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ARM Fired ARM China’s CEO But He Won’t Go: A Breakdown

Shipments of 5G phones surged 101% YoY to 128 million units in H1, or 73% of the country’s total mobile phone shipments during the period. In the first six months, the overall mobile phone shipments in China maintained rapid growth, rising 14% year on year to 174 million units. Read full article $→

Washington agrees with Beijing: Chinese listings on American exchanges are a bad idea and a slew of companies have put their U.S. IPO plans on hold. But financial markets have already spotted a winner: shares of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing, operator of the city’s stock market, surged 10% this month, far outperforming its global peers.  Read full article $→

Credit Suisse says China's Generation Z is expressing increasing national pride. Improvement in product quality, marketing, and distribution, and skepticism of imported products have led to more confidence in homegrown brands. The pandemic and geopolitical tensions have ‘accelerated’ demand for domestic brands in the PRC, so, domestic brands appear poised for a strong future. Read full article $→

The PBOC's digital yuan trial has reached $5.3 billion in transaction value as the central bank continues to outpace global peers in developing a virtual currency. More than 20.8 million people have opened virtual wallets that store the digital currency and have made more than 70.7 million transactions in total. Read full article $→

China invested US $15 billion to build world's largest wind power plant (10GW) in the Gobi Desert. Plant capacity is expected to double by 2025, cut fossil fuel use by 35%, and generate jobs and billions for China's poorest province, GansuRead full article $→

Trade & Travel

China's first high-speed maglev train rolled off the production line Tuesday. With a top speed of 600 km per hour, it is the fastest ground vehicle available globally. The new maglev transportation system made its public debut in coastal Qingdao, Shandong Province. Read full article  →

Shanghai will test the free use of the yuan, unrestricted inflows and outflows of capital for cross-border trade and investment, and unlimited currency exchange in the city’s new free trade zone. The trial will take place in accordance with principles of anti-money laundering, anti-terrorist financing and anti-tax avoidance. Read full article  →

Chinese dogs eat well. In 2018, the average amount spent annually on food was slightly north of 2,000 yuan ($310) per dog, not much less than the $440 that American dog owners spend annually on each pet’s food. Read full article  →

Trade volumes at China's new Hambantota deep sea port in Sri Lanka rose 180% in H1, to 1.2 million tons. The same period last year saw 420,000 tons of cargo pass through the port. Read full article  →

Airbus delivers first A350 jet built at its Chinese completion plant. “Airbus delivered the first A350 widebody jet from its Tianjin final assembly line to China Eastern Airlines, further bolstering its industrial footprint in China relative to rival Boeing Co.” Read full article  →

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned that Trump's China tariffs have harmed American consumers. Read full article  →

China, the world’s largest importer of oil since 2013, lowered H1 crude oil imports for the first time in eight years. Does this sudden dip mean that a major driver of oil prices has gone for good? Read full article  →

China added 13 GW of solar through H1, lifting solar power generation capacity to 268 GW, a 23.7% rise from the volume deployed at the same point last year. Solar was nevertheless outpaced by new wind farms in the first six months of 2021. Read full article  →

China’s H1 BRI trade surged 28% YoY to $826 billion, accounting for 30% of China’s total foreign trade. This compares with China-EU trade growth of 27%, with the US of 46%, and ASEAN at 38.2%. Read full article  →

Foreign direct investment FDI into China in use rose 29% YoY to $91 billion in H1, with foreign investment in the high-tech services sector rising 43%. Read full article  →

China has been the largest business-to-consumer, B2C, cross-border e-commerce market since 2018, followed by the US. The two countries accounted for half of the total sales volume in the global sector. 26% of transactions took place in China, and 21% in the US. Read full article  →

Cosco Shipping placed a $1.5 billion order for 10 large containerships to be built by Cosco Shipping Heavy Industry Ltd.. Cosco is the third-largest container carrier in the world, with a fleet of 498 container vessels and a capacity of 3 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs). Read full article  →

