Sun Zhengcai, Guo Wengui, Expanding Period Of Strategic Opportunity-Sinocism 10.4.17

"Sinocism is the Presidential Daily Brief for China hands"- Evan Osnos, New Yorker Correspondent and National Book Award Winner

Happy Mid-Autumn Festival. China is on holiday until October 9 so the newsletter is very sporadic this week. There may be one more issue by the end of the weekend, then back to normal publishing next week.

Readers in DC may be interested in a talk by Lenora Chu  about her new book Little Soldiers: An American Boy, a Chinese School, and the Global Race to Achieve. She will be speaking October 10 at 7PM at Sidwell Friends. If you want to attend please RSVP here.

A signup link for the new Sinocism subscription service will go live after midnight on Thursday October 5. The daily newsletter will switch to a paid subscription in a couple of weeks.

The Essential Eight

1. Sun Zhengcai Kicked Out Of The Party, Chongqing Officials In Boiling Hotpot Water

Communist Party expels former high-flyer Sun Zhengcai in countdown to key congress | South China Morning Post:

in an unusual move, Xinhua issued a correction to its report late on Friday night, toning down the accusations against Sun. The state news agency said Sun had “shaken his political stand” – not that he “forfeited his political stand” as it had reported. It also said Sun had “seriously violated the party’s political discipline and rules”, not that he had “seriously trampled on” them.

The revised list of Sun’s alleged problems…seem worse than Bo Xilai’s:

中共中央决定给予孙政才开除党籍、开除公职处分 将孙政才涉嫌犯罪问题及线索移送司法机关依法处理-新华网:


People’s Daily comments the day after-人民日报评论员:从严治党 有腐必反–观点–人民网:

Five Senior Officials Left Off Party Congress Guest List – Caixin Global:

Notably, all five of the top officials were standing members of Chongqing’s Party Committee, including Zeng Qinghong, who oversaw personnel affairs at the municipal Party Committee, and Liu Qiang, who is in charge of the police and judicial departments in the city and is also a Chongqing vice mayor.

The other three are Wang Xiangang, head of the secretariat of the Chongqing Party Committee; Chen Lüping, also a vice mayor; and Tao Changhai, who heads liaisons with overseas Chinese groups.

A dozen more Chongqing officials could be caught up in Sun Zhengcai corruption probe, sources say | South China Morning Post:

Former party boss said to have told investigators about alleged wrongdoings of other cadres in the megacity

2. 19th Party Congress Guessing In High Gear

Comment: We are only 15 days away from the start of the Party Congress, probably three weeks from learning the makeup of the next Standing Committee. The folks at the Paulson Institute have built a fun service that lets you choose your preferred Standing Committee, while The South China Morning Post claims to have it on good authority that Wang Qishan will likely retire, Li Keqiang will stay on as premier and an eponymous theoretical contribution of Xi Jinping will be in the revised Party Constitution.

The Committee – MacroPolo:

The new members of The Committee will be publicly unveiled for the first time at the conclusion of the Congress. So who will make it onto The Committee? Join in the predictive fun by creating your own lineup for The Committee

Confident Xi reaches out to trusted colleagues | South China Morning Post:

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang will stay on as head of government for another term while President Xi Jinping’s name will be enshrined in the Communist Party’s charter alongside those of late leaders Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping, sources familiar with the situation told the South China Morning Post.

3. Xi Reshuffling PLA Leadership, Another Propaganda Documentary Airs

Xi Jinping clears decks for top-level changes to China’s military | South China Morning Post:

The ousting of General Fang Fenghui, former head of the CMC’s Joint Staff Department, and General Zhang Yang, former head of the commission’s Political Work Department, from the functional posts that gave them CMC membership is further proof that Xi, who also chairs the CMC, is cementing his control over the military…

Several scenarios are being discussed in military circles, including one version that would see the 11-member CMC trimmed to just the chairman and four vice-chairmen. Another would give the commanders of the five theatre commands CMC membership, along with two to four vice-chairman, but not include the chiefs of the land force, air force, navy, rocket force and strategic support force.

