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Combined SOE profits rose 170% YoY, to $277 billion in the first five months. Profits of centrally administered SOEs rose 130% to $200 billion, and SOEs' total revenue rose 30% to $500 billion. Read full article →

"The rise of China's wealth in the past two decades equals  80 years of US wealth growth from 1925- 2005". China's wealth will increase faster than America's in the next five years, and the number of millionaires will increase three times faster. Read full article →

China banks stockpile record $1 trillion of foreign exchange. “Despite increased inflows, Chinese banks don’t have many channels to utilize their foreign exchange. I expect further relaxation of capital outflows via investment schemes,” one analyst predicted. Read full article →

China found two deposits with two billion tons of shale oil and gas, one in the Tarim Basin, Xinjiang, and the other in the Ordos Basin, making them the biggest shale oil fields in the country. Read full article →

Former Vice Finance Minister Zhu Guangyao says China's GDP will have to grow about 5% annually from 2021 to 2025 to escape the middle-income trap, as the country moves ahead with its 14th Five-Year Plan, even though the government has not proposed setting a numerical goal for the period. Read full article →

Hong Kong set up a working group to implement the 14th Five Year Plan by boosting the city’s status as an international financial center, Chief Executive Carrie Lam said. Read full article →

The year's second-biggest online shopping event, known by its date, 6/18, saw record sales. Mobile devices, home appliances, office computers, digital products, and food & beverages were the biggest sellers. Transactions rose 36% YoY. Under-35 shoppers accounted for 60%; over-45s were just 13%.  Read full article →

China's factories have exponentially shortened their new product development cycle from monthly to weekly. 90% of 100,000 factories in ten large producing areas launched new varieties of products during the 618 shopping festival. Read full article →

5G phone shipments up 134% YoY to 108 million units in the first five months,  73% of the country's total mobile phone shipments. Domestic brands still dominate, hitting 19 million units, 84% percent of total shipments. Read full article →

Oppo's Q1 5G shipments rose 55% YoY to 21.5 million, for a global market share of 15.8% and second place in the world. Vivo and Xiaomi ranked third and fifth, with 14.3% and 12.2% and the two companies’ shipments rose 62% and 41% quarter-on-quarter to 19.4 million and 16.6 million units. Apple, still #1, suffered a 23% decline, from 41% market share to 30%.  Read full article →

967,000 clean energy vehicle sold in Jan-May, a 220% YoY increase, an 8.7% market penetration rate. China has 6.0 million EVs, 50% of the world total. Read full article →

AliPay's transaction fee is 0.1%–but only for withdrawals over RMB 20,000. Merchant pay a 0.55% transaction fee, compared to credit card companies' 3-4%.  Read full article →

The Industrial and Commerce Bank of China (ICBC) customers can convert digital RMB to cash at 3,000 Beijing ATMs. ICBC is the first bank to launch such a feature. Read full article →

Shenzhen Metro's RMB 21 billion revenues ranked first out of China's 22 metros in 2020, with net profit of RMB 11 billion. Beijing Metro's profit was RMB 3.15 billion while Guangzhou Metro's was RMB 230 million. Read full article →

Trade & Travel

China reported it sold more goods to the U.S. than the U.S. reported buying, and The New York Fed says $55 billion of that was the result of tax-dodging. This strengthens the argument to remove Trump’s tariffs, which would help cool inflation. Read full article $ →

Banned Australian lobsters are sneaking into China via Hong Kong. Monthly lobster trade in Hong Kong is up 2,000% in the last six months. Experts say the dramatic spike is more likely due to a gray trade as the tasty crustaceans are sent across the border to the mainland. Read full article $ →

China's Overseas Direct Investment (ODI) into BRI infrastructure increased by 13.8% between January-May, or $1.5 billion a month, enabled by a booming economy and twenty years spent developing their own infrastructure. Read full article $ →

UN says US-China trade war cost global value chains 3-5 years of growth. Supply lines shrank in absolute terms along with other types of trade. Tariffs are still being applied on billions of US dollars of goods under the US-China trade war. Read full article $ →

Technology & IP


Chinese scientists debuted a massive, fossilized skull of a new species of human that is at least 140,000 years old. They named the species Homo longi and nicknamed it “Dragon Man” (龙人, lóng rén) because it was found in Heilongjiang Province. Dragon Man may be closer to Homo sapiens than Neanderthals, which could change our understanding of human evolution. Read full article $→

China's first hydrogen fuel cell hybrid locomotive can haul 5,000 tonnes, run at 80 kph, and deliver 700 kW of continuous power for 24 hours. Hydrogen-fueled hybrid locos are safer, environmentally friendly, quieter, cheaper, and easier to maintain. Read full article →

Qiang Zhang at the University of Science and Technology created a 511 km. secure quantum key distribution link through a cable, using an intermediate step that doesn’t read the data, but only checks if it matches what was sent by the other end. Read full article →

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office had received 77,305 filings from China this year–half of the total filed by US-based businesses, up 300% YoYRead full article →

The world's first self-driving expressway opens for traffic next week in Jiangsu province. 33 kilometers long, with eight lanes, its 5G technology integrates BIM (building information modeling), big data, IoT, cloud computing and holographic sensing data collection and transmission to make the road smarter. Read full article →

Deep Sea No.1, China's first self-operated, 1,500-meter, deep-water gas field, started production on Friday, 150 km off the island province of Hainan, giving the country the capability of ultra deep-water drilling for oil and gas, compared with the 300-meter depth previously. Read full article →

Ant Group unveiled AntChain, a Blockchain Transmission Network (BTN), which increases blockchain networks' throughput by 186%, cuts bandwidth costs by 80% and latency by 40%. BTN applies real-time communications technology to blockchain scenarios, making the flow of trustworthy information faster, more secure and more stable. Read full article →

China’s ‘artificial sun’ nuclear fusion reactor set a new world record, running at 216 million ºF (120million °C) for 100 seconds. Peak temperature hit 288 million °F (160 million °C)–ten times hotter than the sun. Scientists hope the EAST Tokamak will unlock a powerful green energy source in the quest for limitless clean power. Read full article →

China Made a Record 140 Billion Chips this year. China has been a big buyer of semiconductor equipment for the past ten years and this is the result of those investments. In May alone, the country produced 30 billion chips, up 37%YoY. While most of these are memory chips, logics are keeping pace. Read full article →

Claims for punitive damages are becoming frequent. The Supreme People's Court (SPC) released a Judicial Interpretation on the Application of Punitive Damages in IP Cases, and published six exemplary cases alongside their interpretation to illustrate how to assess and apply punitive damages. Zhigang Zhu
What's your car and what did you pay for it? A 2021 Chery eQ1. $7,240. Where do you live? Shanghai, China. How do you charge it? On a 240v wall mounted charger in my community. I get 300km per charge. It charges quickly, is easy to drive on narrow roads, and is fun to drive. It is powered by a 40 HP electric motor, good for 60 mph.  Read full article →

 Kuke Music announced its AI-supported piano learning system would become part of the curriculums of more than 4,000 kindergartens across China. The program combines smart pianos digital coursesand AI software to provide students with personalized guidance by analyzing finger movement data collected as they play. Read full article →


China had 24 new COVID cases, all imported. 12 were reported in Sichuan, six in Shanghai, three in Guangdong, two in Jiangsu, and one in Fujian. No new suspected cases and no new deaths related to COVID-19 were reported on Tuesday. Read full article  $→

China must complete its vaccination program this year and continue non-pharmaceutical interventions, says infectious disease expert Zhang Wenhong, “We are NOT trying to eradicate the disease but to reduce its prevalence,” he said. Read full article  $→

China will prolong its COVID-19 border restrictions “for at least another year, out of concern for the Winter Olympics in February". Read full article  $→

"China took 25 days to accelerate from 100 million doses to 200 million doses, 16 days to increase from 200 million to 300 million, and six days from 800 million to 900 million.” Nils Gilman.