Baowu overtook ArcelorMittal as the world's largest steelmaker in 2020, with crude steel production rising 21% to 115 million tons. China has 60% of global steel production (1 billion tons), seven of the world's top 10 steel producers, and higher R&D spending than competitors. Read full article  →

Technology & IP

China successfully tested a reusable spaceplane that takes off and lands like regular planes, but can reach any corner of the earth within an hour at five times the speed of sound at suborbital altitude. It uses integrated aviation and space technologies and indicates a vertical takeoff and horizontal landing profile. The spacecraft orbited for days and released a small transmitting payload before deorbiting and landing horizontally. Read full article $ →

Convenience Bee, a tech company specializing in retail, has automated the traditional convenience store using automatic temperature controls, self-service check-outs, and QR codes on every price tag for quick inventory updates. Convenience Bee has opened 2,000 stores in 20 cities in four years. FamilyMart took 16 years to open 2,500. The company's revenues already match FamilyMart, Lawson, and 7-Eleven. Read full article $ →

Chinese semiconductor manufacturers produced one billion chips every day in June, an all-time record and a 44% YoY increase, but not enough to meet the demand of local manufacturers who import the vast majority of the semiconductors they use. In the first six months of the year, they produced 171.2 billion chips, up 48% YoY. Read full article $ →

Xiaomi dethroned Apple to become world’s No. 2 smartphone seller in Q2 and is closing in on #1 Samsung. Xiaomi reached a global market share of 17%, ahead of Apple's 14% Read full article $ →

A variant of EHang’s autonomous passenger drone has passed a government-recognized technical verification. The EHang 216F flies up to 2000 ft altitude, carrying 40 gallons of firefighting foam. It uses a laser-guided targeting system to lock the direction of its spray, and can be controlled remotely, making it faster than human firefighters in responding to a blaze. Read full article $ →

The total flight duration of drones in China over the past three years exceeded 4 million hours, with an average increase of 40% annually. Read full article $ →

Chinese chipmaker Unisoc's revenue jumped 240% year-on-year, with sales of Unisoc’s consumer electronics division surging 233%, fueled by a fifteenfold increase in shipments of its 5G mobile phone chips and a 364% rise of smartphone chips. Read full article $ →

Peking University inaugurated a School of Integrated Circuits to train chip engineers and technicians, leveraging its strengths in science and engineering. Read full article $ →

Beidou's GPS III signals are three times more accurate than the current GP models and eight times more powerful. Current consumers see 5 to 10-meter accuracy with existing GPS technology goes to to 1- 3 meters with Beidou. Ground based systems can locally improve GPS accuracy to millimeter levels. This is used by construction companies and other businesses. Read full article  →

China unveiled the design for a commercial molten salt reactor powered by liquid thorium rather than uranium. In the event of a leak, molten thorium cools and solidifies quickly, dispersing less radiation into the environment. Construction should be completed by 2030. Read full article  →

Drones restore cell signals in flooded towns. “In response to intensive flooding that has killed 12 and damaged infrastructure in China’s central Hunan Province, Chinese authorities did something creative: they launched specialized drones to temporarily restore cell phone signals.” Read full article  →

Shanghai testing its first unmanned farm


Beijing will not participate in a second phase of the WHO’s probe into what caused the pandemic. A health spokesman said he was “surprised” to see research into the lab leak theory – dismissed by the WHO as highly unlikely – as a listed objective for the organization’s proposed second visit to Wuhan and other locations in China. “In some aspects, the WHO’s plan for the next phase of investigation of the coronavirus origin doesn’t respect common sense, and it’s against science. It’s impossible for us to accept such a plan,” he said. Read full article $ →

After a Swine Flu scare in the midst of the 1976 presidential campaign, Gerald Ford endorsed mass immunization. Surprised, the WHO, which had not been consulted, said, “No other countries have plans for mass inoculations”. But US officials pressured the WHO to endorse Ford’s decision and, “By the next day, headlines quoted WHO officials stating, ‘WHO endorses President Ford’s plan for massive inoculation against swine flu virus.’”  Read full article $ →

