary airing on major TV networks across the country. The 10-episode documentary, entitled “Carrying on the Reform to the End,” was co-produced by the Publicity Department of the party’s main decision making body, the central committee, and showcases the party’s efforts to keep its rank and file from being lured into corruption.
Police in Italy Detain Uyghur Exile Group Leader at China’s Behest The DIGOS police checked Isa’s ID, took his photo and fingerprints, and eventually released him after 3:00 p.m., saying they would run his information against a database with the International Police Organization (Interpol), an intergovernmental organization that facilitates global police cooperation. When Isa demanded to know why he had been detained, the DIGOS officers informed him that they had acted on a request from China, which routinely objects to political activities by ethnic Uyghurs living in exile from their traditional homeland in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. // Comment: Any chance the fact that a PRC police official now heads Interpol has anything to do with this?
Why Xi Jinping must tackle the myth of princeling legitimacy to rule China | South China Morning Post Lanxin Xiang says the damaging Mao-inspired campaign to establish the president’s authority and questions about the opaque anti-corruption drive indicate that, without serious reforms in the 19th party congress, Xi’s China Dream may be unsustainable // Comment: The SCMP is pushing some things in runup to 19th Party Congress. Hard to believe it will end well…
Chinese police detain 67 after protest in Beijing – Reuters State news agency Xinhua said late last week police had detained executives from a company called Shanxinhui, accusing them of operating a pyramid scheme and duping people out of money in the name of raising funds to help the poor.
China detains 18 members of ‘cult’ which believes Jesus was reincarnated as a woman The ‘suspects’ were involved with the Church of Almighty God, who attracted global headlines in 2014 when five of its members beat a woman to death at a McDonald’s after she apparently refused to hand over her mobile phone number.
Looking Ahead: the 19th Party Congress – Trivium China interesting primer
China to introduce official medals and titles of honor – Xinhua The Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee has approved a series of documents to set up an honoring system for the contributors in the Party, the country and the military. According to the documents, China’s national medals and honorary titles include Medals of the Republic, July 1 Medals, Aug. 1 Medals, Friendship Medals, and national titles of honor. “共和国勋章”成为国家最高荣誉
中央巡视办对北京大学、北京师范大学、南开大学党委巡视整改工作进行督查——中央纪委监察部网站 CCDI’s ideological and disciplinary checks on universities continue
近距离·走进中央纪委二室 带您了解中央纪委纪检监察室的工作——中央纪委监察部网站 CCDI gives a look inside the disciplinary and inspection second office
A Fatal Hutong Fight, a Plea of Innocence, and a Prison Sentence – Sixth Tone How a rooftop quarrel between neighbors ended with one man dead and a Dutch citizen sentenced to four and a half years in a Chinese jail.
安监总局局长杨焕宁名字从官网撤下 未到退休年龄_网易新闻 State Administration of Work Safety Head Yang Huanning disappears from official web site, was previously in the Public Security System, lots or rumors that he is in trouble
Foreign And Defense Affairs
After Heated Clash With White House, Tillerson Eyes New Pick For Top Asia Envoy Olin Wethington, a former Treasury Department official and a non-resident fellow at the Atlantic Council, is now the leading contender for the nomination of assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, four individuals familiar with the matter said… Tillerson originally wanted the job to go to Susan Thornton, a veteran diplomat who speaks Mandarin Chinese, two US officials told BuzzFeed News. But White House officials opposed her due to concerns that her views were out of step with the president’s agenda — a claim State Department officials deny.
Olin L. Wethington He previously served as chairman, AIG Companies in China, with responsibilities for the operation and expansion of AIG’s business in China, including the broadening of its financial services platform in China. Wethington has also held a number of positions in the US government, including: special envoy on China; counselor to the secretary of the US Treasury; director, economic policy, Coalition Provisional Authority (Baghdad, Iraq); assistant secretary for international affairs, US Treasury; special assistant to the President and executive secretary of the Economic Policy Council, White House; and deputy under secretary for International Trade, US Department of Commerce.
For China’s Global Ambitions, ‘Iran Is at the Center of Everything’ – NYTimes.com Iranians who spotted Mr. Lin driving between his factories waved and smiled. Having mastered a few basic phrases in Persian over the years, he said “hi” and “goodbye” to some of his 2,000 employees. Iranians are hard workers, he said, but he does not like their food. “We grow our own vegetables and eat Chinese food,” he said. “Just like home.”
Sri Lanka’s cabinet ‘clears port deal’ with China firm after concerns addressed Under the new deal, which Reuters has examined, the Sri Lankan government has sought to limit China’s role to running commercial operations at the port while it has oversight of broader security.
Satellite photos reveal underground construction at Chinese military base – CNN.com Two images provided by Stratfor Worldview and Allsource Analysis show the base in Djibouti, located at a strategic choke point on the Horn of Africa, to be heavily fortified with three layers of security and has about 23,000 square meters (about 250,000 square feet) of underground space, according to analysis provided by Stratfor.