Taiwan had 13,000 Covid infections and 510 deaths, fueled by the new variant.  Taiwan's case fatality rate is over 4%, far above the global average of 2.16%, America's 1.8% and Hong Kong's 1.76%.Critics fault President Tsai Ing-wen’s administration for being complacent after early success. Read full article  →

Shenzhen, which deployed 49,500 health-care workers and 78 testing institutions to conduct citywide nucleic acid testing over three days, found no new infections among its 12 million residents, easing fears of new flare-ups. Read full article  →

China reached its goal of vaccinating 40% of its population before the end of June. More than 1.12 billion doses have been administered and 630 million people inoculated. Read full article  $→
Above: On December 12, 2019, weeks before China discovered Covid-19Moderna transferred coronavirus vaccine candidates to the University of North Carolina. The transfer was signed by Ralph Baric, PhD, and Jacqueline Quay for UNC Chapel Hill. Read full article  →

Moderna's vaccine was ready for clinical manufacture almost as soon as China released the Covid-19 genetic sequence. The CDC's paper shows that the virus began circulating in the US no later than 2019. As this timeline reveals, Chinese researchers (who are in every American lab) detected it and smuggled samples to Beijing. Did the West conceal its Covid outbreak? 

The US government paid to develop and test Moderna's vaccine, then gave the company a patent monopoly to restrict its distribution and charge high prices. Moderna’s stockholders and its top executives made billions of dollars, profiting off the government’s investment. Read full article  →

4,000 fully vaccinated people in Massachusetts have tested positive for Covid-19, among more than 3.7m fully vaccinated people in the state. Thus one in 1,000 fully vaccinated people in Massachusetts are still becoming infected despite getting their shots. Read full article  →
"An indigenous virus caused the outbreak in France before 2020," says the Chief Scientist of the European Precision Research Institute in France, Ju Liya. Ju said that after she published her paper disproving the connection between France’s outbreak and Wuhan, the French government angrily silenced her institute. Read full article  →

The number of drug users has drastically declined over the past several years thanks to the country’s crackdown on narcotics, a senior government official announced ThursdayRead full article  →


Friends of Nature, a Chinese NGO, sued to to stop construction of a dam threatened the habitat of China's rare Green Peafowl. “The court rulings are only one part of the impact,” said Zhang Na, at China Biodiversity Foundation. “There are also impacts that are unquantifiable, such as people’s environmental awareness and faith in the law.” Read full article  $→

4.5 times more coal-fired power capacity linked to China has been shelved or canceled than constructed since 2017.  “The slowdown is an opportunity for both recipient countries and financiers, including China, to use zero carbon technologies to meet energy security goals.” Read full article  →

A crate of Kweichow Moutai sold for $1.4 million at Sotheby’s UK, more than five times experts' estimate. Read full article  →

Budgets for short (3 mins/episode), serialized dramas are low ($60,000 on the high end) compared to long-form budgets of $5- $7 million/hr. for cable dramas, but more than 20,000 short series have been dramatized through 2020 and 210 million people watch them every day on Kuaishou, with cumulative 35 million viewing hours. Read full article  →

Factory TikTok has just one type of video, but each is a glimpse into how mundane objects are made. It can be hypnotizing to peer into this industrial world, which is usually obfuscated by complex supply chains.“You see and you feel where you are in this globalized labor chain.” Many have hundreds of millions of views. Read full article  →

The Department of Off-campus Education will address the problem of overburdened students, manage off-campus education and training for kindergarten, primary and secondary school students, and draft standards on content, training hours, personnel qualifications and fees. Coaching during school holidays could be banned, devastating the coaching industry. Read full article →

“Kids in the past had extracurriculars as well, but it didn’t serve any purpose except to cultivate hobbies or fun,” said Lansing Jia, a high school teacher in Shanghai.Today, chicken babies play chess to improve cognitive skills, participate in Math Olympiad for logical reasoning, sports to prevent myopia…Everything has to serve one purpose: to be good at school.” One mother shared her fifth grader's typical Saturday schedule:
8:30-9:50 a.m.: Reading
9:50-10:30: Gaming (for socializing with peers)
10:30: Eye exercise
11:00: Lunch while listening to audiobooks
1:00-4:00 p.m.: Math Olympiad practice
4:00-5:30: biking outdoors
5:30: Dinner
5:50-8:30: English lessons online
8:30-9:00: Snack break
9:00-10:00: Homework
10:00: Bedtime

“Many people don’t realize that if you don’t go to a good middle or high school, you have basically said goodbye to Tsinghua and Peking University,” said a mother whose son is enrolled in one of the six leading public schools in Haidian. More than 50% of high schoolers from Beijing who are admitted by Tsinghua and Peking University are from Haidian, one of the 16 districts of Beijing. Read full article  $→
Sourcing Yan Cha Wu Long Tea (Oolong) from Wu Yi Shan



The Great American Firewall Endorses The Great China Firewall
A New York Times article, They Relied on Chinese Vaccines. Now They're Battling Outbreaks, says "Chinese vaccines may not be very effective at preventing the spread of the virus". But Israel, where almost everyone is vaccinated with Pfizer/BNT vaccine, also witnessed a surge of new virus cases. The UK, where everyone has received at least one shot, was hit by a surge in cases of the delta variant. Hong Kong has reclassified Britain as ‘very high-risk’, with the change coming into effect next week. Read full article →


The China Executive Leadership Academy Pudong (CELAP), a top school in the Party system, opened its doors to foreign and domestic media. School VP Zheng Jinzhou says,  "We have classes about urban renewal, digital transformation and the BRI. We foster in our students an international vision, teach them how to communicate with foreigners, and welcome foreigners on cultural exchanges. As of June, we have received more than 11,000 foreign visitors." Read full article →

Two of China's fifteen new, first-tier cities have 20 million people, while eleven have over 10 million. The new Tier Ones are Chengdu, Hangzhou, Chongqing, Xi'an, Suzhou, Wuhan, Nanjing, Tianjin, Zhengzhou, Changsha, Dongguan, Foshan, Ningbo, Qingdao and Shenyang. Chongqing, with 32 million, took the top spot, ahead of Chengdu with 21 million and Tianjin with 14 million. Read full article →

China will invest $15.6 trillion by 2060 to achieve carbon neutrality, says PBOC Chairman Liu Liange.  “Domestic financial institutions, especially large ones, must formulate plans, accelerate implementation, and achieve their carbon neutrality targets early.” Read full article →

When Shanghai's Guilin Road station opens tomorrow, it will be the city's 460th. metro station. Read full article →

A  pharmaceuticals company owner got 12 years jail for trading pangolin scales and other wildlife products. Beijing Court  fined the company $312,500, and Chen $20,000. Read full article →

PBOC steps up protection on $1 trillion bank wealth products: “Banks and wealth managers can no longer use money invested in so-called cash management products to buy long-term debt or bonds rated below AA+.” Read full article $→
James Dickinson, head of the US Space Command, told Congress that China's space station arm "could be used in a future system for grappling other satellites" and was therefore a concern to the US military. "One notable object is the Shijian-17, a Chinese satellite with a robotic arm," he said, adding that its ability to potentially take down US probes was a "pacing challenge" in the space domain. Watch the video..


James Dickinson, head of the US Space Command, told Congress that China's space station arm "could be used in a future system for grappling other satellites" and was therefore a concern to the US military. "One notable object is the Shijian-17, a Chinese satellite with a robotic arm," he said, adding that its ability to potentially take down US probes was a "pacing challenge" in the space domain. Watch the (funny) video..


Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison is working “hard to prevent” tensions with China escalating to a Cold War, but its allies “know full well” the threat in the Indo-Pacific. “We’re working hard to prevent that type of an outcome, and that is achieved by having as much engagement as possible,” he told Sky News in Paris. Read full article $→

China has lodged a complaint with the WTO against Australia for its anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties on imports of Chinese railway wheels, wind towers and stainless steel sink products. Read full article $→

Australia said it will strongly oppose Unesco's plan to list the Great Barrier Reef as “in danger” over deterioration caused by climate change. An Australian government source suggested China is responsible for pushing for the reef’s World Heritage Status to be downgraded. Unesco says, 'Nonsense'. Read full article →

Armin Laschet, frontrunner to become Germany’s next chancellor, suggested many in Europe were sceptical of Biden’s hawkish attitude to China. “If we’re talking about ‘restraining’ China, will that lead to a new conflict? Do we need a new adversary? China is a competitor and a rival, it has a different model of society, but it’s also a partner, particularly in things like fighting climate change.” Read full article $→

Western media were silent about the inauguration of Senegal's national data center, built with Chinese financing and equipped by Huawei. It requires all servers to be located within national borders. Says Eric Olander, "The online outrage that is typically triggered in the US by China and Huawei was noticeably quiet. Not a single U.S. news outlet carried the story or republished Reuters's coverage of it". Read full article $→

Six candidates standing against Hungarian PM Viktor Orban announced that, if elected, they would repudiate two giant Chinese projects, a university campus in the capital and a railway to Belgrade. Read full article $→

A U.S. panel has blocked Chinese acquisition of a South Korean chipmaker a significant expansion of U.S. jurisdiction over Chinese access to semiconductor technologies. It’s unlikely U.S. and Korean regulators would allow it to proceed in its present form, citing national security concerns. Read full article →

When she was called to sit on a federal jury this month, for US v. Anming Hu, Wendy Chandler says, “I assumed the government had some reason to be there and were coming at it with honesty and integrity”. But after six days of witnesses and arguments, she agrees with the critics. “It was the most ridiculous case”. About the FBI, she added: “If this is who is protecting America, we’ve got problems.” Read full article →

A public hearing by a "Uygur tribunal" on accusations of so-called genocide in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region is illegal and the people who gave "testimony" are just actors, Xinjiang officials said.  Read full article →

A US appeals court has denied Huawei’s petition for review of the decision by the FCC to designate it a national security threatRead full article →

A year ago the FCC designated Huawei and ZTE as national security threats and barred federal funds from being spent on buying from them. Now it’s proposing to impose a blanket ban on all such purchases, regardless of whether federal funds are involved or not, and it’s even thinking of revoking past ‘authorizations’. Read full article →

China Russia, Belarus, Iran, North Korea, Syria and Venezuela seek UN Human Rights Council probe into indigenous children’s remains in Canada after the discovery last month of the remains of more than 700 indigenous children at a Canadian boarding school. Read full article →

President Biden's “Building Resilient Supply Chains, Revitalizing American Manufacturing and Fostering Broad-based Growth,” focuses on semiconductors, high-capacity batteries, critical minerals, and pharmaceuticals. But it turns out that the US, with only one-fourth China's population, now depends on the Chinese market and on Chinese firms supplying applications to the world. As an objective economic matter, the United States has an overwhelming interest in peace. Read full article →


“Even if trillion-dollar US mutual funds, like Vanguard, State Street, and BlackRock—all heavily invested in China’s economy—move quickly to comply with Biden’s order, their investments in an entirely separate group of Chinese firms could come under scrutiny next: the millions of shares they own in companies based in Xinjiang.” Read full article →


A few 10-minute contacts per day from a small Low Earth Orbit satellite constellation  is enough to annihilate a surface fleet in the western Pacific.
"We can state with confidence that the Yaogan satellite constellation and its associated ASBM system provide visible proof of Chinese intentions and capabilities to keep ACG strike groups well away from the Chinese mainland. The Chinese seem to have an operational capability for denying or deterring access into areas which it sees as crucial for preserving its sovereignty and security” (China has had this in place for a decade.) Via Read full article →

Late last year, the U.S. Air Force conducted a secret war game testing how it might repulse a Chinese invasion of Taiwan in 2030. The Air Force employed an array of manned and unmanned aircraft to blunt the attack, including the super-stealthy B-21 bomber, which is still under development. The B-21 was used to penetrate “contested zones,” presumably meaning Chinese airspace, while the less survivable B-52 launched cruise missiles from “standoff distances.” Read full article →


Farmers' Trust 

China’s Demographic Crisis:
the farmers should have a say

Dongping Han

China’s recently released seventh national population census has people worried that there might be a further decline in the country’s birth rate and a rise in the ageing population. China has always been among the world’s most populous countries; its people once made up a quarter to a third of the world’s total population. However, since the government imposed mandatory family planning in 1980, China’s share of the world population has shrunk to about 18%.

The one-child policy has been lifted in recent years, but Center For China & Globalization (CCG) non-resident senior fellow Huang Wenzheng gauges that since China’s birth rate continued to fall after the two-child policy was announced in late 2015, the number of births in China may drop to five million annually while the number of deaths could hit a high of 25 million, resulting in a significant decline in the country’s population. Thus, Huang believes that China should not only relax its restrictions on birth but also encourage people to have children. There have even been proposals that the parents of each newborn child should be given a reward of 1 million RMB.            

China is not the only country with a declining birth rate. Countries such as Japan, Germany, South Korea, Singapore, and Italy are facing this problem too. But unlike China, theirs is a gradual and natural process. In 1979, Chinese paramount leader Deng Xiaoping visited the US and imbibed the extreme birth control measures suggested by the American elite. After returning to China, he introduced the one-child policy as an unbreachable key tenet of national policy.

The people most threatened by population growth are the elites in rich countries and the rich in poor countries. To persuade the Indian government to lower its birth rate, American elites once gave US$6 billion to the Indian government in the 1960s and 1970s. But the Indian government was still unable to lower its birth rate after accepting US aid and enforcing mass sterilisation programmes. This is why India’s population is catching up with China’s population today.  

To improve China’s relations with the US, Deng was happy to accede to the US’s request of lowering the birth rate. But Deng did not fully understand why Chinese farmers wanted to have more children.

One-child policy harshly enforced in rural areas

As China-US relations were tense for over two decades from 1949 to 1972, the US government was unable to exert any influence on China’s population policies. When both countries established diplomatic relations in 1979, the US finally gained the chance to influence the Chinese government. To improve China’s relations with the US, Deng was happy to accede to the US’s request of lowering the birth rate. But Deng did not fully understand why Chinese farmers wanted to have more children.

China’s smaller urban populations had better social benefits, such as free education, free medical care, and pension. But Chinese farmers hardly had social security in terms of medical care, education, or pensions. Only the people’s communes, dismantled by Deng in 1979, provided them some form of social security. This meant that farmers could only rely on their children. The Chinese tradition of raising children to prepare for old age (养儿防老) has endured for thousands of years.       

To implement the one-child policy, the Chinese government came up with a “one fails all fail” rule. If any local official failed to properly enforce the one-child policy, they would be dismissed from their posts. Township officials thus resorted to any means to keep their jobs — they forced the farmers to get abortions or be sterilised, and did everything they could to enforce the policy. In some regions, if the couple refused to abort their baby, officials would cut their water and electricity supply, remove their furniture and household appliances, or even demolish their homes.

To keep their child, farmers would hide or leave their hometowns. When township officials failed to arrest the couple on the run, they would capture the couple’s parents instead. In the name of enforcing a basic national policy, many local officials disregarded national laws and destroyed their own people, making rural life unbearable.  

