"Sinocism is the Presidential Daily Brief for China hands"- Evan Osnos, New Yorker Correspondent and National Book Award Winner
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The Essential Eight
1. The Dream Of National Rejuvenation Is Real And Powerful
Xi calls for persistently pursing Chinese dream of national rejuvenation – Xinhua:
Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, made the remarks when visiting an exhibition here displaying China’s outstanding achievements over the past five years.
CCTV Evening News-习近平在参观“砥砺奋进的五年”大型成就展时强调 振奋精神 砥砺奋进 再接再厉 为实现中华民族伟大复兴的中国梦继续奋斗
Comment: The entire Politburo Standing Committee joined him..Pekingologists may find the opening shot, of Xi with Wang Qishan right over his shoulder, interesting. Or not…
2. Wilbur Ross In Beijing Negotiating Deals For Trump’s November Visit
U.S. Commerce Secretary Ross tells China to guarantee fair treatment for U.S. firms – Reuters:
Ross told Premier Li Keqiang on Monday that the United States hoped for “very good deliverables” when U.S. President Donald Trump visits China, likely in November.
In a statement on Tuesday, the U.S. Commerce Department said that Ross had also pressed China on the “need to rebalance bilateral trade and investment relations” and urged it to take “meaningful action” on trade issues.
China-U.S. shared interests far outweigh differences in trade ties: Premier Li – Xinhua:
The premier said China’s market will be more and more open and its business environment will get better and better. “We welcome more U.S. enterprises to invest in China,” he said.
“China hopes the United States gives fair treatment to Chinese investment and relaxes restrictions on exports of high-tech products to China so that bilateral economic and trade ties grow in dynamic equilibrium,” the premier said.
3. Does Ivanka Trump’s Business Have Something To Hide In China?
Ivanka Trump’s China Business Ties Are More Secret Than Ever – AP:
What shipping records do show is that a company called Zhejiang Tongxiang Foreign Trade Group Co. Ltd., a sprawling conglomerate once majority-owned by the Chinese state, sent at least 30 tons of Ivanka Trump handbags to the U.S. between March 2016 and February.
Zhejiang province’s commerce department said in June 2014 that it would help lower export costs for that same company, along with nine other local enterprises, through a special three-year trade promotion program. Among the measures outlined were export insurance subsidies and funding for online trading platforms and international marketing, as well as special funds earmarked for foreign trade companies with large-scale, fast-growing exports.
4. Is The Shadow Bank “Crackdown” Real and Likely to Last?
Shadow-Banking Leverages Appear Reined In – Caixin Global:
As of the end of June, the outstanding value of WMPs sold among financial institutions dropped 31% to 4.61 trillion yuan ($699 billion) from the end of December, according to a report released Friday by the China Banking Wealth Management Registration & Depository Center.
Outstanding value of all WMPs, including those sold to retail investors, grew 8% to 28.38 trillion yuan during the same period, the report said. The growth rate, however, slowed sharply from 43% from a year ago.
World’s Largest Money-Market Fund Will Lower Its Returns, Shed Risk – WSJ:
Tianhong Asset Management Co., a Beijing-based company that manages a money-market fund with more than $200 billion in assets, is making changes to comply with liquidity rules imposed recently by Chinese regulators, according to Wang Dengfeng, general manager of Tianhong’s fixed-income department.
“We will step up efforts to adhere to the original function of money-market funds as a cash management tool that carries low risk, low yield and high liquidity,” Mr. Wang said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal. The result will be a gradual slide in the fund’s investment yields, he added.
5. China Is Building A Cyber Superpower
China’s Strategic Thinking on Building Power in Cyberspace: A Top Party Journal’s Timely Explanation Translated – New America:
The article, which a team of analysts has translated in full below, outlines the major elements of General Secretary Xi Jinping’s strategic thinking on one of Chinese cyberspace policy’s watchwords: 网络强国 (wǎngluò qiángguó). It’s a pithy formulation in Chinese that can be translated as “cyber superpower,” or “building China into a national power in cyberspace,” and the strategic concept attached to it ties together a series of concepts and initiatives that Xi has pushed in major speeches and the Chinese government has moved to enact. The CAC “Theoretical Studies Center Group,” apparently making its debut here, draws on the legitimacy of its Xi-established parent organization and the special status of the journal Qiushi to provide an authoritative synthesis of recent strategic thinking, attributed to Xi, on how to take China from being a cyber power to being a cyber superpower—a goal that implies rough parity with the United States.
