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  1. Hooray finally Taiwan will be liberated from the imperialists! Go CCP go! https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-08-02/china-announces-military-drills-encircling-taiwan-from-aug-4-7-l6cc5ljn China Plans Four Days of Military Drills in Areas Encircling Taiwan - Beijing declares provocative show of force after Pelosi lands - Taiwan’s ruling party calls on China to be ‘responsible power’ By Sarah Zheng, 2 August 2022 at 22:29 GMT+7Updated on3 August 2022 at 00:12 GMT+7 China will conduct large-scale military drills and missile tests around Taiwan in a defiant show of force after House speaker Nancy Pelosi became the highest-ranking US politician to land on the island in a quarter century. Beijing announced six exclusion zones encircling Taiwan to facilitate live-fire military drills from Thursday to Sunday, with some of the areas crossing into the island’s territorial waters. The size and scope of the areas could set the stage for the Chinese military’s most provocative actions near Taiwan in decades. An aircraft carrying US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi arrives in Taipei, Aug. 2. Photographer: Lam Yik Fei/Bloomberg Separately, the People’s Liberation Army said exercises could start as soon as Tuesday, leaving open the possibility of military activities around Taiwan while Pelosi was visiting. The operations include “long-range live firing in the Taiwan Strait” and “regular-guided fire testing in the eastern waters” off Taiwan from Tuesday evening, the PLA said. “This action is targeted at the US’s shocking recent major escalation on the Taiwan issue, and serves as a serious warning to Taiwanese independence forces or those seeking independence,” Shi Yi, a spokesperson for the Eastern Theater Command, said in a statement. A map released by the Xinhua news agency in China details areas that will be used for military drills encircling Taiwan from Aug. 4-7. Source: Xinhua. During the military drills, “relevant ships and aircraft should not enter the above sea areas and airspaces during this period,” the official Xinhua News Agency said in a report late Tuesday, which gave coordinates for the exercises. The exercises highlight the risk that Taiwan tensions could exacerbate existing supply chain woes. The Taiwan Strait is the primary route for ships passing from China, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan to points west. Almost half of the global container fleet and 88% of the world’s largest ships by tonnage passed through the waterway this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Taiwan’s defense ministry said 21 Chinese military aircraft entered its air-defense identification zone Tuesday, compared to four the day before. The PLA has stepped up its flights near Taiwan in recent months, and ramps ups the show of force around key events, including visits by US poltiicians. Pelosi became the first US House speaker to visit the island in 25 years when her military aircraft arrived at Songshan Airport shortly before 11 p.m. local time. China considers Taiwan part of its territory and protests diplomatic visits to the democratic island. The planned drills would be the most serious show of force by China around Taiwan since at least 1995, when Beijing test-fired missiles into the sea near the island. That move was part of China’s protests against President Bill Clinton’s decision to let Taiwan’s first democratically elected president, Lee Teng-hui, visit the US. Back then, China also declared exclusion zones around target areas during the tests, disrupting shipping and air traffic. Pelosi plans to hold a joint press briefing with President Tsai Ing-wen at about 10:50 a.m. Wednesday, the Taiwan leader’s office said in a statement. She is expected to depart the island later that day to continue her Asia tour visiting US allies South Korea and Japan. Taiwan’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party called on China to exercise restraint and stop acts of military and political intimidation. China should “demonstrate the demeanor of a responsible power,” DPP spokeswoman Hsieh Pei-fen said in a statement late Tuesday. “No threatening remarks or provocative actions can reduce even slightly the determination of Taiwan and its international friends to defend democracy and freedom,” she added.
  2. 20 single-deck electric buses each from BYD and ST Engineering Land Systems 10 single-deck and 10 double-deck electric buses from Yutong The buses will progressively arrive in Singapore from next year, with the final batch delivered in 2020 Source: The Straits Times
  3. So I just read these two articles consecutively. Very reassuring lol. One wrong move, and there goes the whole of China all over again. ST: Despite official figures, Wuhan continues to find new asymptomatic coronavirus cases daily https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/east-asia/despite-official-figures-wuhan-continues-to-find-new-asymptomatic-coronavirus-cases?utm_medium=Social&utm_campaign=STFB&utm_source=Facebook&fbclid=IwAR2zuDoEfkCBbQWkN5vNLkOy_G0SmzFAiEaWILxFA7G44OexYRFN2uE_a38#Echobox=1585025147 CNA: COVID-19: China to lift travel curbs on Hubei province, including Wuhan https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asia/china-coovid19-coronavirus-lift-travel-curbs-hubei-wuhan-12570658?cid=FBcna Here's the two articles: ST: Despite official figures, Wuhan continues to find new asymptomatic coronavirus cases daily BEIJING (CAIXIN GLOBAL) - Despite official figures reporting few to no new domestic Covid-19 cases on the Chinese mainland in recent days, authorities continue to detect more infections, with those in the city at the heart of the country's outbreak often amounting to more than a dozen a day, Caixin has learned. According to a member of the infectious disease prevention and control team in Wuhan, every day the city continues to record "several or more than a dozen asymptomatic infected individuals", which are people that have tested positive for Covid-19, but do not feel ill and are excluded from published numbers. As of Sunday (March 22), Hubei province, where Wuhan is located, had four consecutive days of zero new "confirmed cases." The person, who asked not to be named, said that these asymptomatic people are found by tracing the contacts of others who are infected and by screening quarantine workers who are at high risk of infection, as opposed to en masse testing. "It's not possible at the moment to tell if transmission has stopped," the person said. As reported new locally transmitted cases of Covid-19 have dwindled, China has moved to send home the teams of medical personnel it brought in from across the country to assist hospital workers in Hubei. Between March 17 and 20, some 12,000 medical personnel departed the province. But the infectious disease prevention and control team has stayed behind, after Hubei's provincial Covid-19 task force on Friday ordered it to remain until central authorities say otherwise, Caixin has learned. According to a person at the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, this team of specialists was kept in Hubei because the central government continues to feel unease about the situation in the area, in part because of the presence of asymptomatic individuals. Since February, the Covid-19 prevention and control policies issued by the National Health Commission (NHC) have stipulated that asymptomatic infected individuals are not considered "confirmed cases" and that their numbers should not be released. However, given numerous studies suggesting that this group is infectious, the NHC has required that, once detected, they be subject to a 14-day quarantine and lab testing, recategorising them as "confirmed" cases only in the event they develop symptoms. Caixin previously obtained data that showed Northeast China's Heilongjiang province had 480 "confirmed cases" on Feb 25, but had also discovered 104 asymptomatic infected individuals that it left off the public tally. A March 6 preprint - a study that has not yet been peer-reviewed - by Chinese and American researchers suggested that asymptomatic cases and those with mild symptoms could account for at least 59 per cent of Covid-19 infections, potentially undetected and fuelling its spread. Considering Wuhan is the epicentre of China's epidemic, "there's still a lot that needs to be investigated and traced", the infectious disease prevention and control team member said. CNA: COVID-19: China to lift travel curbs on Hubei province, including Wuhan BEIJING: China's central Hubei province, where the deadly coronavirus first emerged late last year, is to lift travel curbs after two months under lockdown, local officials said on Tuesday (Mar 24). Healthy residents will be allowed to leave the province from midnight Tuesday. Travel restrictions for leaving Wuhan will be lifted on Apr 8, and people will be able to leave on the basis of using a health code The announcement as China reported 78 new cases of the deadly coronavirus on Tuesday, with the vast majority brought in from overseas as fears rise of a second wave of infections. The first new case in nearly a week was also reported in Wuhan - the epicentre where the virus emerged last year - along with three other local infections elsewhere in the country. Seven more people died, the National Health Commission said, all in Wuhan. There have now been more than 81,000 cases in China, and the death toll has reached 3,277. As the country tries to control imported cases, there are signs of normality beginning to return to Wuhan and the surrounding Hubei province. Travel and work restrictions in the province have been gradually eased and Chinese President Xi Jinping made his first visit to Wuhan earlier this month. Wuhan residents considered healthy can now move around the city and take public transport if they show identification, and they can also go back to work if they have a permit from their employer.