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has always seen “serving the people” as its purpose. But the one-child policy utterly destroyed the relationship between the government and the farmers.

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has always seen “serving the people” as its purpose. But the one-child policy utterly destroyed the relationship between the government and the farmers. The latter came to believe that CCP officials were even worse than the Kuomintang officials and saw themselves on opposing sides with the party. In fact, the one-child policy has eroded the public support that the CCP has fought so hard to forge over the decades. It was thanks to the farmers’ support that the CCP gained power, but the government has deeply hurt them with the cut and dried one-child policy. If not for Chinese President Xi Jinping’s later efforts in fighting crime and corruption as well as alleviating poverty, the future of the CCP would have been bleak.      

Will the CCP alienate their rural base again?

It was the subjective decision of politicians back then to implement China’s family planning policy. Not only that, the policy was left unchanged for over 30 years and no one ever asked for the opinions of farmers or grassroot cadres. It was not until recently when China faced a demographic crisis that the government decided to relax restrictions and implement the two-child and now the three-child policy. But at this point in time, it seems that the suggestions of a few demographers are not enough to change China’s demographic crisis. 

There are about one billion farmers in China. The majority of the Chinese population is intimately related to farmers and villages, and many city dwellers grew up in the villages as well. To truly solve such a major population problem, the opinions of the farmers and grassroot cadres should be heard. It is not as easy as the Politburo holding a meeting and deciding to implement the three-child policy. Farmers and grassroot cadres should have ample opportunities to express their opinions and propose solutions. The Chinese government has the tradition of conducting meetings at the grassroots level and mobilising the masses to solve problems together. Xi has always talked about adhering to his “mass line” campaign. It is now time to put it into practice.

Dongping Han is the author of The Unknown Cultural Revolution: Life and Change in a Chinese Village.

Political Stories

Telling Chinese Political Stories

Zhang Weiwei

It is entirely possible to tell Chinese political stories more thoroughly and wonderfully. The rise of China is a miracle in human history. Never before have so many people changed their destiny in such a short time. This miracle was realized by the Chinese people under the leadership of the Communist Party of China, and was achieved by the Chinese people's continuous exploration and struggle along the road of socialism with Chinese characteristics, so the political story of China should be the most wonderful story in the world.

However, things are not so simple. First of all, it comes from external challenges. In particular, the siege of China by Western discourse has never stopped. In a sense, the West is even more afraid of the rise of China's soft power, because it may end the Western institutional myth and discourse hegemony constructed by the West for centuries.

In addition, China also faces internal challenges: many officials and scholars lack "four self-confidences"; We talk about politicians running newspapers, schools and media, but there are still too few such politicians. Many officials still have the problem of "stereotyped party writing", and the words have no affinity and persuasiveness; Many scholars still have the problem of "foreign stereotyped writing" and cannot open their mouths without citing ancient Greece. As a result, they can neither read China nor the world; New social media has the problem of "kitsch". All these prevent us from telling Chinese political stories well.

In addition, penetrating thinking and insufficient words are also the difficulties in telling Chinese political stories well. Besides official discourse, our other discourses, such as academic discourse, mass discourse, international discourse, etc., can not meet the needs of telling Chinese political stories well. In a word, the process of our discourse construction lags behind the scale and speed of our country's rise...

I have been studying the original Chinese political discourse for many years. I want to combine my research results and communication practice, and put forward some personal views on how to tell Chinese political stories better.

To tell Chinese political stories well depends on whether we can really deconstruct western discourse, especially the mainstream narrative of western discourse on China, and establish our own political narrative of China. This narrative should be a new discourse that can integrate official discourse, academic discourse, mass discourse and international discourse, and a discourse that can really spread widely and enter the mind...

For a long time, the mainstream political narrative of China in the West is based on an extremely shallow and biased analysis paradigm, that is, the so-called discourse paradigm of "democracy or autocracy", and what is democracy and autocracy can only be defined by the West...

Zhang concludes:

Capital has no motherland, and a new phenomenon has emerged in recent years: today, the desire of capital forces to improve their own political system and social structure has obviously decreased, because through globalization and networking, the source of their biggest profits is often not their own country, which is also a new institutional dilemma facing the West.

In contrast, although the gap between the rich and the poor in China has widened, Chinese political forces have generally ensured a substantial improvement in the living standards of the disadvantaged groups. Chinese social forces have continued the tradition of Chinese populism, and the mainstream of society has almost always tended to control capital. This balanced pattern of the three forces should be the main reason why China can avoid the American-style financial crisis and debt crisis, and it may also be the main reason why the prospect of ordinary people's "Chinese Dream" is more brilliant than that of the "American Dream".

On different occasions, I have extracted three criteria from China's experience to comment on the ability of countries in the world to govern the country: (1) whether a country has political power that can represent the overall interests of the people. China has it, but many western countries such as the United States have long since lost it. (two) the government's ability to integrate and reform is strong or weak. (3) Whether the market role and the government role can be better combined. These three standards can be used to measure a country's comprehensive competitiveness and its future prospects.

In a word, as long as we focus on paradigm shift, cross-border comparison, cultural narrative, modern perspective, Chinese standards and international expression, it is entirely possible for us to tell Chinese political stories more thoroughly and brilliantly, thus providing more Chinese wisdom for enriching human political civilization. Read full article in Chinese→ 


Misjudgments of CPC blind West to reality and future

Zheng Yongnian

Global Times: In recent years, the Western politicians and academicians have made more misjudgments against the Communist Party of China, trying to demonize it. This has become a much serious phenomenon. What do you think is the root cause of this?

Zheng: The misunderstanding and misjudgment of the CPC in the West is largely due to the lack of research about the CPC in the West, especially in recent years. Historically before 1949, people like American journalist Edgar Snow and others in the West were very interested in the CPC. They even made a special trip to Yan'an to file in-depth reports about the Party. From 1949 to the 1970s, even when China did not really communicate much with the West, there were still many Western scholars studying all aspects of the CPC - with numerous books coming out. They understood the importance of studying the Party. However, there were fewer and fewer books since the 1980s. Why? Because Western scholars thought that the CPC was no longer important. They also thought that the Party was outdated, so research was not necessary.

This trend was also related to the political and social changes in the West at that time. Before the 1980s, the political system adopted by the West was essentially an elite democracy, and political parties were the main body of this elite democracy. However, after the 1970s, popular democracy of one person, one vote gradually emerged in the US and other Western countries. This had a great impact on Western party systems.

Since then until today, Western parties have been in a state of decline, and neoliberalism is rising day by day. This means that the status of capital has become more important, and politics has been marginalized. This is also the case in countries such as the UK and the US, which are generally the root causes of governance crises there.

In this context, the overall research direction of Western scholars has gradually shifted from political parties to social organizations, to the so-called "post-industrial era" issues, and this trend has also affected their research on the CPC. A closer look at the Western monographs on China in recent years, it is not difficult to find that there are many articles on China's environmental movement, farmers protests, and non-governmental organizations, but very few studies on the Party. However, is the role played by the CPC in China more important, or is the role played by NGOs more important? The answer is obvious.

Many of the wrong policies toward China in the West stem from their misunderstanding of the CPC: Failure to study leads to ignorance, and ignorance further misleads policy making. Some so-called Chinese experts and opinion leaders in the West have even conveyed wrong judgments from an ideological point of view; such as the collapse of the Party and the separation of the CPC from the Chinese people. But the facts are completely contrary to their judgments. If the US does not correct these misjudgments, it will continue to make big mistakes with its China policy.

GT: "Legitimacy" is one of the most frequently criticized issues of the CPC, according to some Western scholars. They believe that there is no one-person-one-vote universal suffrage in China, so the CPC is not broadly representative. From this they think the CPC's governance of China has no legitimacy. What do you think of this statement? Does the legitimacy of a ruling party have to come from universal suffrage?