The current CMC comprises one chairman, two vice-chairmen, and eight regular members: the defence minister, the heads of the four former headquarters, and the commanders of the air force, navy and rocket force.

China airs documentary on building a strong army – Xinhua:

The eight-episode series, aired from Sept. 29, highlights how the Chinese army has stepped forward to solve problems and reshape its political ecology, organizational structure, system and work style, since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in 2012.

The documentary, Qiang Jun, which means building a strong army, was produced by the Political Work Department of the Central Military Commission and is being aired on both the state broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV) and local television stations.

Comment: This episode includes scenes of Guo Boxiong in court, pictures of Xu Caihou in detention in hospital clothes and a wheel chair, video and details of Gu Junshan case—《强军》 第五集 浴火_CCTV):

Xi Jinping tells Chinese defence firms to aim higher and catch up on weapons technology | South China Morning Post:

Documentary aired on state television reveals push to develop supercomputing, ballistic missile defence and satellite navigation systems

4. Trump Launches China Policy Review, Peter Navarro Demoted, Steve Bannon Targeting China

Comment: Hard to know how much to read into this report as I believe every President asks for a review of China policy.

White House conducting wide-ranging review of China policy – POLITICO:

A group of senior administration officials — including trade adviser Peter Navarro, senior adviser Jared Kushner, then-chief strategist Steve Bannon and National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn — brought the idea for the China policy review to President Donald Trump in June, and the president asked for a plan within 90 days, according to a person familiar with the issue.

Trump Playing Catch-up: White House Launches Comprehensive Review of China Policy-Breitbart:

In Bannon’s view, the question is not about whether to start an economic war with China – it’s about standing up and fighting in a war China started long ago. “It’s always about making the barbarians a tributary state. Our tribute to China is our technology – that’s what it takes to enter their market, and [they’ve taken] $3.5 trillion worth over the last 10 years. We have to give them the basic essence of American capitalism: our innovation,” he told Bloomberg Businessweek.

This raises an uncomfortable question about holistic China policy: it would necessarily involve making America much more capitalist and innovative than it currently is. Bannon wants to infect China with viral capitalism, but America has already contracted a very bad case of viral authoritarianism, one symptom of which is open admiration for the Chinese model from certain quarters.

Bannon’s Back and Targeting China – Bloomberg:

From Birmingham to Beijing, the former Trump strategist is leading a movement of
his own, now warning of “the forced technology transfer of American innovation to China”—and working with Henry Kissinger.

Comment: Working with Henry Kissinger, or Henry Kissinger is talking to him so he knows what Bannon is thinking and can tell Beijing and try to guide Bannon?

Kelly folds Navarro’s trade shop into National Economic Council – POLITICO:

The Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy, which is run by Navarro, will now be housed within the NEC, four administration officials told POLITICO. That means Navarro will report to NEC Director Gary Cohn, with whom he has repeatedly clashed in recent months…

“I’m a chain of command guy and will follow Chief Kelly’s orders,” Navarro said in a statement to POLITICO. “The chief has assured me I will continue to have the same seat and voice at the president’s decision-making table.”

Taking Bets: Will Navarro last past January 1?

 5. China’s Internet Censorship Just Keeps Improving

Comment: It is not about the 19th Party Congress, it is the new normal for the Party, and frankly if you were a Chinese cyber czar watching what Russia did in the US last year would you have any doubts about your policies?