  4. Got these pics from a friend. Share with the rest here. Regards,
  5. Xi Jinping signals intent to remain in power by revealing politburo with no successor https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/oct/25/xi-jinping-signals-intent-power-successor-politburo-china China’s president unveils his all-male cabinet, but crucially no member is young enough to take the reins from Xi at the end of his second term Xi Jinping has kicked off his second term as leader of the world’s second largest economy, vowing to spearhead the “great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation” and signalling his intent to tower over Chinese politics for decades to come. At just before noon on Wednesday, Xi unveiled the new line-up of China’s top ruling council – the Communist party’s politburo standing committee – leading six besuited comrades out into a blaze of camera flashes in the Great Hall of the People. “Here, on behalf of the newly elected central leadership, I wish to express our heartfelt thanks to all other members of the party for the trust they have placed in us. We will work diligently to meet our duty, fulfil our mission and be worthy of their trust,” Xi said in a 21-minute address that marks the formal start of his second term. Crucially, the all-male group contained no potential successor, since none of its five new members – all aged between 60 and 67 – is young enough to take the reins from Xi after the end of his second term, in 2022, and to then rule for the customary decade. Such is the secrecy that cloaks Chinese politics that the identities of the standing committee’s incoming members were known only as Xi escorted them out onto a scarlet-carpeted stage. Joining Xi and premier Li Keqiang on the elite committee are: Li Zhanshu, 67, Han Zheng, 63, Zhao Leji, 60, Wang Yang, 62 and Wang Huning, 62. “I still can’t get over the fact how the world’s second largest economy, which is declaring this new role of global leadership, is nearly as opaque as the North Korean political system,” said Jude Blanchette, an expert in Chinese politics from New York’s Conference Board research group. “I just find that absolutely striking and in a way almost unacceptable for a system that wants to play such a fundamental role in guiding and shaping the 21st century.” China’s propaganda apparatus has touted this week’s political show as an example of openness and transparency. However, a number of major western news organisations whose coverage of Xi’s rule has irked Beijing were excluded from Wednesday’s event without explanation including the BBC, the Financial Times, the Economist, the New York Times and the Guardian. In his address, Xi outlined his vision for what he called China’s “new era”, an era in which an emboldened and purified Communist party would play an even more prominent role in returning the country to its former glories. “It is my conviction that the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation will become a reality,” he said, urging his party to become “the backbone of our nation.” “We should never entertain the idea of taking a breather or halting our steps. Instead, we must continue to rid ourselves of any virus that erodes the party’s fabric, make great efforts to foster a healthy political environment of integrity and generate waves of positive energy throughout our party which can build into a mighty nationwide force driving China’s development and progress.” Xi also pledged “a resolute push” to eradicate poverty, to “open China still wider to the world” and hinted at the more assertive and muscular role Beijing is expected to seek on the world stage in the years ahead. “With confidence and pride the Chinese people will be steadfast in upholding our country’s sovereignty, security and development interests,” he said. The unveiling of China’s new ruling council came one day after the end of the 19th party congress, a week-long political summit at which Xi established himself as the country’s most dominant leader since its revolutionary founder Mao Zedong. On Tuesday, Xi’s eponymous political philosophy was enshrined in the party’s constitution alongside those of Mao and Deng Xiaoping, the architect of China’s economic opening to the world. Experts say that momentous and highly symbolic achievement puts Xi in a virtually unassailable position at the pinnacle of the 89 million member organisation. Having failed to anoint a successor, he is now likely to be calling the shots in Chinese politics well into the 2030s. With Xi now entering his second, although perhaps no longer final five-year term, thoughts are turning to what the next stage of the Xi era might hold. Supporters claim that having used a ferocious anti-corruption campaign to purge rivals and consolidate his grip over the party during his first five-year term, Xi will now turn his mind to comprehensive reforms of China’s economy. “I think the real reform just began,” said Wang Wen, a pro-establishment scholar from a thinktank linked to Renmin University. Wang argued that Xi would enter his second term with “much more authority” and a greater ability to implement his blueprint for China. Such optimism was echoed in China’s party-run media on Wednesday as cadres lined up to heap praise on their all-powerful leader. “We firmly believe that if people all over the country roll up their sleeves under the guidance of Xi’s Thought … we will move steadily into the future with the irresistible force of a high-speed train,” Chen Meifang, a Shanghai railway official, was quoted astelling the Beijing Daily. However, such hopefulness is widely disputed. Blanchette said he expected to see a “super-sized version” of Xi’s first-term policies in his second stint, as China’s leader pursued what he saw as his “program of Chinese greatness”. That would mean accelerating efforts to build a modern, battle-ready military that could begin to push the United States further and further out of what China saw as its Pacific backyard; an increasingly assertive foreign policy in regions such as the South and East China seas; and continued efforts to promote a hi-tech economic revolution by championing huge companies that were either controlled or heavily aligned with the state. It would also mean that the Communist party – and the Communist party only – would continue to lay down the law, in all aspects of Chinese society. In an editorial celebrating the start of Xi’s “new era” on Wednesday, the People’s Daily, the party’s mouthpiece, argued: “History has shown and will continue to show that without the leadership of the Chinese Communist party, the idea of national rejuvenation is a fantasy.” “We should hunker in for a long winter of tight political control,” Blanchette predicted. We should hunker in for a long winter of tight political control Jude Blanchette Elizabeth Economy, the director for Asia studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, said she saw this week’s congress “as affirmation of the direction in which Xi has already been moving the party as opposed to a point at which now we are going to see the real Xi Jinping and his real reforms emerge”. She added: “I think what we are going to see is an intensification along the same lines.” Economy balked at the suggestion that Xi – whose first term has witnessed an unusually fierce crackdown on party opponents and human rights – might suddenly emerge as a political reformer. “I don’t think a crypto-liberal would do what he has been doing over the past five years. I don’t think a crypto-liberal lets Liu Xiaobo die in jail, and the arrests and the intensification of the attacks on the [human rights] lawyers. That is not a crypto-liberal,” she said. Blanchette said Xi had shown a remarkable “mastery of the political system” in China during his first term in power: “The second question though is does that mean he has an omniscience or an omnipotence to deal with all the significant challenges that China is facing? “There is a huge list of challenges that Xi Jinping has to deal with,” he added, pointing to a gradually slowing economy, a looming debt crisis and the possibility of a nuclear conflagration on its doorstep. “He now has the power to do it. But how he deals with these challenges will be one of the most important indicators of whether or not he is able to stay on for the term that he feels he deserves.” Additional reporting by Wang Zhen. What 'Xi Jinping Thought' Stands For https://www.forbes.com/sites/salvatorebabones/2017/10/22/what-does-xi-jinping-thought-mean-and-how-does-it-compare-to-america-first/#2bfee5ab3262 Xi Jinping is universally regarded as China's most powerful leader since Deng Xiaoping, and perhaps since Mao Zedong. Both Deng and Mao left their marks in the charter of the Communist Party of China, and the rumor is that Xi will be their first successor to do the same. Mao's "mass line" and Deng's "seeking truth from facts" have become official tenets of Communist Party dogma. Xi's "socialism with Chinese characteristics for a new era" may soon join these august concepts as official truth. But just what does "Xi Jinping Thought" really consist of? To answer that question, it helps to compare Xi's governing principles to those of the four preceding "paramount leaders" of China's Communist Party. Xi versus Mao Xi Jinping is most often compared to Mao Zedong, China's revolutionary leader, red emperor and communist theologian. Mao's political maxims were collected in the Little Red Book once read by leftist college students and Latin American guerillas. Mao Zedong thought is not all that bad, if you happen to be planning a people's revolution to overthrow your government. Unlike Lenin and most European Marxists, Mao taught that revolutions had to come from below. And unlike most revolutionaries, he still fought to overthrow the government even when he was the government. The infamous Cultural Revolution that rocked Chinese society from 1966-1976 was the result. Xi is no revolutionary, and he is certainly no Mao. Xi'sChinese Dream is a "moderately prosperous society," not a communist utopia. Xi does talk a lot about "national rejuvenation," but that's really just a way to avoid using the Western word for what he really means: renaissance. Xi's Chinese renaissance is all about China's space program, high speed rail network and high technology parks. But a real Chinese renaissance requires the reversal of China's long-term brain drain to the United States and other English-speaking countries. The problem? Most Chinese scientists are unwilling to give up their tenured positions overseas to take a chance on a permanent return to China. Barring a reversal of epic proportions, in 2021 Xi will preside over the centenary of the Chinese Communist Party. That will be as good a time as any to finally lay Mao Zedong Thought to rest for good. If Xi has his way, they may just take the opportunity to bury Mao along with it. He's been waiting long enough. Xi versus Deng Soon after the death of Mao, his long-time frenemy Deng Xiaoping put paid to the Cultural Revolution and started China on the path to opening and reform that it has followed for the last 40 years. Famous for saying that it was OK for some people to get rich before others, Deng was repeatedly condemned by Mao as a "capitalist roader" -- which, as soon as Mao died, is exactly what he turned out to be. To facilitate his economic reform agenda, Deng urged that China should "keep a low profile" in international affairs, biding its time while building its strength. Xi'sstrive for achievement strategy couldn't be more different. In his landmark Communist Party Congress speech, Xi pledged that China would have a "world class" military by 2050, in line with his policy of relentless maritime expansion in the South China Sea. Xi has departed radically from Deng's advice on foreign policy, but what Xi shares with Deng is a staunchly conservative preference for order over chaos. Deng ruthlessly suppressed the Tiananmen Square democracy movement in order to preserve the rule of the Communist Party. Xi has much more subtly turned the screws on political dissent using the more discriminating but perhaps more effective tools of online surveillanceand selective imprisonment. As the ever-quotable Deng said himself, "it doesn't matter whether the cat is black or white, as long as it catches mice." Xi versus Jiang Deng Xiaoing's successor Jiang Zemin is perhaps best remembered for the fact that everything done under his leadership was done "with Chinese characteristics." Deng may have coined the phrase "socialism with Chinese characteristics" to justify his introduction of the market into China's planned economy, but under Jiangthe phrase became a standing joke. Jiang Zemin codified these Chinese characteristics into the "Three Represents": the idea that in addition to the poor, the Communist Party of China would also represent China's business and cultural elites. Under Xi, this has evolved into the Two Represents, and if China's new rich get their way it may soon degenerate back into a novel kind of One Represent. Xi versus Hu Hu Jintao's major contribution to the intellectual life of the Communist Party was to bring Confucius back into the fold. Long prescribed under Mao as the reactionary idol of the pre-revolutionary patriarchy, today Confucius is back in China, with no small thanks to Hu, who rehabilitated Confucian thought, reopened Confucian temples, and chartered the Confucius Institutes to become China's cultural ambassadors to the world. Hu's trademark slogan was the "harmonious society" -- i.e., trust the government and don't complain and everyone can live in harmony. No word on what thenotoriously cranky sage, who got himself successively kicked out of ten different countries for criticizing their poor leadership, might have thought of this. Hu later extended the harmonious society to the harmonious world (i.e., trust China and don't complain and the world can live in harmony). With his One Belt, One Road expansionism and South China Sea island building, Xi seems keen to continue Hu's expansive foreign policy program, only with even less emphasis on the "harmonious" part of the equation. "Party First" Xi Jinping Thought, in a nutshell, seems to boil down to something resembling "America First, with Chinese Characteristics." By all accounts, Xi and U.S. President Donald Trump got along surprisingly well at their first meeting in April, perhaps because at a level deeper than mere speech they spoke the same language. If Xi's political philosophy isn't exactly China First, it is something close to it but at the same time distinctively Chinese: something like "Party First." And putting the interests of the Communist Party first is one thing he shares with all of his predecessors. Like Deng, Xi is a pragmatist who will stay on the capitalist road so long as it leads to much greater wealth than any other. Like Jiang, he is very happy to lead a ruling party dominated by his country's business elite. Like his immediate predecessor Hu, he is crafty enough to use patriotism and ethnic pride as tools to keep ordinary Chinese (if not necessarily China's minority groups) on his side. And like Mao, Xi seems to be ruthless enough to succeed in making his own Chinese Dream a reality. As long as he continues to put the Party first, Xi is likely to maintain his grip on power -- and the Party's loyalty. And as long as the Party puts Xi first, he is likely to have no cause to complain. Xi Jinping Thought may not sell as many books as Mao's did, but come 2021 it will be Xi who sets the course for the next 100 years of the Communist Party of China.