Comment: So far the policy is working very well, in spite of all the wishful thinking about the inability to nail jello to the wall…
6. Expect Internet Censorship And Controls To Only Increase
China’s cyber watchdog imposes top fines on tech firms over censorship – Reuters:
China’s cyber watchdog has handed down maximum penalties to several of the country’s top tech firms, including Tencent Holdings Ltd (0700.HK), Baidu Inc (BIDU.O) and Weibo Corp (WB.O), for failing to properly censor online content.
China Disrupts WhatsApp Texts as Censor Tools Grow More Powerful – Bloomberg:
The latest disruptions are affecting users intermittently across the world’s second largest economy, intensifying a blocking effort that began around July but has gotten more sophisticated in ensuing months, said Nadim Kobeissi, a cryptographer at Paris-based online security firm Symbolic Software.
Comment: During the 18th Party Congress in 2012 VPNs in Beijing basically stopped working for about a week. Is there any reason to think this year will be different? If you are in Beijing, do what you need to do outside of the ChiComNet before the Congress starts…
China online service providers improve privacy protection – Xinhua:
Shrinking Anonymity in Chinese Cyberspace – Lawfare:
While top-down censorship rules are certainly major components, there is a bigger story here, with implications likely to be felt long after the Party Congress closes. These moves are part of sweeping efforts by Xi’s administration to strengthen China’s system of cyber governance and to expand the legal framework for control over all data, networks and information content. China is pushing ahead with its own internet model, where the space for anonymity online is rapidly eroding, and data collected from a single digital identity is feeding into a vast government scoring system that reaches into all aspects of life.
Comment: And why wouldn’t Beijing think its approach to controlling the Internet is not the correct one? Look at how “hostile foreign forces” disrupted the US political process in 2016-Russian operatives used Facebook ads to exploit America’s racial and religious divisions. If I am a Beijing cyber czar I am feeling pretty smart right now…
7. China Hosts Interpol
Xi says international community must cooperate on global security – Xinhua:
China hopes to work closely with countries and international organizations on global security, and jointly build universal security for humankind, Chinese President Xi Jinping said here Tuesday. Xi made the remarks in Beijing while addressing the opening ceremony of the 86th Interpol General Assembly
Xi Jinping says China will support Interpol, raise its profile | South China Morning Post:
China’s Public Security Minister, Guo Shengkun, told the assembly that China hoped to use international police cooperation to strengthen its defence against the threat of militants returning from abroad to join groups like the East Turkistan Islamic Movement.
8. The China Anti-Cult Network Goes Online
Religious Cults Feel the Heat from Revamped Website – Sixth Tone:
The website, China Anti-Cult Network, was set up Friday by the Office for Prevention and Handling of Cult Issues under the auspices of the State Council, China’s cabinet, together with accounts on microblogging site Weibo and messaging app WeChat. The aim of the website, according to the report, is to launch a nationwide publicity campaign to combat the spread of religious cults and provide help to victims of such groups and their families.
Business, Economy And Trade
China moves to encourage entrepreneurial spirit – Xinhua The guideline, the first of its kind focused on entrepreneurial spirit, was released by the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the State Council in a move to spur market vitality. // Comment: The circular: 中共中央 国务院 关于营造企业家健康成长环境弘扬优秀企业家精神更好发挥企业家作用的意见 The last two sections of the circular emphasize the importance of Party leadership over SOEs, Party Construction and education in private enterprises.
Alibaba Takes Control of Delivery Business at Center of U.S. Probe – Bloomberg Now that Alibaba’s taking control, it plans to consolidate Cainiao’s financials under its own books and is committing to spend another 100 billion yuan over the next five years to further expand the network. That will help address U.S. regulators’ questions about why Cainiao, of which Alibaba owned 47 percent, wasn’t previously included. But it also takes Alibaba deeper into the business of setting up and controlling its own infrastructure, much like Amazon.com Inc. The unit made a net loss of 2.2 billion yuan in calendar 2016, tripling from 2015. Revenue however also tripled, to 9.4 billion yuan.
Beijing’s Existing Home Market Loses Momentum in Third Quarter – Caixin Global As of Saturday, sales of existing homes as measured by online contracts totaled 2.06 million units in the third quarter, down 73.7% from the same period a year ago and down 43.7% from the previous quarter. It was the lowest number of sales in the capital in a single quarter since 2015, according to data from the research arm of 5I5J Group. The average price of existing homes in Beijing fell 5% in the third quarter from the second quarter of this year, after hitting a nine-quarter high in the first quarter.
