Announcement: Short Break

Hi all,

I’m taking a short break from putting new editions of DuYa 渡鴉 together. I’m going to be busy at work with an upcoming deadline for the next few weeks.

Apologies, and thanks for your patience!

Danny

DuYa 渡鴉 // China News // 2018-04-24

Curated news and stories about China from all over the web

Hi all!

Today's edition of DuYa contains 300+ stories collected from 85+ sources, covering the following topics:

  • Featured Articles

  • International Relations & Military

  • Domestic Issues, Health & the Environment

  • Ideology, Censorship & Domestic Politics

  • Business & Economy

  • Science & Tech

  • Gender, Sex & Relationships

  • Ethnicity & Religion

  • Education & Language

  • Entertainment & Sport

  • Society, Offbeat & Other

Enjoy, and please forward to friends, colleagues or anyone else you feel will find it useful or interesting!

If you’d prefer a more regular newsletter, with more focus on politics and finance, and with excellent commentary, please also consider subscribing to Sinocism (similar length, paid) or Trivium (shorter, free).

Cheers!
Danny


FEATURED ARTICLES

A Dream of Grey Mansions
China Channel
Back to the land

In 1979, 80 per cent of China’s population lived in the countryside; by 2010 this proportion had almost halved. Of all the convulsions that have shaken Chinese society in the last hundred years, the shift towards becoming a primarily urban society has arguably been the most revolutionary. Though the countryside witnessed huge upheavals during the Maoist era, first with collectivisation, then with the terrible famine that followed, neither of these led to the removal of almost an entire generation from rural communities. But the great rush towards the factory towns in south China has removed the majority of people of working age from the countryside. In many villages, the only people left are grandparents and their grandchildren.

See also:
Rural exodus leaves a shrinking Chinese village full of ageing poor, and only three children
South China Morning Post

The Peculiar Past and Present of a Socialist Skyscraper
Sixth Tone
Once full of revolutionary promise, Beijing’s urban communes have fallen from grace.

The Anhua Building was once a marvel. When it was completed in May 1960, the apartment block’s nine floors towered over the neighborhood’s single-story houses. Locals whispered about its elevators, private bathrooms, and other unheard-of luxuries. Beyond its enviable amenities, the building was a flagship of the new Communist era, designed for collective living. “When people walked past on their way to and from work, they would go like this,” 92-year-old resident Xu Qinmin says, gazing upward in childlike wonder.

Today, as just one in a succession of apartment blocks and office towers that line a long boulevard in the center of the capital, the Anhua Building hardly attracts attention from passersby. Inside, there are few reminders of its unique history. The hallways are dark, the kitchens black with grease, and most objects lining the corridors — including cabinets and other furniture that residents couldn’t fit inside their modest apartments — caked in a layer of dust. The stairwells on some floors are full of cigarette butts and the sickly odor of urine.

Best 30 Books to Understand Modern China
What’s on Weibo
A list of the best English-language books on Chinese history, online environment, modern Chinese culture and more, recommended by What’s on Weibo.

This list was compiled based on own preference and that of many readers whom we asked about their favorite sources within this category. 

There are many great books out there on modern China, and a lot of them are written in Chinese, Japanese, French, Spanish, Dutch, and many other languages – but for the scope of this particular list, we have chosen just to focus on the books that have come out in the English language.

See also:
Five ways China's past has shaped its present
BBC

Hong Kong's 'cardboard grannies': the elderly box collectors living in poverty
The Guardian
Inadequate support for Hong Kong’s ageing population means for some older citizens, scavenging and selling boxes and scrap is the only way to scrape by

Miss Wong, 65, scavenges the streets of Hong Kong’s Sheung Shui area in search of disused cardboard to sell to local recycling plants. She starts her day at 7am and often works until 9pm, seven days a week. For her efforts, she receives about HK$41 (£3.60) per day.

Wong is one of an estimated thousand senior citizens nicknamed “cardboard grannies” who collect and sell waste boxes and other scrap across nine of the poorest districts in the city.

When the company Wong distributed promotional leaflets for closed down, she found herself unable to find other employment. With no savings, family support, sufficient pension or social security income, selling cardboard has become her only means of scraping by. “I ended up homeless because I didn’t have enough money to pay the rent,” says Wong. “Even a sub-divided flat costs around HK$4,000 per month and I didn’t have the money for that.”

Cardboard grannies are one of the most visible indicators of Hong Kong’s struggle to support its rapidly ageing population. 

See also:
Lessons for HK: How China is able to curb home prices
EJ Insight
Frank Chan refuses to draw line on shoe box flats sizes
The Standard

China’s $6 Billion Propaganda Blitz Is a Snooze
Foreign Policy
Beijing’s propaganda works at home, but it can't compete globally.

n a world on the brink of chaos, China has decided that what people everywhere need is more good news — as long as it’s about China. China is creating a giant media outlet called Voice of China, combining the three state television and radio broadcasters aimed at overseas audiences: China Global Television Network, China Radio International, and China National Radio. The hope is that by combining resources and output, China will have a broader platform to spread its message overseas.

But will Voice of China succeed in boosting China’s international image, especially given the dubious performance of previous global state media pushes?

Chinese President Xi Jinping has made no secret that he has very high hopes for China as a new superpower on the world stage, having broken away from his predecessors’ low-key approach. Like Xi’s “Chinese Dream,” “Voice of China” is a calque, directly copied from a U.S. model — in this case, “Voice of America.” But despite the country’s economic, industrial, and technological might, China has a serious problem with its international image. The Chinese Dream doesn’t sell abroad, at least in the developed world — and the censorship and restraints that have always held back Chinese media abroad have been redoubled in the age of Xi.

That’s why the Chinese leadership has put significant effort into improving China’s soft power globally, with state media playing a key part.


INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS & MILITARY

This section covers the following:

  1. The U.S.

  2. ZTE

  3. Taiwan

  4. Islands & Navies

  5. North Korea

  6. Australia

  7. One Belt One Road

  8. Europe

  9. Central Asia

  10. India

  11. Japan

  12. Africa

  13. General Military

  14. Other

1. THE U.S.

US-China trade war’s global ramifications explained
The Conversation
Economic acrimony has been bubbling between the US and China since Donald Trump became president. Now the tensions have boiled over into escalating tit-for-tat announcements of tariffs on key imports. This is serious not just for the US and China, but for the entire global economy and the UK, in particular, as it hopes for a free trade Brexit. As Christine Lagarde, the International Monetary Fund director, has warned: the world trade order “is now in danger of being torn apart”.

See also:
US trade moves based on fear of competition
Global Times
Why China Won’t Yield to Trump
Project Syndicate
China welcomes U.S. Treasury Secretary's proposed trip to China
XinhuaNet
Sino-American Trade: We Know Where This Is Headed
War on the Rocks
Managing Global Disorder: Prospects for U.S.-China Cooperation
Council on Foreign Relations

China and the U.S. Seek Allies to Strengthen Sides in Trade Tussle
Bloomberg
- Battle for backing likely to play out at IMF meeting this week
- Lengthy confrontation would pose risks for world economy

See also:
Why China should have chosen honesty in its U.S. trade war
The Conversation
Europe not choosing sides in U.S.-China trade dispute
Reuters
‘When elephants fight, grass gets affected – we are the grass,’ says India on China-US tariff war
Scroll
Canada issues WARNING to China: Back up your words or face TRADE WAR with Trump
Express

U.S. Earns More in China Than Trade Numbers Reveal
Bloomberg
That leaves American companies vulnerable to retaliation by Beijing. It also gives them more reason to defuse trade tensions.

See also:
China's penetration of U.S. supply chain runs deep, says report
Federal Computer Week
Trump's next $100 billion tariff dilemma: hit Wal-Mart or Apple Store?
Reuters
Trump China tariffs could hike prices for TVs, batteries by 23%, study shows
USA Today
Whiskey sour? China importers fret over U.S. trade battle
Reuters
Trade tensions with U.S. testing resolve of Chinese consumers
Reuters

China Loosens Foreign Auto Rules, in Potential Peace Offering to Trump
The New York Times
Beijing and Washington have threatened each other with tariffs for weeks, raising the prospect of a trade war. But on Tuesday, China took a step to lower tensions, offering to make it easier for foreign automakers and aerospace manufacturers to own factories in the country.

See also:
China to open auto market as trade tensions simmer
Reuters
Why it won't be easy for global automakers to part with Chinese partners
Automotive News Europe

2. ZTE

ZTE Claims US Ban On Technology Exports "Endangers Its Survival"
China Money Network
Chinese telecom equipment maker ZTE Corp said the U.S. ban on technology exports to the firm is unfair and will "endanger its survival."
"This is extremely unfair and we do not accept it." said the company in a statement.

See also:
U.S. regulator permits China's ZTE to submit more evidence
Reuters
U.S. will hurt itself with action on ZTE: Ministry of Commerce
XinhuaNet
China's ZTE 'poses risk to UK security'
BBC
China's ZTE may lose Android license as US problems build
CNBC

China’s muted response to US export ban on ZTE
EJ Insight
Beijing’s response has been fairly muted, probably because the US seems to have a strong case. China’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said China is ready to take necessary measures to safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese companies.

See also:
U.S. ban on sales to ZTE triggers patriotic rhetoric in China
Reuters
“Our staff are ZTE people!” claims Global Times editor as ZTE and China question US dependence
TechNode
Behind the scenes, China’s actually kind of mad at its telecoms giant ZTE
Quartz
Propaganda film quietly pulled by Beijing after ZTE ban
Asia Times

ZTE may be too big to fail, as it remains the thin end of the wedge in China’s global tech ambition
South China Morning Post
ZTE accuses US Commerce Department of “extremely unfair” treatment for a seven-year ban on buying technology from American companies, which would derail its 5G network plans, a key plank to China’s technology ambitions

See also:
US chip export ban has Beijing calling for home alternatives
Asia Times
China wants to wean itself off foreign technology. Now it will see how hard that will be
Quartz
Chinese chip sector ‘may overtake Western peers’
Global Times
China’s call for ‘core technology’ breakthrough belies its weakness in semiconductors
South China Morning Post
Alibaba Buys Chip Maker C-SKY Microsystems As China Seeks Semiconductor Self Reliance
China Money Network

Huawei and ZTE Hit Hard as U.S. Moves Against Chinese Tech Firms
The New York Times
The moves intensify an already testy fight between China and the United States for high-tech supremacy. Although tensions have simmered for years, the two economic powerhouses are threatening a global trade war as they look to protect their most advanced industries.

See also:
DJI Releases Security Findings It Hopes Will Quash 'Chinese Spying' Fears
Gizmodo
China: Qualcomm plan ‘has difficulty’ resolving concerns
Associated Press

3. TAIWAN

Are The Us And China Headed For War Over Taiwan?
South China Morning Post
As Beijing and Washington position themselves for a trade war, Trump should beware playing the Taiwan card – or he may find his actions lead to a real war

See also:
Trump’s Incredibly Risky Taiwan Policy
ChinaFile
China Conducts War Games, and Taiwan Is the Target
The News York Times

Carrier leads exercise in west Pacific
China Military
China's carrier battle group, led by the aircraft carrier CNS Liaoning, conducted its first combat exercise in the western Pacific on Friday and Saturday, the People's Liberation Army Navy said.

See also:
China navy drills in Pacific as tension with Taiwan rises
Reuters

China flies bombers around Taiwan, holds live-fire drills
The Times of India
Chinese bombers and spy planes have flown around Taiwan, the air force said today as Taipei accused Beijing of trying to stoke regional tensions with its military drills.

See also:
China air force goads Taiwan with Hokkien-language video
Reuters

Taiwan's annual live-fire military drill to start June 4
Taiwan News
Earlier’s reports said the scale of the this year's live-fire drill would be larger than the previous ones, owing to increasing military maneuvers from Beijing

See also:
Taiwan to simulate repelling invasion amid China tensions
Reuters
China’s live-fire drills – more than just saber rattling, this is propaganda and fake news
Taiwan News
Taiwan’s small fighter fleet faces wear and tear
Asia Times

PLA's live-fire drills in Taiwan Straits a warning to ‘independence groups,’ US
People’s Daily Online
The People's Liberation Army (PLA) conducted live-fire military exercises in the Taiwan Straits on Wednesday, with experts saying that the exercises are a clear and tough signal to "Taiwan independence groups" and the US who are damaging cross-Straits ties.

See also:
Why Beijing feels the need to kill a ‘chicken’ when it comes to talk of independence in Hong Kong and Taiwan
South China Morning Post
Major General:Exercise in Taiwan Strait is a reunification rehearsal
China Military
In the name of Taiwan
Taiwan News
Taiwan actor Chang Chen on Cannes Film Festival jury, but they call him Chinese, prompting Taiwan to request correction
South China Morning Post

For Taiwanese, Democracy is the Only Game in Town — And They Would Fight to Defend it
Taiwan Sentinel
A recent survey shows that nearly 70 percent of Taiwanese would take action to defend their democratic way of life if China attacked their country, even as a majority of them are pessimistic about the state of their democracy.

See also:
Taiwan’s democracy is the key issue facing China
Asia Times

Taiwan President Tsai talks up more African ventures
The Standard
President Tsai Ing-wen advised Taiwanese business people in Swaziland yesterday to not miss out on investment opportunities in Africa as they seek diversification.

4. ISLANDS & NAVIES

Chinese PLA Navy's 69th anniversary: China vows to build world-class naval power
China Global Television Network
The 69th anniversary is a milestone for the Chinese PLA Navy – marking its development into a world-class naval power and readiness to guard its core interests at sea and undertake more international responsibilities.

See also:
PLA Navy at 69 faces increasing challenges from US
China Military
How Does China'S Navy Compare To America's?
Newsweek

US Admiral warns: Only war can now stop Beijing controlling the South China Sea
NZ Herald
The chief of US Fleet Forces Command has told US Congress that Beijing has built up enough military infrastructure in the South China Sea to completely control the disputed waterway.
"Once occupied, China will be able to extend its influence thousands of miles to the south and project power deep into Oceania," Admiral Philip S Davidson wrote.

See also:
Countering China’s Militarization Of The Indo-Pacific
War on the Rocks
Coalition of Military Help for Philippines Will Put China on Higher Alert
Voice of America
Senate set to vote on motion condemning China’s action in South China Sea
The Globe and Mail

China's new carrier set for sea trials: experts
China Military
China's second aircraft carrier may undergo its first sea trials in the Bohai Sea and Yellow Sea areas shortly, and it is likely to be ready for combat two years after its expected delivery to the navy at the end of 2018, Chinese military analysts said.

See also:
China’s First Domestically Built Carrier Set to Begin Sea Trials
Center for Strategic & International Studies
Top secret: China's new 70,000-tonne monster kept under tight security
NZ Herald
Construction of second Chinese carrier to start in Shanghai
Asia Times

China unveils monument to South China Sea island building
GMA Network
China has unveiled a monument to mark its construction work in the disputed South China Sea, which has included reclaiming land for artificial islands, the Chinese military's official newspaper said on Tuesday.

See also:
China’s claims in South China Sea ‘proposed by continuous boundary for the first time’
South China Morning Post
ASEAN summit to focus on Myanmar, South China Sea but little progress expected
Reuters

China bolsters undersea warfare power through stolen US technology, admiral says
Stars and Stripes
China is eroding America’s advantage in potential undersea warfare in part by stealing U.S. technology through hacking defense contractors and infiltrating academia, the Navy admiral nominated to lead U.S. Pacific Command said Tuesday.

See also:
New base for Chinese submersibles in Sth China Sea
Asia Times
Chinese archaeologists begin first deep sea mission
XinhuaNet

5. NORTH KOREA

China, Feeling Left Out, Has Plenty to Worry About in North Korea-U.S. Talks
The New York Times
As the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, prepares for his meetings with the presidents of South Korea and the United States, China has found itself in an unaccustomed place: watching from the sidelines.

See also:
CIA Director Pompeo met with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un over Easter weekend
The Washington Post
Chinese President Xi Jinping will visit Pyongyang 'soon,' official says
CNN

China's foreign ministry welcomes North Korea nuclear test halt
Reuters
China’s foreign ministry said on Saturday it welcomed a move by North Korea to halt nuclear and missile tests, which it said would help ease tensions on the Korean peninsula and promote denuclearization.

See also:
Op-ed: Chinese delegation's DPRK visit implements consensus reached by Xi and Kim
People’s Daily Online

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's 'bitter sorrow' after fatal China tourist crash
The Straits Times
North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un visited China's embassy in Pyongyang to express his "bitter sorrow" after a bus crash killed dozens of Chinese tourists, state media reported early Tuesday.