  6. I think VN, PRC and PHP are all indulging in wishful thinking
  7. Hi Guys , planning to make a short trip to China Qingdao or Yunnan like 5 days 4 night with family . As this is my first trip to China , can you help to advise on the itinery and also any recommendation of private tours , thanks in advance
  8. US assessing reported leak at Chinese nuclear power facility: https://edition.cnn.com/2021/06/14/politics/china-nuclear-reactor-leak-us-monitoring/index.html
  9. https://asia.nikkei.com/Spotlight/The-Big-Story/Road-to-nowhere-China-s-Belt-and-Road-Initiative-at-tipping-point?utm_campaign=GL_asia_daily&utm_medium=email&utm_source=NA_newsletter&utm_content=article_link&del_type=1&pub_date=20220810190000&seq_num=2&si=44594 Road to nowhere: China’s Belt and Road Initiative at Tipping Point Pakistan, Sri Lanka debt crises threaten Beijing's regional influence By Adnan Aamir, Marwaan Macan-Markar, Shaun Turton and Cissy Zhou,AUGUST 10, 2022 The drive to Pakistan’s port of Gwadar takes seven and a half hours from Karachi via the Makran coastal highway. Much of the 600-km route is deserted, with no restaurants, restrooms or even fuel stations. On a recent journey, around 200 vehicles in total could be counted during the entire drive. Arriving in the city on Pakistan’s Indian Ocean coast, Chinese and Pakistani flags are ubiquitous, and Chinese-financed construction projects loom, but the city is spookily devoid of economic activity. Near the seafront, broad avenues are curiously empty of vehicles. Inside the city center, the roads are narrow, congested and covered with foul smelling drain water, with few multistory buildings aside from the Chinese-built port compound. It is hard to visualize Gwadar as the launch pad of a new global paradigm, but that is what Beijing would have the world believe. Nine years ago it was plucked out of obscurity -- a backwater in Pakistan’s restive Balochistan region -- and presented as China’s commercial window onto the Indian Ocean, a hub for regional integration under the Belt and Road Initiative, which was to harness the juggernaut of the Chinese economy to the goal of Asian economic development. The BRI is an audacious program of lending, aid and infrastructure contracts totaling over $880 billion, according to the American Enterprise Institute. The initiative, which includes pledges to 149 countries, aims to promote Chinese-led regional integration -- and sew economic dependence on Beijing. First announced in a speech by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013 as the “Silk Road,” the BRI was fleshed out in April 2015 with the announcement of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), stretching from Gwadar to the Chinese city of Kashgar, in Xinjiang. The CPEC showcased the China-Pakistan “all-weather friendship” with $46 billion in pledged funds that has since grown to $50 billion. It was to be the backbone of the now renamed Belt and Road Initiative. When the CPEC agreements were signed, Pakistan’s government called Gwadar “the economic future of Pakistan,” an alternative to Dubai that would turn around the country’s economic fortunes. The government also claimed that Gwadar’s gross domestic product would increase from an estimated $430 million in 2017 to $30 billion by 2050, and produce 1.2 million jobs for a population that currently stands at 90,000. But today, with just a couple of months until the 20th Chinese Communist Party Congress in Beijing, the CPEC is on the verge of crisis, as is the BRI itself. Many headline projects have either failed to get off the ground or produced mixed to poor results. This week, Nikkei Asia begins a three-part series, a comprehensive effort to take stock of the BRI nearly a decade after it began. Today, the project’s initial optimism has been replaced by disappointment over mismanagement, debt crises and corruption that have left many projects unfinished or incapable of fulfilling their promised potential. Nikkei Asia journalists have traveled to focal points of BRI investment over the last decade – from Gwadar to Sihanoukville and Colombo to Kuala Lumpur. Their reporting illustrates the already mature legacy of China’s far-reaching efforts to increase its global influence. Unmet promises The lack of discernible economic activity in Gwadar underlines a tough reality: Nearly eight years after China announced a breathtaking list of development projects in the city -- a new airport, the Gwadar Free Zone, a 300-megawatt coal power plant and a water desalination plant -- none of these have been completed and what investment there has done little to create growth or an economy. Instead, stringent security measures strangle the local fishing industry, which once accounted for 70% of the local economy. The same security measures also sharply curtailed lucrative informal trading with nearby Iran. Despite these security concerns, however, the city continues to import electricity from its neighbor, which regularly shuts down the supply under different pretexts of maintenance. A 300-MW power plant was to be built in Gwadar but so far the work has not started. The power shortage is arguably the biggest stumbling block for any meaningful development there. Adding to this is a chronic water shortage that creates unrest every summer as the government trucks in water for residents. There is a small desalination plant, but it is run only for the benefit of the Chinese workers. Seen through a strategic lens, Gwadar is of seismic importance to China as a window into the Indian Ocean. Western experts have said they believe it could eventually become a Chinese naval base, something both countries heatedly deny. But this top-down logic of the Gwadar project has clearly neglected the bottom -- increasingly dissatisfied locals. The port is derelict owing to power cuts and other shortages. Protests broke out in December over fishing rights, and at least one major Chinese investor has reportedly exited. Michael Kugelman, deputy director of the Asia program at the Wilson Center in Washington, says Gwadar is a victim of outsized expectations. “There was an assumption that new infusions of Chinese capital and technology would magically develop Gwadar into a world-class port, even though previous efforts to achieve similar goals had fallen far short,” he said. Grand strategy When it launched the BRI in 2013, Beijing’s main motivations were domestic, according to Gong Chen, founder of Beijing-based think tank Anbound, who advised the central government about BRI in the early days. Chen told Nikkei that, when the concept was first presented to policymakers, its primary drivers were China's severely aging population, the difficulty of recruiting workers in the Pearl River Delta, China's desire to expand its market scale and an overhang of excess capacity in many economic sectors. But the BRI could not help but be seen as the beginning of a new Chinese-led geopolitical order in Asia, just as the Marshall Plan heralded the arrival of the U.S.-led Atlantic project in Europe. Now it is an open question whether the BRI is a net economic benefit -- or even, in many cases, a liability for its chief recipients. Part of the problem is that, while BRI investment is portrayed as aid, it is most often not. The initiative is intended to make money for Chinese banks and infrastructure companies -- funded mainly by loans and energy supply agreements that in many cases have outrun their recipients’ ability to pay. Millions of Pakistanis, for example, are subject to electricity blackouts every day due to a dispute over fees from Chinese coal-fired power stations. In Sri Lanka, another focal point of the BRI, Chinese loans triggered an infrastructure boom but also a debt overhang that arguably helped push the country into its first debt default in May and drove former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa from power. Many Sri Lankans resent what they see as China’s role in using its largesse to prop up a corrupt elite around Rajapaksa. They are demanding an end to the corruption and mismanagement that has left millions of people facing acute shortages of food, fuel and medicine. In Cambodia, while Beijing-backed loans have flowed to infrastructure like roads, bridges and power plants, a shadow stream of speculative investment from private Chinese investors has poured in and driven unsustainable development that has displaced communities. A large amount of the investment surrounded an online gambling industry that was later banned by Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, who acknowledged the sector’s ties to criminality. Meanwhile in China, the state banks that are lending to the BRI are increasingly troubled by bad debts. $52 billion worth of loans from Chinese institutions had to be renegotiated in 2020 and 2021. According to data collected by Rhodium Group, a New York-based economic research company, the total value of loans from Chinese institutions that had to be renegotiated in 2020 and 2021 rose by $36 billion from the previous two years, surging to $52 billion. That may be just the tip of a submerged iceberg of debt. Research published last year by AidData, an international development research lab based at the College of William & Mary in Virginia, suggested scores of BRI countries together might have $385 billion in “hidden debts” or undisclosed liabilities that governments might be obliged to pay. Chen of think tank Anbound says recipient countries are refusing to repay debt and that this is "the most worrying” challenge facing the grand undertaking. “Widespread debt evasion and avoidance would have a significant impact on China's financial stability,” he said, “and we are concerned that some countries may try to avoid paying back their debt by utilizing geopolitics and the ideological competition between East and West.” Life in a bubble Power and water shortages in Gwadar have fed local discontent. But perhaps the worst problem associated with the Chinese construction boom is, oddly, joblessness. While the CPEC aimed ambitiously to create 1.2 million jobs, the city of 90,000 has not seen many of these materialize. Indeed, much of the labor for the Chinese-led projects is imported from China. Chinese workers are forbidden from mixing with locals and restricted to a small compound, where everything is imported, and local merchants have not benefited from the new arrivals. “Chinese even bring their tissue papers from China and do not buy anything from the local markets of Gwadar,” said Adam Qadir, a local dealer of automobile oil. “The presence of [the] Chinese is not contributing to the local economy of Gwadar.” Adam Qadir, an automobile oil dealer from Gwadar The local fishing industry, which had accounted for 70% of the economy, has been devastated