Zheng:The view - the legitimacy of the ruling party comes from the one-person-one-vote election - is the opinion of Western scholars, not the universal truth. It cannot be used to measure everything.

Also, the universal suffrage issue is not always the case even in the West. If you read the modern and contemporary history of the West, you will find that their views on the legitimacy of those in power are constantly changing. For example, before the emergence of early political parties, the UK used the "old boys' club" to discuss who would be elected to govern. Until World War II, there were very few people in the West who had the right to vote. For example, in the UK, it was mainly the men who had the right to vote and who had paid a lot of taxes to the country. Women did not have the right to vote, and even minorities did not.

In Samuel P. Huntington's book The Third Wave, Sweden was regarded as a model for the realization of democracy in the first wave. But Swedish women did not have the right to vote until 1971. Meanwhile, the US has long considered itself a democratic system, but its "one person, one vote" also started after the civil rights movement in the 1960s and 1970s. Therefore, the legitimacy of the ruling party can only come from one-person, one-vote elections is completely a false proposition.

As result, we do not need to judge ourselves according to the Western definition of legitimacy. The question we really want to ask is: Where does the legitimacy of the CPC come from? I think the legitimacy of the CPC mainly comes from three points. The first point is: The CPC has achieved China's sustainable economic development. Everyone has seen this very clearly.

The second point is: The CPC has achieved sustainable social stability. This social stability was not achieved through dictatorship or a "police state" as the West says. This was not easy to do. From a global perspective, economic development and social stability are a pair of contradictions. The French writer Tocqueville put forward such a problem in his bookThe Old Regime and the Revolution, stating that there will be poverty if there is no development. But if the development process is not advanced well, then society will also be unstable.

The French Revolution is a case in point. Therefore, sustainable economic development and sustainable social stability have challenges if done at the same time. It is only China that has achieved both goals in the world's major economies. Third, the CPC has realized the support and guidance of a sustainable political system. This is an important institutional source for China to achieve sustainable economic development and social stability at the same time.

GT: What do you mean by, "sustainable political system?" In one of your speeches, you mentioned that many Western scholars believe that China's reform and opening-up was only about economic reform, not about politics. In your opinion, you said China has carried out non-Western political reform. What exactly do you mean by that phrase?

Zheng:The definition of political reform is simple in the West. It includes power rotation among multiple political parties. It means the principle of "one person, one vote," with a separation of powers into three branches, and so on. Measured by this definition, China certainly does not have political reform. But China does have political reform that is not defined by Western standards. And it is one of the roots of China's success today

From a historical and global perspective, several developing countries became independent from the colonial rule of Western powers after the WWII. But many of these countries have not seen a change in their political systems. Even though many elites in these nations seek political independence, they were still educated in the West. Therefore, Western systems are retained in many developing countries, such as those in Latin America, Africa, and even Asia.

On the surface, these states have a multi-party system, the "one person, one vote" principle, and a free press. Still, their "democracy" exists only in name. As a result, they cannot develop their economy or unite the country. For example, in India, the political party Indian National Congress is basically a family organization represented by the Nehru and Gandhi families. Meanwhile, even though Bharatiya Janata Party, the one Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi belongs to, has developed to be a national party, India still does not have a structural organization as strong as the CPC. Thus, there are always problems in India.

Some Asian countries, on the other hand, have successfully decolonized and de-Westernized their institutions to create a system that fits their civilization and culture. China, Japan and Singapore have also made the most successful institutional reforms. However, these countries are not considered by the West to be true democracies because they have not enacted "power rotation" among multiple political parties. Many Western scholars even consider Japan to be an Eastern country disguised as a Western one.

In general, there are very few countries that meet the Western definition of "democracy," and at the same time achieve development success. According to the World Bank, among more than 100 countries in the world, there are only about 20 that have not fallen into the "middle-income trap" after the WWII, including some small countries in Northern Europe and the Middle East. In Asia, they are mainly the "Four Asian Tigers," encompassing South Korea, Singapore, China's Hong Kong, and the island of Taiwan. The best development period for Taiwan was under the administration of Chiang Ching-kuo. But now, Taiwan's development has come to a standstill after its Westernization. Therefore, we should not forget what Karl Marx said, the economy is the base, while the political system is the superstructure.

My summary of China's political reforms is very simple: The CPC has modernized itself in the country's modernization process of politics, society, and economics. Since the 1980s in China there have been some reforms at the economic and social level. There have also been some at the institutional level; but we did not explicitly call them political reforms. Plus, the West does not understand them with their own theories.

As I always say, if a doctor fails to treat a patient with what he or she has learned, we cannot say that the patient has the wrong disease. We can only say that the doctor's knowledge and experience are not enough. When the West cannot use its theories to explain China's development, Western countries should not simplistically assume that China has done something wrong. They should consider whether their own perception of China is wrong.

GT: You once described China's system as an "open one-party system." What is the fundamental difference between an "open one-party system" and a "one-party autocracy?" Why is China the former and not the latter?

Zheng: I call the Western party systems an "external pluralism." In the US, for example, you can support either the Republican Party or the Democratic Party. And if you don't like either party, theoretically, you can form your own. It means that a country can have several political processes at the same time.

In this "external pluralism," political parties represent the interests of a part of the population, and their survival and development depend on their external openness. Political identity plays an important role in elections because it is an essential tool for different parties to gain political support. Therefore, political parties in Western societies are often established based on rank, class, region, ethnicity, religion, and race.

In contrast to the West, China is "internally pluralistic," as the CPC is the only long-term ruling party and there is only one political process in the country. However, this process is open. In other words, any elite, social group, or representative of economic interests can participate in the process. They can have their interests expressed through internal consultation. It is not a "one-party autocracy" as said in the West. It is, "pluralism in one body."

Take the personnel system as an example. Mao Zedong once said, "We all come from five lakes and four seas" (meaning from all corners of the country). From here, we can see the plurality of representatives. But there is no "mountain" in China to divide these people because they "have joined together for a common revolutionary objective." The expressions of China's other interests are similar as well. As China's society and economy develop, its social interests are bound to be pluralistic. And each interest can be absorbed into the political process under the leadership of the CPC. It means that the problem-solving process is internal, not external.

Historically, hundreds of registered political parties emerged in China after the founding of the Republic of China in 1911. There were even more that were not registered. According to the concept of democracy defined by the West, of course, the more political parties there are, the more democratic it is. But the fact is: the state was simply not functioning. It barely had any efficiency. When a multi-party system is not acceptable to society, the system is doomed to fail.

The political arrangement of "internal pluralism" is also an outward expression of China's historical and cultural characteristics. The Great Unity is an important feature of traditional Chinese culture. In the West, independent states emerged after the disintegration of empires. In Chinese history, despite being divided and unified again and again, "division" is not the ultimate goal. Indeed, "unification" is. But The Great Unity does not mean a unification of interests. Instead, it can develop through "internal pluralism." Global Times

Zheng Yongnian is presidential chair professor, acting dean of the School of Humanities and Social Science and the Founding Director of the Advanced Institute of Global and Contemporary China Studies, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen.

AIIB Tested

Jin Liqun, President of AIIB, speaks on AIIB, India, Belt & Road, Coal Financing, Bretton Woods, etc.