5 million Chinese signed an open letter asking the WHO to investigate the US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) at Fort Detrick, Maryland. It had gathered more than 5 million signatures as of the press time on Wednesday.” Read full article  →

China Southern will be the first Chinese airline to test a Covid-19 travel pass launched by the International Air Transport Association (IATA). The IATA Travel Pass is a mobile app that helps travelers store and share verified certificates for Covid-19 tests or vaccinations. The app is now in the testing stage.  Read full article  →

I recently obtained from the National Archives an affidavit from assistant U.S. attorney Robert H. Schnacke, who stipulated the presence of an offensive capability by the U.S. to wage biological warfare dating back to the beginning of 1949, something the U.S. had long hidden or denied.  Read full article  →

Botanists believed that the cannabis sativa plant was first domesticated in Central Asia. But a new study suggests that East Asia is more likely, and that all existing strains of the plant come from an ‘ancestral gene pool’ represented by wild and cultivated varieties growing in China today. Read full article  →


By 1978, Han constituted 42 percent of Xinjiang’s population, up from a mere 6 percent in 1949.  The flow was reversed in the reform era, as many Han who had been forcibly relocated to the province returned to China proper.  In 1990, the Han share of the population was down to 37.5 percent, and official estimates of the time projected a decline to 25.0 percent by 2030. Read full article →

NGO reports improve water quality in Chinese province. Volunteers monitored waterways in Jiangsu over 15 months, sending the results to three levels of government. Researchers say it led to an average 19 per cent reduction in the concentration of pollutants. Read full article  →

China has officially banned livestreaming for children under 16, a bid to address concerns about the mental and physical health of minors. The policy outlines regulations on underage online celebrities, stating that “kid-influencer marketing stunts will be severely prosecuted.” Read full article  →


Urbanization rate is beating predictions. 75% of the population will be living in cities by 2030, up from the current 64%. In the past decade alone, the country added 236 million city dwellers, supporting a booming housing market, a rising retail sector, and global commodity markets. Read full article →


The steel industry plans to force firms to curb production and capacity, optimize steelmaking, and consolidate around larger players, in a bid to bring the heavily polluting industry into line with the country’s ambitious carbon neutral goals. The plan maps out the carbon reduction potential of the industry and identifies key tasks for hitting specific goals. Read full article $→

The Zhejiang government published a detailed plan for building a common prosperity pilot zone by 2025 by which time it will

  • Increase residents’ per capita disposable income to RMB 75,000
  • Make labor compensation account for more than 50% of GDP
  • Reach a 75% urbanization rate; lower the urban and rural income gap
  • This socialist paradise will arise on the local government’s rock-solid promise to:
  • Create more and better jobs – and increase salaries
  • Cut living costs for middle-income families
  • Create more channels for households to invest their money. Read full article $→

Tibetans' per capita disposable income have risen 300% since 2011, to 90% of national average. "My annual income from farming and livestock farming was less than 10,000 yuan but it increased to 400,000 yuan after I started running a guesthouse," said a man in his 50s from Nyingchi, a city in region's southeast parts. Read full article $→


US, Britain and EU blame China for Microsoft Exchange email server hack: US State Department says ‘cyber actors’ with Beijing’s Ministry of State Security were involved in operation that compromised accounts worldwide. Adds to a growing list of cyber espionage operations that the US government has tied to China’s MSS. Read full article  →

Kodak deleted an Instagram post featuring images of Xinjiang by photographer who called Xinjiang an ‘Orwellian Dystopia’, after an online backlash from Beijing’s supporters. Read full article  →

87% of international coal energy loans come from Japan, US, and UK.  China accounted for only 13% of total funding for new plants (2013-19) and is phasing out coal loans to achieve carbon-neutrality, having declined funding projects in Kenya and Zimbabwe. Read full article  →
Right-wing figures blamed Chinese for stoking Australia’s 2015 housing boom. Today, prices are even higher, yet Chinese buyers are 80% fewer. Toxic geopolitics, media sensationalism, opportunistic politicians and plain old racism contribute to scapegoating, experts say. At an auction of a Sydney house in 2015, protesters turned up with placards reading, “Keep the Aussie dream alive. We don’t want your dirty $$” and “Stop the Chinese Invasion,” and claiming Chinese were “ethnically cleansing” Australian families from their suburbs. Read full article  $→