by Chinese trawlers fishing in the waters off Gwadar and taking their catches to Karachi. Younis Anwar Baloch, general secretary of the Gwadar Fishermen Alliance, told Nikkei Asia that a new highway has blocked the entry of fishermen into the East Bay, making it difficult for local fishermen to get their boats out. They are also prevented by security regulations from fishing near the port. As a result, eight out of 42 fish-processing factories in Gwadar have closed down, according to interviews with fishermen and Bahram Baloch, a local journalist covering economic issues. Tensions over fishing boiled over in November and December after an Islamist religious cleric organized a monthlong sit-in outside the main gate of Gwadar port. Protestors demanded an end to deep sea fish trawling, a reduction in the number of security checkpoints, that local men be allowed to fish near the port and that informal trade with Iran be restarted. The cleric’s protest completely paralyzed port activity in the town, and the government eventually accepted many of his demands. Locals mostly resent the Chinese because of what are seen as excessive security arrangements – and not just in the fishing industry. “We are made to wait for hours due to road closures for security reasons, whenever there is a high-profile visit.” A Gwadar citizen “The government had decided to fence Gwadar with barbed wire for security, and this would have separated people living in different parts of Gwadar,” a resident of Gwadar told Nikkei. Then there are the protests over water. Although the water problem has been resolved this summer, locals say the solution is temporary, with the government relying on nearby dams for water. If it rains less than expected next year, protesters will again be on the streets, locals interviewed by Nikkei say. Moreover, Baloch separatist militants (a 2017 census found the Baloch to represent 56% of the population of Balochistan) recently have mounted many attacks on Chinese interests in the region. As a consequence, Gwadar is considered insecure and thus heavily militarized. To top it off, Gwadar port is not fully functional as it still lacks basic infrastructure such as water and power, which remain at least two years away, locals say. As a result, the movement of cargo is limited. The absence of these services -- not to mention the lack of a railway connecting to the rest of the country -- limits the scope for investment. The attacks by Baloch insurgents have further discouraged investment. Pakistan’s new government under Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif is making a concerted effort to revive the CPEC. Mohammad Aslam Bhootani, who is one of Sharif’s principal advisers on Gwadar, said the government has controlled the security situation to a greater extent and things are moving in the right direction. “[The prime minister] has called meetings in Gwadar and reprimanded officials for the slow pace of work in Gwadar, which will change the things now,” Bhootani told Nikkei. But it might be too late. One apparent casualty is HK Sun Corp., the first Chinese company to set up shop in Gwadar. It handled recycling work at the port. According to a number of locals as well as several news reports, it has left Gwadar due to economic unviability. The Twitter account of the China Overseas Ports Holding Company (COPHC), denied the news that HK Sun Corp. has wound up operations in Gwadar. Jeremy Garlick, an associate professor of international relations and China studies at Prague University of Economics and Business, believes that the Chinese have realized Gwadar is not viable as a commercial port and not worth developing. “Due to lack of commercial viability and local resistance, the Chinese have been reluctant to invest as much -- or as quickly -- in Gwadar as was expected,” Garlick told Nikkei. However, Garlick says Chinese interest will continue to be driven by strategy. “[Gwadar] port may be of use to [Beijing] in the long run due to its relatively strategic position near the Strait of Hormuz,” he said. “So far the Chinese have no specific use for Gwadar, and it is not used by Chinese military vessels as far as we know.” Garlick added that in the future competition for resources could heat up, and a day might come when Gwadar will serve a purpose as a Chinese base of some kind. “This is why the Chinese are not likely to withdraw [from Gwadar],” Garlick said. Know when to fold ’em BRI projects are also struggling in Cambodia -- one of China’s key allies in Southeast Asia. The coastal city of Sihanoukville starkly highlights the woes of Chinese investment in the country. Official and illicit funds from the giant neighbor to the north have mixed destructively with Phnom Penh’s corrupt ruling elite. On the city’s outskirts sits one of three officially identified “key” Belt and Road projects: the Sihanoukville Special Economic Zone. Spanning more than 11 sq. km, it houses more than 170 factories reportedly employing some 30,000 people, largely focused on textiles and apparel, luggage, leather goods, and wood products. Still under development, the joint venture is intended to accommodate up to 300 factories and between 80,000 to 100,000 workers when completed. Power is drawn from nearby China-funded coal plants, and soon another BRI project -- a $2 billion expressway -- will link the area with the capital, Phnom Penh. Sihanoukville demonstrates the extent to which money from China has transformed Cambodia during the past 15 years. China is Cambodia’s largest source of foreign direct investment, and its largest trading partner. Billions of dollars in loans from state banks have been funneled into much-needed roads, bridges, irrigation works, agricultural projects and power plants, with China-bankrolled hydro, coal and solar accounting for 66% of the energy generated in the country. Such infrastructure underpins Cambodia’s most successful industry: its $10 billion apparel and footwear export sector. Cambodia's clothing industry is dominated by Chinese-owned factories that import materials from China, assemble them, then ship finished products, mostly to Europe and the United States. It is not the manufacturing industry, however, that transformed Sihanoukville. Alongside state-backed spending, a parallel flow of loosely regulated private, often illicit, capital has boomed, leading to the uncontrolled and rapid development of areas associated with online gambling and criminal gangs who use trafficked labor to perpetrate international web-based scams. China's gambling companies brought billions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of workers to what had historically been a popular seaside travel destination. The ensuing construction boom burst in 2019 when Prime Minister Hun Sen banned online gambling, pointing to the sector’s ties to scams and criminality. Hun Sen’s move was widely seen as the result of pressure from Beijing, which is actively cracking down on illicit capital outflows including those linked to gambling. To this day, more than 1,000 unfinished buildings sprawl throughout Sihanoukville, many abandoned. This collapse was compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic. Many sites in the city are now hot spots for criminal gangs running online scams, creating an environment where Chinese investors now worry about their security. Researcher Ivan Franceschini, who has studied the transformation of Sihanoukville, says the city’s development highlights the interplay between Chinese state-backed projects and private capital from Chinese investors. “The two categories are not entirely separate: First, state-backed investment in infrastructure has facilitated and encouraged the inflow of private investment; second, some private projects have subcontracted construction to Chinese state-owned companies,” said Franceschini, a postdoctoral fellow at the Australian National University. “However, while these overlaps should not be ignored, it is important not to lose perspective and subsume all Chinese investment in the city, including the shadiest gambling and scamming operations that have made headlines in the past few years, under one single agenda linked to the Chinese party-state.” White elephants Out on the Indian Ocean, the BRI has played another unwanted role. In Sri Lanka, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa fled the country in July after demonstrators angry at a deepening economic crisis stormed his official residence. While there were bigger facets to this than the BRI, the events severely damaged the island’s image as a poster child for Chinese investment. Sri Lanka’s Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport opened to much fanfare in 2013 but has barely been used since. “The World’s Emptiest International Airport,” as it was once dubbed, has other problems: Suren Ratwatte, former chief executive officer of SriLankan Airlines, told Nikkei that the airport was built on a traditional elephant migration route. “The airport has a serious problem with elephants, wild boar, peacocks … all of which can seriously damage an aircraft.” Suren Ratwatte, former executive officer of SriLankan Airlines A financial problem also persists as Sri Lanka struggles to settle the $190 million loan from China Exim Bank for the airport. The loan forms a large chunk of the debt that the country effectively defaulted on in May. Chinese loans triggered an infrastructure boom in Sri Lanka during the final years of the South Asian nation’s nearly 30-year ethnic conflict between the government and Tamil separatist rebels. After the war ended, in May 2009, the debt from China Exim Bank loomed large. Muscular, modern buildings rose out of a remote landscape along the island’s southern coast, with thick, shrub forests where wild elephants, boar and monkeys roamed. There was little mystery to why Chinese money was transforming this rural outpost -- it was the home turf of then-President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who had emerged as the country’s most popular politician on the back of winning the war. These projects included the new airport at Mattala and a new port at Hambantota, both of which have been added to the wider portfolio of China’s debt-funded BRI projects across Sri Lanka. Two Sri Lankan economists who have crunched the numbers estimate that Beijing’s total public and publicly guaranteed (PPG) debt through the China Exim Bank and China Development Bank between 2001 and 2021 to be close to $9.95 billion, with debt service repayments of $4.5 billion in the same period. BRI projects are now under increased scrutiny after Sri Lanka declared itself officially bankrupt in July. That month, the island failed for the first time to service a foreign debt, paying $78.13 million in interest for