Shrinking Anonymity in Chinese Cyberspace – Lawfare – Samm Sacks & Paul Triolo:

The moves are much more than a clampdown in the run-up to the October Communist Party Congress, though the meeting adds urgency to their deployment. At their root, the measures are a fresh attempt, with the guidance of President Xi’s speeches, to yet again mobilize the bureaucracy to rein in the internet in China and to ensure that the Communist Party can monitor and control technological developments that allow individuals and groups to communicate outside established media channels.  Xi’s speech on July 26 (known by some as the “726” speech) stressed that the internet is a “double-edge sword” that can allow “hidden negative energy” to become the “biggest variable” impacting governance and social stability. This variable must be minimized, he suggested. Xi has cast the internet as the main battlefield in the domain of ideological struggles. Hence the need to ensure the “orderly” development of major platforms such as WeChat. This thinking is the backdrop for the release of the recent regulations, all within a legal framework undergirded by the far-reaching Cybersecurity Law that combines provisions on cybersecurity, digital/data economy (informatization), and media content into a single package in a way no other country has been willing or able to do. The law’s three areas of emphasis will be the focus of enforcement efforts in coming months.

Cyberspace regulator requires real-name registration for Chinese Internet users – Global Times:

Without registering their real identities in the background, previously registered users cannot post anything, including replies to posts, on Chinese platforms, said the circular released by the Cyberspace Administration of China on September 7.

Users, however, do not have to reveal their real identities on the frontstage of the platforms.

‘‘Such rules will apply to all websites, phone applications, interactive public platforms and any other communication platform that features public opinion on news or with the nature to mobilize the society,” stipulates the circular.

Tea and Tiananmen: Inside China’s new censorship machine – Reuters:

Welcome to China’s new world of online censorship, where Orwell’s “Nineteen Eighty-Four” meets Silicon Valley start-up.

The young censors in the Tianjin office – or “auditors” – work for Beijing ByteDance Technology Co, better known as Toutiao, a popular and fast-growing news feed app.

Baidu Invites China’s Cybercops to Label, Rebut Fake News – Bloomberg:

Baidu Inc. is building a system to allow China’s cybercops to spot and fix “online rumors” deemed a threat to stability, allowing police agencies to insert themselves directly into everything from its search results to discussion forums.

6. The Hudson Institute Postpones A “Conversation With Guo Wengui” 

Comment: On September 22 The Hudson Institute sent out an invitation to attend an October 4 “conversation” with Guo Wengui and Bill Gertz. On October 3rd the Institute announced that the event had been postponed, but did not give a reason. Speculation has been rampant that the PRC pressured Hudson, the website went down under attack Wednesday evening, and Guo himself blamed PRC pressure and rescheduled his appearance to October 5 at the National Press Club.

Hudson seems an unlikely think tank to cave to PRC pressure, and it is still planning to host an event titled Liu Xiaobo’s Legacy and the Future of Chinese Democracy next week. This week the inaugural U.S.-China Law Enforcement and Cybersecurity Dialogue is happening in DC, so perhaps someone found it awkward to give Guo such a platform while Minister of Public Security Guo Shengkun was in town?

Chinese Fugitive Guo Wengui’s D.C. Event Postponed – WSJ:

Mr. Guo, who flew from his New York apartment to D.C. on Tuesday, said the Institute had told him around noon that the event was “poorly-timed” and had to be postponed. He said he suspected the Chinese government had put pressure on the Institute to cancel the event, but offered no proof…

The Institute told people who helped stage the event that its format and structure didn’t align with Hudson’s policy positions, according to a source familiar with the event.

By Bill Gertz, Guo’s interviewer for the now postponed event-Think Tank Cancels Talk by Chinese Dissident Under Pressure from Beijing – Washington Free Beacon:

David Tell, chief spokesman for Hudson, said the event was put off because of improper planning. “The planning just got away from us and we feel bad,” he told the Washington Free Beacon.

Tell acknowledged the institute has been under pressure from China…

Tell insisted, however, “we don’t give a rat’s ass what Beijing thinks.” Hudson has hosted several recent events on China, including a conference on Chinese encroachment in the South China Sea, he noted.

Policy Centers – Kleptocracy Initiative – Hudson Institute:

Hudson’s Kleptocracy Initiative (KI) examines the growing threat posed to Western democracies by autocratic regimes.