China-India border clash was the "first severe test of the nature of AIIB as a multilateral institution"

Translated by Zichen Wang
  1. The first severe test of AIIB as a multilateral institution was  a conflict on the border between China and India, the AIIB still offered loans to India, as scheduled long before the conflict. When the Sino-Indian border conflict occurred, the management of AIIB adhered to international standards, and the international response was very positive. 
  2. Not long ago, I held a video conference with a German think tank, which surprised the Germans - India accounts for 25% of the total loans of AIIB and is the No.1 borrower. I said, what's so surprising about this? Isn't this (AIIB) an international institution? We can't talk about international standards and best practices at ordinary times but when we encounter practical problems we lost our thinking and resorted to something else. Once you break your promise, it is very difficult to restore your reputation. The borrowing countries are not required to cooperate with Chinese-funded institutions - the principle of mutual consent always holds at AIIB. The AIIB has cooperated with Silk Road Fund and is also negotiating with some Chinese-funded enterprises, but all of them are based on the needs of the borrowing countries themselves.
  3. We just want to establish an international multilateral institution in the true sense, adhere to best practices and be apolitical. Bilateral contradictions among member States should not be dragged into multilateral institutions.
  4. Under Jin’s leadership, the AIIB has steered clear of coal financing. A senior Chinese official recently said Some countries want our country to help build coal-fired power plants, but coal-fired power plants have reputation problems, so China feels very entangled.  To which Jin replied that if China can clearly declare that the Belt and Road Initiative will not engage in coal power and only support clean energy, it will greatly enhance the reputation of the BRI.
  5. If the existing governance structure and operation mode of international multilateral institutions are not reformed, it will be difficult to adapt to the requirements of the new era. Hence, new bodies like the AIIB are needed. Every single provision in the Washington Consensus does not seem to make a big mistake, but putting them together for implementation is a huge risk for developing countries. The Washington Consensus appears to represent the truth, but it is not applicable to many countries. 
  6. China has grown a lot. Does it mean that China can naturally play a leading role in the international economic order and that we have a lot of power? In fact, not so much.
  7. It is always correct that we should be modest and prudent. We are already a big country, it is very important for us to have the demeanor and bearing of a big country in our relations with developed countries and many developing countries.
  8. Will the AIIB initiated by China invade the territory of the World Bank? Will the AIIB be dedicated to cooperating with Chinese-funded institutions to promote Chinese-funded institutions to go global? Is the AIIB a tool to promote China's Belt and Road Initiative, or is it simply a bank of the BRI. Read the full speech here.

Rough Justice

Chinese Criminal Confessions

Larry Romanoff

We are today treated by the Western media to 'the fact' of the Chinese justice system having a conviction rate of "at least 99.9%", if not higher, accompanied by harrowing tales of criminals confessing under duress - surely the reason for the apparently high conviction rate.

But, once again, not everything is as it seems. Westerners live in an illusionary black and white world framed for them by the programming from their Zionist media and are mostly incapable of escaping their ideological indoctrination. They tend to view virtually everything about other nations and peoples through a series of political-religious ideological lenses that cast a rather severe chromatic aberration on anything seen through those lenses. Certainly this includes the judicial system, leaving Americans and Canadians particularly, unable to comprehend traditions and outlooks very different from their own. I will explain.

One day many years ago, I arrived home from the office to find a window broken in my house. The children had been playing ball in the house - which they knew they weren't supposed to do, and accidentally broke a window.

One of my sons confessed. But what do you suppose my response would have been if he had said, "I refuse to testify on the grounds that I may incriminate myself"? Or, worse, if he had said, "I don't think you can prove I did it, so I plead Not Guilty. Give it your best shot." I am by nature a gentle person, but any kid of mine giving me an answer like that would receive a slap on the head he wouldn't soon forget.

This is what we teach our children. Don't be cowardly if you do something wrong and are caught. Be a man and admit your wrongdoing. Recognise that what you did was wrong, express your regret, and hope for mercy from your father. Whatever else you do, you don't add to your crime by lying about it.

This is precisely the Chinese system. According to millennia of culture and tradition, if you are caught in a crime, you confess, you express your regret, and you throw yourself on the mercy of the court. It helps immensely if your expression of regret is sincere. But if you try to lie your way out of it, if you refuse to admit to your crime and obstruct the investigation, the police will hold you until they eventually acquire the proof they need, after which the courts will show you no mercy.

This is the Chinese system, just as it is at home with our children, where confessing is the only smart move. Westerners cannot understand this, the media repeatedly referring to a "purported confession" or a "possibly coerced confession", unable to fathom a culture where people traditionally confess to crimes when they are caught. Thus the conclusion that any confession in China must have been forced or obtained by torture.

The Western system is very different because it stems from a different culture - or a lack of culture. The existence of the many so-called 'rights' of criminals today is now presented as evidence of the chastity of America's court system, but those rights were introduced because the system was so corrupt it could no longer function.

In the West, with the prosecution and court systems as they are, only a fool would confess to a crime because it eliminates the possibility of a smooth lawyer convincing a judge to exonerate you, and only in unusual circumstances would "mercy" plays any part in a Western courtroom.
In the West, especially in the black-and-white, authoritarian, English-speaking countries, a guilty plea forecloses the crime investigation, with automatic conviction and punishment mandatory; thus the only hope in the West for a 'fair' hearing is a refusal to confess.

In the same context, the Western media make repeated references to China's conviction rate of 99.9%, suggesting that anyone charged with a crime is automatically sentenced to prison, this being proof that China's judicial system is corrupt. But these claims are based on deliberate misinformation and willful ignorance. First, the Chinese government does not collect statistics on conviction rates for every level of court in every city, town, county and province, so even the authorities in China don't know the overall conviction rate. The number of 99.9% is yet one more statistic fabricated by Western columnists to demean China in the eyes of the world.

For comparison, the equivalent number for conviction rates in the West (at least the US and Canada) is about 60%, the number presented as an indication of 'fairness' or 'justice' in the Western system, but what does that 60% Western conviction rate mean? It means that nearly half of all people in the West who are charged with a crime, were in fact innocent, but needed the expense and trauma of a criminal trial to prove their innocence. Or, if we want to be stubborn, we can argue the other side - that 100% of those charged with a crime were in fact guilty, but that a clever and expensive lawyer let them walk free. Is that better?

The truth is that China's police perform what are probably the most thorough criminal investigations in the world today. The Chinese police will not lay a criminal charge unless and until they are 100% certain the accused is guilty of the crime, and they will take as long as necessary to obtain that evidence. Not only that, they generally make sincere efforts to obtain all the circumstantial evidence surrounding a crime, in order to assist the courts in arriving at the most appropriate conclusion and punishment. This process ensures a conviction rate higher than in the West, not because China's system is corrupt but because it functions as a judicial system should.

In the US especially, but in other Western nations as well, police and prosecutors will lay charges on a whim, on the smallest suspicion of guilt, then leave it to the courts to sort out guilt or innocence. Moreover, it has become increasingly true that police and prosecutors use criminal charges or the threat of them as negotiating tools to force compliance in other areas. American police commonly use criminal charges or threats of them as a tool to intimidate individuals, and the FBI is famous for employing this method to bankrupt political and other dissidents with legal fees.

China does not have the foolish tradition of permitting an accused to plead "not guilty", which is in fact telling the police and the courts "I don't think you can really prove I did it, so I deny everything and dare you to try". That can be done in China too, but punishments are more harsh in this event, as they should be. 

And which way is better? Why should the legal system be different from what we do at home in our private lives and which is clearly the right way? In China's system; the guilty party, when caught, is expected by culture and tradition to confess his sins and tell "the whole truth" of his crimes. If he does this, the courts, by all accounts, are almost always much more merciful than when dealing with a criminal who lied to the end, refused to admit his guilt and displayed no remorse. In what way is the American system better, where a plea of 'not guilty' requires extensive and costly courtroom and other processes, and produces delays that often extend to years? And why would anybody be proud of a system where police are careless, slipshod, reckless, and often malicious, laying criminal charges on the flimsiest of evidence and leaving it to the courts to eventually sort out which accused are part of the innocent 40%?