a $1.25 billion international sovereign bond. By then, the $81 billion economy was saddled with a staggering $51 billion in outstanding external debt. Sri Lankan defenders of the BRI dismiss the view of Chinese debt sinking the island’s economy as barbs leveled with geopolitical motives. “The West and India see China’s lending practices as ‘debt-trap diplomacy,’” said Maya Majueran, director of BRI Sri Lanka, an independent business consultancy. “There is no evidence to prove that China aims to deliberately push poor countries into debt.” Maya Majueran, director of consultancy BRI Sri Lanka A similar controversy once swirled around the $1.5 billion Hambantota port, built with five China Exim Bank loans over two phases. It was as empty as the Mattala Airport during its first seven years, seeing only 170 cargo ships drop anchor, despite straddling one of the busiest shipping lanes in the Indian Ocean. But its economic fortunes changed by 2018, after the Sri Lankan government ditched the national port operator and offered the port on a 99-year-lease in a $1.1 billion public-private partnership deal, giving China Merchants Port Holdings an 85% stake. The China Merchants Port deal became a geopolitical lightning rod, with Western governments, led by the U.S., pointing at the port as an example of a debt-for-equity swap. Hambantota International Port has come to represent China’s “debt diplomacy.” Yet recent revelations by a Sri Lankan parliamentary committee suggest otherwise, indicating that Sri Lanka is still paying off this debt. Last year, the HIP handled 2.3 million metric tons of cargo, a 38% jump from the previous year, according to the port’s records. The weight of Chinese debt, which funded controversial BRI projects, has placed Beijing’s premier lending banks in the crosshairs. Thilina Panduwawala, head of economic research at Frontier Research, a Colombo-based consultancy said domestic political considerations have driven most of this infrastructure growth, and “the country is paying a price for (this) political rush.” Professor Zhu Jianrong, a Chinese political scholar at Tokyo's Toyo Gakuen University, rejected the notion that China went in with the intent of entrapping the country with debt, noting that it was the Sri Lankan government that first approached China for the development. He also pointed to a clause in the contract between the two nations that states that military use of the port is banned. Etsuyo Arai, director of the South Asian Studies Group at JETRO's Institute of Developing Economies, said that while Sri Lanka's large debt to China triggered the current crisis, the biggest chunk of Sri Lanka's repayment obligations were to international sovereign bonds and not to China. "Sri Lanka's woes are more about the country's economic mismanagement rather than because of China," she said. Shrinking to fit Chen of Beijing-based think tank Anbound said China has already started to be more cautious about new BRI projects. If a project is too risky, he said, China’s attitude will immediately tend to be conservative. Chen told Nikkei: “State-owned companies are mentioning less and less about financial expansion along BRI, and what they are mentioning more now is, will you get your money back for this project?” “The primary issue now is stability, not growth.” Chen Gong, founder of Beijing-based think tank Anbound Although the overall development environment around the BRI has worsened, one cannot expect the Chinese government to come out and announce it won't stay the course, Chen told Nikkei. The BRI, after all, has been a top priority for China, he noted. Whether it remains so can only be determined after the 20th Party Congress scheduled for this fall. “It is inevitable that the BRI will be adjusted,” Chen said. “And it may shrink from a strategic vision of economic cooperation across land and sea to a regional multilateral cooperation initiative, or completely abandoned on a gradual basis -- again depending on the top leader's will.”
  10. Trump imposes 25% tariff on Chinese goodshttps://www.bbc.com/news/business-44498484?SThisFB
  11. SEOUL, June 12 (Yonhap) -- A former senior executive of Samsung Electronics Co. has been arrested and indicted for stealing the chip giant's trade secrets to build a copycat chip plant in China, prosecutors said Monday. The 65-year-old former executive, whose name is withheld, was charged with violating the industrial technology protection and unfair competition prevention laws, according to the Suwon District Prosecutors Office. He is accused of attempting to build a complete copy of Samsung's semiconductor factory in China after illegally acquiring the company's confidential data, including chip plant basic engineering data (BED) and process layout and design drawings, from August 2018 to 2019. The prosecution also indicted six other people -- one employee of a Samsung Electronics subcontractor and five employees of a Chinese chipmaker established by the former executive -- without detention on charges of colluding in the alleged technology leak. BED is a technology needed to ensure impurities do not exist in semiconductor manufacturing facilities. Process layout contains information on the floor plan and dimension of a chip plant's eight core processes for semiconductor production. Such trade secrets essential for the manufacturing of sub-30-nano DRAM and NAND flash chips are considered national core technologies. According to prosecutors, the former executive had attempted to use the stolen technologies and data to build a copy of Samsung Electronics chip plant just 1.5 kilometers away from the company's chip plant in Xian, western China. But his plan failed to materialize as a Taiwanese company broke its promise to invest 8 trillion won (US$6.2 billion) in the project, they said. Instead, the former executive reportedly received an investment worth 460 billion won from Chinese investors and produced trial products from a chip manufacturing plant built on the basis of Samsung technology in Chengdu last year. His Chinese chip plant is known to have hired about 200 people from Samsung and SK hynix Inc. He allegedly instructed his employees to obtain and use Samsung's semiconductor design data and other trade secrets and they participated in the crime according to his instructions, prosecutors said, estimating Samsung suffered damage of at least 300 billion won due to the technology leaks. https://en.yna.co.kr/view/AEN20230612005100315
  12. https://asia.nikkei.com/static/vdata/infographics/china-spends-more-on-controlling-its-1-dot-4bn-people-than-on-defense/ China spends more on controlling its 1.4bn people than on defense Silencing dissent also nips innovation in the bud Aug. 29, 2022 It emerged in the central Chinese province of Henan in June that local authorities had abused an anti-COVID app to contain the movements of more than 1,300 people. Yang, who lives in Shandong Province, is one of them. On the morning of June 13, Yang arrived on a night train at his destination, Zhengzhou, the capital of Henan. As the train approached the station, he could not believe his eyes as his "health code" smartphone app turned red. In China, authorities track the location of citizens. If they are suspected of having come into contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, their health code apps turn red and they face strict restrictions on their movements. Yang had no recollection of getting close to any infected person. But upon arrival at the station, he got another surprise: Officials told him he must leave Henan, and they took him away. Yang was visiting Henan to withdraw 230,000 yuan ($34,000) from a local bank. In Henan, multiple banks had refused to allow withdrawals since April, sparking a flood of protests by depositors. Local authorities feared that this would be viewed by the central government as a failure if the demonstrations spread. They rushed to cover up the inconvenient truth under the guise of the fight against COVID-19. Demonstrators holds up signs during a protest over the freezing of deposits by some rural-based banks, outside a People's Bank of China building in Zhengzhou, Henan. © Reuters China's zero-COVID policy of containing the virus through strict social controls has sent shock waves around the world. As President Xi Jinping's government pursues its policy of tolerating no infections, local governments across the country are going too far in tightening their stranglehold on ordinary people. On April 14, a video of a scuffle between police and residents of a housing complex protesting against an eviction notice in Shanghai, which was under lockdown, went viral on social media in China. As the residents shouted to police to leave the housing complex, police officers wearing white protective suits moved in en masse to detain them. Screams could be heard. Shanghai was locked down from the end of March, with 25 million residents banned from going out. Some were even forcibly evicted from their homes. Live videos of citizens suffering from food shortages or police behaving violently were posted on social media one after another, leaving authorities scrambling to delete them. A Shanghai sidewalk lies blocked due to discarded cartons believed to have been used for food rations. The street has been impassable since mid-May. © Kyodo But China's leadership under Xi did not waver. In May, it pledged to firmly fight any words and actions that question or reject the country's COVID-control policy and began to further increase its control over the internet. Once a state starts to move strongly in a given direction, it cannot stop easily by itself. According to a U.S.