 7. Xi Reminding Everyone He Is A Marxist

Xi calls for profound understanding of Marxism – Xinhua:

Xi made the remarks Friday afternoon at a group study session attended by members of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee.

He said that Marxism has shown great strength and vitality as a truth, and still serves an irreplaceable role in helping people understanding and transforming the world, as well as promoting social progress.

Xi stressed that though times are changing and society is developing, the basic tenets of Marxism remain true.

习近平:深刻认识马克思主义时代意义和现实意义 继续推进马克思主义中国化时代化大众化 

Xi Jinping tells Communist Party to keep innovating and contributing to Marxism | South China Morning Post:

Speaking to dozens of party leaders at a study session on Friday, Xi said the country should make original contributions to Marxist theories based on its history and experience.

8. A Successful And Powerful Marxist Should Very Good About China’s Expanding Strategic Opportunities In An Unsettled World

Comment: The Communist Party likes to talk about its “period of strategic opportunity”. Contrary to the punditry that China is on the verge of some kind of economic and/or political collapse, China’s period of strategic opportunity seems to only be expanding and extending, thanks in large part to political turmoil in the West.

The Chinese World Order | by Andrew J. Nathan | The New York Review of Books:

Ten years ago the journalist James Mann published a book called The China Fantasy, in which he criticized American policymakers for using something he called “the Soothing Scenario” to justify the policy of diplomatic and economic engagement with China. According to this view, China’s exposure to the benefits of globalization would lead the country to embrace democratic institutions and support the American-led world order. Instead, Mann predicted, China would remain an authoritarian country, and its success would encourage other authoritarian regimes to resist pressures to change.

Mann’s prediction turned out to be true.

Comment: Longtime Sinocism readers will remember my first 2011 post ( James Mann And His Prescient Book “The China Fantasy” ) on Jim Mann’s prescience:

Remember, Mann wrote this before the 2008 crash and the near bankruptcy of most major developed economies. China’s relative rise has occurred much faster than even Mann expected.

James Mann deserve a lot more credit than he has gotten for this work, and given the current state of affairs I hope he and his publisher are working on a new edition. The world needs to understand and prepare for the political, security, and economic ramifications of the third scenario.

 Business, Economy And Trade

China steps up battle against runaway property prices – FT $$ Chinese banking regulators have told lenders to crack down on the use of consumer loans to finance home purchases, the latest effort to cool down the overheated property market and rein in financial risk.

Hainan Island Rolls Out the ‘Not Welcome’ Mat to Vacation-Home Buyers – Caixin Global This restriction applies to hotel-style condominiums, but does not include housing for low-income families or owner-occupied commercial and collectively-owned developments marketed to Hainan residents. The Hainan government also published a document Friday announcing a “permanent end” to new property developments targeting non-Hainan residents in one of the subtropical island’s cities and three of its counties. The four areas, which have now been designated Hainan’s “Central Ecological Core Areas,” are the city of Wuzhishan, and the counties of Baoting, Qiongzhong and Baisha.

One Ford, two systems – U.S. carmaker revamps China strategy amid EV push – Reuters: U.S. automaker Ford Motor Co (F.N) is overhauling its China plans as its global “One Ford” strategy is holding it back in the world’s biggest auto market, two high-ranking company insiders told Reuters. The review of its China operations, part of a broader strategy re-think under new CEO Jim Hackett, will likely see Ford focus on electric commercial vans, which China is encouraging in its polluted and congested city centers, as well as electric cars.

China, With Methodical Discipline, Conjures a Market for Electric Cars – WSJ The government is funding its own manufacturers, luring domestic buyers with subsidies and building a vast charging-station network—while strong-arming its consumers by making sure buying an electric car is the only sure way to get license plates in crowded cities..