It is the same with the process of plea-bargaining that the Americans are desperately attempting to push onto China as a superior method of dealing with crime. But it is not superior; it is instead an enormous fraud being perpetrated. The problem is that Chinese judges have proven almost impermeable to bribery and Chinese lawyers have not been trained to lie in a courtroom.

So what to do when Americans are charged with crimes in China, as they increasingly are and increasingly will be?

The benefit of plea-bargaining is that it removes judicial decisions and sentencing from the judges and the courts and turns this discretion over to two sets of lawyers on the hopeful theory that lawyers can be bribed more easily than can judges. Again, in this respect the Chinese system is perfect while it is the Western (American) justice system that is so badly flawed. We need think only of the recent events in the US where Jeffrey Epstein avoided 200 years in prison for his international underage sex trafficking ring, accomplished only by removing decisions as to guilt and punishment from the courts and placing it entirely into the hands of lawyers and money, all done without the benefit of sunlight. Read more...

Extreme Caution

The Current Chinese 'wave of COVID-19' 
is a Wave of Prevention

Jerry Grey

JUNE 19, 2021 (Xinhua) Guangdong has seen a resurgence of new Covid-19 cases. Another 6 local cases were reported yesterday: two in Guangzhou, two in Shenzhen, and one each in Dongguan and Foshan. Moreover, there were eight new imported cases, and eighteen new asymptomatic cases imported.

Reading through Twitter and watching Western mainstream media (WMSM), it’s easy to believe that China is collapsing because “a new wave of COVID is decimating the country”. Nothing could be further from the truth. It’s just another example of how WMSM distorts a tiny truth into a larger fabrication designed to paint their chosen target in a bad light.

According to, “Schadenfreude is a complex emotion where, rather than feeling sympathy, one takes pleasure from watching someone’s misfortune.” There’s no English word for this, nor is there a Chinese word, but Chinese do use the expression: 幸灾乐祸(Xing zai le huo) which has a very similar meaning to: take pleasure in the misfortune of others.

While WMSM looks at China’s re-emergence of COVID-19 there are two main reasons to point out that the current “wave” is nothing more than a ripple. Onlookers currently viewing China through their lens of Schadenfreude, are going to be sadly disappointed because this “wave” is not a wave of infections but a tsunami of activity to prevent further infections.

Just over two weeks ago there were two new outbreaks of COVID-19 in Guangdong province. One in Shenzhen were a few people got sick because they worked on a ship which came into the port and contaminated them. The procedures in place in their workplace, because they were high risk, meant that they were regularly tested and found positive, before they even knew they were sick. Immediate action was to isolate them, track and trace everyone they’ve been in contact with and withing a few days hundreds of thousands of tests had taken place and the outbreak was confined to very few cases — all over within a few days with several thousand people isolated, checked and found to be healthy although, for the sake of ongoing safety, isolation for close contacts and other measures, such as some travel restrictions, are still in place.

In Guangzhou it was a slightly different story. COVID-19 did escape into the community. How this happened is still not confirmed and under investigation. One of the infected people was a Chinese national who had entered China and been through all the appropriate quarantine and testing procedures before being allowed to continue his journey. He travelled by train but reported that he wasn’t feeling well after arriving in Nanning in neighbouring Guangxi. He was tested and found positive. So far, despite massive testing, no one on the train has tested positive (all passengers on trains need to wear masks as tall times, now we can understand why this is a good thing). No one in his immediate group of contacts has tested positive and it looks like, as far as Nanning is concerned, nothing more to worry about.

During his journey, he had a meal in a Yum Cha restaurant, a morning tea house. He was served by a waitress, she served others and a few days later, a 75-year-old lady, Mrs. Gao, felt unwell, went to the hospital and was confirmed with COVID-19. Her husband was also confirmed positive, the waitress who served them was traced, she had already travelled from Guangzhou to her home town of Maoming, a few hundred kilometres away. Once again local authorities swept into action, testing thousands of travellers and residents of Maoming, so far, only the waitress has been confirmed with COVID-19.

Mr and Mrs Gao visited family in another part of Guangzhou and, through testing all of their contacts, a few other cases were confirmed, one of whom was a student so the school needed to be tested and some more cases were confirmed. The family had connections in Foshan, a neighbouring city to Guangzhou and some cases have been found there too.

Which brings us up to now. Mass testing, accompanied by mass vaccinations (Guangzhou must certainly hold the world record for this by vaccinating 2.5 million people in just one day) means that, while there are new cases being found in Guangzhou and neighbouring Foshan city, so far, all of them have been found within the isolated communities and found by testing, rather than reporting independently to the hospital because the patient felt unwell. As soon as one case is found, the building or street is locked down, all contacts are traced and, in some cases, more are found, but usually there are no more positive tests.

For some perspective into how seriously the Guangdong authorities are taking this, even though people living in Guangzhou are now forbidden to leave without having a negative test in the preceding 48 hours, cities like Zhongshan, (the writer’s home) 80km from Guangzhou (bordering Foshan where some cases have been identified), has been subject to a massive logistical health operation.

Over three days, despite there being no cases in Zhongshan, the entire city of 4 million people was tested (at no charge). Restaurants are encouraging take away or pick up food but still allowed to operate at 75% capacity. Cinemas, swimming pools, Karaoke bars and other places of entertainment are closed. Gatherings of people outside of immediate family are discouraged and have been banned in public places and the requirement to wear a mask, which was never officially lifted, is now being strictly enforced on buses, in banks, supermarkets, restaurants and basically any other place where citizens might want to go. There’s also a requirement to show a green pass code which is obtained by scanning a QR code placed at the entrance of every facility. It takes about 20 seconds and is hardly an inconvenience.

The health and safety steps described above are being taken after only 5 to 10 cases a day are being discovered in a neighbouring city. Not only is Guangzhou a city of 18 million people but 100% of the small number of new cases which are being discovered come from within the testing, isolation and management systems being carried out there.

For even more perspective, statistics show, since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Guangdong province, with a population of 110 million citizens, larger than most countries. Has reported a total of 2,542 confirmed cases, this includes 1,052 cases imported from other countries and captured in the closed-loop management system of quarantine and testing on arrival. So far, only one patient has died in Guangdong province.

And one final piece of perspective to measure Guangdong’s success: the United States, currently reporting how pleased they are with the way they have handled COVID-19 stated last week that new cases there dropped to just below 22,000 a day for the first time since June 2020.

It’s fair to say, even though there is an increase of cases in China, when placed in a proper perspective this is nothing more than a spark and the processes in place will ensure it remains so. To report waves of COVID-19 at a time like this is not only alarmist and misleading, it demeans the journalist and the publications they write for, it insults the Chinese people working so hard to eradicate this disease and prevent its spread. Read more of Jerry's wanderings in China. 

Emissions Trading

How China’s National Emissions Trading Scheme Will Work

Jingwei Jia and Mervyn Tang 

The operational phase of China’s national emission trading scheme (ETS) has begun, with the measures that form the legal basis of the scheme coming into effect on Feb. 1 and trading set to begin in mid-2021. The Ministry of Environment and Ecology, formed in 2018, is the scheme’s main regulator. Regional pilot schemes to test processes, rules and market infrastructure development have taken place over the past three years, with the National Development and Reform Commission releasing the initial ETS framework in 2017. The regional pilots have explored how carbon markets could function in different structures, including allocation mechanisms, sectoral coverage and the use of offset credits and carbon derivative products.

The national ETS will initially only cover the power sector, which accounts for around 30% of domestic carbon emissions, but will ultimately cover other sectors, including petrochemicals, chemicals, building materials, steel, non-ferrous metals, paper and domestic aviation. Certain sectors that make up a significant proportion of overall greenhouse gas emissions, such as transport, agriculture and construction, are still excluded from the scheme.