-China joint study published in the journal Nature Medicine, if China eases its zero-COVID policy, it will suffer a devastating blow because the effectiveness of the widely used Chinese-made vaccines is low. The study specifically warned that if China eases the policy, the number of people who show symptoms could rise to 112 million, and 1.6 million people could die in half a year. The Xi government's prestige is at stake. It cannot modify its COVID policy because it cannot let itself depend on vaccines made in Western nations. After taking the helm of the Communist Party as its general secretary in 2012, Xi launched a "zero tolerance" anti-corruption campaign. The move to try to do things perfectly has now spread to everything. The public security bureau of the Shanghai municipal government boasts high achievements. According to the bureau, the arrest rates in 2021 were 96% for burglaries such as sneak thefts and 100% for pickpocketing on subway trains. The bureau installed street cameras in all residential areas and commercial buildings by 2021, expanding the coverage of its surveillance system. The number of robbery cases in 2020 stood at 72, down a whopping 98% from the peak recorded in 2000. It is becoming more likely that the number will decline to zero. Although China is getting close to the ideal of a crime-free society thanks to technology, the price it must pay is by no means small. China's "public safety" spending, which is used to maintain public order and control speech at home, reached $210 billion in 2020. The amount more than doubled in 10 years. China's national defense spending is growing rapidly and closing in on that of the United States. But China's public safety spending was as much as 7% higher than its national defense spending in 2020. That is not all. Pent-up frustration among the public is growing further as the crackdown begins to grow excessive. The village of Wukan in Guangdong Province, once known as "Democracy Village," is now teeming with surveillance cameras. In China, a slang word making fun of police, meaning literally "a falling young man," has trended on social media since late June. It all started when a woman in her 40s and her father got into an argument with a male police officer in Dandong, in northeastern China's Liaoning Province. The woman and her father were stopped by the police officer on their way to a hospital. The officer cited the color of her health code as the reason. An argument broke out between them, and the woman was detained for 10 days on suspicion of obstruction of justice. A mocking video of the police officer, who pretended to have fallen during the confrontation, has gone viral. Public distrust of authorities has deepened due to the zero-COVID policy, and the fruits of people's frustration are being spread on the internet one after another. A vigorous and technologically innovative society can be created only where various opinions are allowed to clash. The more China tries to contain all differing opinions and control everything, the more it will also grow apart from the rest of the world. When the public reaction to this finally comes, "Great China" will find itself diminished. Patriotic reign blowing up in Hong Kong Government squeezes public opinion polls In April, yet another person who has supported Hong Kong's democracy left the city. On a flight bound for the U.K., Chung Kim-wah, a former assistant professor at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, said in a Facebook post, "In the current Hong Kong, there is no room for sincere words, only lies." Chung had been summoned by police three times in connection with the polling organization where he worked, the Hong Kong Public Opinion Research Institute. He wrote on Facebook, "Hong Kong may no longer be a place to live without intimidation." The HKPORI was inaugurated with a research department at the University of Hong Kong as its parent. It has conducted highly reliable surveys that many Hong Kong researchers refer to. But its surveys have also sometimes reflected public opinion that China finds inconvenient. Since the Hong Kong national security law came into effect in the summer of 2020, pro-democracy media outlets, labor unions and other organizations have been forced to disband one after another. The institute is now rumored to be the next target. The Hong Kong newspaper Apple Daily, once a vocal critic of the Chinese Communist Party, has been forced to shut down. © Reuters The HKPORI conducted a survey ahead of the 2021 election for the Legislative Council, Hong Kong's lawmaking body. The survey asked Hong Kong people a multiple-choice question on how they would vote in the election. But the choice of "casting a blank vote" was criticized as "manipulating public opinion and destroying the electoral system." The institute's surveys about the zero-COVID policy and Russia's invasion of Ukraine were also seen as problems. Chinese government-affiliated media concluded that those surveys "lack a scientific basis" and that the institute "is suspected to be colluding with foreign forces." The environment surrounding opinion polls is becoming harsh. According to Tetsuro Kobayashi, an associate professor at City University of Hong Kong, some pollees do not answer political questions honestly, while some researchers refrain from asking sensitive questions. "Basic information such as the support rate for pro-democracy forces has become difficult to see, leading to [Hong Kong's] civil society shrinking," Kobayashi said. When lashing out at the institute, pro-China forces in Hong Kong frequently cite surveys by other organizations such as the Bauhinia Institute and OrangeNews. These surveys show completely different results from the HKPORI's surveys and Hong Kong citizens' actual feelings. For example, a survey by the HKPORI showed that only 32% of people in Hong Kong supported the zero-COVID policy, while as many as 57% were in favor of living with the virus. But a Bauhinia Institute survey said that 68% of people in Hong Kong supported the zero-COVID policy, while only 24% were in favor of living with the virus. It also said that as many as 76% replied that the national security law would not affect freedoms and rights in Hong Kong. Details on the Bauhinia Institute, which was established in 2016 by pro-China forces, are shrouded in mystery. An expert familiar with opinion polls said: "It seems to be conducting surveys using social networking sites popular with those born in China, such as WeChat. As sampling is unbalanced, decent researchers are not taking them seriously." Nikkei asked the Bauhinia Institute about its survey methods and relations with China. It did not answer directly, commenting only that it "serves Hong Kong and the state, unites patriots and supports the implementation of a better one country, two systems [formula] in Hong Kong. On July 1, Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Hong Kong for the first time in five years and implored "patriots governing Hong Kong" to be principled. © Reuters Xi recently made a trip to Hong Kong for the first time in five years, timed to coincide with the 25th anniversary on July 1 of the former British colony's return to Chinese rule. In a speech, Xi called for the thorough implementation of the principle of "patriots governing Hong Kong." He regards opinions differing from those of the Chinese leadership as impediments to policy implementation and shows no signs of a letup in the exclusion of pro-democracy forces. A government-affiliated Hong Kong newspaper published the results of a survey showing that as a result of Xi's speech, 77% of local citizens had deepened their confidence in the "one country, two systems" formula. China's propaganda campaign is becoming increasingly fierce. Robert Chung, the HKPORI's president and chief executive officer, pointed out that the question now is how to assess the direction of Hong Kong's society under the banner of science and democracy. Opinion polls are facing a new challenge, he added. If an authoritarian government continues to crack down on opposition forces, only voices supporting it come to be heard, and when the people finally vent their pent-up frustrations, it happens suddenly. This phenomenon is widely known. Hong Kong's "patriotic governance" seems to be incurring great risks as it attacks opinion polls, which are a "social thermometer," and closes its eyes to public opinion.
  13. WASHINGTON: China will once again start issuing a range of visas to foreigners as of Wednesday (Mar 15), the country's embassy in Washington said, a major easing of travel restrictions in force since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. The move marks the latest step towards reopening China to the outside world, as Beijing gradually breaks with the strict zero-COVID strategy that defined its pandemic response until a few months ago. In addition to new travel documents being reviewed and approved, visas issued before Mar 28, 2020 that are still valid will once again allow entry to China, said the embassy notice posted on Monday, translated by AFP from Chinese. The updated policy will also allow for the resumption of visa-free travel for those arriving in cruise ships to Shanghai, as well as for certain tourist groups from Hong Kong, Macao and countries within the ASEAN regional grouping, the notice said. China received 65.7 million international visitors in 2019, according to data from the UN World Tourism Organization, before the pandemic led the country to seal itself off from the rest of the world. While most other countries began fully reopening their economies and welcoming international travelers earlier, China only began emerging from its strict COVID-19 containment policies in late 2022, after rare demonstrations against President Xi Jinping's signature zero-COVID strategy broke out across the country. Those protests in late November expanded into calls for more political freedoms, with some even calling for Xi to resign, turning into the most widespread opposition to communist rule since the 1989 democracy uprising that the military crushed. https://www.channelnewsasia.com/asia/china-lifts-visa-curbs-foreigners-travel-restrictions-covid-19-3344721
  14. The ice cream saga sibeh power leh... BMW Mini Ice Cream Is Only For Foreigners, Stock Price Plummeted: The Loss Is Equivalent To 460 Million Ice Creams! At the Shanghai Auto Show, netizens broke the news that the staff at the BMW Mini booth refused to distribute ice cream to Chinese visitors, claiming that it was gone, but then not only gave ice cream to foreigners, but two girls also thoughtfully taught foreigners how to eat it. This kind of differential treatment caused dissatisfaction on the Internet. BMW officials later apologized, but did not quell the anger. This incident was not only fermented in China, but was even reported abroad. As a result, BMW shares fell 3%.The market value has evaporated by 2.16 billion euros, or about 16.3 billion yuan,It can be said that a box of ice cream caused a murder, and the loss was great. Many people have no idea about this loss, so it’s easy to understand if you switch to the Luneurs ice cream presented by BMW. The price of this store is not cheap, and a box costs 30 to 40 yuan.Some netizens calculated that the market value lost by BMW is enough to buy 460 million Luneurs ice cream, not to mention giving away a circle at the auto show, it is enough for BMW to invite 1/3 of the people in the country to eat ice cream. The store also issued a statement before, denying that the staff belonged to their family. “The Luneurs brand did not participate in any on-site operations of BMW’s Mini brand activities during the Shanghai Auto Show. We are only a supplier of ice cream products. The two people who appeared in the video The staff and their specific services are not our responsibility and have nothing to do with this brand.”