China’s overseas acquirers export capital and leave a ‘black eye’ for others investing abroad | South China Morning Post The hotel [Waldorf Astoria] has been closed for renovation for more than half a year since March 1, but work has yet to start with the US$1 billion renovation bill left hanging after Anbang’s once high-flying chairman Wu Xiaohui was taken away by Chinese authorities for investigation in early June. While bankers said Beijing had ordered Anbang to sell the hotel in late July, no white knight has emerged so far.

China reiterates prudent, neutral monetary policy – Xinhua In a statement issued after a quarterly meeting, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) said it will continue “seeking progress while maintaining stability”, a tone set for the country’s economic work at the Central Economic Work Conference, and adapting to an economic “new normal” that feature slower but higher quality growth.

China Tries to Steer Loans to Small Businesses – New York Times The central bank said it would cut the ratio only for banks that meet minimums for lending to small businesses or other borrowers that it called “inclusive finance.” The new category encompasses loans typically of less than 5 million yuan, or about $750,000, that are issued to small businesses, small family companies, farmers, students and poverty alleviation programs

The IMF’s China Problem | Council on Foreign Relations In other words China saves so much—about 45 percent of its GDP—that it runs a sizeable trade surplus even with what would otherwise be considered wildly irresponsible domestic policies That’s a problem for the IMF. The policies that the IMF—and many others—generally recommend for China are broadly speaking the policies that would typically be recommended to a country with a large external deficit: tighter credit, a smaller fiscal deficit, and the like

China to Take Flexible Approach to SOE Reform – Caixin Global Policymakers will be flexible in implementing mixed-ownership reform and will assess investment on a case-by-case basis, said Peng Huagang, a senior official at the agency that oversees the 98 SOEs owned by the central government. The level of private involvement will depend on the circumstances of the enterprise and on interest from investors, said Peng, deputy secretary-general and spokesman of the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC), at a news conference on Thursday.

Communist party asserts control over China Inc – FT $$ In the past week, the party has moved to define its role in business. A government statement laid out Beijing’s definition of “entrepreneurship”, saying it involves patriotism and professionalism, followed by observing discipline, obeying laws, innovation and serving society. Profits did not feature, although the statement did reassure entrepreneurs that their property would be protected.

China State News Calls for ‘Iron Fist’ Regulation of Bitcoin Exchanges – CoinDesk Heavily critical of cryptocurrency exchanges, Xinhua said they had become a favourite among criminals across the world in an article today. Exchanges, it continued, are known to have “concocted pyramid schemes” and “engaged in illegal activities” – criminal activity “disguised as scientific and technological innovation.” 新华时评:对虚拟货币隐匿犯罪“零容忍

U.S. business groups say WTO unable to curb many Chinese trade practices – Reuters U.S. companies face increasing threats from Chinese investment rules, industrial policies, subsidies to state-owned enterprises, excess manufacturing capacity, cybersecurity regulations and forced technology transfers, the groups told a public hearing held by the U.S. Trade Representative’s office. The session will influence an annual report on China’s WTO compliance by the U.S. Trade Representative’s office as well as a USTR investigation into China’s intellectual property practices that could lead to imposition of trade sanctions by President Donald Trump.

China’s Oil Demand Is Far Ahead Of Last Year’s Pace | The numbers from China are interesting given the constant refrain of weakening Chinese demand. This seems to be wishful thinking based on China’s investments in clean technology.


Politics And Law

中共十九大代表全部选出 共2287名(附名单)政经频道财新网 Comment: full list of the 2287 delegates to the 19th Party Congress. Surprising that Xi advisors like Fang Xinghai not on the list?