See also:
North Korea’s Kim meets Chinese envoy after deadly bus crash
Associated Press

6. AUSTRALIA

Prime minister says Australia will sail in South China Sea
NZ Herald
Australia's Prime Minister said the Australian navy has a "perfect right" to traverse the South China Sea after a media report yesterday that the Chinese navy had challenged three Australian warships in the hotly contested waterway.

See also:
Defense Ministry: China has professional encounter with Australian warships in S. China Sea
China Military
Australian warships 'challenged' by Chinese navy in South China Sea
The Guardian
Aussie warships had ‘robust’ encounter with Chinese military in South China Sea
Asian Correspondent

Framing the Australia–China relationship
Australian Strategic Policy Institute
A flurry of attacks on the Turnbull government’s handling of the Australia–China relationship has captured the media’s attention.

See also:
China to enhance peace and security cooperation with the AU: envoy
XinhuaNet
China warns Australia over hostile sentiment
People’s Daily Online
China threatens Australia with trade war
NZ Herald

Ambassador Liu Quan: The Road to Common Development
People’s Daily Online
On April 23, 2018, Vanuatu Daily Post published a signed article titled 'The Road to Common Development' by Chinese Ambassador to Vanuatu Liu Quan. The full text is as follows.

More tourists in Australia now come from China than New Zealand
Quartz
This week, Australia’s statistics agency reported that the country received a record number of Chinese tourists. The ranks of visitors from mainland China have swelled so much that they now outnumber New Zealanders, long the top source of tourists to Australia.

See also:
China leapfrogs New Zealand as Australia's top tourist source
Reuters

7. ONE BELT ONE ROAD

China deepens militarization of One Belt, One Road initiative
Axios
In a meeting with Pakistan’s Chief of Naval Staff in Beijing on Friday, Chinese Defense Minister Wei Fenghe announced that China was “ready to provide security guarantees for the One Belt, One Road project” (OBOR).

See also:
'No geopolitical calculations' in Belt and Road, Beijing insists
The Standard
'Silk Road' plan intended to serve China's security goals, claims report
The Times of India

Will China listen to EU on infrastructure plan’s perceived pitfalls in free trade and competition?
South China Morning Post
Mathieu Duchatel writes that as China reviews its EU policy under a new foreign policy team, it remains to be seen to what extent European belt and road concerns will be taken seriously

See also:
Asia’s Infrastructure Contest: Quantity vs. Quality
Center for Strategic & International Studies
China’s Belt and Road, and implications for ASEAN connectivity
Asia Times

Over 50 Chinese-made aircraft delivered to Belt and Road countries: Report
The Times of India
Over 50 Chinese-made aircraft, which can be used for both passenger and cargo transportation, have been delivered to eight Belt and Road countries, the planes' manufacturer said on Saturday.

8. EUROPE

How China Is Buying Its Way Into Europe
Bloomberg
For more than a decade, Chinese political and corporate leaders have been scouring the globe with seemingly bottomless wallets in hand. From Asia to Africa, the U.S. and Latin America, the results are hard to ignore as China has asserted itself as an emerging world power. Less well known is China’s diffuse but expanding footprint in Europe.

See also:
EU ambassadors band together against Silk Road
Handelsblatt
Belt and Road Initiative facilitates China-CEE (Central and Eastern Europe) cooperation
Gov.Cn
China’s gift to Europe is a new version of crony capitalism
The Guardian
Chinese companies tapping into Serbia's construction market potential
Global Times
Croatia signs bridge contract with Chinese consortium
XinhuaNet
EU suspects tax fraud at China's new gateway to Europe
Reuters

China, Britain agree to further promote golden era of bilateral ties
XinhuaNet
Chinese President Xi Jinping and British Prime Minister Theresa May agreed on Thursday to further promote the "Golden Era" of bilateral ties between the two sides.

See also:
British Commonwealth summit sees line up against China and Russia
World Socialist Web Site

China, Finland to enhance Arctic research cooperation
XinhuaNet
China and Finland have signed an agreement to establish a joint research center for Arctic space observation and data sharing services, the China Academy of Sciences (CAS) announced Wednesday.

See also:
China’s Arctic Ambitions in Alaska
The Diplomat
Joint research center established to promote polar research
XinhuaNet

9. CENTRAL ASIA

China fails to get Indian support for Belt and Road ahead of Modi-Xi summit
The Times of India
China failed to get India's support for its ambitious Belt and Road infrastructure project at the end of a foreign ministers' meeting of a major security bloc on Tuesday, ahead of an ice-breaking trip to China this week by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

See also:
Xi urges SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organization) to expand cooperation
People’s Daily Online
China willing to deepen pragmatic cooperation with SCO member states in defense, security: Xi
China Military

India strongly raises terrorism issue at SCO FMs' meet in China
The Times of India
In a veiled attack on Pakistan, India today said that terrorism is an enemy of the basic human rights and the fight against it should also identify States that "encourage, support and finance" the menace and "provide sanctuary" to terror groups.

See also:
China reacts to Modi’s remarks against Pakistan
Pakistan Observer
China says terrorism tops meeting of Central Asian states
Associated Press

China reassures Pakistan on ties ahead of Xi's meeting with India's Modi
Channel NewsAsia
China on Monday reassured Pakistan that relations between the two countries were as firm as ever and would "never rust", ahead of a meeting this week between President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi that could unnerve Islamabad.

See also:
Strengthening Pak-China ties
Pakistan Observer
CPEC (China-Pakistan Economic Corridor) starts bearing fruit for people
The Express Tribune

China pledges to strengthen partnership with Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan
China Global Television Network
Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Tuesday pledged closer ties with Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan as he met respectively with the three foreign ministers on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) foreign ministers' meeting in Beijing.

10. INDIA

When India’s Strategic Backyard Meets China’S Strategic Periphery: The View From Beijing
War on the Rocks
Despite occasional strife, India and China have operated in separate strategic theaters and avoided major conflict for more than half a century, since they fought a war over territorial disputes in 1962. But today, that may be changing as China makes economic and maritime inroads into Southern Asia.

See also:
China, India are new vanguards of globalisation, says Chinese foreign ministry
The Hindu

Sudden Modi-Xi Meeting Signals Diplomatic Thaw Between Neighbors
Bloomberg
- Prime minister’s ‘informal summit’ trip announced late Sunday
- Meeting set to start Friday in central Chinese city of Wuhan

See also:
Modi, Xi will discuss inclusive global development when they meet this week, says China
Scroll
Modi-Xi will not sign agreements at Wuhan Summit but build consensus to resolve bilateral issues: China
India Today
Xi-Modi meeting to show diplomatic wisdom of China, India
Global Times
Modi-Xi Wuhan summit: Why Chinese media thinks it's a good idea; 10 points
Business Standard

Nepal-China agree to expand connectivity, build railway line
India Today
Nepal and China have agreed to expand connectivity and development of Trans-Himalayan multi-dimensional transport network, according to an official statement today.

See also:
Experts urge India to join trilateral cooperation with Nepal
Global Times
China moots India-Nepal-China economic corridor through Himalayas
The Times of India

Wang Yi to be Chinas new special representative for border talks with India
India Today
Wangs appointment was confirmed today when External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj who held bilateral talks with her Chinese counterpart congratulated him for being elevated as the state councillor and appointed as the special representative for the India-China boundary talks.

See also:
Sushma Swaraj meets Wang Yi to discuss India-China ties
The Times of India

11. JAPAN

Rebooting Japan-China economic dialogue
NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation)
Ministers from Japan and China have restarted a high-level economic dialogue in Tokyo for the first time in nearly 8 years.

See also:
China, Japan eye B&R cooperation
Global Times
Japan, China affirm importance of free trade amid friction with U.S.
Kyodo News
China hackers accused of attacking Japanese defence firms
South China Morning Post

During Tokyo meet, Kono and Wang agree to mutual visits by Abe and Xi
The Japan Times
The agreement came as Chinese Foreign Minster Wang Yi makes a rare visit to Tokyo, in a sign of improving cooperation between Asia’s two largest economies as they face policy whiplash from the U.S. over trade and security.

See also:
Japanese PM Abe sends ritual offering to Yasukuni shrine for war dead
Channel NewsAsia

Discovery could smash China’s rare-earths stranglehold
Asia Times
A mineral deposit has been found in Japan's exclusive economic zone in the Western Pacific, with a size and concentration comparable to China's

12. AFRICA

Corruption Charges in Angola May Spell Trouble for Sinopec
Caixin Global
Recent allegations of corruption against two children of Jose Eduardo dos Santos, a former president of Angola, and against Manuel Vicente, a former vice president of the African state, may have implications for Hong Kong and China.

China does not have to ask anyone for respect, Ghana’s president says
CNBC
- Nana Akufo-Addo pinpointed China's development story Saturday in a speech that promoted intra-African economic co-operation.
- He also extolled African unity as a means of generating economic prosperity.

See also:
Speech By The President Of The Republic Of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, At The London School Of Economics’ Africa Summit On The Theme “Africa At Work: Educated, Employed And Empowered”, At The London School Of Economics
Office of the President, Republic of Ghana

13. GENERAL MILITARY

China unveils new Fire Dragon missile
Shephard
Beijing-based Norinco unveiled its Fire Dragon 280A tactical missile for the AR3 multiple-launch rocket system (MLRS) at the DSA 2018 exhibition in Kuala Lumpur.

See also:
US awards $1bn contract for hypersonic missile as it falls behind Russia and China in new arms race
The Telegraph

New Army Guideline Bans Online Dating, Allows Uniforms Off-Duty
Sixth Tone
Revised military regulation aims to safeguard state secrets in an increasingly connected world.

14. OTHER

China Takes the Lead in UN Peacekeeping
The Diplomat
As the U.S. backs away, China is stepping up investment in UN peacekeeping operations.

See also:
China to send peacekeeping police to South Sudan, Cyprus
People’s Daily Online

Xi says he's looking forward to planning China-Russia ties with Putin in new era
China.org.cn
Xi made the remarks when meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

See also:
Russia's Lavrov, China's Wang Yi discuss Putin's June China visit
Reuters
Russia, China will continue to build up defense cooperation
TASS (Russian News Agency)

China’s $1 Billion White Elephant
Bloomberg
- Sri Lanka’s Hambantota port spurs worries in India, Japan
- Operator China Merchants is ‘hell bent’ on turning it around

See also:
Inside China's $1 billion port where ships don't want to stop
Stars and Stripes

Cambodia-China ties solid, reaching high level: PM
Gov.Cn
He made the remarks during a meeting with Chen Wu, chairman of South China’s Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, according to Eang Sophalleth, an assistant to the prime minister.

See also:
Cambodia a key partner for China
Khmer Times

Mahathir says he would halt, review China loans
Associated Press
Former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad says Malaysia will stop borrowing from China and review Chinese investments if his opposition grouping is elected in May 9 polls.

Crisis-hit Qatar looks to China for fresh natural gas demand and investment
South China Morning Post
Blockaded by neighbours, the tiny Gulf state is trying to diversify its economy and create trade opportunities, officials say

Anti-China sentiment rises from the ashes of Marawi
Asia Times
Proposal for a China-led consortium to rebuild the war-torn Philippine city faces stiff resistance from local Muslim residents


DOMESTIC ISSUES, HEALTH & THE ENVIRONMENT

This section covers the following:

  1. Hong Kong

  2. Environment

  3. Health

  4. Cities & Villages

  5. Crime

  6. Other

1. HONG KONG

HK youth shunning ‘Chinese’ as their national identity
Asia Times
A survey finds that 8.7% of the city's young people find their Hong Kong identity 'absolutely incompatible' with being 'Chinese'

See also:
Independence calls 'hurtful' Beijing law expert says
The Standard
Benny Tai: Hong Kong should consider the many possible forms of China’s post-Communist future
Hong Kong Free Press

No guarantees that advocates of ending one party rule will not be prosecuted, says Carrie Lam
Hong Kong Free Press
China Liaison Office Director Wang Zhimin said on Monday at the Legislative Council that it was incorrect to say that China was a “one-party dictatorship” since it was not mentioned in the Chinese constitution. He added that China is a socialist state of the dictatorship of the proletariat.

See also:
Carrie Lam waits for 'conducive' time for national security laws
The Standard

Remembering Michael Wright: the architect who guided the reconstruction of post-war Hong Kong
Hong Kong Free Press
Even more so now than in 1972 is it hard to comprehend the effort required to restore our infrastructure and then to add to it. Michael Wright was at the centre of all this as an architect in the civil service, then supervising as Chief Architect and finally reaching the acme of Director of Public Works.

See also:
Colonial street names and royal cyphers on postboxes will not be removed, says Hong Kong gov’t
Hong Kong Free Press

2. ENVIRONMENT

Earth Day: China's efforts in fighting plastic pollution
China Global Television Network
It’s been 48 years since the first Earth Day, celebrated on every April 22. The focus of the day this year is on fundamentally changing human attitudes and behavior regarding plastics and catalyzing a significant reduction in plastic pollution.
China is among countries around the world that have shown great efforts in combating plastic pollution.

China’s clean air market could reach US$3.19 tn
Asia Times
Nation poised to become the world's largest market for clean air technology in several key areas

See also:
China's War on Pollution Fuels State Takeover of Heavy Industry
Bloomberg
China fights big smog with big air purifier
AsiaOne
China's pledge to cut pollution could avoid 94,000 deaths - MIT
E-China News Service
China environment ministry warns of 'stalemate' in war on smog
Reuters

China Expands Controversial Bans on Imported Waste
Sixth Tone
Experts acknowledge importance of protecting environment but worry policy could disadvantage manufacturing industry.

See also:
Waste Management: The Effects Of China's Recycling Import Ban
Seeking Alpha
China Boosts Ban on 'Foreign Garbage' Ahead of Earth Day 2018
Radio Free Asia

Poachers are skinning elephants in Burma due to Chinese demand for skin
Asian Correspondent
Chinese demand for products made from elephant skin has led to a marked increase in poaching in Burma (Myanmar) and a rise in elephant carcasses with large strips of skin missing but the rest of the body intact, a UK-based conservation said Tuesday.

See also:
‘No elephant is safe’: China’s online market for animal’s skin has decimated Myanmar population
South China Morning Post

Forest cleared in southern China to build illegal homes
South China Morning Post
Authorities try to trace builders of houses in a remote area of Shenzhen, according to newspaper report

See also:
In Anhui, thousands of 'forest chiefs' guard woodlands
China.org.cn
The Guardian of China’s Guest-Greeting Pine
Sixth Tone

World’s newest great ape threatened by Chinese dam
The Guardian
The discovery of the Tapanuli orangutan has not stopped a Chinese state-run company from clearing forest for a planned dam. Conservationists fear this will be the beginning of the end for a species only known for six months

3. HEALTH

Faster, cheaper, better: How China and AI are helping pharmaceutical development
TechNode
Companies around the world with a Chinese connection, are using AI to speed up drug development and solve many of the traditional problems the industry has faced.

See also:
Chinese Money Floods U.S. Biotech as Beijing Chases New Cures
Bloomberg
China’s Shopping Spree For UK Healthcare Assets Continues With DNAFit Deal
China Money Network

For Faulting a Chinese Tonic, He Got 3 Months in Jail. Then Cheers.
The New York Times
Dr. Tan was arrested for writing online late last year that a popular Chinese tonic liquor appeared to be quack medicine, and a potential “poison” for many retirees who drink it every day, lured by swarms of ads on daytime television and its claims to be favored by emperors centuries ago.

Edible Birds’ Nests: Nutritional Delicacy Or Overpriced Hoax?
SupChina
Recent Chinese media reports have debunked the claimed health benefits of various “nutritional” supplements like caterpillar fungus, a.k.a. Himalayan Viagra (冬虫夏草 dōngchóngxiàcǎo), and donkey-hide gelatin (阿胶 ējiāo), and Chinese customers’ skepticism toward these products is growing. Edible birds’ nests, another traditional Chinese medical treatment, are at the center of a new debate regarding their alleged health benefits.

This social network is where China’s plastic surgery fans share their nose jobs
South China Morning Post
Getting a nose job is no longer taboo for many in the younger generation in China, who have grown up on a TV diet of surgically enhanced celebrities.

Japan offers to lend hand in China's 'toilet revolution'
The Guardian
Home of the hi-tech toilet offers technological support to help Xi Jinping in his mission to update lavatories across the country

4. CITIES & VILLAGES

Urban Officials Are Spoiling the Cities They Should Be Improving
Sixth Tone
Municipal governments are putting headline-grabbing vanity projects ahead of residents’ comfort and convenience.

See also:
Final Stop on the Great Brickening Shows Beijing Hutongs Have Become Sterile, Tepid Alleys
The Beijinger
Beijing’s skyscraper arms race cut short thanks to new CBD height restrictions
South China Morning Post

China approves ambitious Xiongan New Area master plan
Asia Times
A new blueprint was released Friday for a massive development that, if successful, will be merged with Beijing and nearby Tianjin into a megalopolis unlike any place in the world, and it sounds every bit as ambitious as promised.