  15. I wonder how the finance department approve the budget for such lucky draw prizes. If the winner is a senior management (say CEO, COO, CFO, etc.), the amount is huge enough to full cash a property, but on the other end of the spectrum, if say a production worker, technician, clerk, etc. wins the prize, the payout is barely enough to buy a car (even in China). Me? The amount is still lesser the cost of current cat A COE, how pathetic is my pay.😭 Source: https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/east-asia/employee-at-chinese-company-wins-365-days-of-paid-leave-at-annual-dinner Too good to be true? An employee of an unnamed firm in Shenzhen, China, was the envy of a nation when he won a year’s worth of paid leave at his company’s annual dinner on Sunday. The man, who reportedly holds a managerial position in his firm, was seen in a viral video holding a big cheque with the words “365 days of paid leave” emblazoned on it. An administrative employee at the company, identified as Ms Chen, can be heard in the video explaining that the winner had sought to clarify repeatedly if the prize was real. Even the boss was “stunned” someone had won the prize, she said. The company’s annual dinner had not been held for three years due to the pandemic, according to Chinese media, and a lucky draw was held this time round to provide its employees some relief from work stress. Ms Chen added that the company will discuss with the winner if he would prefer to encash or enjoy his paid leave. Local media reported that the man often travels as part of his job responsibilities. Reports of the large prize have raised envy among Chinese netizens, with some inquiring tongue-in-cheek about vacancies at the company. But the unusual nature of the prize left others discussing its practicality. One commenter on Douyin, TikTok’s sister app in China, said: “Dare he accept the prize? After a year, he might return to find someone else in his role.” It was not the first time a Chinese company has offered a year of paid leave as a lucky draw grand prize. In January 2022, a sales employee from another company, also in Shenzhen, similarly struck the jackpot of 365 days of paid leave. The employee ended up converting a portion of his award into cash and also donated part of it to local charities, Chinese media reported.
  16. Sad to watch this video about the reality young people in China are facing
  17. Many people want her go china to film variety show. But she is not really active nowadays https://www.xiaohongshu.com/explore/63874273000000001e03f92e
  18. https://www.timesofisrael.com/suspected-spy-devices-found-in-gifts-given-to-ministers-by-chinese-embassy-reports/ Suspected spy devices found in gifts given to ministers by Chinese embassy – reports Routine security check finds suspicious component in travel mug sent to Israeli science and transportation ministries By TOI staff Today, 10:34 am An alleged bugging device found in a travel mug given as a gift by the Chinese embassy to an Israeli ministry (Courtesy) A travel mug given as a gift by the Chinese embassy in Israel to an Israeli minister was found to contain a component suspected to be a possible spying device, multiple Hebrew media outlets reported on Tuesday morning. Army Radio first reported that a routine security check found that one of several such mugs sent by the Chinese embassy to government offices contained a suspicious part in it. Further examination raised the suspicion that the component was a listening device and the Shin Bet was alerted. All mugs sent by the embassy were collected for further inspection, the reports said. Moreover, all government offices have been told to be extra careful about receiving gifts from foreign entities as “they may contain listening devices or cameras.” The suspicious mug was sent by the Chinese embassy to the Science and Technology Ministry and was most likely intended for Innovation, Science and Technology Minister Orit Farkash Hacohen, according to an unnamed Israeli official cited by the Walla news site. The mug was examined before reaching her office, the official said, adding that a similar mug had been addressed to the office of Transportation Minister Merav Michaeli. A travel mug, illustrative (semenovp; iStock by Getty Images) Both ministries are relevant for Israeli infrastructure projects China is interested in, the report noted. Officials in the Foreign Ministry said it was looking into the incident, Channel 12 reported, noting that the details were still unclear. The publication of such suspicions by multiple news outlets as an examination was still ongoing was notable, however. Amid a US-China trade war that has ebbed and flowed in recent years under both the Trump and Biden administrations, Israel and China have seen warming relations and growing Chinese interest in Israeli innovations, especially in medical tech, robotics, food tech and artificial intelligence. While the Biden administration has yet to make specific demands of Israel regarding its relations with China, the US has publicly brought up the Israeli relationship with China several times recently. Chinese President Xi Jinping and then US Vice President Joe Biden walk down the red carpet on the tarmac during an arrival ceremony in Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland, September 24, 2015. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) China’s growing economy is forcing Israel to reposition itself politically and economically with the rising superpower. Data published by Israel’s National Bureau of Statistics in January indicated that in 2021 China became Israel’s largest source of imports, surpassing even the United States. That same month, Israel and China held a joint committee on innovation cooperation, led by Foreign Minister Yair Lapid and China’s Vice President Wang Qishan. The committee agreed to a three-year plan to regulate cooperation and government-to-government dialogue between the countries through 2024. While gradually strengthening ties with Beijing, the Israeli government has also notified the Biden administration that it will keep the White House in the loop regarding significant deals it strikes with China and is prepared to reexamine such agreements if the US, Israel’s closest ally, raises opposition.
  19. Knn, those tiongs really 不打自招 and 玻璃心。Every thing also find offensive though it’s true. 🤣 Damn gross to see them wear sleeveless then raise their arms. 🤮 🤪 Must ask @Inlinefour S’pore Waxing Chain Seemingly Likens Hairier Women To Orangutans, Ad Offends Chinese Netizens https://mustsharenews.com/waxing-orangutans-strip/?fbclid=IwAR1wGe_F-wIYjD1PKRbnSvHzy5b09zHk6FJZnvDsjWh3zMZhK96Wf64FKbI&mibextid=tejx2t
  20. BEIJING - Chinese scientists have cloned three “super cows” able to produce 18,000 litres of milk per year and over 100,000 litres of milk in their lifetimes, a feat that may help reduce China’s dependency on imported dairy cows. The milk produced is no different from that produced by the clone’s originals, according to an expert involved in the experiment. Once the cloned calves reach two years of age, they can start producing milk for the market, he added. To clone the animals, scientists from the Northwest University of Agricultural and Forestry Science and Technology took somatic cells from the ears of highly productive Dutch Holstein Frisian cattle and placed them in surrogate cows, according to a news release from the university. The technique, known as somatic cell nuclear transfer, was the same used to create Dolly the sheep in 1996, the world’s first cloned mammal. The three calves were born in Lingwu city, Ningxia Hui autonomous region. The first calf was born on Dec 30 via caesarean section. It weighed 56.7kg and shared the same shape and patterning as the cow it was cloned from. After reaching maturity, the clone is expected to produce 18,000 litres of milk per year. In comparison, the average cow in the United States produces about 12,000 litres of milk annually, according to data from the US Department of Agriculture. Mr Jin Yaping, the project’s lead scientist, said that cloning “super cows” would allow China to preserve its best dairy breeds and avoid the biosecurity risk presented by importing live cows from other countries. China currently imports around 70 per cent of its dairy cows. https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/east-asia/chinese-scientists-successfully-clone-super-cows
  21. https://asia.nikkei.com/Business/Automobiles/China-s-BYD-starts-EV-sales-in-Japan-as-it-chases-Tesla?utm_campaign=GL_asia_daily&utm_medium=email&utm_source=NA_newsletter&utm_content=article_link&del_type=1&pub_date=20230131190000&seq_num=9&si=44594 China's BYD starts EV sales in Japan as it chases Tesla Elon Musk's company has global lead but affordable option has entered the race BYD, which has made a big name for itself in China, intends to catch up with Tesla in global electric vehicle sales. (Source photos courtesy of BYD and Getty Images) SAYUMI TAKE, Nikkei staff writerJanuary 31, 2023 18:15 JST YOKOHAMA, Japan -- Chinese automaker BYD began selling electric vehicles in Japan on Tuesday as it pursues its global ambitions to overtake more established nameplates. BYD's debut in the world's fourth largest auto market comes with it having secured its place as China's top EV seller and nipping at the heels of American EV giant Tesla in global EV sales. BYD also sells electric vehicles in Australia and Thailand, and has production plants in South America. "We're very excited to be bringing our cars to Japanese customers," said Atsuki Tofukuji, president of BYD Auto Japan, a marketing subsidiary. Tofukuji talked to reporters at BYD's first Japanese sales location, due to open on Thursday in Yokohama, the big port city south of Tokyo. While the Chinese automaker is gaining fame as an EV battery seller, its car sales remain largely dependent on domestic demand. This puts it considerably behind Elon Musk's top-running Tesla, which has penetrated many more global markets. BYD has been eager to close the gap and recently began exporting to India, home to a fledgling EV market, and to Thailand, where it plans its first ASEAN production hub. The Atto 3, which went on sale on Jan. 31 in Japan, has already attracted a "fair amount" of test-drive reservations from prospective buyers. (Photo by Sayumi Take) BYD is entering Japan with a key strength against Tesla, affordability, backed by its roots as a battery maker. The company's flagship Atto 3 midsize SUV, which today went on sale in Japan, goes for 4.4 million yen ($33,800), cheaper than Tesla and Nissan EVs. Government EV subsidies, if they continue, will lower the price. Deliveries are to begin around March. The Yokohama store is also "a good way to present new brands to Japanese customers" as they can actually familiarize themselves with EVs and consult professional dealers about purchases on the spot, Tofukuji said. It is the first of over 20 showrooms that BYD plans to establish across Japan this year. The company aspires to have over 100 dealerships in the country by the end of 2025. This contrasts with Tesla, which largely relies on internet sales. BYD's showroom in Yokohama only has the Atto 3 on display but later this year will exhibit two additional models. Visitors can also take the SUV out for test drives, and the store is already receiving a "fair amount" of reservations. Each BYD dealer in Japan will be equipped with 50-kilowatt quick chargers that can juice up the Atto 3 in about 60 minutes. Japan's EV market has been expanding, though notably slower than other countries. Domestic EV sales in 2022 came to about 59,000 units, a record and almost triple the previous year's total, according to industry groups. They accounted for 1.7% of Japan's passenger car market, surpassing 1% for the first time. But most of the growth is due to vehicles that fall into the kei car category. These microcars are considered to be easy to drive around crowded cities and require relatively low maintenance. And since they need little power, their makers have been able to more easily transition to electric drivetrains. The rest of the industry faces a relatively large obstacle: Many chargers in the country operate on such low power that it takes hours to sufficiently juice up a regular EV. BYD's strategy is to "introduce products that fit each country's charging environment," Tofukuji said, "unlike Tesla, which distributes chargers exclusive to its models." Despite Japan's slowly developing EV market, BYD faces a raft of competitors. Foreign luxury brands like Mercedes-Benz, Tesla and Audi are eager to take big shares of the young market. And although Japan's storied auto industry is filled with EV laggards, those dawdlers are moving to catch up. Toyota recently named a new president and CEO, tasking the relatively young executive with adapting to today's industry trends. "The Japanese EV market overall is getting bigger, and this is a good time to be entering [the competition]," Tofukuji said. "We hope to provide a rich EV life along with the development of Japan's EV environment."