BEIJING — President Xi Jinping admitted he’s “actually pretty jealous” of the United States government’s ability to censor information it doesn’t like over social media. “Honestly, I’m impressed, and a little jealous,” said China’s leader after he heard Press Secretary Jen Psaki say the White House flags posts for Facebook to remove and that someone who gets banned on one social network should get banned on all of them. “I thought I had absolute control over the speech of my people! This is next-level stuff. Really quite something. And having a private company do it so the people can’t complain about freedom of speech – brilliant. My hat is off to the United States.” Read full article →

Jimmy Lai is a Chinese Larry Flint behaving like Harvey Weinstein with the scruples of Hillary Clinton. From a newspaper with only 86,000 subscribers, he was mysteriously making $12.23 million. Whenever the HK government tried to audit him, anti-government protests, media, and assaults from the USA and the UK stopped the effort. On numerous occasions, the UK and US government "stepped in" and put pressure on HK to free him and stop the investigations. But when HK passed the insurrection law in 2020, his "operations" were investigated and it turns out that he was laundering enormous sums of US Government cash directly for undisclosed purposes. [See Long Read, belowRead full article  →


"In the balance of power between the U.S. and China, the world’s third-largest economy, Japan, is critical. And retired U.S. Adm. James Stavridis, former supreme allied commander of NATO, says that “over time” the U.S. policy is to confront China with a “global maritime coalition” that includes, in addition to Japan, “Australia, New Zealand, India, South Korea, Singapore and Vietnam.” Read full article $→

Pakistan is among many nations now facing America’s true answer to the BRI – state-sponsored terrorism, militancy, and political subversion. Southeast Asian nations like Thailand and Myanmar have also suffered from US-sponsored anti-government protests in recent years – the latter of the two having protests transform into now ongoing armed conflict. The US has also targeted China internally, focusing its efforts on radicalizing Uyghur separatists in Xinjiang, then undermining Beijing’s efforts to contain the resulting terrorism. Xinjiang serves, without coincidence, as a critical juncture for several BRI routes. Read full article $→

Chinese factories that supply Apple Inc. and Nike Inc. and make other products sold in the U.S. are shunning workers from Xinjiang, as Western countries increase scrutiny of forced labor from the remote northwestern region where Beijing has been accused of committing genocide against local ethnic minorities.” Read full article $→

Australia will finance the acquisition of mobile networks in six Pacific nations, a move designed to block China from buying the strategically important assets. Australia’s biggest communications provider, Telstrais considering buying the mobile networks in Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Nauru, Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu, and that the Australian government would help pay for the acquisition. Australia has banned Chinese telecommunications firm Huawei Technologies Co. from involvement in its 5G mobile network. Read full article $→

Congress is aiming to hobble China’s ability to recruit scientists and academics in the US. A recently passed House bill to bolster American research and development would bar scientists and academics from participating in U.S.-funded research projects if they are also receiving support from Beijing. Read full article $→

After the Swedish Government banned Huawei equipment, Sweden's Ericsson, caught in the middle of a geopolitical battle between Beijing and the West, said it was no longer banking on previously anticipated contract wins for 5G tenders in China, sending its shares down more than 8%. Read full article $→ 

Chinese students who have been denied visas to pursue advanced science degrees at universities in the United States are preparing to file a lawsuit against the US government. The students have set up a website and plan to raise $750,000 to $1 million before filing the lawsuit. Read full article $→ 

Attorneys for Harvard University nanotechnology professor, Charles Lieber, said he was in physical pain from his battle with cancer, hadn’t eaten, and was “blindsided by federal agents who ransacked his office, arrested him and hauled him off for questioning before dawn on Jan. 28, 2020.” He was arrested for allegedly lying on federal grant forms about his research and funding ties to China. He said federal agents ignored his request for counsel and then “unlawfully employed tactics of trickery and coerced involuntary statements” from him.  Read full article $→ 


