August 14 – 23
https://tinyurl.com/y6wr8zjt Interesting tea-leaf readings following the annual secretive leadership retreat to the beach at Beidaihe. From Nikkei, whose reporting on China tends toward negative or insinuating hinting. This piece is relatively free of that, however.
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/14/world/asia/china-trade-war-trump-xi-jinping-.html A NYT article suggesting that Chinese leadership may have misjudged prospects for trade conflict with the US and now confront serious policy dilemmas.
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-politics-defence/chinas-xi-says-military-must-resist-corrosion-of-corruption-idUSKCN1L40D7 Xi Jinping issues a new anti-corruption/anti-laxity warning and mandate to the military.
https://foreignpolicy.com/2018/08/15/xi-jinping-thought-is-facing-a-harsh-reality-check/ A rising young American China specialist writes on the profound challenges to the Chinese political system arising from the very characteristics of that system today, i.e., the intellectual and political supremacy of a single Leader.
https://www.economist.com/china/2018/08/11/how-to-read-summer-grumbles-about-chinas-swaggering-leader The Economist often uses better-than-average writing style to express commonplace ideas, but this essay, on the swirl of rumors accompanying this year’s leadership retreat at Beidaihe, is worth the reader’s time. Bottom line: don’t get too worked up about rumors of intense leadership conflict and rising antagonism toward Xi Jinping.
https://www.ft.com/content/ca28f58a-955d-11e8-b747-fb1e803ee64e Marvelous piece on the finances of China’s gigantic High Speed Rail system: built on debt, still run on loans. What lies ahead? A debt crisis or, over the longer term, a system that pays off its debts and justifies the regime’s enormous bet?
https://www.barrons.com/articles/chinas-best-option-for-responding-to-a-trade-war-1532716707 Michael Pettis on the ways in which a “trade war” could create more favorable conditions for deep-reaching and needed structural reforms in the Chinese economy.
https://tinyurl.com/y99pty2w China’s new Ministry of Emergency Management and overhaul of the entire disaster-management system.
https://www.weekinchina.com/2018/08/seeds-of-doubt-3/?dm A granary fire, and another discussion of declining self-sufficiency in food grains.
https://www.wsj.com/articles/chinas-uighur-camps-swell-as-beijing-widens-the-dragnet-1534534894 Wall Street Journal on internment “re-education” camps in Xinjiang.
https://supchina.com/2018/08/22/xinjiang-explainer-chinas-reeducation-camps-for-a-million-muslims/ A vast report on what is apparently happening in Xinjiang. Brings together in one place much of the recent widespread reporting on “Re-education” camps incarcerating hundreds of thousands, if not a million, Uyghur residents of Xinjiang in the ostensible interests of anti-terrorism and “stability maintenance.”
https://tinyurl.com/y793jdbd The boom in online P2P (peer-to-peer) lending hits the wall.
https://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/world-view/challenges-creating-world-class-universities-china In their struggle to gain “World Class” designation, Chinese universities aim to “internationalize,” but face very serious unintended consequences. An important glimpse into a broader and deeper phenomenon at work in modern China.
https://www.caixinglobal.com/2018-08-20/malaysian-leader-says-scrapping-some-chinese-projects-could-be-win-win-101316735.html A fascinating Caixin interview with
Prime Minister Mahatir of Malaysia, as he proceeds to postpone or cancel very
large PRC-invested development projects because of the huge debts his nation
incurred in signing on to those deals.
https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/china/2018-08-13/when-china-rules-web A long, thoughtful, and ultimately pessimistic article by Adam Segal, the Council on Foreign Relations cyber expert, on what China’s vision and program for management of cyberspace portends.
https://www.ft.com/content/cbf22f3c-a1f9-11e8-85da-eeb7a9ce36e4?segmentId=6132a895-e068-7ddc-4cec-a1abfa5c8378 Tsinghua University computer allegedly connected to hacking of Daimler, Tibetans in India, etc.
https://tradevistas.csis.org/china-outpacing-outspending-u-s-diplomacy-development/?utm_source=Members&utm_campaign=b8cfede8a2-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_08_16_09_29_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_e842221dc2-b8cfede8a2-137669821 More worries about US cutting its funding for diplomacy and overseas development aid while China ramps up big-time. Focus on Africa and Latin America.
https://supchina.com/2018/08/21/reflections-of-a-chinese-reporter-in-foreign-media/ Valedictory observations by a young Chinese person who worked for seven years as an employee of foreign news organizations in China and is now leaving journalism for study abroad.
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-08-22/u-s-china-restart-trade-talks-as-billions-more-in-tariffs-loom First US-PRC meetings
in months, on trade/tariff disputes, open at relatively low levels (Under
Secretary of Treasury/Vice Minister of Commerce) in D.C. Good background/context article.
https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=USTR-2018-0026-0001 For trade addicts. The official USTR announcement of hearings to
be held Aug. 20-27 on proposed new US tariffs on Chinese products, including
the gigantic, complete list of the proposed targets. More than 350 companies requested
opportunities to testify. SR will post
additional links as useful material becomes available.
https://news.cgtn.com/news/3d3d514e776b6a4e79457a6333566d54/share_p.html In the absence of meaningful
American coverage of these extremely important USTR hearings on pending tariff
increases, China Global Television Network posts this piece on witnesses’
testimonies as to the damage such tariff’s cause to complex supply chains
serving American companies.
https://tinyurl.com/yb3scp9j Timothy Stratford, now heading a major US law
firm’s China operations but formerly top USTR China official, with an oracular,
relatively gloomy, but thought-provoking interview on why the US and China are
likely to be locked into the current trade conflict for a long time.
http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1115383.shtml A detailed and highly critical commentary from a CCP organ, of the just-passed US Defense Authorization Act, which contains significant China-focused content.
https://piie.com/blogs/trade-investment-policy-watch/chinas-60-billion-tariff-announcement Peterson Institute of International Economics analysis of China’s announced tariffs on imports from the US, in response to US imposition of tariffs on Chinese imports. As of August 15. Useful, simple graphs also.
https://piie.com/experts/peterson-perspectives/trade-talks-episode-51-trade-white-house-not-so-normal-times A very useful podcast on economic issues, with an extended discussion of major China matters starting at 7 minutes 20 seconds. The guest is Jason Furman, one of the principal architects of economic policy in the Obama Administration.
https://www.appropriations.senate.gov/hearings/watch?hearingid=34E64A26-5056-A066-60A6-D68947BBDEBE USTR Lighthizer testimony at Senate Appropriations Committee hearing on USTR, July 26. From the horse’s mouth, much of it on China.
https://www.ft.com/content/824c4692-a1bd-11e8-85da-eeb7a9ce36e4 Internal unrest at Google as company explores possibility of a China search engine adherent to PRC cyber controls.
https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/2018-08-13/unconstrained-presidency?cid=soc-tw A sobering report about the evolution of the unconstrained U.S. presidency, less and less affected by Congressional power or by the judgments of the expertise in the federal bureaucracy. Asks the question, in conclusion, whether the “rising threat that China poses to U.S. interests” might shake the Congress and the bureaucracy out of their torpor.
https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/08/xinjiang-the-nba-is-running-a-training-camp-in-the-middle-of-one-of-the-worlds-worst-humanitarian-atrocities.html A popular online publication, and an author who writes regularly on China, produce another in the unending array of moral challenges to normal Sino-American relations these days: why is the National Basketball Association running a youth training camp in Xinjiang, where up to a million local residents – Uighurs, of Islamic faith – are currently held in re-education camps?