  22. https://asia.nikkei.com/Business/China-tech/Teardown-of-DJI-drone-reveals-secrets-of-its-competitive-pricing?utm_campaign=RN Subscriber newsletter&utm_medium=daily newsletter&utm_source=NAR Newsletter&utm_content=article link&del_type=1&pub_date=20200901190000&seq_num=10&si=44594 Teardown of DJI drone reveals secrets of its competitive pricing High-performance Chinese device built from 80% commodity parts, many from the US DJI's Mavic Air 2 and its motherboard. (Photo courtesy of DJI and Fomalhaut Techno Solutions) NORIO MATSUMOTO, NAOKI WATANABE and YUSUKE HINATA, Nikkei staff writersSeptember 1, 2020 11:26 JST TOKYO/GUANGZHOU -- With drones finding their way into aerial photography, crop spraying and many other applications, China's DJI Technology has combined cost competitiveness and advanced technology to become the world's biggest manufacturer of unmanned flying machines. DJI, which holds an estimated 70% of the global market, produces drones at half the cost of rivals by using an array of off-the-shelf parts. Disassembling one of its latest models reveals that it is composed of 80% commodity parts by value. Although Chinese drone makers are expanding, helped by strong domestic demand, their future growth is clouded by the increasing friction between the U.S. and China. The DJI Agras, a large drone measuring more than 1 meter across, recently took to the air, its motor whining, over a farm in Kaiping, in southern China. Drones are an increasingly common sight on farms. In China and elsewhere, DJI machines were used to plant or spray crops over a total of 270,000 sq. kilometers, equal to 70% of Japan's land area. The farmland in Kaiping is fertile, but a good yield depends on controlling insects. Drones are a valuable weapon in the fight against pests: They can cover 50 to 60 times more ground than a human in a given period of time. Founded in 2006, DJI has grown quickly. It has offices in the U.S., Japan and three other countries outside China, and its annual revenue has grown to 18 billion yuan ($261 billion). Nikkei, together with Tokyo-based research specialist Fomalhaut Techno Solutions, conducted a teardown of the Mavic Air 2, DJI's newest lower-end model which is priced at about $750. Disassembly revealed that the vehicle, by estimate, is made of components worth around $135. DJI's Mavic Air 2 is the drone maker's latest lower-end model. The series ranges from industrial machines to those aimed at hobbyists. (Photo courtesy of DJI) The cost of components for the model, at around 20% of the retail price, is less than the 30% to 35% typical for smartphones. "It would cost us twice as much in materials alone as the price of the [DJI] to make a product with the same capabilities," said an executive with a Japanese drone maker. Many of the parts that give DJI drones their functionality are found in smartphones and personal computers. Such parts account for about 80% of the 230 components used in the Mavic Air 2. The camera has components found in a premium smartphone; the GPS receiver is made from parts found in smartwatches. "The semiconductors that control the propellers are the sole exclusive parts," said a Fomalhaut official. "Expensive parts costing more than $10 are limited to the battery, the camera and a few others." But the Mavic Air 2 is sophisticated despite its modest price. It can shoot ultra high-definition 4K video, automatically track objects and avoid obstacles. In Japan, the drone can be maneuvered by the pilot from up to 6 km away and send video five times farther than rivals. It is designed to be lightweight, weighing in at just 570 grams. The motherboard of the Mavic Air 2 is about 10 cm by 4 cm and is packed with 10 large and small chips. DJI's Mavic Air 2 drone packs sophisiticated chips onto a palm-sized circuit board. (Photo courtesy of Fomalhaut Techno Solutions) DJI drones also have advanced software that has been upgraded with each successive model, and they come out frequently. The company has drastically improved its flight-control technology over the past three years and is now much more sophisticated, according to a Japanese drone developer. According to Patent Result, a Tokyo-based company that analyzes patents, DJI had 185 of them in force in Japan as of January last year, a testament to its advanced technology. It is one of the biggest among patent holders in the business in Japan, with more than three times as many as its nearest competitor. Although the strengths of DJI and other Chinese manufacturers have helped China's drone industry leap ahead, trade friction between Washington and Beijing could dim their prospects. "DJI may become like Huawei," said Fumiaki Yamazaki, chief researcher at the Institute of Information Assurance for National Security Japan. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has reported a possible leak of information involving DJI, and the U.S. military has begun limiting the use of drones made by the Chinese company, Yamazaki said. While the Japanese government has held off from issuing a total ban on Chinese drones in its procurement, some organizations, such as the Japan Coast Guard, have stopped using them. Drones have many industrial uses, including inspecting bridges and towers, surveying construction sites, photographing buildings and verifying safety at manufacturing plants. But given the trade friction, an executive at a major manufacturing company said: "We worry about relying solely on Chinese drones." On the question of possible military utilization of its drones, DJI says it leaves the question of how its products are used to the customer. The teardown of the Mavic Air 2 found many U.S.-made parts. The IC chips that control the battery, for example, are made by Texas Instruments, while those that amplify radio signals and eliminate noise are made by Qorvo. In the absence of alternatives, DJI may have a hard time sourcing key components if it is subjected to new U.S. trade restrictions. The global market for drones is forecast to grow from $3.7 billion in 2018 to $103.7 billion by 2023, with Chinese manufacturers capturing half that value, according to U.S. researcher Frost & Sullivan. Industry insiders around the world are waiting to see whether strong domestic demand can keep DJI airborne, or whether it becomes the latest casualty in the U.S.-China trade war.
  23. Angry man rams car through the doors of a hotel lobby in Shanghai after arguing with staff about a missing laptop. Please do not try this at home. Your car is expensive, COE is expensive! 😱
  24. https://asia.nikkei.com/Business/Startups/China-startup-makes-large-flexible-solar-panels-in-industry-first?utm_campaign=GL_asia_daily&utm_medium=email&utm_source=NA_newsletter&utm_content=article_link&del_type=1&pub_date=20220719123000&seq_num=2&si=44594 China startup makes large, flexible solar panels in industry first Japanese-developed perovskite technology goes into mass production Pioneered by Tsutomu Miyasaka in 2009, perovskite cells are a bendable, lightweight alternative to conventional silicon solar cells. (Photo by Manami Yamada) YUKI MISUMI, Nikkei staff writerJuly 19, 2022 02:00 JST TOKYO -- A Chinese startup this month became the first in the world to mass-produce large, bendable perovskite solar panels, based on technology initially developed by researchers in Japan. DaZheng (Jiangsu) Micro-Nano Technologies invested 80 million yuan ($11.8 million) to build a production line with an annual capacity of 10 megawatts in Jiangsu Province. The 40 cm by 60 cm panels will be cut into smaller pieces and shipped to smartphone and tablet makers in China. DaZheng will invest 200 million yuan in 2023 to expand its annual production capacity to 100 MW, Chief Technology Officer Li Xin told Nikkei. Perovskite solar cells were pioneered in 2009 by Toin University of Yokohama engineering professor Tsutomu Miyasaka and his team. Although these lightweight cells have a power conversion efficiency of around 10% -- about half that of silicon cells -- they can be incorporated into windows, walls and more. Smaller perovskite cells have been mass-produced before, but DaZheng is the first to do so for large panels. While these cells currently cost three times as much to make as conventional silicon cells, this could potentially be brought down to half at a higher scale. Lightweight and bendable, perovskite cells are expected to have a variety of new applications. (Photo courtesy of DaZheng (Jiangsu) Micro-Nano Technologies) The technology is seen as a candidate to win a Nobel Prize. There is hope that the cells can eventually be applied by a printer, or be painted onto entire cars. The global market for perovskite solar cells is projected to expand to over $2 billion by 2027 with annual growth averaging about 29% starting in 2022, according to Indian research company Astute Analytica. Japanese companies like Kyocera and Sharp were once leading players in solar cells but downsized operations over the years as price competition ate into profits. Chinese and South Korean players now control much of the market. Japanese companies have little capacity to make new investments, allowing China to take the lead in large-scale perovskite panels. DaZheng's Li studied under Miyasaka and continued his research after returning to China. Miyasaka also provided development support.
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