Is Coercion the New Normal in China’s Economic Statecraft? – MacroPolo because China’s economic interactions with the world are so diverse now, blunt coercion is one of just five types of leverage—and not necessarily the most important one. Let’s call these five types: “passive,” “active,” “exclusionary,” “coercive,” and “latent” leverage.
Britain plans to send warship to South China Sea in move likely to irk Beijing Britain plans to send a warship to the disputed South China Sea next year to conduct freedom of navigation exercises, Defence Minister Michael Fallon said on Thursday, a move likely to anger Beijing.
State Media: Chinese Public ‘Detest’ America, Wanted U.S. Recon Plane Shot Down – Breitbart The Chinese state propaganda outlet Global Times has published an incendiary column claiming that the Chinese public “really detest US reconnaissance” in Asia and “actually wanted” China to shoot down a U.S. reconnaissance plane dangerously intercepted over the weekend.
Hong Kong, Macao And Taiwan
Hong Kong Rail Plan Raises Fears of Mainland China’s Influence – NYTimes.com Hong Kong officials say the rail terminal plan, which is called “one place, two checks,” will enhance the efficiency of the high-speed rail system and eliminate the need for passengers to go through separate immigration protocols on both sides of the border.Train trips between Hong Kong and Guangzhou will take about 48 minutes, from about two hours now, the government says. The project, which will cost Hong Kong more than $10 billion, was first proposed in 2000.
Macau billionaire Ng Lap-seng convicted by US jury in UN bribery case | South China Morning Post Ng Lap-seng, one of China’s richest men, was convicted of bribery, conspiracy and money laundering charges in Manhattan federal court
Tech And Media
LinkedIn Regroups in China After Key Executive Departs — The Information in the wake of Mr. Shen’s sudden departure at the end of June, his legacy is in doubt. Chitu hasn’t taken off, ranking 48th among business apps in China as of Thursday, according to App Annie. (In contrast, LinkedIn China’s flagship app ranked 21st, while local rival Maimai was fifth.) Meanwhile, the arrangement to maintain servers offshore appears uncertain following the adoption of a new cybersecurity law in China.
China’s Artificial Intelligence Revolution | The Diplomat This new plan, which will be implemented by a new AI Plan Promotion Office within the Ministry of Science and Technology, outlines China’s objectives for advances in AI in three stages.
Society, Art, Sports, Culture And History
Ping Pong Fury | Chublic Opinion From the public’s perspective, the heavy-handed demotion of a national sports hero and the poignancy in the athletes’ protest against that decision, perceived to be “suicidal” for their careers, reinforced a deep-rooted narrative about petulant, incompetent bureaucrats screwing up what’s treasured and cherished by the people based on misguided ideas and dogmas. In this case, that arrogant government official is Mr. Gou Zhongwen, China’s sport minister, who is widely believed to be behind this personnel change.
Work is…Nice Short China videos Sichuan Opera, Taobao Model, Styrofoam Collector, Hair Trader
Energy, Environment, Science And Health
Chinese life expectancy up to more than 76 years – China Daily Chinese women’s life expectancy reached 79.43 years old, 2.06 years older than in 2010, while men die earlier at 73.64 years old. That’s a 1.26-year improvement from 2010, showing women’s life expectancy is growing faster than men’s, in line with the global trend.
China Powers Ahead With Electricity Reform – Caixin Global The amount of electricity sold through so-called direct trading should increase to 35% of total consumption this year, up from 19% in 2016, according to Wang Qiang, an official with the economic system reform department of the National Development and Reform Commission, the country’s powerful economic planning agency that’s a key player in the ongoing reform of the industry.
Outlier Dictionary of Chinese Characters by Outlier Linguistic Solutions — Kickstarter Pleco added some new functionality to their app in order to support some of the new features in our dictionary (namely, larger image sizes for ancient characters and color support for the red/black simplified characters), so as soon as the new Pleco update is out, v1.1 will be released.
Deaths of Four Kindergartners in Baking Buses Trigger Outcry Over State of Rural Schools – Caixin Global all in northern China’s Hebei province — have triggered an outcry nationwide on the lack of oversight of rural kindergartens in China, which serve nearly 70% of all preschoolers in China.
Houhai’s Rowdy Bar Street Silenced as Open-Air Sales Banned | the Beijinger Shichahai bar street’s notorious reputation as a noisy and rowdy tourist destination has come to an end as a year-long, city-wide crackdown on building regulations finally touches down in Houhai.
Two subway lines in Beijing to start construction this year – Xinhua The combined length of the CBD Line and the branch line of Yanfang Line, both still being designed, will be around 12.6 km, according to the Beijing Major Projects Construction Headquarters Office.
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