In 2019, the Trump administration grounded every one of the Pentagon's drones because they contained Chinese parts. The Pentagon has since spent $13m developing replacements but US interior department complains about price and capability of the new fleet. The camera drones developed by the Pentagon are ‘8 to 14 times’ costlier than the banned Chinese craft, and less effective. Read full article $ →



China Pulls Ahead in Global Quantum Race

Daniel Garisto

The competition between the U.S. and China over development of quantum technology has implications for both the future of science and the two countries’ political relations.

When a team of Chinese scientists beamed entangled photons from the nation’s Micius satellite to conduct the world’s first quantum-secured video call in 2017, experts declared that China had taken the lead in quantum communications. New research suggests that lead has extended to quantum computing as well.

In three preprint papers posted on last month, physicists at the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) reported critical advances in both quantum communication and quantum computing. In one of the studies, researchers used nanometer-scale semiconductors called quantum dots to reliably transmit single photons—an essential resource for any quantum network—over 300 kilometers of fiber, well over 100 times farther than previous attempts. In another, scientists improved their photonic quantum computer from 76 detected photons to 113, a dramatic upgrade to its “quantum advantage,” or how much faster it is than classical computers at one specific task. The third paper introduced Zuchongzhi, made of 66 superconducting qubits, and performed a problem with 56 of them—a figure similar to the 53 qubits used in Google’s quantum computer Sycamore, which set a performance record in 2019.

“It’s an exciting development. I did not know that they were coming out with not one but two of these [quantum computing results] in the same week,” says Scott Aaronson, a theoretical computer scientist at the University of Texas at Austin. “That's pretty insane.”

All three achievements are world-leading, but Zuchongzhi in particular has scientists talking because it is the first corroboration of Google’s landmark 2019 result. “I’m very pleased that someone has reproduced the experiment and shown that it works properly,” says John Martinis, a former Google researcher who led the effort to build Sycamore. “That’s really good for the field, that superconducting qubits are a stable platform where you can really build these machines.”

Quantum computers and quantum communication are nascent technologies. None of this research is likely to be of practical use for many years to come. But the geopolitical stakes of quantum technology are high: full-fledged quantum networks could provide unhackable channels of communication, and a powerful quantum computer could theoretically break much of the encryption currently used to secure e-mails and Internet transactions.

Tensions between the U.S and China are currently at their highest point in decades, with the countries clashing over trade, human rights issues, concerns about espionage, COVID and Taiwan. After China’s demonstration of the Micius satellite in 2017, American politicians responded by pushing hundreds of millions of dollars into quantum information science via the National Quantum Initiative. It was an eerie bit of déjà vu. About 60 years earlier, the U.S. was similarly spurred to fund another pie-in-the-sky initiative—space explorationbecause of fearmongering over a little Soviet satellite named Sputnik.

But this struggle for quantum advantage need not be a perfect mirror of the space race. Zuoyue Wang, a science historian at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, notes that China and the U.S. are intimately intertwined in many areas—science among them—that could prevent a hostile new competition in the quantum realm. Today hundreds of thousands of students travel from China to study in the U.S., and scientists in both countries collaborate closely on research ranging from agriculture to zoology. In spite of rising geopolitical tensions between the two countries, “they’re each other’s biggest international collaboration partners,” Wang says.

Qubit by Qubit

Forty years ago physicist Richard Feynman made a straightforward proposition: Classical computers trying to simulate a fundamentally quantum reality might be outdone by a computer that, like reality, is itself quantum. In 2019 a team at Google led by Martinis realized this so-called quantum advantage by demonstrating that the company’s Sycamore system really could perform a specific, limited task exponentially faster than even powerful classical supercomputers (though a competing team at IBM disputed that Google’s achievement represented a true quantum advantage). A year later USTC researchers performed a similar experiment with a quantum computer made from photons.