Will Merged Coal, Power Giants Live Happily Ever After? – Caixin Global With assets of 1.8 trillion yuan ($273 billion), analysts say the new conglomerate, China Energy Investment Corp. Ltd., will have an installed capacity of about 225 gigawatts, eclipsing France’s Electricite de France SA and Italy’s Enel to become the world’s biggest power producer. A date for finalizing the deal has not been announced. The merger plan marks the latest example of Beijing’s effort to consolidate state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and reduce overcapacity in targeted industries through its supply-side reform initiative
McDonald’s Steps Up China Super-Sizing With New Partners – Caixin Global McDonald’s is accelerating the pace of its store expansion in China, securing three real estate partners within just two months after its new owners, Citic Group and Carlyle Capital, took over its Chinese assets.
China’s ‘Unprecedented’ Anti-Pollution Drive to Rattle Metals – Bloomberg China’s plans to tackle pollution over the winter could be the “next big event to unsettle global commodity prices,” and plant closures may be compounded by restrictions on transport and construction, according to Morgan Stanley.
BHP says China’s Belt and Road plan could require 150m tonnes of steel – FT $$ China’s ambitious Belt and Road initiative could result in an additional 150m tonnes of steel demand, enough to keep the country’s mills going at their current rate for the next decade, according to the world’s largest mining company.
China postpones controls on food imports after global outcry | South China Morning Post Rules requiring each food shipment to have an inspection certificate from a foreign government were due to take effect on Sunday. But Beijing has decided to grant a “transitional period of two years” following comments by other governments, according to a document submitted to the World Trade Organisation on Monday.
China’s HNA Group says will keep investing in the United States – Reuters HNA Group Co, one of the most acquisitive Chinese buyers of overseas assets, will keep investing in the United States, one of its key overseas markets, the conglomerate’s Chief Executive Officer Adam Tan said on Tuesday.
Politics And Law
Workers set up large flower terrace on Tian’anmen Square in Beijing – Xinhua Comment: Does Zeng Qinghong’s son still have the contract?
NGOs in China: Progress as of August in Implementing the Overseas NGO Law – NGOs In China As of August 22, the MPS Overseas NGO Office website shows a total of 185 representative offices, of which around 88 (48%) were registered just in the last three months. The representative offices were registered in around 20 of China’s 32 provincial-level units, with the highest number concentrated in Beijing, Shanghai, Yunnan and Guangdong
【学习贯彻习近平总书记”7·26″重要讲话精神 迎接党的十九大】系列报道 全方位构筑管党治党制度体系————头条——中央纪委监察部网站 党的十八大以来，以习近平同志为核心的党中央坚持依规治党与依法治国统筹推进、一体建设，提出了一系列关于制度治党的新思想新观点新论断，出台了一系列具有标志性、关键性、引导性的法规制度，实现历史性突破、取得历史性成果。
Foreign And Defense Affairs
U.S. Sees ‘Four or Five’ Ways to Resolve North Korean Crisis – Bloomberg: “There’s not a ‘precision strike’ that solves the problem,” McMaster, an Army lieutenant general, said at an event in Washington hosted by the Institute for the Study of War. “There’s not a military blockade that can solve the problem. What we hope to do is avoid war, but we cannot discount that possibility.”// Comment: Anything to the rumor that US and North Korean officials will meet in Moscow as part of backchannel talks, without the Chinese present?
Top Chinese bank vows to strictly apply UN sanctions on North Korea | South China Morning Post Four sources said China’s central bank had told banks to strictly implement United Nations sanctions against North Korea and instructed them to stop providing financial services to new North Korean customers and wind down loans with existing customers.
Liu, Tillerson to co-chair China-US social, people-to-people dialogue – Global Times China and the US will hold their first social and people-to-people dialogue on September 28 in Washington DC, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Lu Kang said at a press briefing on Monday. Chinese Vice Premier Liu Yandong will co-chair the dialogue with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. // Comment: Hear Steve Schwarzman is hosting a dinner around the event, wonder who is on the guest list
With the D3000, China enters the robotic warship arms race | Popular Science The D3000 is a 98-foot-long, stealthy robotic trimaran warship designed to operate autonomously for months. Notably, this system—which appears to be tagged for export—is being offered by the China Aerospace and Science Technology Corporation, a Chinese defense contractor whose primary strength is in missiles and other aerospace technologies. (It’s the company that’s building the T Flight, China’s answer to the Hyperloop.) CASC notes that the D3000 can either operate by itself, or as part of a larger task force with manned ships.