See also:
China's "city of the future" to inspire world
XinhuaNet
China sets 100 per cent clean power target for Xi Jinping’s new Xiongan megacity
South China Morning Post

How did Shenzhen become China's 'Silicon Valley'
e-ChinaNews Service
Over the past four decades, the southern Chinese city Shenzhen has been the vanguard in Beijing's efforts to liberalize China's economy. But the city's growth model has changed several times.

See also:
Why rampant copying hasn’t stopped Shenzhen’s advance
EJ Insight

Shanghai Is Officially the 17th Most Innovative City in the World
That’s Shanghai
According to a report released at the China (Shanghai) International Technology Fair last week, Shanghai ranked 17th out of 100 cities around the world in innovation, Global Times reports.

Alibaba Taps Rural Growth With $717M Investment in Huitongda Network
China Money Network
China’s e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding will invest RMB4.5 billion (US$717.2 million) in Huitongda Network Co., an e-commerce platform serving rural consumers, in a bid to expand its sales outside major cities.

Mobike promises no more bikes in saturated cities, share big data with the government
TechNode
In its first major statement since being acquired by Meituan, bike rental giant Mobike is to stop adding new bikes to cities considered to be already saturated with bikes, will share its big data with the government for improved city planning, and put RMB100 million into improving its user credit system, the company announced at a press conference held in Beijing on Earth Day, April 22. The company is changing its focus from rapid to responsible growth.

5. CRIME

Blackmail drenched in blood: Children whose Next fashion boss father was knifed to death by his vengeful Chinese wife are 'being kept prisoner' by killer's family as they 'tell British grandfather to pay £62,000 if he wants them back'
Mail Online
- Michael Simpson, 34, was stabbed by his estranged wife Fu Weiwei a year ago
- Children, Jack, seven, and Alice, five, are living with maternal grandparents
- They will only return children to Michael's parents if they pay £62,000

Kangaroo dies after zoo visitors throw rocks to make it hop
The Independent
Animal is now being stuffed and put on display

Chinese police break up underground dog-fighting ring run by pensioners
South China Morning Post
Group detained on suspicion of allowing illicit gambling although dog fights are permitted under Chinese law

Chinese men stole pet cats to make ‘dragon and tiger soup’
South China Morning Post
Brothers accused of taking animals to sell to restaurant that cooks a traditional dish banned in restaurants in one city, news website reports

6. OTHER

‘China’s Hawaii’ Expands Visa-Free Access to 33 More Countries
Bloomberg
- Hainan got support to transform into an tourism destination
- Province home to embattled Chinese conglomerate, HNA Group

See also:
Even the mega-rich cannot buy homes on Hainan
Asia Times

China to promote lifelong professional skills training
XinhuaNet
China will push forward a lifelong professional skills training system as part of the efforts to improve the competence of the workforce and boost high-quality development, a State Council executive meeting presided over by Premier Li Keqiang decided on Wednesday.

China Welcomes 300,000 Filipino Workers, Chinese Internet Not Impressed
SupChina
With improved ties between China and the Philippines, the two countries have struck a bilateral agreement that loosens Beijing’s restrictions on the hiring of Filipino workers, laying the ground for employment of about 300,000 Filipinos in the country, said Philippines Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, according to Gulf News.


IDEOLOGY, CENSORSHIP & DOMESTIC POLITICS

China named as ‘force of instability’ in US human rights report
South China Morning Post
Beijing comes in for harsh criticism over freedoms of speech and assembly, and violence against religious and ethnic groups

See also:
China lambastes U.S. in annual rebuttal to rights criticism
Reuters
US has no grounds to judge human rights
Global Times
U.S. report calling China 'force of instability' backfires
e-China News Service
US State Dept. Catalogs Forced Disappearances in China, Ethnic Cleansing in Myanmar
Radio Free Asia

China's Xi says internet control key to stability
Reuters
China must strengthen its grip on the internet to ensure broader social and economic goals are met, state news agency Xinhua reported on Saturday citing comments from President Xi Jinping, underlining a hardening attitude towards online content.

See also:
Online media should spread positive message: Xi
Global Times
Infographic: What Xi said about China's cyberspace development
China.org.cn
China Detains Founder, Members of Prisoner Support Chat Group
Radio Free Asia
China removes 370 live-streaming apps, cracks down on online games
TechNode

China’s $20B News Leader Toutiao Under Siege By Government and Rivals
China Money Network
Watching a stern Mark Zuckerberg testify before the U.S. Congress is a reminder how China’s tech companies, despite differences in economic structure and technological sophistication, follow similar trajectories with their American counterparts. Toutiao, China’s biggest personalized news app with a US$20 billion valuation, is experiencing a similar crisis these days as government and competitors attack its core business model.

See also:
Why China Cracked Down On The Social-Media Giant Bytedance
The New Yorker
No joke: have China's censors gone too far with ban on humour app?
The Guardian
‘Beep. Beep Beep’: A Group Emerges in China and a Code is Born
China Change
Banned App Users’ Anthem Harmonized
China Digital Times

Xi stresses importance to study Communist Manifesto
XinhuaNet
The purpose of reviewing the Communist Manifesto is to understand and grasp the power of the truth of Marxism and write a new chapter of socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era, Xi said Monday when presiding over a group study session of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee.

See also:
Karl Marx’s hometown is selling fake banknotes to celebrate the communist thinker
Quartz

National Security Education Day In China Puts Emphasis On ‘Foreign Infiltration’
SupChina
Xinhua commemorated National Security Education Day on April 15 with an animated video (in Chinese, also embedded above), and the Ministry of Education released a document (in Chinese) that recommends “national security education” become part of curricula from primary schools to universities.

See also:
Government Cartoon Portrays ‘Foreign NGOs’ as National Security Concern
ChinaFile

The Chinese Communist Party Is Setting Up Cells at Universities Across America
Foreign Policy
It’s a strategy to tighten ideological control. And it’s happening around the world.

See also:
CCP Setting Up “Cells” at Foreign Universities
China Digital Times
China's Ruling Party Has Branches on University Campuses Around The World
Radio Free Asia


BUSINESS & ECONOMY

China's first quarter growth beats expectations at 6.8%
BBC
China's economy grew at an annual pace of 6.8% in the first quarter compared to the same period last year, according to official data, beating forecasts for the period.

See also:
China's high-quality development off to good start: CPC Politburo
e-China News Service
China Concerned Trade and Debt Risk May Curb Economic Growth
Bloomberg

China Quietly Rolled Out a Very Big Bang
Bloomberg
Thatcher’s 1979 financial reforms transformed Britain. Is the People’s Republic about to undergo the same?

See also:
The Next Step for Chinese Economic Policy
Project Syndicate

China's rising aviation industry brings opportunities for U.S. companies
XinhuaNet
China's surging aviation industry has been creating great opportunities for global companies, especially U.S. giants and many enterprises on the extensive industrial chain. China has not only developed a massive civil aviation market with huge potential, but also become a major player in aircraft manufacturing.

See also:
Asia's second-hand jet market soars as super-rich eye bargains
Reuters

How China’s winemakers succeeded (without stealing)
The Conversation
Joint ventures between Western and Chinese companies are in the news over accusations – including those of President Donald Trump – that China uses them to steal intellectual property from foreign competitors in industries like cars and technology.
Less well known, however, are the joint ventures between French and Chinese winemakers, which offer a notable counterpoint to this narrative of international rivalry – or foreign exploitation, depending on your perspective.

Is Time Up for China’s Official ‘Time-Honored Brands’?
Sixth Tone
Amid slumping sales and waning public interest, officially recognized classic brands need to innovate.


SCIENCE & TECH

This section covers the following:

  1. Made in China 2025

  2. Hardware

  3. Software

  4. Money

1. MADE IN CHINA 2025

Made in China 2025: Beijing's big ambitions from robots to chips
Reuters
China is looking to catch up with rivals like the United States and Germany in high-end technology, making a major push with a “Made in China 2025” strategy that identifies 10 key sectors, including robotics, aerospace and clean-energy cars.

See also:
Unleashing China’s Capital Markets to Build a ‘Cyber Superpower’
New America

Pedro Domingos on the Arms Race in Artificial Intelligence
Spiegel Online
In an interview, best-selling author and machine-learning expert Pedro Domingos discusses the global competition to take the lead in artificial intelligence, the advance of autocrats and the threats modern technology presents to Western democracies.

See also:
China’s AI talent ‘arms race’
The Strategist
Chinese hackers are expected to put their country first
Mercator Institute for China Studies

2. HARDWARE

China’s Car Revolution Is Going Global
Bloomberg
China's rising automakers want to sell the future of driving all over the world.

See also:
China’s coddled EV makers will now face unleashed competition from the likes of Tesla
Quartz
China’s self-driving vehicles on track to take global leadership position, ahead of US
South China Morning Post
Alibaba partners with automakers for home-to-vehicle connectivity
China Global Television Network

China’s future rockets aiming to have wireless technology
Asia Times
Offloading cables and wires from rockets can free up much-needed space for bigger payloads

See also:
China plans manned outpost on moon
e-China News Service
China starts selection of third batch of astronauts
China Global Television Network

China and Japan together develop aerotrain running 400 to 500 kilometers per hour
People’s Daily Online
A high-speed aerotrain that could run 400 to 500 kilometers per hour is being developed by China and Japan in a joint effort, Chinese media Chongqing Morning Post reported. The aerotrain doesn't run on traditional fuel resources such as coal, gas or electricity, and is expected to change the world’s transportation system, according to experts.

See also:
China's Peak Travel High-Speed Train Ticket Prices to Increase Nearly 50%
The Beijinger

Will China beat the world to nuclear fusion and clean energy?
BBC
In a world with an ever-increasing demand for electricity and a deteriorating environment, Chinese scientists are leading the charge to develop what some see as the holy grail of energy.

Start your engines ... is China getting ready to mass-produce hypersonic vehicles?
South China Morning Post
Plans are on the drawing board in China for an engine plant that could power low-cost planes or spacecraft capable of travelling five times faster than the speed of sound

3. SOFTWARE

China’s crackdown on crypto hasn’t stopped its tech giants from flirting with blockchain
Quartz
China’s big three internet giants, Baidu, Tencent, and Alibaba, are battling for supremacy in almost every front of the country’s tech space. It’s no wonder that the trio, together known as the BAT, have all begun placing bets on blockchain—while making sure to steer clear of ventures that could fall afoul for the country’s cryptocurrency trading crackdown.

See also:
Chinese City Shenzhen Launches $79.2M Blockchain Fund
China Money Network

China to start testing 5G in 16 major cities
TechNode
Chinese regulators have given the green light to Chinese telecom operators to test 5G in major cities local media is reporting (in Chinese). State-run operators, also the largest three in China—China Unicom (中国联通), China Mobile (中国移动), China Telecom (中国电信)—will begin setting up 5G networks in 16 cities for testing. It is unclear when the tests will actually start.

See also:
Chongqing launches first 5G trial network
Asia Times
China to commercialize 5G technology by second half of 2019
XinhuaNet

China to launch e-ID cards for citizens via phone QR codes
Asia Times
China's e-governance is utilizing smartphone and QR code technology for citizens happy to have their face scanned

See also:
Alipay trials digital replacement of China's ubiquitous ID cards
TechNode

Investigation shows personal data from food delivery platforms in China on sale for as little as RMB 0.10
TechNode
The personal data of people who have ordered food delivery is readily available for sale via several channels, investigative reporting by The Beijing News has discovered (in Chinese). Data on offer includes information such as name, phone number, address of thousands of orderers per day, including for orders going to hospitals and even to specific seats in internet cafes. The data is being sold for as little as RMB 0.10 per person.

4. MONEY

China’s young consumers don’t just want to shop online – they want to be entertained while doing it
South China Morning Post
Social commerce has exploded in popularity over the past two years, posing a threat to traditional e-commerce players like Alibaba and JD.com

Rise of Xiaomi: the Chinese start-up poised to become world’s biggest IPO of 2018
South China Morning Post
Stock exchange officials from New York, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Singapore are trying to pitch their bourses on what would probably be the largest global initial public offering in four years

US brands suffer collateral damage in Chinese corporate war
Associated Press
The rivalry is so notorious it’s been called the “great cat-and-dog war.” On one side towers Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., China’s e-commerce market leader, embodied by the black cat mascot of its Tmall platform. On the other is JD.com Inc., a fast-growing upstart represented by its white dog logo.
Brands now caught in the cross-fire say they were punished by Alibaba after refusing exclusive deals as the e-commerce giant tried to muscle out the competition — a charge Alibaba denies.

China's Didi Chuxing launches ride service in Mexico
Reuters
Chinese ride-hailing firm Didi Chuxing on Monday began offering its service in the Mexican city of Toluca, the company said, setting up a potentially costly battle with rival Uber Technologies Inc in a key Latin American market.


GENDER, SEX & RELATIONSHIPS

China's 'men only' job culture slammed in new report
AsiaOne
Leading Chinese firms including e-commerce giant Alibaba were heavily criticised Monday for gender discrimination in job adverts in a new report which said the landscape for the female workforce in China was deteriorating.

See also:
'I love tech boys': Chinese job ads mirror sexist attitudes to women, study finds
The Guardian
China sexist adverts: Tech firms apologise after damning report
BBC

Peking University Student To School: Stop Trying To Gag Me On Rape Case!
SupChina
Peking University (PKU) authorities are reportedly trying to silence Yue Xin 岳昕, a student who is demanding full disclosure of an investigation into a sexual harassment and suicide case dating back to the 1990s. Shen Yang 沈阳, a literature professor at PKU in the 1990s, has been accused of raping and sexually harassing his student Gao Yan 高岩, who friends say was driven to suicide.

See also:
Chinese University Probes Student Protest Over Sexual Harassment Allegations
Radio Free Asia
Open Letter on Peking University #MeToo Case
China Digital Times

The Victory of #IamGay: Have We Really Won?
Elephant Room
While Chinese netizens celebrated this victory, we couldn't help but wonder, to what extent have we “won”? And, in the long haul, what can we really talk about in this country?

See also:
It’s Still (Just About) OK to Be Gay in China
Foreign Policy
Is There No Room For Freaks In The Chinese Dream?
SupChina

The Shanghai Sex Shop Selling More Than Just Toys
Sixth Tone
At Pepper Love Store, Chinese women find the advice they never got and the toys they never knew they wanted.


ETHNICITY & RELIGION

US could sanction Chinese officials over Xinjiang abuses
Associated Press
A senior U.S. official says the United States would pursue sanctions on Chinese officials involved in a sweeping security crackdown in the western region of Xinjiang if they were deemed appropriate for designation under a law targeting human rights offenders.

See also:
Xinjiang Authorities Targeting Uyghurs Under 40 For Re-Education Camps
Radio Free Asia

Tibet can remain in China if Beijing recognises its culture and autonomy, says the Dalai Lama
Scroll
He also told Burmese Buddhists to ‘recall the face of the Buddha when they feel antagonistic’ towards Rohingya Muslims.

Crossing Divides: Africans fight Hong Kong prejudice with football
BBC
In Hong Kong, locals rarely play football with immigrants.
Not surprising, perhaps, when a third of Chinese Hongkongers don't want to sit next to members of other ethnic groups on public transport, live next door to them, or have their children as classmates to their own children, according to a survey by the NGO Hong Kong Unison.

‘No domestic helpers allowed’ sign at Hong Kong private club called discriminatory
South China Morning Post
Ban on domestic helpers entering a pool area at Clearwater Bay Golf and Country Club prompts criticism online, while migrant workers’ group says it is a long-standing issue across the city

Vancouver delivers discrimination apology to Chinese community
China.org.cn
The municipal government in the west coast Canadian city of Vancouver has delivered a formal apology to the Chinese community for past discriminatory policies against the city's Chinese community.

The Waning History of Russians in Xinjiang
Sixth Tone
Pockets of Russians in China’s far northwest are testament to the region’s turbulent military history.


EDUCATION & LANGUAGE

UN celebrates 9th Chinese Language Day
Global Times
This year's celebrations included lectures on Chinese culture, film screenings, panel discussions on education and art exhibitions.
Lectures on Chinese poetry, calligraphy and painting drew UN staff members from around the world, who wanted to know more about the unique Chinese culture.

See also:
Need for Indians and Chinese to learn each others' languages: Sushma Swaraj
India Today

Forget-Me-Not
China Channel
Invented Chinese characters, old and new

The Origin Of ‘Baizuo’ (白左) — The Chinese Libtard, Or ‘White Left’
SupChina
Why did “white liberals”(白左)become so hated in China?