Why can rudimentary quantum computers beat classical supercomputers at specific tasks? The common refrain goes something like this: Instead of classical bits that are 0 or 1, a quantum computer uses qubits, whose state is somewhere in between 0 and 1 prior to measurement—a so-called quantum superposition. To work together within a computer, qubits must also be entangled, or quantum correlated with one another.

It might be more intuitive to consider the task Zuchongzhi and Sycamore have performed. “It’s almost embarrassingly simple,” Aaronson says. “All you do is a random sequence of quantum operations.” This chaotic set of instructions entangles all the qubits into one big, messy state. Describing that state is easier for qubits than bits. Describing two entangled qubits requires four classical bits. (There are four possible outcomes: 00, 01, 10, or 11.) The state complexity scales exponentially, so what takes 50 qubits requires 250, or about one quadrillion, bits to describe. Photonic quantum computers create a similarly entangled messy state but with photons instead acting as qubits.

This is why even a small 50-qubit quantum computer can beat a massive classical supercomputer. “If you look at the West—the U.S., Europe—there haven’t been a lot of people talking about repeating [Google’s 2019] experiment,” Martinis says. “I admire, in China, that they want to do this seriously.”

With 56 qubits and 113 detected photons, the USTC systems detailed in two of the new preprints are now technically the most powerful quantum computers in the world—with two big caveats. First, neither quantum computer can do anything useful. (Photonic quantum computing is not a universal computer platform, so even scaled up, it would not be a conventional programmable computer.) Second, it is not clear exactly how much of a quantum advantage they actually have over classical computers. Over the past few months, several studies have claimed the ability to approximate that messy entangled state, especially for photonic quantum computers.

Despite the difficulties of working with photonic quantum computers, USTC researchers have good incentive to master the platform because photons are the medium of China’s emerging quantum network. Already, thousands of kilometers of fiber-optic cables have created an initial quantum link between Beijing and Shanghai. The link is not a fully realized quantum connection: it is divided up by nodes because photons can only go so far without succumbing to noise in the fiber. A bona fide quantum network could have a variety of applications, but the two main ones are precision synchronization and unhackable communications.

To fulfill that promise, quantum networks will require—among other things—entangled single photons that can be used for quantum key distribution or other operations that require entanglement. Quantum dots are thought to be ideal sources for single photons. Until now, quantum dots had never sent single photons through more than about a kilometer of fiber. (Typically, the longer the fiber, the greater the noise.) But the USTC team managed to increase the transmission distance while also decreasing the noisiness of the single photon. Its success came from taking strenuous measures, such as stabilizing the temperature of the 300-kilometer fiber to within a tenth of a degree Celsius.


Racing in the Quantum Realm

Is China ahead of the U.S. in quantum information technology? The answer depends on how you measure it. While estimates vary, both countries appear to fund the research to the tune of more than $100 million per year. China has more total patents across the full spectrum of quantum technology, but U.S. companies have a dramatic lead in quantum computing patents. And of course, China has a more sophisticated quantum network and now claims the top two quantum computers.

“It's such a new problem for the U.S. to be facing,” says Mitch Ambrose, a science policy analyst at the American Institute of Physics. “It was ahead for so long, and in so many areas, that it hasn’t really had to do much thinking about what it means to be behind.”

Broadly speaking, quantum research in China is almost entirely state driven—concentrated into a few universities and companies. Research in the U.S., in comparison, is much more disparate—spread across dozens of funding agencies, universities and private companies.

“The Chinese government is thinking about science technology very seriously, probably more than the U.S. administration” Wang says. “No one else will pick up the tab.”

Currently, the U.S. government is determining how to fund the future of quantum information science in proposed bills such as the Innovation and Competition Act of 2021, which would provide $1.5 billion for communications research, including quantum technology. In response to security concerns about China, the bill also prioritizes semiconductor manufacturing and includes a provision that would restrict cooperation with China on nuclear energy and weaponry. This is not the first restriction on scientific collaboration between the two countries. Since 2011 NASA has been under the thumb of the Wolf Amendment, which bans any cooperation with China’s space agency without a waiver. Conversely, China and the U.S. have also spent more than four decades cooperating officially on scientific matters, because of the U.S.-China Agreement on Cooperation in Science and Technology of 1979.