Chinese navy fleet arrives in Brunei for friendly visit – Xinhua Speaking upon the fleet’s arrival, Shen Hao, commander of the Chinese naval fleet, said at the welcoming ceremony that the friendly exchanges between the two countries date back to more than 1,500 years ago, and the traditional friendship between the two peoples has been continuing to grow.
Xi encourages university students to contribute to strong army – Xinhua i, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, made the remarks in a letter, which he wrote Saturday and was made public Monday, replying to the eight students
The South China Sea and China’s “Four Sha” Claim: New Legal Theory, Same Bad Argument – Lawfare While dropping or even de-emphasizing China’s Nine-Dash Line claim in favor of the Four Shas has important diplomatic and political implications, the legal significance of such a shift is harder to assess. The constituent parts of China’s Four Sha claims have long been set forth publicly in Chinese domestic law and official statements. Based on what we know so far, these new Chinese legal justifications are no more lawful than China’s Nine-Dash Line claim. The challenge for critics of Chinese claims in the South China Sea, however, will be effectively explaining and articulating why this shift does not actually strengthen China’s legal claims in the South China Sea.
Egyptian Authorities Forcibly Disappear 16 Uyghur Students From Notorious Prison – RFA Egyptian authorities have released up to 25 of more than 100 Uyghur students from northwestern China’s Xinjiang region who were detained earlier this year in the country’s notorious Tora Prison, though armed police put black hoods on 16 others and took them away, three recently released Uyghurs said.
Hong Kong, Macao And Taiwan
Videos surface of pro-China suspect beating Taiwanese students | Taiwan News A day after clashes ensued between pro-independence protesters and pro-unification groups at the “Sing! China: Shanghai-Taipei Music Festival” at National Taiwan University, video footage has surfaced on Facebook of a suspect who has been detained by police and has been associated with a pro-China group beating students with a metal batton.
Triad Member Behind Scuffles Between Pro-China And Pro-Independence Protesters On Taiwan University Campus – Synglobe The group that is allegedly responsible for the eruption of violent scuffles is the Party for the Promotion of Chinese Unification (中華統一促進黨, PPCU). The party was founded in 2005 by Zhang Anle (張安樂), a notorious Taiwanese gangster and member of the Bamboo Gang, one of Taiwan’s most powerful triads. The PPCU is an openly pro-Beijing organization that promotes Taiwan’s “peaceful unification” with mainland China under the “one country, two systems” (一國兩制) formula which the Communist Party used to incorporate Hong Kong and Macau. The PPCU argues that “Taiwan independence means war” (台獨就是代表戰爭).
No reason to tolerate Hong Kong independence, says leader Carrie Lam | Hong Kong Free Press HKFP Chief Executive Carrie Lam has said there is no reason to tolerate Hong Kong independence. She was responding to comments by Zhang Xiaoming, the newly appointed top Beijing official in charge of Hong Kong affairs. He said Hong Kong should take a zero tolerance attitude towards independence.
Lawmaker Junius Ho says he used wrong words in remark about killing independence advocates ‘without mercy’ | Hong Kong Free Press HKFP At an anti-independence rally on September 17, rural leader Tsang Shu-wo said onstage that pro-independence activists should be “killed.” Ho supported him, shouting “without mercy” into his microphone. On TVB programme Straight Talk, scheduled to be aired Tuesday night, Ho said that the word “kill” was spoken by Tsang, and Ho “went along with it because I knew full well that it was not Tsang’s intention to agitate people.”
Tech And Media
E-Commerce IPO Fizzles as Fintechs Line Up at Gate – Caixin Global The initial public offering (IPO) by Secoo Holding Ltd., a luxury goods e-commerce specialist, raised $110 million after pricing at $13 per American Depositary Share (ADS) on Friday, according to a company announcement. But the shares plunged 23% in their debut, ending their first day at $10 in trading on the Nasdaq.
Alipay Finds Seat in Starbucks, 10 Months After WeChat Pay – Caixin Global The move has broken major rival WeChat Pay’s digital-payment monopoly at the popular coffee chain. The Tencent-backed payment tool is embedded in WeChat, China’s dominant messaging app, with nearly 1 billion users. Starbucks in the country have been accepting WeChat Pay since late 2016.