Biding farewell to Chinglish
Global Times
Like thousands of other international tourists to Beijing, my foreign guests have not only carried back fond memories of the awesome Great Wall of China but also pictures of some funny English mistranslations.
The Beijing authority's crackdown on these linguistic misfires is a welcome move that was long overdue.

One Belt, One Road, One Abacus
Sixth Tone
How Shanghai’s math prowess is being exported to the world.

Tsinghua University is using the cloud to make it rain in the classroom
TechNode
The app is named after a positive education cycle reinforced by edtech akin to earth’s precipitation cycles. Services (rain) made possible by big data analytics (the cloud) are utilized in classrooms or for self-learning (rain irrigating the soil). More data on teaching and learning is generated and collected then uploaded to the cloud again (evaporation), completing the cycle.

Colorful Claims on Children’s CVs This Admissions Season
Sixth Tone
Parents of precocious preschoolers know that the rat race starts early in China.


ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT

Red Dynamite
China Channel
Why China’s patriotic action films are exploding in popularity

Co-produced movies better introduce China globally
China.org.cn
Film coproductions that tell Chinese stories with a global common interest receive better feedback from global audiences, according to a report published by the China Film Association Thursday.

Marvel China Apologizes As Avengers Fans Assemble
Sixth Tone
Followers of the film franchise had demanded an apology from promoters for ‘unprofessional’ behavior.

China’s Museums Are Twisting the Truth to Chase TV Ratings
Sixth Tone
The surging popularity of the country’s history shows is making accuracy a thing of the past.

From zero to billion: the booming growth of China’s equestrianism
People’s Daily Online
There were only six names for China’s equestrianism on the racecourse of the Hong Kong Olympic Equestrian Venue in 2008: Huang Zuping, Li Zhenqiang, Zhang Bin, Zhao Zhiwen, Alex Hua Tian, and Liu Lina, which has witnessed the growing pains of China’s equestrianism and the prosperity of China’s equestrian industry.


SOCIETY, OFFBEAT & OTHER

China’s Week in Photos, April 16-22
Sixth Tone
A selection of the week’s best photos by Sixth Tone’s visual editors.

How Long-Unpublished Press Photos Bring Life to Chinese History
Sixth Tone
Buried in the collections of national archives and private enthusiasts lie stacks of candid shots of the country’s recent past.

Scars begin to heal a decade after Sichuan quake
Reuters
A decade after a massive earthquake rocked China’s southwestern province of Sichuan, killing almost 70,000 people, the scars have begun to heal.

Why you've never heard of the 6 Chinese men who survived the Titanic
Stars and Stripes
Hundreds of passengers fled in lifeboats. Hundreds more perished, going down with the ship or freezing to death in the icy water. The only one of Titanic's lifeboats to turn back to the wreckage found body after body – until it discovered a young Chinese man, still alive, clinging to a piece of wood.

Flooded Chinese village comes back to the surface after reservoir drained
South China Morning Post
Villagers catch glimpse of their old home for the first time in more than five decades

A giant indoor farm in China is breeding 6 billion cockroaches a year.
South China Morning Post
The Post turns a spotlight on the ‘disgusting’ insect with apparently remarkable medicinal qualities at the world’s largest breeding facility, where the bugs outnumber the planet’s human population

Getting Moderately Deep With... ​A Stinky Tofu Seller
That’s Shanghai
This month, we meet smelly tofu vendor Zhang Ying at her shop in Gulou.

That’s all for today!

If you were forwarded this newsletter and enjoyed it, please consider subscribing. It’s free!

Thanks for reading.

 

DuYa 渡鴉 // China News // 2018-04-18

Curated news and stories about China from all over the web

Hi all!

I’m experimenting still with the format. I want to make this style of news round-up a weekly thing, perhaps Wednesday-ish. On weekends I want to try to do a more editorial piece that brings together the events over the last week, and puts them in more context and sourced within the text, and perhaps with images and maps. In the future, I want to improve the diversity of sources, especially for stories concerning smaller or more minor (in relation to China) places of interest, such as Taiwan, Hong Kong, Vantuatu, South American and African countries. I know today’s issue suffers from single-sided sources in a few areas, and I plan to make that better next time.

Today's edition covers the following topics:

  • Featured Articles

  • International Relations & Military

  • Domestic Issues, Health & the Environment

  • Ideology, Censorship & Domestic Politics

  • Business & Economy

  • Science & Tech

  • Gender, Sex & Relationships

  • Ethnicity & Religion

  • Entertainment & Sport

  • Society, Offbeat & Other

Enjoy, and please forward to friends, colleagues or anyone else you feel will find it useful or interesting!

If you prefer a more regular newsletter, with more focus on politics and finance, and with excellent commentary, please also consider subscribing to Sinocism (longer, paid) or Trivium (shorter, free).

Cheers!
Danny


FEATURED ARTICLES

The Chinese Workers Who Assemble Designer Bags In Tuscany
The New Yorker
Many companies are using inexpensive immigrant labor to manufacture handbags that bear the coveted “Made in Italy” label.

The first significant wave of Chinese immigrants arrived in the industrial zone around Prato, a city fifteen miles northwest of Florence, in the nineteen-nineties. Nearly all of them came from Wenzhou, a port city south of Shanghai. For the Chinese, the culture shock was more modest than one might have expected. “The Italians were friendly,” one early arrival remembered. “Like the Chinese, they called one another Uncle. They liked family.” In Tuscany, business life revolved around small, interconnected firms, just as it did in Wenzhou, a city so resolutely entrepreneurial that it had resisted Mao’s collectivization campaign. The Prato area was a hub for mills and workshops, some of which made clothes and leather goods for the great fashion houses. If you were willing to be paid off the books, and by the piece, Prato offered plenty of opportunities. Many Wenzhouans found jobs there. “The Italians, being canny, would subcontract out their work to the Chinese,” Don Giovanni Momigli, a priest whose parish, near Prato, included an early influx of Chinese, told me. “Then they were surprised when the Chinese began to do the work on their own.”

Essence and Form
China Channel
Chinese architecture struggles to find its identity

When Xi Jinping called for an end to “weird buildings” in a 2014 speech, journalists raced to point out their favorite offenders, from showpieces of contemporary architecture like Beijing’s massive CCTV tower or the Olympic “Bird’s Nest” Stadium, to less known (but no less striking) examples: buildings shaped like coins, sages, various teapots, and even the USS Enterprise. In comparison to these architectural oddities, Xi praised traditional Chinese architecture and the values it inspires (primarily loyalty to the state).

But while it’s not hard to read between the lines of his speech, it’s hard to pinpoint what exactly Xi means by traditional Chinese architecture. Most Chinese cities are hodgepodges of styles: not only the showpiece buildings and skyscrapers nestled next to old courtyard homes and lanes, but also shopping and office complexes, such as Taikoo Li Sanlitun in Beijing (site of the infamous Uniqlo sex video that surely violates traditional values), or the SOHO complex across the street from it, which looks like a set from Logan’s Run. There are also the gaudy new apartment complexes for the nouveau riche, with flashy English names like “Yosemite” and “Long Beach New Money.” And filling in much of the space between these notable buildings are the soviet-inspired socialist housing compounds – danwei – often left in states of disrepair.

The United Nations of China: A vision of the world order
World Affairs Journal
- Chinese scholars’ increasing outspokenness on UN reform
- China’s evolving role in peacekeeping operations
- Chinese views on the global agenda for development
- China’s views on the Human Rights Council (UNHRC)

China’s participation in the United Nations system is often viewed through a succession of single lenses: its use of the veto over the last few years […]; its financial contribution […]; its contribution to peacekeeping operations […]; its fight against interference on human rights and for prioritising development and dialogue over sanctions and intervention […].

[… T]here is sophisticated thinking, and hints of policy debates going on about the UN, its reform process, the various stands taken by other member states, and, to some extent, China’s present and future role in the organisation.

[…]

China claims to defend the UN above all, but the limitations and constraints it puts on the UN’s role, as well as its use of coalitions within the G77 group of so-called developing countries, may well be neutering a more effective role for the organisation.

[…]

One day, a neutralised UN could become a vehicle for China’s worldviews; it is clear that China has the analytical capacity to canvass the ranks of UN members, and therefore to coddle or press them in the direction that it seeks. If and when it achieves that goal, the concept of multilateralism, which has very little prominence in our sources even though it figured in Xi Jinping’s 2017 UN Geneva speech, will surely return with force.

What Would Chinese Hegemony Look Like? A Lot Like US Leadership
South China Morning Post
The imperialist US pot just cannot accept the Chinese kettle may not be black. But it is American hegemony – sorry, leadership – that is the true force in need of balancing

Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s declaration at the close of the National People’s Congress last month that his country would never seek hegemony or engage in expansion is likely to ring hollow in Western corridors of power.

Such is the entrenched mindset of many Western politicians and their advisers on strategy and foreign policy that they just cannot conceive of a rising power not wanting to lord it over others, especially those within the sphere of its influence through sheer economic and military might.

In the case of former imperialist powers like the United States, Britain and Japan, it is perhaps natural that their default mode of thinking is to extrapolate from their own shameful history of colonising weak nations and arrogate to China the same rapacious behaviour. The pot just cannot accept that the kettle may not be black. […] China is likely to supplant the US as the region’s economic, military and political hegemon before long. As that day approaches, she says, America’s allies will face difficult choices – accept Chinese dominance or step up their own defence capabilities as well as join forces with others to counter Beijing.

See also:
A stable, prosperous and fast growing China serves the common interests of the world
People’s Daily Online
China edging closer to becoming a global hegemon
World Affairs Journal

The Cold Frontier, Part One: A journey along North Korea's edge
Reuters

North Korea is a closed country, which makes it easy to forget that North Koreans and Chinese have long crossed each other’s borders. In the 1960s, people ran from China to North Korea. Then in the 1990s, they traveled in the opposite direction.

Both times, the reason was the same: hunger.

The border is the gateway for most of North Korea’s trade with the outside world. That also makes it the main channel for Beijing to put pressure on Pyongyang.

On our journey, we learned of some surprising ways people on both sides of the frontier turn to each other for subsistence, social gatherings and trade. Also, most of the 31,000 or so North Koreans who have defected to the South came through this border, South Korea’s government says. In a final chapter, our colleagues in Seoul share some of the dramatic stories defectors told us after they had crossed the river.

See also:
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four
Part Five


INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS & MILITARY

This section covers:

  1. Syrian Strikes

  2. The U.S.

  3. Taiwan

  4. North Korea

  5. Islands & Seas

  6. Australia & Vanuatu

  7. One Belt One Road

  8. Europe

  9. Japan

  10. Other

1. Syrian Strikes

U.N. Security Council Rejects Russian Resolution Condemning Syrian Strikes
The New York Times
The United Nations Security Council voted 8 to 3 against a Russian resolution condemning Western airstrikes on Syria.

See also:
China says Syrian strikes violate international law, urges dialogue
Reuters

China: "The Arrogant US Has A Record Of Launching Wars On Deceptive Grounds"
Zero Hedge
China was the first superpower outside those directly involved to slam the US airstrikes: "Any unilateral military action violates the United Nations charter and its principles and international law and its principles. [The strikes] are also going to add more factors to complicate the resolution of the Syrian crisis," Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said in a statement on Saturday afternoon.

See also:
Could China’s involvement in Syria spark World War III?
Asian Correspondent

2. THE U.S.

Why China Will Win the Trade War
Foreign Policy
Trump thinks he has a strong hand. In fact, Washington is far more vulnerable than Beijing.

See also:
Is Trump Serious About Trade War? China’s Leaders Hunt for Answers
The New York Times
US ports from coast to coast brace for possible impact from China trade war
CNBC

U.S. Ban Risks Leaving China’s Rising Tech Star ‘Half Dead’
Bloomberg
- ZTE grapples with a seven-year ban on critical U.S. gear
- It runs afoul of Washington just as U.S.-China tensions rise

See also:
China urges US to treat Chinese companies lawfully, fairly
XinhuaNet
Time to start manufacturing chips domestically now
Global Times

Once again, China and the US take their rivalry into the realms of ideology
South China Morning Post
Cary Huang says the US-led West is coming to the realisation that communist China is not developing into a liberal democracy as it had expected, and the rise of an authoritarian state is a challenge it must meet head-on

See also:
Attack on Confucius Institutes motivated
e-China News Service

3. TAIWAN

China Plans Taiwan Strait Live-Fire Exercises Amid Tensions
The New York Times
China announced it will hold live-fire military exercises in the Taiwan Strait amid heightened tensions over increased American support for Taiwan's government.

See also:
Taiwan plots independence as Chinese military drill starts
World Affairs Journal
Beijing ready to snuff out any separatist move, and live-fire drill in Taiwan Strait is proof, official says
South China Morning Post
Taiwan leader says island secure ahead of China drills
Channel NewsAsia

Asia’s Bastion of Free Speech? Move Aside, Hong Kong, It’s Taiwan Now.
The New York Times
[A]s Beijing has tightened its grip on the former colony, Hong Kong has been increasingly supplanted by Taiwan, a self-governing island that has emerged as one of Asia’s most vibrant democracies. Taiwan now draws the sorts of dissidents, rights groups and events that once naturally gravitated to Hong Kong.

Taiwan battles a brain drain as China aims to woo young talent
The Washington Post
[H]undreds of thousands of Taiwanese [are] flooding to their booming neighbor to find work, fueling fears of a brain drain on the island. And it is a brain drain that China appears to be gleefully exploiting.

See also:
Environment of innovation has top talent heading to China
Nikkei Asian Review
Young Taiwanese jobseekers cautioned over changing job market in China
Taiwan News

Taiwan predicted to become 'hyper-aged' country within 8 years
Taiwan News
Taiwan is anticipated to become a 'hyper-aged' society within 8 years

4. NORTH KOREA

Two Koreas Discuss Official End to 68-Year War, Report Says
Bloomberg
- Munwha Ilbo says statement may come at Moon-Kim summit
- Direct phone line between Moon and Kim may be connected Friday

North Korea, China 'discussing Xi Jinping visit to Pyongyang'
Money Control
The North is using its Beijing embassy to arrange Xi's itinerary with the international department of the Chinese Communist Party's Central Committee, the Yomiuri Shimbun reported, quoting Chinese and North Korean sources.

See also:
DPRK pledges to consolidate friendship with China
XinhuaNet

5. ISLANDS & SEAS

Emptiness of US rhetoric has been exposed by China bringing Vietnam to heel
South China Morning Post
Washington failed to back up words with action after Beijing pressured Hanoi into abandoning South China Sea oil drilling project

See also:
Chinese Kidnapping Of Vietnamese Fishermen In The South China Sea: A Primary Source Analysis
Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative

China defends South China Sea military buildup
Times of India
China's military says it's entitled to strengthen its defences on islands in the disputed South China Sea but says those measures aren't directed at any specific countries.

See also:
President Xi reviews navy in South China Sea
XinhuaNet
China’s largest maritime military parade showcases aircraft carrier battle group
Global Times

America's ‘big stick’ arrives in the Philippines
GMA Network
[…] And as sticks go, they don't come any bigger than the nuclear-powered Roosevelt and its formidable support group of three destroyers and a cruiser.

See also:
Chinese navy stages double show of strength as US strike group drills in disputed South China Sea

South China Morning Post

6. AUSTRALIA & VANUATU

How China's property boom is costing young lovers — and Australia
ABC
A Chinese real estate agent once told me the country's real estate boom should be attributed to all the Chinese mothers who refuse to let their daughters marry men who do not own property.

China-Australia tension as biggest trading partner gives us the cold shoulder
The Sydney Morning Herald
The freeze in diplomatic relations between China and Australia is on, despite official denials – and business executives are clearly despondent about it.

See also:
Australian PM says foreign interference bill has soured ties with China
Channel NewsAsia

China is funding a $90 million South Pacific wharf big enough for warships
Quartz
China is flexing its maritime muscle. In the South China Sea last week, it put on its biggest-ever display of naval power, and its navy is conducting a live-fire drill in the Taiwan Strait this week, rattling nerves in Taipei and beyond.

See also:
U.S. inspects Chinese-funded Vanuatu wharf ahead of military exercise
Reuters
Response to rumours of a Chinese military base in Vanuatu speaks volumes about Australian foreign policy
The Conversation

7. ONE BELT ONE ROAD

IMF head Lagarde warns of Belt and Road ‘debt risks’
World Affairs Journal
'These ventures could lead to a problematic increase in debt, creating balance of payment challenges,' she says

See also:
Xi says Belt and Road Initiative not an intrigue of China
People’s Daily Online
Is China’s belt and road infrastructure development plan about to run out of money?
South China Morning Post

One Belt, One Road, One Happy Chinese Navy
Foreign Policy
[…] Beijing’s acquisition of more than a dozen ports across the Indian Ocean is a state-directed effort to bolster Chinese political influence and extend its military reach from Indonesia to East Africa, according to a detailed new study released Tuesday.