The first ETS compliance cycle runs from Jan. 6 to Dec. 31, 2021, during which entities need to report and verify emissions, and trade allowances to meet any obligations. The first cycle covers emissions from 2019-2020. Entities with annual emissions of around 26,000 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) — which equates to total energy consumption of more than 10,000 tons of coal equivalent — in any year over 2013-2019 are required to participate in the first compliance cycle; 2,225 power generators meet this criteria. Entities that participate in the national ETS will no longer be part of regional scheme pilots.

Participating entities have an obligation to surrender allowances if their verified emissions exceed their free allocation, which they will need to acquire from the market. Obligations are capped at 20% above an entity’s free allocation, limiting the compliance burden, at least in the initial cycle. Obligations for gas-fired plants are even lower, capped at the level of their free allocation, as part of the government’s plan to promote the development of gas-fired units. Failure to report or meet compliance obligations could result in a fine, although the maximum level is a low 30,000 yuan ($4,644). Gaps in verified emissions and surrendered allowances could also lead to a reduction in future allocations.

Allowances based on carbon intensity

Allowance allocation is a key factor in the success of the ETS. The Ministry of Environment and Ecology updated its draft allocation plan for the power sector in November 2020, with first compliance cycle allocations determined by four benchmarks for different subsectors. The benchmarks, which are based on the size and fuel type of power generators, include conventional coal plants below and above an installed capacity threshold of 300 megawatts, unconventional coal plants and natural gas plants. There are further adjustments based on technology used and output capacity usage. The standards will tighten as the allocation plan is developed over time.

Entities will initially receive allowances at 70% of 2018 output multiplied by the corresponding benchmark factor. Free allocations will subsequently be adjusted in accordance with verified emissions for 2019-2020 as reported by the entities. However, data reporting and collection may be delayed due to the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The use of carbon-intensity benchmarks, rather than absolute emission caps, differs from the European ETS and is more likely to drive competition within benchmark groups — for example, on low carbon technology use and improved energy efficiency — rather than encourage substitution across benchmarks, such as from coal to natural gas. 

The carbon-intensity model may also better suit China’s economic conditions, given the rapid pace of economic growth and rising energy demand. These factors can make it more challenging to set fixed absolute emission levels without inadvertently constraining growth prospects. Multiple benchmarks also moderate the impact on entities while the scheme gets up and running. 

We expect China to reduce the number of benchmarks and apply absolute carbon emission caps over time as efforts to decarbonize intensify. The 2020 China Carbon Pricing Survey shows that a majority of respondents prefer a transition towards a single benchmark in the long term. This tightening should encourage the transition from high carbon-intensity fuel sources to clean energy, rather than just improvements in carbon efficiency.


Why doesn't China have allies?

 Lu Jiafei 


As U.S. President Joe Biden wrapped up his Europe tour, during which he tried to unify allies under the banner of Democracy, maybe it’s worthwhile to examine China’s view and action in regard to forging alliances.

It’s plenty clear that the current global situation is one where the world’s largest economy is rebuilding a global alliance to counter the second largest one, just like what the former did during the Cold War. But unlike the Soviet Union, China is not forging its own alliance. 

There are some who like to frame China’s lack of allies as evidence that Beijing is inferior in its global standing compare with Washington, which maintains numerous alliances around the world. 

But is that really the case? In this newsletter, your host would like to briefly address the questions, specifically, to answer 1) Is forging alliances the mainstream practice of international relations? 2) Why does China have no ally and how does China view international relations?


As to the first question, what constitutes 'alliance'?

According to, an alliance vaguely refers to a formal agreement or treaty between two or more nations to cooperate for specific purposes. However, in today’s political terminology, especially during the Cold War, “alliance” more likely means a military one.

According to Wikipedia, a military alliance is an international agreement concerning national security in which the contracting parties agree to mutual protection and support in case of a crisis that has not been identified in advance.

An early 1950s memorandum from the U.S. State Department noted that historically, alliances “were designed to advance the respective nationalistic interests of the parties, and provided for joint military action if one of the parties in pursuit of such objectives became involved in war.” In addition, a collective security arrangement “is directed against no one; it is directed solely against aggression. It seeks not to influence any shifting ‘balance of power’ but to strengthen the 'balance of principle.’”

Now that we’ve established the definition, let’s take a look at if forging alliances the mainstream practice of international relations.

The answer is not really. Building up a western-style alliance, such as the one between the United States and many EU countries to counter the Soviet Union then and China now is not an option chosen by the majority of developing countries in the world.

As you may know, the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) is a grouping of 120 developing countries that are not formally aligned with or against any major power bloc. After the United Nations, it is the largest grouping of countries worldwide. The countries of the NAM represent nearly two-thirds of the United Nations' members and contain 55 percent of the world population. Membership is particularly concentrated in countries considered to be developing or part of the Third World, though the Movement also has a number of developed countries.

You may wonder whether the NAM is a kind of “alliance” in essence. However, the NAM has no headquarters, no permanent bodies, and no written statutes. All meetings of the Movement are based on the principle of consensus. In case of disagreement, each member state may formally submit a reservation in writing to the Presidency as an indication that it is not bound by the relevant resolution or document.


As to the second question, why does China have no ally?

The short answer is simply because China actively chose not to have any.

Since its founding, the People’s Republic of China has been firmly pursuing an independent foreign policy that included non-alignment as a feature. In 1953, then-Premier Zhou Enlai first proposed the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, making a historic contribution to promoting the establishment of a new type of international relations that is fair and reasonable. in September 1982, then national leader Deng Xiaoping pointed out in his opening speech to the 12th Party Congress that “Independence and self-reliance, whether in the past, present or future, are our foothold” (独立自主,自力更生,无论过去、现在和将来,都是我们的立足点) and “no foreign country should expect China to be their vassal or to swallow the bitter fruit of harming our interests.” (任何外国不要指望中国做他们的附庸,不要指望中国会吞下损害我国利益的苦果) 

These statements declared China’s determination to be non-aligned. 

According to Li Daguang, a professor from China People's Liberation Army National Defence University, China's policy of avoiding alliances is both the result of past lessons from the Soviet Union and in accordance with China’s self-interest.

Li wrote in an article that thanks to the non-alignment policy, China can reduce friction with other countries and create a good international environment for its economic and social development; the second reason is that it is conducive to maintaining world peace and reducing the threat of war; the third is that it is also conducive to maintaining China’s independent and autonomous status, free from the restraints of other countries, and can make international friends.

Not forging alliances with other states does not mean China is not forging partnerships globally. In 1993, China established its first strategic partnership with Brazil. Since then, China’s global partnership network has been steadily expanding.

At the Central Conference on Work Relating to Foreign Affairs in November 2014, Chinese President Xi Jinping urged China to make more friends under the principle of non-alignment, so as to build a global network of partnerships. He has since then talked about global partnerships more than once in his speeches.

Also as stated in the report to the 19th CPC National Congress, China has actively developed global partnerships and expanded the convergence of interests with other countries. 

China will promote coordination and cooperation with other major countries and work to build a framework for major-country relations featuring overall stability and balanced development. China will deepen relations with its neighbors in accordance with the principle of amity, sincerity, mutual benefit, and inclusiveness and the policy of forging friendship and partnership with its neighbors. China will be guided by the principle of upholding justice while pursuing shared interests and the principle of sincerity, real results, affinity, and good faith, work to strengthen solidarity and cooperation with other developing countries. Lu JiafeiBeijingChannel



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The Report of the International Scientific Commission for the Investigation of Facts Concerning Bacteriological Warfare in Korea and China (the ISC report), published at the height of the Korean War, validated claims by North Korea and China that the US had launched bacteriological warfare (biological warfare, BW) attacks against both troops and civilian targets in those two countries over a period of several months in 1952.

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