China’s iQiyi considers U.S. listing as early as 2018: source – Reuters The up to $10 billion valuation would still be a fraction of U.S. rival Netflix’s near $80 billion market capitalization. iQiyi had 481 million monthly active users as of the end of last year, data cited by Baidu shows.
New eyeball in space peers toward Earth – China Daily WeChat composite images: A photo of Earth taken by the crew of NASA’s Apollo 17 spacecraft in 1972(left) will be replaced for three days by a photo taken by China’s Fengyun 4A satellite.
Xiaomi Apologizes After Recruiter Ridicules Students – Sixth Tone Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi has apologized and disciplined a recruiter after he made fun of students who major in Japanese, Sixth Tone’s sister publication The Paper reported Sunday.
China’s Used Car Deals Speed Up As Didi Chuxing Invests $200M In Renrenche.com – China Money Network Didi Chuxing has bought US$200 million worth of shares in Beijing-based second-hand car marketplace Renrenche.com in a strategic investment, marking the latest investment deal in China’s fast moving online used-car market, according to Didi’s announcement.
Society, Art, Sports, Culture And History
Guggenheim Museum pulls three artworks featuring animals after threats of violence | The Guardian Works in an exhibition of Chinese art that included reptiles eating insects and dogs on a treadmill are removed from show in New York following outcry
Campaign to protect left-behind children sees results – Xinhua Since November 2016, a total of 11,821 left-behind children who had dropped out of school have now resumed their education, according to the office under an inter-ministerial conference established by the government to protect left-behind children. Police nationwide have entered 125,377 left-behind children on the national household records, or hukou, who were previously not registered.
Class of ’78: Studying in the US Post-Cultural Revolution – Sixth Tone Liu Baicheng was 45 years old when he traveled to the U.S. to study in 1978 as part of that first group of state-sponsored students after the Cultural Revolution…This is Liu’s story, as told to Sixth Tone and edited for brevity and clarity
How the top-heavy Catholic Church is losing the ground game in China | America Magazine This failure to grow—estimates have the current Catholic population in China at not much above 10 million in a nation of 1.4 billion—has led many members of the church to see recent negotiations between the Holy See and the country’s Communist Party as especially important.
新华社调查：“洗澡蟹”式海归面临淘汰，留学生收入分化严重_教育家_澎湃新闻-The Paper Comment: Propaganda push on the disappointing job and income prospects for overseas returnees seems like it is gearing up…smart, instead of just saying “you can’t study abroad” just make it clear your family may never gets its investment back…studying overseas is very expensive, and risky…
Energy, Environment, Science And Health
Pandas Are No Longer Endangered. But Their Habitat Is in Trouble. – The New York Times In a study published in Nature Ecology & Evolution on Monday, researchers report that suitable panda habitats have significantly and steadily declined since 1990, the year the International Union for the Conservation of Nature first classified the animals as endangered. That could make any gain in China’s wild panda population a short-lived conservation victory.
Beijing criticised over executive MBA candidate clampdown – FT $$ The dean of China’s oldest business school has accused recently implemented ministry of education controls of strangling the country’s executive education sector just as it is garnering global approval. Rules were introduced by the government in Beijing less than a year ago requiring all candidates for the executive MBA — a part-time course taken by people in their 30s — to take the same entrance exam as the full-time intake, who are a decade or more younger.
Food And Travel
China to Cut Flights in Bid to Improve On-Time Rate – Caixin Global Starting in late October, Beijing Capital International Airport and Shanghai Pudong International Airport will reduce the number of departures to 75% of their current capacities, the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) said Thursday.
‘Lives could be put at risk’: Beijing hospital warns abandoned shared bikes are blocking ambulances | South China Morning Post Jishuitan Hospital has more than 1,500 beds and is one of the capital’s most prominent general hospitals. A hospital warden told the newspaper that the parked bicycles at the entrance and nearby side roads were a nuisance especially at peak morning rush hour.
蔡奇：屋顶拆违整治清单 胡同实现不停车 Summary: Beijing Party Secretary Cai Qi makes it clear that the cleanup plan for Beijing will continue, though no car parking in hutongs seems impossible…
Jobs And Events
A Celebration of Liu Xiaobo and Liu Xia Tickets, Thu, Oct 19, 2017 at 10:30 AM | Eventbrite Washington National Cathedral
The China Dashboard: Tracking China’s Economic Reform Program | Washington, DC | Asia Society Wed 11 Oct 2017 2:00pm – 3:30pm
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