China’s Billions Are Set to Revive Pakistan’s Dilapidated Railways
Bloomberg
In the past decade, Pakistan’s rail network had become a byword for corruption, delays and filth. But a pledge from China has prompted authorities to overhaul its colonial-era rail infrastructure.

See also:
KP to recruit 2800 SPU cops to protect CPEC projects, Chinese
Pakistan Observer

Chinese firm to invest $800 million on Sri Lanka Port City underground road
Reuters
China Communication Construction Company (CCCC) will invest $800 million to build an underground road network to Sri Lanka’s Port City, a $1.4 billion project built on reclaimed land, a government minister said.

8. EUROPE

'Boiled frog syndrome': Germany's China problem
Reuters
[…] Germany’s China conundrum is part of a broader challenge facing Europe: Years of inward-focused crisis fighting have left the bloc politically divided and ill-prepared to respond to looming geopolitical and economic challenges. Now the continent risks being squeezed between a more assertive Beijing and the “America First” policies of Donald Trump.

See also:
German spy chief warns of dangers from Chinese hi-tech takeovers
South China Morning Post
Mounting angst in Germany over relationship with China
The Star Online
German port Duisburg witnesses fruitful results of Belt and Road Initiative
XinhuaNet

Europe’s new ‘Eastern bloc’
POLITICO
Beijing’s diplomatic masterstroke has put former Soviet countries on a collision course with Brussels.

Local media silent as Scottish leader tours China seeking investment
Nikkei Asian Review
Two sides sidestep thorny issues during UK secession advocate's Beijing visit

See also:
More cultural exchanges between China, Scotland
Gov.Cn

Commentary: China, Austria enjoy profound friendship
People’s Daily Online
Chinese President Xi Jinping and visiting Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen agreed to establish a Sino-Austrian friendly strategic partnership and advance bilateral pragmatic cooperation on Apr. 8.

Sweden charges man with spying on Tibetan exiles for China
Reuters
Sweden has charged a man with spying on Tibetan exiles on behalf of the Chinese security services, the state prosecutor said on Wednesday.

9. AFRICA

China to Build New ECOWAS Headquarters in Abuja
Council on Foreign Relations
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and China have signed a memorandum of understanding in which Beijing will fund and build a new ECOWAS headquarters building in Abuja, Nigeria.

China’s Strategy in Djibouti: Mixing Commercial and Military Interests
Council on Foreign Relations
With the opening of the first overseas Chinese military base in Djibouti, this tiny Horn of Africa country has become a testing ground for the mixing of China's commercial and military interests abroad.

How can China help Angola achieve economic goals?
Global Times
China and Angola established diplomatic relations in January 1983, and their strategic partnership has moved forward steadily since then. The Chinese government and enterprises actively participated in Angola's post-war reconstruction since the end of the civil war in 2002, mainly in the form of contracted construction. Smooth progress was made in bilateral cooperation in the form of "mutually preferential loans."

Libya expresses willingness to join Belt and Road Initiative
Global Times
Libya's UN-backed Deputy Prime Minister Ahmed M'etig on Monday revealed that Libya desires to develop its economy by joining in the Belt and Road Initiative at a meeting with Wang Qimin, Charge d'affaires of the Chinese Embassy to Libya.

10. OTHER

Modi to fly to China soon to ‘reset’ bilateral ties
The Hindu
Ajit Doval’s unannounced visit to Shanghai this week seen as crucial preparation; Prime Minister may go to another city

See also:
Shanghai spirit permeates Sino-Indian dialogue
Asia Times
India’s adjustment of China policy a good start
Global Times

China’s Elitist Collaborators
Project Syndicate
In less than 15 years, China has gone from playing a marginal economic role in Latin America to being among the region's top investors and trading partners. The elites whom China is courting as part of its efforts to expand its influence have a responsibility to provide a clear-eyed assessment of the potential pitfalls of engagement.

See also:
Why China should help solve Venezuela’s deepening crisis
World Affairs Journal


DOMESTIC ISSUES, HEALTH & THE ENVIRONMENT

This section covers:

  1. Hong Kong

  2. The environment

  3. Health

  4. Mainland Cities

  5. Other

1. HONG KONG

Compromise with Beijing now or suffer later
South China Morning Post
Hong Kong’s intransigence on enacting a national security law means reforms on the political and economic fronts are also being held back. Isn’t it time we met the central government half way?

See also:
Beijing ‘confuses Hong Kong localism with being anti-China’
South China Morning Post

Public fears pressure from Beijing is leading to end of press freedom in Hong Kong
South China Morning Post
Annual Press Freedom ­Index puts city at lowest level since survey started in 2013

Hong Kong civil servants to get HK$23.7 million worth of ‘national studies training’, some of it conducted by Beijing officials
South China Morning Post
Basic Law expert Qiao Xiaoyang will speak at a seminar on the mini-constitution on Friday, the second mainland representative to do so in a week

2. THE ENVIRONMENT

China cuts smog but health damage already done: Study
Channel NewsAsia
While China has made progress cutting smog, the damage to the health of millions of people may already have been done, especially as the population ages, the head of a US-based research agency said.

See also:
Smog in key north China region rises 27 percent in March: ministry
Reuters

China's green energy company starts construction of biggest solar plant in Egypt
Global Times
Egypt and China's clean energy company TBEA Sunoasis started Tuesday the construction of four solar power stations at the Benban Solar Energy Park in Egypt's southern province of Aswan.

Hungry Chicken Army Deployed to Combat China’s Locust Problem
Bloomberg
- Locusts expected to destroy area bigger than Jamaica this year
- Avian infantry to replace pesticides, protect environment

Xinjiang Snow Scientists Dig Deep for Climate Change Clues
Sixth Tone
An ongoing survey of shifting snow patterns in the Tianshan Mountains examines the impact of global warming in northwestern China.

Yangtze River City Closes Factories to Protect Porpoises
Sixth Tone
Yichang, a city in Hubei province situated on the Yangtze, has announced that it will close all of its riverside chemical factories by 2020, in keeping with ongoing efforts to protect porpoises and other wildlife, The Paper reported Tuesday.

3. HEALTH

Doctor arrested for describing Chinese medicinal tonic that was banned for false advertising as ‘poison’
South China Morning Post
Medic placed under investigation after company that has been repeatedly censured for misleading claims complained to police

See also:
Arrest for Slandering Snake Oil Angers Doctors
Sixth Tone
Doctors’ group to help physician detained for calling medicinal liquor ‘poison’
People’s Daily Online

‘Saving a life at any cost’: the Chinese parents flocking to big cities for a cure for their sick children
South China Morning Post
Fan Xiujuan and her husband have left home and given up more than everything they have in search of the best medical care for their son

China greenlights 'Internet hospitals'
e-China News Service
China has given the greenlight to "Internet hospitals" but stressed that safety is the bottom line.

4. MAINLAND CITIES

Why Urban Villages Are Essential to Shenzhen’s Identity
Sixth Tone
Neighborhoods of densely packed ‘handshake buildings’ house the poor and add to the city’s vitality.

Shanghai's Amazing 'Hanging Gardens' Nearly Complete
That’s Shanghai
Shanghai will soon have its own ‘Hanging Gardens of Babylon,’ right along the Suzhou Creek. According to Shine, the main construction of the design called ‘Tian An Sunshine Peninsula’ has recently been completed, with the remaining development on target for a late 2019 debut.

Shanghai is Chinese mainland's top city for foreigners
e-China News Service
Shanghai, for the sixth consecutive year, has topped the list of the most attractive Chinese mainland's cities for foreigners, according to a ranking released at the weekend.

5. OTHER

China sets up English language website urging citizens to report on foreign spies
The Telegraph
Beijing has set up a website in English and Chinese for people to report on "spies", the latest national security measure to be rolled out by increasingly sensitive Chinese authorities.

See also:
Spies Like Us: National Security Hotline Receives 5,000 TIps in Fight Against Espionage
The Beijinger
China urges workers in defense-related field to watch out for foreign spies
Global Times

'Red wall' opens doors in Beijing
e-China News Service
[L]ocal government officials in Beijing's Xicheng district have taken on the task of solving problems confronting residents in their daily lives. Since the headquarters of China's central leadership Zhongnanhai is in the district, people who live and work around the compound have developed loyalty to the Party, a sense of responsibility and a faith to serve the public good. Since 1999, this common awareness has been called a "red wall consciousness" because of the color of walls surrounding Zhongnanhai.

Tropical island on forefront of next phase of China's reform, opening-up
XinhuaNet
China has decided to support Hainan in developing the whole island into a pilot free trade zone, and gradually exploring and steadily promoting the establishment of a free trade port with Chinese characteristics.

See also:
China to Support Horse Racing, Sports Lotteries in Hainan
Bloomberg
Property, Travel Stocks Soar After China Announces Measures to Develop Hainan
Bloomberg

Why China’s Food Museums Are in Poor Taste
Sixth Tone
Food-filled exhibition halls are putting company profits above culinary culture.

Mountains Moved, Then Left to Waste
Sixth Tone
Authorities in Gansu can’t agree on who signed off on a massive land creation project that was left half-finished — or if it was ever approved at all.

Leftovers From Beijing Restaurants Used as Swill to Feed Pigs
The Beijinger
[…] A number of Beijing restaurants have been caught selling off their food waste to be used as pig swill, a banned practice that may cause diseases in the animals, like pigs, that eat it (and, in turn, harm those who eat their meat).

China’s military veterans ministry opens after pension protests
South China Morning Post
Beijing opens new Ministry of Veterans Affairs following big protests over handling of welfare for China’s 57 million former armed forces personnel

China named 'world’s top executioner' as global rate falls
The Guardian
Amnesty says more people executed in China than rest of world combined but sub-Saharan Africa is a ‘beacon of hope’


IDEOLOGY, CENSORSHIP & DOMESTIC POLITICS

Tech Shame In The “New Era”
China Media Project
When does a corporate apology become a political self-confession, or jiantao (检讨), an act of submission not to social mores and concerns, but to those in power? The line can certainly blur in China. But the public apology today from Zhang Yiming (张一鸣), the founder and CEO of one of China’s leading tech-based news and information platforms, crosses deep into the territory of political abjection.

See also:
China’s Anti-Pornography Office Asks Video Platforms To Strengthen Censorship
China Money Network
Facebook's China Argument Revealed in Zuckerberg's Hearing Notes
Bloomberg

Public security minister vows to guide opinions
Global Times
China's public security minister has vowed to guide management of public opinion on sensitive cases and prevent hyping of such cases, the Ministry of Public Security said in a Tuesday statement.

Is Xi Jinping ‘Personally Opposed’ To Lifelong Rule?
SupChina
Meanwhile, Mao Zedong's secretary expresses surprise for “low level” of Xi Jinping’s education and his failure to learn from Mao's mistakes.

Families of Chinese activists face house arrest, harassment from 'smiling tigers'
Reuters
When a team of Chinese state security agents picked up Li Wenzu and then prevented her from leaving her own home last week, she was scared but not surprised. She was detained on the seventh day of a protest march she organized in an attempt to get the authorities to explain what has happened to her husband, Wang Quanzhang, a lawyer who has been missing since August 2015 during a sweeping crackdown on rights activists.

See also:
Eight Detained for Organizing Humanitarian Assistance for Political Prisoners and Their Families
China Change

Huge statue of Marx, a gift from China, erected at his German birthplace
Reuters
A massive statue of the founding father of communism was erected in his birthplace on Friday, after the southern German city of Trier decided to accept the bronze sculpture from China despite concerns over the country’s human rights record.

See also:
This Communist Life: Party Podcast Celebrates Marx Bicentennial
Sixth Tone

How to Win Friends and Influence People
China Channel
Inside China’s secretive United Front

How China uses forced confessions for propaganda purposes
The Sydney Morning Herald
A human rights organisation, Safeguard Defenders, has [drawn] attention to a practice it says violates fundamental due process and international legal standards — and to call out the media organisations in China and in Hong Kong that abet the practice by circulating the "confessions" and in some cases even participating in them.

The Committee By the Numbers
Macro Polo
The 19th Central Committee, composed of 376 full and alternate members, represents the epitome of political power in the Chinese system. But rather than viewing this Party body as merely a collective of politicians and power brokers, it is worth digging deeper into the composition and paths to power of the current Central Committee.


BUSINESS & ECONOMY

China’s Communists Rewrite the Rules for Foreign Businesses
The New York Times
The party is strengthening its influence — often gaining direct decision-making power — over the international firms doing business in China.

See also:
China urges US to treat Chinese companies lawfully, fairly
XinhuaNet

China’s young consumers are snubbing foreign brands amid growing national pride, says Credit Suisse
South China Morning Post
China is seeing the emergence of a generation of consumers who are more likely to opt for home-made brands, spurred by a growing sense of national pride, according to a survey by Credit Suisse.

See also:
Chinese netizens look past politics in buying Japanese
Nikkei Asian Review
Muji expects record profits as Chinese consumers return to basics
Nikkei Asian Review

China's first quarter growth beats expectations at 6.8%
BBC
China's economy grew at an annual pace of 6.8% in the first quarter compared to the same period last year, according to official data, beating forecasts for the period.

China's Xi says rising protectionism adds risks and uncertainty in world economy
Reuters
Chinese President Xi Jinping said rising protectionism adds risks and uncertainty in the world’s economy, state media reported on Monday.


SCIENCE & TECH

This section covers:

  1. Hardware & Software

  2. Ethics

  3. Business

1. HARDWARE & SOFTWARE

China’s failed Long March 5 rocket ‘choked to death’, but space mission expected to resume this year
South China Morning Post
Problem that caused heavy-lift rocket to plunge into Pacific Ocean in July has been resolved, official report says

See also:
China plans to grow flowers and silkworms on the dark side of the moon
The Telegraph

German expert: China to take the lead in self-driving sector
China Global Television Network
China’s recent developments in the self-driving sector have drawn worldwide attention and the country is expected to take the lead in this field, according to a German expert’s view which was published on Deutsche Welle’s website last Thursday.

See also:
Alibaba Accelerates Autonomous Driving Research, Following In Footsteps Of Baidu And Tencent
China Money Network
China lays out self-driving rules in global race: China Daily
Reuters
Every big tech firm in China is becoming a self-driving car company
Quartz

China’s Built a Road So Smart It Will Be Able to Charge Your Car
Bloomberg
The road of the future is likely to become the brain and nerve center of an autonomous-driving revolution.

Shanghai's First 'Unmanned Bank' Run By Adorable Robot Manager
That’s Shanghai
In robot news, one Shanghai-based branch of China Construction Bank is now being hailed as the first ‘unmanned bank’ in China. […] The bank is equipped not only with a robot manager, but also with video teller machines and other services that employ augmented reality and virtual reality technology.

In race for 5G, China leads South Korea and US: Study
Channel NewsAsia
China is slightly ahead of South Korea and the United States in the race to develop fifth generation wireless networks, or 5G, a US study showed on Monday (Apr 16).

Face-Scanning Technology Officially Implemented at Beijing Capital International Airport
The Beijinger
After two years of trials, the new technology is now firmly installed at BCIA Terminal 2. At a rate of just one minute each, passenger processing times are estimated to rise from 160 to 266 an hour.

See also:
Mentally ill Chinese man ‘lost’ for a year reunited with family thanks to facial recognition technology
South China Morning Post

VR technology used to train police in central China
XinhuaNet
The public security bureau of Wuhan City in central China's Hubei Province has introduced virtual reality (VR) technology to boost the crime scene investigation ability for new recruits.

2. ETHICS

Police Shut ‘Privacy Art’ Exhibit for Displaying Personal Data
Sixth Tone
Artist Deng Yufeng purchased and presented the information of his fellow citizens to raise awareness of privacy issues.

China Will Always Be Bad at Bioethics
Foreign Policy
[…] As China’s advances in biotechnology come closer to the secrets of life, they pose tantalizing prospects for the future. But when standards for research on the latest technological frontiers are being set by a government that has always prioritized power over ethics, there’s also plenty of cause for concern.

3. BUSINESS

Apple's dominance in China is over, UBS says
Markets Insider
- Apple is facing increased competition in China's smartphone market, UBS analyst Steven Milunovich wrote in a note to clients.
- Apple's presence in the high-end slice of the market is diminishing.
- The broader Chinese smartphone market is slowing down too.

China's Ant ups fundraising target, valuation could hit $150 billion: sources
Reuters
China’s Ant Financial Services Group is in talks with investors to boost its fundraising target to at least $8 billion, which could see its valuation jumping to about $150 billion, people with knowledge of the plan said.

A brutal battle among China’s food-delivery apps is resulting in practically free meals
Quartz
[…] Last week, Didi officially added food delivery to its app’s offerings, starting off in a city near Shanghai called Wuxi. It will expand the offering into other cities in the months ahead. […] Days after launching the service, it announced that its share of Wuxi’s food-delivery market was already over 30%, with 334,000 orders generated on the first day alone.