七集政论专题片《不忘初心 继续前进》即将播出中南海澎湃新闻-The Paper Comment: A new political propaganda documentary about to air, perhaps wil be a good tell on Xi theory…

China Focus: How Chinese leaders are elected to Party congress – Xinhua Party and state leaders did not participate in elections in places such as their native homes or where they have worked, except for that they hold concurrent posts as Party secretaries of electoral units. Leaders from ethnic minority regions can participate in autonomous regions, according to the Organization Department of the CPC Central Committee. The fact that Party and state leaders, especially members of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, participate in elections in underdeveloped provinces and regions densely populated by ethnic minorities sets an example in the implementation of the Party and state’s major development strategies, said Professor Zhu Lingjun with CPC Central Committee Party School.

Staff called back to work as Xinjiang scraps week-long National Day holiday | South China Morning Post Civil servants, workers at state enterprises, teachers and some students have to cancel plans due to last-minute order ‘to prepare’ for party congress.  //  Comment: Xinjiang Party chief Chen Quanguo does not want his promotion prospects damaged by a major incident before the 19th Party Congress, makes perfect sense he wants all hands on deck to keep things under control.

Form and Function of the Chinese Communist Party | Peter Mattis Whenever analysts and investigators draw attention to the CCP’s efforts to influence perceptions and shape the world outside the party, the party’s defenders (or those implicated) accuse them of four things: being racist; having ulterior motives; not understanding China; and misjudging and/or misunderstanding the CCP. The organizational chart above helps address the last two accusations. The CCP remains a revolutionary party with a basic structure that has persisted for almost 70 years. Security. Propaganda. United Front. Party management. These are the core departments through which a strong leader like Deng Xiaoping or Xi Jinping demonstrates power.

Hong Kong-based anti-Communist magazines Cheng Ming and The Trend cease publication after 40 years | Hong Kong Free Press HKFP Hong Kong-based anti-Communist magazine Cheng Ming has announced that it will cease publication after 40 years in print. Its sister magazine The Trend will also disappear from the shelves. Local media claim it is related to the death of their founder of old age.

Chinese Police Detain Journalist Who Wrote About Missing Wuhan Students – RFA The 39-year-old journalist, identified only by his surname Wang, has been detained on suspicion of “faking the facts and spreading rumors” after he wrote an article titled “32 Students Mysteriously Disappear in Wuhan,” featuring interviews with their family members, the Beijing Youth Daily newspaper reported.

Language Log » Mao Zedong’s “three jewels” On the eve of the establishment of the PRC, Chairman Mao referred to united front (tǒngyī zhànxiàn 統一戰線) work as one of the Party’s “three great fabao” (sān gè dà fǎbǎo 三个大法宝).  So what is a fabao, what did Mao mean by that expression, and where did he get it?

明鏡之聲(2017年10月3日第七次播音) – YouTube Comment: Mingjing suggests that Sun Zhengcai’s downfall means trouble ahead for Wen Jiabao and his family, something I have been hearing as well

14 Chinese nationals arrested after large illegal marijuana grow found in Garfield County | FOX31 Denver The sheriff’s office said 14 Chinese nationals — 12 men and two women — were arrested and detained at the Garfield County Jail, accused of growing about 3,000 marijuana plants. The sheriff’s office said some of those arrested are believed to be in the country illegally and another half-dozen people fled the scene on foot when the raid started and have not been caught.

Probes continue into mysterious marijuana grows in Yuba County | Though the three busts have been at different locations throughout Yuba County, or just outside it in Butte and Sacramento counties, there has been a pattern with the individuals arrested — they were all born in China. Leslie Carbah, spokesperson for the sheriff’s office, said some of the individuals are citizens and some are in the country with Chinese passports.

Yolo County seizes $5 million worth of marijuana | The Sacramento Bee Deputies arrested Guangyang Bao, 60, of Sacramento; Jian Fang, 54, of Sacramento; Sinh Lieu, 52, of Sacramento; Bobby Lieu, 55, of Sacramento; and Paofu Chen, 34, of Queens, New York.


Foreign And Defense Affairs

Abe tries hand at charming China, calls for Xi’s visit to Japan:The Asahi Shimbun Prime Minister Shinzo Abe started a new diplomatic offensive to China by attending an annual Chinese political event in Tokyo on Sept. 28, the day of the Lower House dissolution, and inviting Chinese President Xi Jinping to visit Japan in 2018.