Tencent Looking To Acquire $485M Stake In Chinese Bullet Train WiFi Operator
China Money Network
Chinese social media giant Tencent Holdings will bid for a stake in the company that provides WiFi services on China’s bullet trains in a deal worth more than RMB3.05 billion (US$485 million).


GENDER, SEX & RELATIONSHIPS

Are China’s university lecturers exploiting their traditional ‘godfatherly’ roles to abuse students?
South China Morning Post
The suicides of two students raise questions about the often unchecked power of professors

See also:
Renmin announces new steps to curb sexual harassment
e-China News Service

Gone But Not Forgotten
China Channel
Why Feminist Voices will never die in China

China’s LGBT people came out as a protest against an online ban on gay content. And it worked
Quartz
China’s answer to Twitter, Sina Weibo, today (April 16) withdrew its short-lived ban on homosexual content, after people came out as gay to protest the ban.

See also:
Weibo Administration: “We’re No Longer Targeting Gay Content”
What’s On Weibo
After Outcry, Weibo Does U-Turn on Gay Content Ban
Caixin Global
Chinese society learning to accept LGBT community
Global Times

First Gay-ish Film Widely Released in China
Sixth Tone
Gay cinemagoers in China are finding “Looking for Rohmer” a bit of a letdown. Long heralded on Chinese social media as the first gay-themed film to be approved for nationwide release, “Looking for Rohmer” — also known by its prerelease title, “Seek McCartney” — premiered on Friday to mixed reviews.

More Open, More Anxious: China’s Changing Sex Lives
Sixth Tone
Young people are having sex earlier and earlier, but performance anxiety is on the rise.

Off the Racks: In China, Push-Up Bras Are So Last Year
Sixth Tone
Sales of lightweight, wireless bras outpace popular beauty standards.

Hong Kong's small polyamory community finds solace, support in social media
AsiaOne
The idea of free love for all may be a concept hard to grapple with for some, but for Lea from Hong Kong, as per the South China Morning post last April 8, she believes polyamory is no more unusual than any other lifestyle choice.


ETHNICITY & RELIGION

Xinjiang Authorities Detain Uyghur Pro Footballer For ‘Visiting Foreign Countries’
Radio Free Asia
Authorities in northwest China’s Xinjiang region have detained 19-year-old Uyghur Erfan Hezim—a former member of China’s national youth football team—in a “political re-education camp” for “visiting foreign countries” after he traveled abroad to train and take part in matches, according to local sources.

China jails pastor as Beijing pursues plan to ‘sinicize’ country’s major religions, eliminate foreign influence
The Japan Times
[…] He was sentenced last month to seven years in prison for “organizing others to illegally cross the border” — a crime more commonly applied to human traffickers. His American sons and Christian colleagues — who have not been allowed contact with him since his arrest — spoke about the case for the first time, arguing that the pastor’s sentence should be reduced in light of his humanitarian work.

Buddhists Win Round in Fight Against Commercialization
Caixin Global
A travel agency in East China’s Zhejiang province is discovering that some things are too sacred for earthly matters like the nation’s booming tourism industry. That lesson is being learned by a tourism company associated with Putuoshan, one of China’s four sacred Buddhist mountains, which has been accused of trying to commercialize the well-known name in the run-up to a planned IP0.

Beijing Event Promotes Black Visibility, Community Building In China
SupChina
Poets, activists, authors, and observers packed the Beijing venue The Bookworm on Friday night for a spoken-word event called Culture Shock, organized by BLK GEN (short for “Black Genius”). It was highlighted by a performance by Bay Area poet/rapper/activist Tyson Amir, whose work investigates structural racism, intergenerational trauma, addiction, incarceration, and identity.


ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT

Chinese values influence global film industry
Global Times
Box office sales in China have attracted worldwide attention in recent years. The Chinese mainland's film market has overtaken that of Japan to become the world's second largest and the number of movie screens tops the world, according to media reports.

Beijing Festival: Chinese Art Films to Get $16 Million Acquisition Fund
Variety
The emerging art house film sector in China is to get a further boost from the launch of a $16 million (RMB100 million) specialized acquisition fund. The initiative is backed by five companies already operational in the sector.

‘Have A Nice Day,’ A Beijing Film Festival Selection, Is An Unsparing Portrait Of Urban China At The Margins
SupChina
Director Liu Jian’s violent, bleak, and often hilarious take on the physical and moral toll of three decades of government-encouraged breakneck urbanization.

When It Comes To Sports Success In China, It’s All About The Women
source
China’s women’s soccer team becomes first to qualify for World Cup, while the women’s rugby team wins Hong Kong Sevens.

China gives Olympic ski dreams a lift in remote regions
Channel NewsAsia
[…] The world's most populous country wants to put 10 per cent of its total population on skis ahead of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics - a figure so large it would double the current global tally of skiers. To reach its goal, Beijing will have to boost enthusiasm for the sport […] in previously ignored corners of the country such as barren Qinghai, with frigid winters and an average elevation of over 3,000m.


SOCIETY, OFFBEAT & OTHER

China’s Week in Photos, April 9-15
Sixth Tone
In this Week in Photos, the Chinese Grand Prix is held in Shanghai; travelers prepare to release sky lanterns in the Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture in Yunnan province; and a crow pecks at a giant panda’s furry rump at a zoo in Beijing.

The Opium Wars And China’s Century Of National Humiliation
SupChina
The Opium Wars and the humiliation that the Chinese endured at the hands of foreign powers remains a source of shame and anger for many today.

‘Too busy, too much pressure’: an ageing China and the erosion of filial piety
Hong Kong Free Press
[…] China had more than 158 million people over 65 by the end of last year, which was more than the population of similarly aged people in Japan, Germany, the UK, France and Australia combined. The figure swells by 10 million each year. [A]s China’s ageing crisis deepens, more people feel pulled between the demands of filial duties to one’s parents and their work or other relationships. Even as the cultural taboo and mistrust towards nursing homes remains, single children and their parents are running out of options, though experts say nursing homes are only a small part of any potential solution.

Parents Plead With Government to Give Kids More Homework
Sixth Tone
Anxious moms and dads doubt the efficacy of the decades-old workload reduction movement.

Alibaba removes child sex dolls from AliExpress online marketplace
Hong Kong Free Press
Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has removed child sex dolls from its AliExpress online marketplace following an enquiry by HKFP.

 

That’s all for today!

If you were forwarded this newsletter and enjoyed it, please consider subscribing. It’s free!

Thanks for reading.

DuYa 渡鴉 // China News // 2018-04-10

Curated news and stories about China from all over the web

DuYa 渡鴉

Hi all!

Today's edition covers the following topics:

  • Featured Articles

  • International Relations & Military

  • Domestic Issues

  • Ideology & Domestic Politics

  • Business & Economy

  • Science & Tech

  • Education & Language

  • Ethnicity, Religion & Gender

  • Entertainment

  • Society & Offbeat

Enjoy, and please forward to friends, colleagues or anyone else you feel will find it useful or interesting!

Cheers!
Danny

Subscribe


FEATURED ARTICLES

Portrait of a Beijinger: Raise the Red Flag
China Channel
A car collector builds an empire of Communist relics

Luo Wenyou felt his comrades’ eyes burn into him. Fresh out of high school, the soft-spoken teenager tried to look busy on his first day at the Chengde public security bureau. His father’s connections had given him an “iron rice bowl”, a job for life in China’s civil service. It was a safe port in the chaos of the Cultural Revolution, but Luo felt awkward in his oversized uniform. When the police chief promised Luo he’d be Hebei’s top cop within a decade, it did little to ease the 18-year-old’s nerves.

After a bumpy start, Luo began to settle into his routine. He even seemed to take the swagger of officialdom in his stride. By 21, he had bought his first car: a powder blue FSO Warszawa. He polished its chrome grille and wheels twice weekly. When the radio signal was strong, he felt like he was chauffeuring a PLA band. The only rival for Luo’s affection was his passenger on weekend trips to the countryside, his girlfriend Yang Yijun.

Xi’s Long March on American Democracy
Foreign Policy
The United States can’t sit back and watch as China quietly colonizes the West.

Chinese President Xi Jinping is leading a Maoist Long March to achieve his dream of global power. Instead of retreating from Chiang Kai-shek’s forces, as Mao Zedong did, Xi is instead retreating from the Chinese people’s hopes for democratic reform, freedom of expression, protection of human rights, and economic liberalization. Xi is exporting his brand of colonialism with Chinese characteristics through soft power means, on a road toward achieving his hard power ends.

This was clear in Xi’s recent address at the National People’s Congress. “We are resolved to fight the bloody battle against our enemies,” he declared on March 20, “… with a strong determination to take our place in the world.” And as he embarks on a march toward lifelong dictatorship of the world’s most populous country, his strategic window of opportunity may seem boundless.

The United States must shut that window.

The woman China wants you to ignore
The Sydney Morning Herald

You can understand her frustration. More and more of Rebiya Kadeer's family have been rounded up into Chinese Communist Party re-education camps. She was once one of the richest women in China, a successful retail entrepreneur, a member of China's National People's Congress, Beijing's model member of its Uighur minority. Today she lives in exile in America accused of sedition for championing Uighur rights. Thirty-seven of her clan members, including 11 children under the age of 10, are locked up. How many of her family are free? "None," the slight, 71-year old grandmother answers matter-of-factly.

She's at liberty because, as the face of the world's Uighur ethnic minority, the US has granted her residency as protection from Chinese government repression.

Most Uighurs live in China's remote north-west province of Xinjiang. They are an ethnically Turkic people who call their land East Turkestan and practice Islam. She's been called the Muslim Dalai Lama.

Beauty Boys: The Chinese Men Changing the Face of Makeup
Sixth Tone
More men are adding cosmetics to their daily routine — but these glamorous guys sometimes receive ugly reactions.

Wang Yuepeng is still angry about the first time he tried to buy a Dior lipstick.

“Are you going to use it?” Wang recalls the female salesperson asking dubiously, after staring at him for a few seconds. Wang was already addicted to makeup — he’d begun experimenting with it in high school when he spent 15 yuan ($2) on a concealer at the grocery store in a bid to cover his acne.

“What’s wrong with me using it?” Wang retorted angrily. Nearly a decade later, his face still scrunches into a frown as he recalls their interaction.

Much has changed since Wang’s teenage years in central China’s Henan province. The 25-year-old with dyed olive-green hair is now a professional makeup artist and one of the few well-known male makeup vloggers in China. He boasts nearly 2 million followers online, where he posts video tutorials on everything from applying double eyelid stickers and eyeshadow to making cosmetics last longer. While most of his followers are women, he believes that one day, wearing makeup will be as common among men in China as it is in South Korea and Japan.


INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS & MILITARY

THE U.S.

US innovation widens the trade deficit with China
World Affairs Journal
The Trump administration is conflating intellectual property theft and the trade deficit, two issues that require different solutions

Middle East emerges as possible energy winner in US-China spat
The Times of India
subtitle

US-China trade: Xi warns against 'Cold War mentality'
BBC
Chinese President Xi Jinping has warned against a "Cold War mentality" as he vowed to open up parts of the country's economy.

TAIWAN

China firmly opposes U.S. arms sales to Taiwan: spokesperson
XinhuaNet

See also:
US approved sale of submarine parts to Taiwan to make money, not arm island, analysts say
South China Morning Post

Taiwan could be left in even more vulnerable position amid US-China tensions: report
Taiwan News
A recent article by the Washington Post speaks of Taiwan's challenges over rising US-China tensions

Xi calls for jointly advancing peaceful reunification of motherland
China Global Television Network

Chinese media reveals Beijing's fear of a possible constitutional referendum in Taiwan
Taiwan News
China's state-backed propaganda mouthpiece Global Times calls the anticipated 2019 referendum an 'unrealistic dream,' fears it would be a 'disaster'

GENERAL MILITARY

China ready to strengthen international defense cooperation: defense minister
People’s Daily Online

Asia's Hottest Stock Is a Bet on China's Military Expansion
Bloomberg
- Hong Kong-listed AviChina makes training jets and helicopters
- Every analyst that tracks the company rates it a buy

China’s second aircraft carrier to undergo sea trials on Navy Day: reports
Global Times

OTHER

China’s Vast Intercontinental Building Plan Is Gaining Momentum
Bloomberg

See also:
China’s global vision may not be altruistic, but offers an alternative to US-imposed economic desperation
Hong Kong Free Press

Syria 'chemical attack': China opposes use of chemical weapons, supports UN's role
China Global Television Network

China eyes Vanuatu military base in plan with global ramifications
The Sydney Morning Herald

See also:
Vanuatu denies Chinese approach to set up military base
South China Morning Post

Exposing China’s Actions in the South China Sea
Council on Foreign Relations
China is increasing its administrative control over the South China Sea. The U.S. government should initiate information operations that hinder China’s ability to expand and consolidate its control of the South China Sea and the airspace above it.

See also:
China’s defense facility on its Nansha Islands is not targeting any country
China Global Television Network

Kim Jong Un's 21-car train was packed with gifts and much more
Nikkei Asian Review
North Korean leader strengthens his hand as he wrestles China away from US

China, Austria can work together to promote European economic integration
Global Times

Premier meets with Dutch king
Gov.Cn


DOMESTIC ISSUES

HONG KONG

45 civil groups decry Hong Kong’s ‘deteriorating rule of law and human rights environment’ in UN submission
Hong Kong Free Press

‘McRefugees’ urge Hong Kong gov’t to address homelessness, as NGO says issue has worsened
Hong Kong Free Press

China’s global vision? A rosy future for us, and huge debts for everyone else
Hong Kong Free Press

OTHER

How Eco-Farming Is Lifting a Chinese Village Out of Poverty
Sixth Tone
A community-based project in rural Hunan is enriching locals and attracting consumers with pesticide-free rice.

Fears parts of world's longest sea bridge are floating away
The Guardian
Construction of 55km bridge connecting Hong Kong, Macau and China involves building artificial islands, parts of which seem to be coming unstuck

China black market demand for ‘cocaine of the sea’ pushes two marine species closer to extinction in Mexico
South China Morning Post
The lucrative black market for totoaba swim bladders - prized in Chinese traditional medicine - have turned the Gulf of California into a battleground

Asia's longest river floods sea with plastic waste
Al Jazeeera
China's environment ministry plans to address the 1.5 million tonnes of plastic the Yangtze River carries out to sea each year.


IDEOLOGY & DOMESTIC POLITICS

Jordan Peterson And China’s ‘White Left’
SupChina
To what extent have the Chinese embraced the ‘12 Rules for Life’ author?

China launches campaigns to clean up cultural environment
XinhuaNet
China has launched three campaigns against illicit cultural content to foster a "positive" and "healthy" cultural environment.

Beijing Sperm bank demands donors love China and support the Communist Party leadership
Hong Kong Free Press
Beijing’s only sperm bank has set loyalty to the Communist Party as a prerequisite for donors, in a sign that China’s increasing emphasis on ideological training is being extended to the womb.

No escape: The fearful life of China's exiled dissidents
Al Jazeera
Activists, journalists and critics of Chinese leadership and authority tell stories of surveillance and threats abroad.

China: Spies, Lies and Blackmail
Al Jazeera
How China controls its citizens inside and outside the country where no criticism or dissent is allowed.


BUSINESS & ECONOMY

Xi Jinping’s defence of globalisation and open markets: key takeaways from Chinese leader’s speech to Boao Forum
South China Morning Post
The Chinese president repeated his commitment to opening up the economy and made a number of veiled swipes at Donald Trump as threat of trade war looms

See also:
China's Financial Opening Isn't Quite What It Seems
Bloomberg
Can President Xi Jinping convince the world at Asia’s Davos that China really is open for business?
South China Morning Post
Graphics: Xi's four proposals for further opening up
China Global Television Network

Why China’s new economic commission cements Xi Jinping’s grasp on levers of power
South China Morning Post
Policy-making body institutionalises party’s control over direction of world’s second largest economy

China's Alarming Debt Pile Could Finally Stabilize This Year
Bloomberg
- The leverage ratio has already peaked and will decline: Mizuho
- Analysts surveyed see debt-to-GDP unchanged at 260% this year


SCIENCE & TECH

Alibaba’s Jack Ma Challenges Mark Zuckerberg to ‘Fix’ Facebook
Bloomberg
Jack Ma, the billionaire co-founder of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, urged Mark Zuckerberg to tackle the growing criticism aimed at Facebook Inc. by regulators and users around the world, and “really take it seriously.”

Why We Can’t #DeleteWeChat
Elephant Room
Media around the world has buzzed enough about WeChat’s innovative features, yet few had deconstructed WeChat's success to its basics.

China To Purge Online Video Services
China Media Project
When it comes to intensifying controls on online content, the people have once again spoken. Or so claims China’s broadcast regulator in an action announced earlier this week, demanding that two of the country’s most popular media platforms […] put a freeze on video uploading services for new account holders and be subjected to a purge of existing programs.

China’s Biggest Food Delivery App Buys China’s Biggest On-Demand Bike Service
SupChina
Dianping.com […] has been furiously adding features this year in an effort to compete with Didi Chuxing, China’s biggest car-hailing app, […] the largest investor in Ofo, one of China’s two major on-demand bicycle companies. Today, Meituan bought Mobike, the other leading on-demand bike company.

Hangzhou Sets Up $1.6B Government-backed Blockchain Fund To Invest In Start-ups
China Money Network
A RMB10 billion (US$1.6 billion) government-backed blockchain fund, dubbed Xiong An Global Blockchain Innovation Fund, has been launched in the Chinese city of Hangzhou to invest in innovative firms using blockchain technology.

Chinese Uber rival Didi launches in Mexico, recruits drivers
Reuters
Chinese ride-hailing company Didi Chuxing has publicly launched in Mexico with a website advertising its service to drivers and passengers, setting the stage for a potentially expensive showdown with rival Uber.

China's SenseTime valued at $4.5 billion after Alibaba-led funding: sources
Reuters
Chinese facial recognition technology developer SenseTime Group Ltd has tripled its worth in less than a year after a funding round, led by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, valued it at about $4.5 billion, people with knowledge of the matter said.

App based on BeiDou satellite system to launch in May
e-China News Service
A map app based on the self-developed BeiDou Navigation Satellite System, or COMPASS, is expected to be launched on May 1, according to thepaper.cn.

Chinese market targeted by scammers who set up fake QR codes to divert payments
South China Morning Post
Three accused of using fake labels to skim off customers’ mobile payments


EDUCATION & LANGUAGE

More to tackle in China’s autism education space
China Global Television Network
While China has stepped up efforts to tackle special education in recent years, challenges still remain for the local autism community.

See also:
"Dress Blue Day" in Hong Kong to raise public awareness of autism
XinhuaNet

New Private University Breaks China’s Mold
Sixth Tone
Approval for private institute Westlake University signals a shift in China’s public-dominated tertiary sector.

See also:
China is setting up its own version of America’s Caltech to rival US in innovation
South China Morning Post

AI training program enters Chinese universities
China Global Television Network
Artificial intelligence (AI) has become a key aspect of technology in China, and universities in the country are ramping up their training programs to meet the growing demand for AI experts. A special five-year AI talent training program was unveiled on Tuesday by the Ministry of Education to help with that mission.

Feature: Morocco sees growing enthusiasm for learning Chinese language
XinhuaNet

Wolf's milk, a slime mold attractive to young Chinese?
Language Log


ETHNICITY, RELIGION & GENDER

Chinese professor sacked after sexual assault claim, as China's #Metoo struggles to be heard
The Telegraph
A second Chinese professor has been sacked by his university after allegations of historic sexual misconduct were made, as China's own brand of '#Metoo' struggles to gather pace.

See also:
Academic Exploitation in China: Online Voices Help Three Victims Speak from beyond the Grave 
What’s On Weibo
A sexual harassment case reexamined 20 years later
Global Times
China’s Uber Apologizes After Sexual Harassment Claim Goes Viral
Sixth Tone

China Focus: China pledges to protect freedom of religious belief
XinhuaNet
China pledged to continue to respect and protect its citizens' freedom of religious belief in a white paper published Tuesday.

See also:
Religions Must be 'Subordinate' to Communist Party, Says China
Radio Free Asia

China’s Campaign Against Uighur Diaspora Ramps Up
Foreign Policy
In its attempts to control Uighurs abroad, the Chinese government is holding families hostage.

See also:
China Sends Prominent Muslim Poet For Ideological 'Re-education'
Radio Free Asia

China Bans Online Bible Sales as It Tightens Religious Controls
The New York Times
The Chinese government has banned online retailers from selling the Bible, moving in the wake of new rules to control the country’s burgeoning religious scene.

See also:
Hong Kong cardinal seeks conservative help to block a Vatican-China deal
Reuters
China insists selecting Catholic bishops no breach of religious rights
The Sydney Morning Herald
'Two or three illegal' church crosses torn down in central China
Channel News Asia

Two Chinese militants among seven killed in anti-terrorism operation in Afghanistan
South China Morning Post
Mission led by Afghan National Army’s 209th Shaheen Corp took place in Badakhshan province, close to China border

See also:
China saw 16-fold increase in returning jihadists in 2017, analyst says
South China Morning Post

Leslie Cheung: Asia's gay icon lives on 15 years after his death
BBC
For the past 15 years fans of tormented superstar Leslie Cheung, one of the first celebrities to come out as gay in Asia, have gathered at Hong Kong's Mandarin Oriental Hotel to mourn the day he took his own life.

See also:
Gay Romance ‘Call Me By Your Name’ Pulled From Beijing International Film Festival
SupChina


ENTERTAINMENT

China Box Office Overtakes North America in First Quarter of 2018
Variety
China’s theatrical box office overtook North America to become the biggest in the world in the first quarter of this year.

See also:
Why Chinese Filmgoers Don’t Buy Hollywood’s Values Anymore
Sixth Tone
China Film Quota Talks Could Be a Casualty in Trump’s Trade War
Variety

MLB and Tencent form new strategic partnership to live stream games in China
e-China News Service
Major League Baseball and Tencent Holdings Limited have formed a new strategic partnership to live stream MLB games and MLB highlight programs in China.


SOCIETY & OFFBEAT

Collage: China’s Week in Photos, April 2-8
Sixth Tone
A selection of the week’s best photos by Sixth Tone’s visual editors.

See also:
In Pictures: Boozy rugby fans show off fancy dress at Hong Kong Sevens
Hong Kong Free Press

Organisers says thousands attended Hong Kong’s first adult carnival as family group raises concerns over ‘sexual liberation’
Hong Kong Free Press
Hong Kong’s first-ever adult carnival has attracted criticism from an outspoken family concern group over its “sexual liberation” theme.

See also:
89-year-old nude model keeps posing with pride despite opposition from family
People’s Daily Online

In China, older men strike a pose in modelling classes
Asia One
At the beginning of the new semester, Harbin Elder University welcomed its new students. Its new course in male fashion modelling has attracted much attention. Every Monday morning, 34 students, who on average are older than 60, enter the classroom, all wearing the same uniform - white shirt, black trousers and black leather shoes.

Kuaishou Deletes Teen Mom Content Following Media Pressure
Sixth Tone
CCTV had previously called out livestreaming site for allowing teen pregnancy to be glorified.

How China’s ‘Coke Boy’ became the real thing 10 years after surviving deadly Sichuan earthquake
South China Morning Post
Survivor of 2008 disaster who told rescuers ‘I want a cold coke’ after being pulled from rubble is now working for soft drinks giant

China’s 2018 New Marriage Law? Online Discussions on ‘Three Child Policy’ and Lowering of Marriage Age
What’s On Weibo
Alleged changes to China’s marriage law have set rumors going on Chinese social media about a ‘three-child policy.’

Resting in the Deep
Sixth Tone

China’s funeral rites are undergoing a sea change.

See also:
Fear of Dying Alone Spurs Seniors to Plan Own Funerals
Sixth Tone

Yi people aim to catwalk out of poverty through traditional fashion shows
Global Times
Donning a rooster-shaped hat, a flower-patterned blouse and pair of black, white and pink trousers, Li Ruxiu swaggers on the catwalk like a supermodel. Li, 56, is one of the models on "Yi Embroidery Street" in Yongren County, southwest China's Yunnan Province. She was employed by the county government last year to showcase clothes made by the Yi people, an ethnic minority, in Yongren's Zhizuo Village. The village is one of the poorest areas in the country.

  

That’s all for today!

If you were forwarded this newsletter and enjoyed it, please consider subscribing. It’s free!

Thanks for reading.

DuYa 渡鴉 // China News // 2018-04-04

Curated news and stories about China from all over the web

Hi all!

I’ve been experimenting with a new service. It took me a little while to get used it, so today's edition only covers the following topics:

  • Featured Articles

  • International Relations & Military

  • Domestic Issues

Enjoy, and please forward to friends, colleagues or anyone else you feel will find it useful or interesting. If you’ve been forwarded this, please consider subscribing!

Cheers!

Danny
DuYa 渡鴉


FEATURED ARTICLES

Web Worship Is Better Than Nothing on Tomb-Sweeping Day
Sixth Tone
From online commemoration to mourners for hire, we should be open to new ways of spending the festival.

[…]

Today, millions of Chinese people work far from their hometowns, and Tomb-Sweeping Day is one of the rare occasions when they make a trip back. For younger children, the sweeping ceremony might be the first time they learn about their ancestors or talk about death.

In recent years, the Chinese government has presided over a revival of traditional culture while large numbers of migrant workers find jobs in cities. So what happens when modern life gets too hectic and you can’t make it home? If only there was a way to commemorate the dead remotely, you might wonder.

There is, of course. Online tomb sweeping — also called “cloud tomb sweeping” — allows family and friends to upload the deceased’s life stories, photos, audio files, and videos. Platforms like Netor.net, whose website boasts more than 20 million visits, charge you to give virtual “offerings,” burn cyber-incense, or send flower emojis over the web to honor your dead. Some people even attach a scannable QR code to their ancestor’s real-life tombstone so that friends or family who come to pay their respects can take part in the ongoing online memorial.

See also:
Dealing With Death, China’s Biggest Taboo
Sixth Tone

Lost In Beijing: Forgotten Wastelands Of China’s Capital
SupChina
Beijing is a shiny metropolis, but below the gleaming skyscrapers and busy thoroughfares are desolate amusement parks and abandoned neighborhoods, remnants of a different place, reminders of a recently forgotten past.

The Homko Club had everything a wealthy Chinese businessman could want. Inside a gated compound, the Grecian-style members’ club offered residents a chance to unwind in exclusive comfort, with a fully equipped gym, swimming pool with jacuzzi, steam rooms and sauna, bar, billiards, mahjong, massage, and — although home was literally just a stone’s throw away — the convenience of private bedrooms, in which the weary member would find succor with a personal masseuse in secluded comfort.

Despite amenities fit for an ancient emperor — or, perhaps, a mid-level provincial official — membership at the Homko remains at an all-time low of zero. In the 25-meter swimming pool, mounds of concrete rise from the frozen surface. The bar is bereft of bottles; no sighs will ever be heard from its bedrooms, because the Homko has long been abandoned to the elements. It is as if the apocalypse had happened to the Chinese Brady Bunch.

Why Do We Keep Turning A Blind Eye To Chinese Political Interference?
The Conversation

Academics in Australia might reflect on the fact that scholarly books critical of the Chinese Communist Party are now shunned by publishers. Scholars who work on China know that continued access to the country requires them to play by Beijing’s rules, which for most means self-censorship – the dirty secret of China studies in Australia.

Despite refusing to publish my book, Silent Invasion, I am privileged in my access to free speech in a way that most Chinese-Australians are not.

[…]

Once quite vocal, pro-democracy activists, supporters of Tibetan autonomy, and Falun Gong practitioners are barely heard nowadays. In my book, I describe how this marginalisation has been carried out.

Will China supplant US hegemony?
Business Standard
As rising importance of robotics and AI blunts China's manufacturing edge, ability to lead in technology will become more important

[…]

As the rising importance of robotics and AI blunts China’s manufacturing edge, the ability to lead in technology will become more important. Here, the current trend toward higher concentration of power and control in the central government, as opposed to the private sector, could hamstring China as the global economy reaches higher stages of development.

The possibility that China might never supplant the US as the world’s economic hegemon is the flip side of the technology and inequality problem. Everyone in the West is worrying about the future of work, but in many ways it is a bigger problem for the Chinese development model than for the American one. The US needs to struggle with the problem of how to redistribute income internally, especially given highly concentrated ownership of new ideas and technology. But for China, there is the additional problem of how to extend its franchise as export superpower into the machine age.


INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS & MILITARY

ONE BELT ONE ROAD

How Big Is China’s Belt and Road?
Center for Strategic & International Studies

The big numbers being floated for President Xi Jinping’s signature foreign policy effort, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), do not add up. Popular estimates for Chinese investment under the BRI range from $1 trillion to $8 trillion, hardly a rounding error. Without a clearer sense of the BRI’s scale, it is difficult to assess its economic and strategic implications. A closer look reveals the highest figures are inflated, scoring political points for Beijing in the short term but also creating unrealistic expectations.

Pakistan’s Gwadar Port: A New Naval Base in China’s String of Pearls in the Indo-Pacific
Center for Strategic & International Studies

Gwadar, gateway to the $62 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), was until recently a cluster of small, little-known fishing villages on the Makran coast of Pakistan. Gwadar is only 107 miles (172 km) from Chabahar across the border with Iran and, now, both ports are being developed into maritime hubs by China and India, respectively, triggering what is being called the New Great Game in South Asia. The CPEC is projected to link Kashgar in Xinjiang with Gwadar on the Makran coast of Balochistan, the largest province of Pakistan. It is expected to bring economic prosperity to the region and is part of President Xi Jinping’s “dream of national rejuvenation.”

Kyaukpyu: Connecting China to the Indian Ocean
Center for Strategic & International Studies

Kyaukpyu is a coastal town along the Bay of Bengal in Myanmar’s western-most state of Rakhine. In 2016, subsidiaries of China’s CITIC Group Corporation, including China Harbor Engineering Company, won contracts for two major projects in the town—the dredging of a deep-sea port and the creation of an industrial area in an accompanying special economic zone (SEZ). The port project is valued at $7.3 billion and the SEZ at $2.7 billion. Under the terms of the deal, CITIC will build and then run the project for 50 years with a potential extension of another 25 years.

Negotiations on Kyaukpyu predate the Belt and Road Initiative—CITIC signed initial memorandums of understanding (MOUs) for the harbor project and a railway connecting the SEZ to southern China in 2009.

U.S. TRADE WAR

The U.S. wrote the rules for global trade. Now China is using them against Trump.
The Washington Post
Trade tensions escalated between the U.S. and China with Beijing slapping tariffs on 128 U.S. goods, from scrap aluminum and pork to nuts, wine and fruits.

The Chinese government designed its first concrete response to President Trump’s recent wave of protectionist policies to inflict noticeable political and economic pain upon the United States while remaining within the bounds of global trade rules.

China imposed tariffs on a relatively modest $3 billion in American imports. But by hitting numerous products, including fruit, wine, ginseng and pork, that affect congressional districts across the country, China demonstrated that it can exert pressure within the American system.

See also:
Donald Trump’s trade endgame said to be the opening of China’s economy
South China Morning Post
Looming China Trade Action Divides Industry and Roils Markets
The New York Times
How Will China Retaliate beyond Tariffs?
Center for Strategic & International Studies
China's Soybean Retaliation: No Good Options
Dim Sums

China Finds California Wine Pairs Well With a Trade War
The New York Times
Retaliatory tariffs are a blow to exporters increasingly catering to young, newly wealthy Chinese looking for bottles with cachet.

Cabernet isn’t the most obvious pawn in a trade war between the United States and China. Airplanes and their parts are the leading American export to China. Soybeans and wheat grow in Trump country.

But China’s selection of wine as a target of retaliatory tariffs did not surprise Michael Honig, a winemaker in the Napa Valley, where the tariff would hit hardest.

“The reason the government realizes they should penalize us is, we are branded,” said Mr. Honig, the president of Honig Vineyard and Winery. “It’s hard to go after a wheat grower, because who is a wheat grower? It’s a commodity. We are not a commodity.”

The news was an unwelcome turn of events for Mr. Honig and many California winemakers, who have spent years trying to carve out a place in the hearts of wealthy Chinese consumers. That hard work has earned them a prized sliver of what is becoming one of the fastest-growing markets for wine imports.

See also:
U.S. wine industry fears long-term damage of China's tariff on imported U.S. wines
XinhuaNet

Donald Trump’s US$50b tariffs target Beijing’s ‘Made in China 2025’ tech strategy
South China Morning Post
The list of items includes high-definition colour video monitors, electromagnets used in MRIs and aerospace parts as well as machinery used to make or process textiles

Washington released a list of Chinese products representing about US$50 billion worth of annual imports to the US, which will be subject to punitive tariffs, a move that results from a US Trade Representative investigation into China’s trade practices.

The trade representative’s office said officials identified items that “benefit from Chinese industrial policies, including Made in China 2025,” referring to Beijing’s plan to dominate certain strategic technologies.

[…]

The tariffs constitute the US administration’s sharpest response to China’s launch of its Made in China 2025 strategy.