Research claims CCLeaner attack carried out by Chinese-linked group – Cyberscopp New research published Monday by Israeli cybersecurity startup Intezer Labs, authored by senior security researcher Jay Rosenberg, adds support to the conclusion that Chinese hackers tried to gain access to a small number of multinational telecommunications and technology companies. // Comment: As China cyber John Costello wrote on Twitter: “Targeting supply chains and services is a key step for PRC Intel to “collect the stack” and build capacity. Comms and data tech companies have are key to operationalizing the OPM data.”

US spy planes kept eye on Chinese scientists during research expedition near Guam | South China Morning Post The Kexue oceanographic ship had regular low flyovers from US Navy P3-Orion surveillance aircraft while investigating a seamount southeast of Guam

CEFC’s Rosneft deal driven by national strategy: chairman – Reuters CEFC China Energy’s $9.1 billion purchase of a stake in Russia’s Rosneft Oil ROSM.NN was mainly driven by China’s Belt and Road Initiative and has strong support from the government, Ye Jianming, the company’s founder said. Ye posted his thoughts on Monday in a message to CEFC employees on the company’s Wechat account to explain how the privately-owned company secured the deal with Rosneft instead of China’s state-owned oil majors.

Conflict with China Revisited: Prospects, Consequences, and Strategies for Deterrence | RAND The United States Will Likely Find Itself Forced to Shift From Deterrence by Denial, Based on Direct Defense of Its Interests and Allies in the Western Pacific, to Deterrence by Punishment, Based on the Threat of Escalation

China puts more boots at Doklam – The Hindu According to sources in the Indian security establishment, the Chinese have 1,500 to 1,700 troops of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) stationed a few hundred metres afrom the standoff site on their side.

U.S.-China Law Enforcement and Cybersecurity Dialogue – US Department of State Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan will host the dialogue, co-chaired by Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke on the U.S. side, and State Councilor and Minister of Public Security Guo Shengkun on the Chinese side. The Dialogue will address important areas of the U.S.-China relationship with frank discussions on immigration, fugitives, counter-narcotics, counterterrorism, and cybersecurity.

China’s Mekong Plans Threaten Disaster for Countries Downstream | Foreign Policy: In meetings with the other Mekong states — Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam — China talks about a “community of shared future.” But as China’s economy and its ambitions have both expanded, so have its goals for the Mekong. Beijing has expanded its control of the waters by building new hydroelectric dams and by what some experts call hydrodiplomacy, creating and financing a new governing body on the river that rivals a former Western-supported group. For critics, control of the waterway is a key move in China’s attempt to establish itself as a regional hegemon; for locals by the river, it’s also a potential environmental and economic disaster. China’s latest move has been to press downstream countries for what’s euphemistically called “navigation channel improvement,” which means allowing its engineers to dynamite rocks and small islands in the Mekong so that bigger ships can make the journey all the way from Yunnan to Luang Prabang and, eventually, to the South China Sea.


Tech And Media

Silicon Valley, Ignore China at Your Peril — The Information He speculated that there is some “fatalism” among U.S. tech leaders when comes to trying to break into the China market. He added: “They think “If we go there, we will be blocked and shut down… these guys are so aggressive. Let’s stay in Palo Alto.” I feel that apathy, too, and think it’s only grown since Uber quit China and sold its business there to Didi. While Chinese tech professionals are still very interested in Uber—they still see it as a Silicon Valley superstar—people in Silicon Valley rarely ask me about Didi, which is expanding steadily around the world.