The policy, announced in 2015, highlighted 10 sectors for support on the way to China becoming an advanced manufacturing power: information technology, high-end machinery and robotics, aerospace, marine equipment and ships, advanced rail transport, new-energy vehicles, electric power, agricultural machinery, new materials and bio-medical.

See also:
China Hits Soybeans, Aircraft in Counter-Punch to Trump Tariffs
Bloomberg

TAIWAN

Will China turn Taiwan into the next Crimea?
The Guardian
US support for Taiwan may prove red rag to bullish China given trade war and military rivalry

China could do to Taiwan what Russia did to Crimea if Beijing’s relations with Washington, strained by an expanding trade war and military rivalry in the East and South China seas, deteriorate further.

The warning from maritime security experts follows a series of recent Chinese moves to put pressure on Taiwan’s pro-independence government. These include a vow last month by China’s president that Taiwan would face the “punishment of history” if it pursued a separatist course. “Any actions and tricks to split China are doomed to failure and will meet with the people’s condemnation,” Xi Jinping said.

Taiwan, China clash over Taiwan premier's independence remarks
The Sydney Morning Herald

Taiwan's government said on Tuesday that China was stirring up its media to threaten the self-ruled island after a major state-run newspaper said China should issue an international arrest warrant for Taiwan's premier for his comments on independence.

After Taiwan Premier William Lai told parliament on Friday that he was a "Taiwan independence worker" and that his position was that Taiwan was a sovereign, independent country, the widely-read Chinese tabloid the Global Times said he should be prosecuted under China's 2005 Anti-Secession Law.

See also:
Chinese media calls for arrest of Premier Lai for 'Independent Taiwan' comments
Taiwan News

ISLANDS & SEAS

Advances in military technology give China edge in Asia-Pacific
Global Times

China has made significant achievements in radar and strategic bomber technology, according to scientists working in the fields, adding that its military radars can now detect all kinds of stealth fighter jets and bombers deployed in the Asia-Pacific region.

Hu Mingchun, director of the No.14 research institute under the China Electronic Technology Group Corporation (CETC), and also a deputy of the National People's Congress, told the media, "China's radar technology is comprehensively approaching world-class level or is as advanced as foreign technology in general. Now we are at the stage of moving up to the leading role."

"In some areas, China already uses the most advanced radar technology in the world, such as ship-based multi-function phased array radar and airborne early-warning radar," Chinese news portal thepaper.cn quoted Hu as saying on March 29.

See also:
In response to Chinese incursions, Japan plans new radar system in western Pacific
Taiwan News
Vietnam, China urge restraint in disputes in South China Sea
The Times of India
China’s first home-grown aircraft carrier set to carry out maiden sea trial
South China Morning Post
China’s bomber H-6K designed to fly beyond island chains
e-China News Service

Duterte's elusive Chinese investment bonanza

Nikkei Asian Review
Beijing has lured Manila with promises that are so far unfulfilled

[…]

In a late-March visit to Beijing, Philippine Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano hailed "golden period" in bilateral ties. During his trip, the two countries even skirted around the single biggest problem in bilateral relations -- the dispute over a part of the South China Sea, where Beijing has asserted its rights in the face of protests from Manila.

[…]

By and large, a once-fraught bilateral relationship is seemingly morphing into a blossoming partnership laced with Chinese investment promises. Yet, the Philippines runs the risk of getting little money in return for the decisions it is taking to cooperate with China on Beijing's terms.

See also:
China, Philippines seek to share South China Sea
Asia Times

OTHER STORIES

What Xi Jinping’s power grab means for Canada
The Conversation

Since the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank tweeted last week that Canada is now officially a full member, it hasn’t exactly made headlines.

Yet this is ostensibly a prelude for trade talks with China in an increasingly protectionist global landscape. And admission wasn’t cheap: Chinese sources say Ottawa committed more than a billion dollars to the Beijing-based bank.

China Moves Centre Stage in Korean Peninsula Peace Efforts
World Affairs
After weeks in which other actors have taken notable steps towards defusing fears of war over North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile program, a China-North Korea summit held 26-27 March in Beijing has reasserted China’s pivotal role in efforts to find a solution to the nuclear crisis.

When North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on 26 March secretly rolled into Beijing on a private armoured train for unofficial meetings with President Xi Jinping, China moved decisively centre stage in the Korean peninsula drama. China also likely gave its truculent neighbour invaluable assurances and leverage for upcoming talks on its nuclear and ballistic missile program.

For a few weeks in March, it appeared as though China, preoccupied with its own internal political wrangling and reforms, might have been sidelined by the whirlwind Korean Olympic diplomacy.

[…]

But any illusion of China being bypassed vanished with Kim Jong-un’s visit.

See also:
China tells N. Korea official Beijing supports its US summit
The Washington Post
Chinese, DPRK FMs meet in Beijing
e-China News Service

When Investment Hurts: Chinese Influence in Venezuela
Center for Strategic & International Studies

As the United States continues to shape its policy toward Latin America, China is rising as an economic and geopolitical force in the region. China’s influence in Latin America is neither transparent nor market oriented, and no country has felt the consequences more than Venezuela. Through loans and outbound direct investments, China has poured funding into Venezuela at the cost of Venezuela’s citizens and long-term success.

[…]

There are four main issues that should concern the United States regarding China’s role in the Maduro-ruled Venezuela: (1) China is propping up Maduro’s undemocratic and repressive narco-regime; (2) China’s investments fail to bring long-term benefits to Venezuela; (3) Chinese loans and agreements are not transparent and in some cases are illegitimate; and (4) China’s agreements create energy and security concerns.

China warns against "Cold War mentality" in Skripal case
XinhuaNet

A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson on Tuesday called on relevant countries to find out the truth in the Skripal case, discard their Cold War mentality and refrain from confrontation.

China-Zimbabwe ties withstand transition of political power: analysts
Global Times

Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Zimbabwean counterpart Emmerson Mnangagwa on Tuesday agreed to establish a comprehensive strategic partnership of cooperation between the two countries.

[…]

Mnangagwa is on a state visit to China from Monday to Friday at the invitation of Xi, and this is Mnangagwa's first state visit outside Africa as Zimbabwean president since taking office last November.

See also:
Zimbabwe’s leader thanks China’s Xi, pledges to boost ties
Associated Press
China, Zimbabwe agree to establish comprehensive strategic partnership of cooperation
China Global Television Network

India bracing for a 'hot' summer on China front after Doklam crisis
The Times of India

Indian security forces are bracing for a “hot” summer in the Himalayas along the Line of Actual Control with China this year. But unlike the Line of Control with Pakistan, where cross-border firing duels is the norm, it will be a battle of nerves in the shape of troop face-offs and transgressions without actual shots being fired on the China front.

[…]

The two countries continue to maintain high operational alertness on their borders, with additional units deployed in forward areas, despite troop disengagement from the 73-day face-off at Doklam near the Sikkim-Bhutan-Tibet tri-junction last year.


DOMESTIC ISSUES

HONG KONG

The Case of Hong Kong’s Missing Booksellers
The News York Times Magazine
As China’s Xi Jinping consolidates power, owners of Hong Kong bookstores trafficking in banned books find themselves playing a very dangerous game.

Lam Wing-kee knew he was in trouble. In his two decades as owner and manager of Hong Kong’s Causeway Bay Books, Lam had honed a carefully nonchalant routine when caught smuggling books into mainland China: apologize, claim ignorance, offer a cigarette to the officers, crack a joke. For most of his career, the routine was foolproof.

Thin and wiry, with an unruly pouf of side-swept gray hair and a wisp of mustache, Lam was carrying a wide mix of books that day: breathless political thrillers, bodice-rippers and a handful of dry historical tomes. The works had only two things in common: Readers hungered for them, and each had been designated contraband by the Communist Party’s Central Leading Group for Propaganda and Ideology. For decades, Lam’s bookstore had thrived despite the ban — or maybe because of it. Operating just 20 miles from the mainland city of Shenzhen, in a tiny storefront sandwiched between a pharmacy and an upscale lingerie store, Causeway was a destination for Chinese tourists, seasoned local politicians and even, surreptitiously, Communist Party members themselves, anyone hoping for a peek inside the purges, intraparty feuding and silent coups that are scrubbed from official histories.

Why Laundromats Are the Hot New Place to Hang Out in Hong Kong
The New York Times

[…]

Washing their own clothes at a laundromat is a new experience for Hong Kong residents. The first self-service laundromat is believed to have opened only in 2014. Since then, the number has taken off; more than 180 laundromats had appeared by the beginning of this year, according to one estimate.

Why this proliferation of laundromats? The reason is Hong Kong’s increasingly acute shortage of affordable housing. As prices keep soaring in what is already the world’s most expensive property market, residents have been forced to squeeze into ever smaller apartments, leaving little room for washers and dryers.

As China tightens squeeze, soul searching for Hong Kong's democracy movement
Reuters

Hong Kong’s once thriving pro-democracy movement, weighed down by growing pessimism among its supporters over China’s ever-increasing control in the city, is facing a crisis of confidence about its future.

As China tightens its grip on Hong Kong, pro-democracy parties have been hit by the sidelining of key leaders and have been losing ground to a well-organized pro-Beijing camp.

See also:
Attacks against me may be intended to pave way for a tougher nat. security law, says embattled law prof. Benny Tai
Hong Kong Free Press

HK-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge components found drifting from artificial island, as authority claims it may be an ‘illusion’
Hong Kong Free Press

Components of the breakwater structure for the HK$120 billion Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge’s eastern artificial island have been found to have shifted in position.

A photo of the island just west of Hong Kong’s border, originally posted in a Facebook group of drone users, was widely-shared on Tuesday. It showed an uneven shore line as components were seen disconnected from the main structure.

The artificial island sits on top of a tunnel connecting to the western artificial island in the direction of Zhuhai and Macau.

MTR Corp. to investigate after new Express Rail Link train disconnects from tracks at depot
Hong Kong Free Press

The MTR Corporation has said it will investigate the derailment of a new Express Rail Link train at its depot, months before the new system is set to begin operations.

On Thursday morning, the company confirmed that staff had discovered that part of a rear cabin’s wheels had become disconnected from the tracks at the Shek Kong depot in New Territories at 9:15pm on Tuesday.

See also:
Bill committee meeting for controversial joint checkpoint bill cut short as lawmakers refuse to take part
Hong Kong Free Press

INFRASTRUCTURE

Across China: New infrastructure links rural China to prosperity
XinhuaNet

[…]

Poor transportation infrastructure has hampered development of many parts of rural China. As the country announced it will eradicate poverty by 2020, central and local governments have spent heavily on rural roads and bridges.

See also:
China's urban rail growth speeds up
XinhuaNet
Jiangsu to expand high-speed rail network
Gov.Cn
Highway network changes people's life in south China's Guangxi
XinhuaNet

Six officials suspended in $250m highway scandal
People’s Daily Online

Six officials were suspended from their posts for investigation after a quality issue was reported in a tunnel on the Zheqiao-Dachuan Highway in Northwest China’s Gansu province, according to the provincial transportation authority on Sunday.

[…]

As reported by CCTV, the Kaole Tunnel on the highway was originally designed to be constructed with two-layer reinforced steel bars, but it was built with only one layer, leaving a severe safety loophole. It had to be reinforced after the problem was discovered and the revamping was planned to be finished by Nov 28.

But the latest investigation reveals that the tunnel was only painted over by coating instead of being reinforced with steel bars.

HEALTH

China gives preferential tax rate for generic drugmakers
Reuters

China will offer preferential tax rates to generic drugmakers, setting corporate income tax for qualified high-tech firms at 15 percent, China’s cabinet said in a policy document on Tuesday.

The State Council also said it would draw up new incentives aimed at encouraging the development and production of generic drugs, a move it said would help safeguard public health, reduce medical bills and spur innovation.

The document said China would aim to create a system that encourages producers to copy “clinically necessary” drugs, including those in short supply and used to treat children, prevent major communicable diseases, or handle public health emergencies.

Newborns Sick With Sepsis at Center for New Moms
Sixth Tone
Latest incident points to lax hygiene at facilities where women ‘sit the month’ after childbirth.

Three babies at a private postnatal care center in northwestern China have been diagnosed with neonatal sepsis, a toxic condition resulting from the spread of bacteria, local media reported Monday. Another has shown symptoms of pneumonia, meaning that half of the seven families staying at the center now have sick children.

The Niannujiao Aiqin center in Yulin, Shaanxi province, is a private facility for new mothers. According to Chinese tradition, women are expected to spend one to two months recuperating and being cared for in bed after childbirth — a period called yuezi, or “sitting the month.” But because of high demand and a low entry barrier into the industry, the standard of care mothers and their newborns receive can be inconsistent.

Shanghai to upgrade and improve public toilets
Global Times

Shanghai Greenery and Public Sanitation Bureau will improve public toilets, addressing issues such as long queues, bad smells and lack of toilet paper, thepaper.cn reported Thursday.

ENVIRONMENT

China’s Bold Energy Vision
Project Syndicate
China’s proposed Global Energy Interconnection – based on renewables, ultra-high-voltage transmission, and an AI-powered smart grid – represents the boldest global initiative by any government to achieve the goals of the Paris climate agreement. It is a strategy fit for the scale of the most important challenge the world faces today.

The boldest plan to achieve the targets set by the 2015 Paris climate agreement comes from China. The Paris accord commits the world’s governments to keeping global warming to well below 2º Celsius (3.6º Fahrenheit) relative to the pre-industrial level. This can be accomplished mainly by shifting the world’s primary energy sources from carbon-based fossil fuels (coal, oil, and natural gas) to zero-carbon, renewable (wind, solar, hydro, geothermal, ocean, biomass), and nuclear energy by the year 2050. China’s Global Energy Interconnection (GEI) offers a breathtaking vision of how to achieve this energy transformation.

See also:
China reports better air quality in February
Gov.Cn

China customs seizes 110,000 T of smuggled waste in 2018: paper
Reuters

China’s customs authority has already seized 110,000 tonnes (122,356.5 tons) of smuggled solid waste this year and smashed 25 smuggling rings, state media said on Tuesday, as the country works to enforce a ban on overseas trash imposed last year.

China told the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2017 that it would stop accepting imports on 24 types of foreign waste, including paper and textiles, by the end of the year, and that it would eventually ban shipments of all waste products readily available from domestic sources.

See also:
Dumping garbage overseas is not the right way to go
e-China News Online

OTHER STORIES

China’s Communist Party Is Abandoning Workers
The New York Times

China is a sea of labor unrest. During the first 10 weeks of this year there were more than 400 publicly reported strikes, more than double the number during the comparable period last year. President Xi Jinping’s government has responded with a firm hand: Labor activists are being arrested and assaulted simply for demanding their wages.

As China’s rate of economic growth has slowed over the past few years, China Labour Bulletin, a Hong Kong-based organization, tracked a surge in reported strikes — most likely a small measure of all the actual strikes — from fewer than 200 in 2011 to 1,256 in 2017. Government data indicates a 38 percent increase in the number of labor dispute cases heard by Chinese courts, from 589,244 in 2011 to 813,589 in 2015.

See also:
100 Shanghai cleaners stage four-day rally over pay cuts as labour protests grow across China
South China Morning Post

Exodus of population from 5 major cities benefits 2nd-tier ones: experts
Global Times

Experts said the drop in permanent resident populations in five major Chinese cities in 2017 will help balance the allocation of labor resources in the country's second-tier cities.

[…]

However, […] the negative growth in the population in the cities won't necessary slow down or affect economic development. The population distribution, on the contrary, will balance the allocation of labor resources and make development more efficient.

Second-tier cities like Hangzhou, Chengdu and Wuhan are ramping up their efforts to lure more talent by offering attractive policies. These include lowering the threshold on household registration and providing house rental subsidiaries and entrepreneurship allowances.

Challenges remain for China's poverty relief fight: CPC Politburo
XinhuaNet

China still faces arduous tasks and challenges in its poverty alleviation campaign, and more hard endeavors should be made to fight this battle, according to a Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee Political Bureau statement.

[…]

China aims to eradicate absolute poverty by 2020. As of the end of 2017, the country had 30.46 million poor residents, compared with 98.99 million in 2012, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.

Hundreds arrested after police bust WeChat vice ring run in China and Malaysia
South China Morning Post
Gang used popular social media service to pimp out women, earning 100 million yuan last year

Chinese authorities have broken up an international prostitution ring that used the popular social media service WeChat to run its business.

A total of 349 people were arrested and more than 32 million yuan (US$5 million) seized from the gang in the southern megacity of Shenzhen, news website Oeeee.com reported on Tuesday.

The gang operated in mainland China and Malaysia and its business was largely conducted through WeChat, China’s most popular social media platform, according to a statement by Shenzhen police on Saturday that first disclosed the arrests.

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