Partner Yue Ji Shares Sequoia China’s Framework for Investing in AI Companies: “With Over 30 Investments Made, We’ve Determined Two Primary Criteria”(PE daily) Sequoia China recently released an article featuring an interview with their Partner Yue Ji on his framework for thinking about AI investments and how he’s applied it to Sequoia’s current portfolio. It covers AI’s application in a number of industries, why Sequoia focuses its AI investments on clear use cases, the current AI talent gap, and the winner-take-all nature of the technology

Hollywood Finds Chinese Cinemas Fudging Box-Office Figures – WSJ Auditors at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP working on behalf of the MPAA concluded that ticket sales in China were underreported by about 9% last year, one of the people said. That translates into at least $40 million in lost revenue for the six Hollywood studios that make up the MPAA

How China’s Capital Clampdown Torpedoed a Billionaire’s Oscar Dream – WSJ Wanda sent representatives to Los Angeles last month for meetings with studios to assure them that Wanda is still in the game. But executives privately wonder if the conglomerate will be allowed to resume its Hollywood pursuits with the same gusto it displayed before the government crackdown. Mr. Wang will, however, retain a certain proximity to Oscars. In 2013, Wanda donated $20 million to the Academy’s new film museum—enough to give the company naming rights in the museum’s film-history section.

Time to Turn Off Your TVs, China’s Tuning In to Online MCs – WSJ Mr. Zhou, who goes by the stage name GAI, is a phenom from China’s most popular entertainment program in 2017: “The Rap of China,” a 12-episode hip-hop reality series that shows the power of online entertainment and its younger audience. The show, created and shown by online video site iQiyi, attracted 2.7 billion views during its run from late June to early September. Short videos pulled from the content were watched eight billion times on social-media platform Weibo, according to iQiyi.


Society, Art, Sports, Culture And History

What art are China’s young super-rich buying? – CNN Style China’s so-called fuerdai (literally “second generation rich”) are regularly criticized in the media for their flashy spending. And with many young collectors at least partly funded by family money, they seem eager to prove that they’re interested in art as more than just a status symbol. Auction houses are changing tack to cater to them. Sotheby’s, Christie’s and Hong Kong’s Poly Auction all offer private sales that allow for discreet transactions. In the first half of 2017, Sotheby’s reported a significant rise in revenue from private sales — particularly in Asia.

Energy, Environment, Science And Health

Beijing and Vienna have a quantum conversation – A quantum cryptography key has been shared between Beijing and Vienna using a satellite – allowing the presidents of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Austrian Academy of Sciences to communicate via a secure video link. The call was made earlier today using China’s Micius quantum-communications satellite, which was launched in 2016 and orbits about 500 km above Earth.

China plans national parks network by 2020 to fend off environmental threats | South China Morning Post The parks will come under a unified management system designed to protect areas of outstanding natural beauty in China, according to a government plan released on Tuesday and reported by Xinhua

Full Text: Development of China’s Public Health – The State Council Information Office of the People’s Republic of China published a white paper titled “Development of China’s Public Health as an Essential Element of Human Rights” on Sept. 29.

China’s Coal Hub Bans Coal – Caixin Global Taiyuan, the capital of China’s coal production hub, has banned sales, transport and use of coal by most plants to try to reduce serious air pollution. The city in northern Shanxi province contributed 24.3% of last year’s coal output nationwide last year. The ban went into effect on Sunday, the state-run Xinhua News Agency reported… The ban will apply to all individuals and companies excluding several state-owned steel and power plants.


Food And Travel

Travel boom: China to spend $90 billion over the coming National Day, Mid-Autumn Festival holidays – Global Times 710 million trips



Rising High Above Beijing, a Security Puzzle – WSJ Government officials have halted work on the planned observation deck on China Zun Tower’s 106th floor because of concerns that visitors would be able to see into the compound where Communist Party leaders live and work, according to the people involved.


Jobs And Events

Job listing: Foreign correspondent THE ECONOMIST is looking for a journalist with a good knowledge of China and of standard Chinese, and who is keen to be posted in Beijing or elsewhere outside the UK, to help with our coverage of foreign affairs.