As tensions between the two nations continue to rise, quantum research occupies an awkward spot: although it remains basic research with limited current applications, its future strategic potential is clear and immense. “What are the rules of the road for scientific exchanges going forward in any field, let alone quantum?” Ambrose asks. Hawkish funding of quantum technology could further inflame relations, but it could also stimulate more cooperation and transparency between competing countries seeking to prove their quantum prowess.

During the cold war, the U.S. and the Soviet Union sought to demonstrate parity with, if not supremacy over, each other in nuclear weaponry, spaceflight and other strategically important technical pursuits. Olga Krasnyak, an expert in science diplomacy at the National Research University Higher School of Economics in Moscow, argues the resulting U.S.-Soviet scientific exchanges helped end the cold war. “Science diplomacy has this advantage—it uses science, which is universal,” Krasnyak says. And just as importantly, it uses scientists—who historically have leveraged their common humanity and shared quest for knowledge to overcome the strain of any ideological differences. Quantum computing and communications may indeed have the power to reshape the world. But, Krasnyak says, “I believe in the power of human communication, too.” Scientific American

Apple Daily

The untold story of Apple Daily

Deception, misogyny and quiet Americans

By Nury Vittachi 

FIRST, LET'S LOOK AT the numbers which are being omitted in reports about the closure of Hong Kong's Apple Daily newspaper.



1) Apple Daily printed 86,000 copies a day, which meant that 98.5 PER CENT of Hong Kong’s 6,500,000 adults did NOT buy it with their breakfast noodles.



2) The Western media is reporting that it was “Hong Kong’s biggest newspaper”. No. Not remotely true. Hong Kong’s most popular newspaper is free tabloid Headline Daily (1,012,000 a day, or more than ten times Apple’s circulation), and in the paid broadsheet category, leaders include Oriental Daily News (530,000 a day), and Sing Tao Daily (253,000 a day). 

Hong Kong has always had a hunger for newspapers, and the mainstream voice has always been far, far more popular than Jimmy Lai's one. That was true in the British era, and is true today, with the same newspaper groups at the top of the pile. 



3) Maybe Jimmy Lai's paper was top of the web charts? No. Alexa rankings for Hong Kong show, Bastillepost and other online media far ahead of Apple Daily (and the fact that Hong Kongers visit mainland China shopping site Taobao significantly more than any local media site should tell us something). 

HK01, in particular, has come from nowhere to dominate the local media scene. Lively, up-to-the-minute and often critical of the government, its existence and popularity gives the lie to the "press freedom is dead" trope of the Western media, and is the big story in media that foreign correspondents have all missed.



4) Apple Daily was not closed down by the Hong Kong government, but by its own board, comprising local people hostile to China, plus Americans. 

The HK$18 million that the government froze was a small sum for a paper for a company with HK$95 million in revenues every month, financial analysts say. The paper itself boasted of having cash accounts of HK$531 million, enough to last 18 months. 

In fact, the entire financial picture of the media group is an under-reported, under-studied mystery.



5) So why did they close their own paper? As a PR coup, because they were absolutely confident that the international media, which means the Western media, would not tell the real story, but one which fits their anti-China narrative.

Oh, and also, it saves them money. 

Apple Daily’s stunning lack of popularity among the good, honest, people of Hong Kong, was only eclipsed by its stunning lack of popularity among advertisers. The group has been losing more than HK$1 million a day, yes, A DAY, (which is more than US$1 million a week), amounting to several billion Hong Kong dollars over the past few years.

The paper clearly did not function commercially as a media company, so any healthily skeptical person would ask themselves: what was it for? 



Oh, and another thing. Apple Daily wasn’t  “pro-democracy” either. 

But more about that later. Let’s start from the very beginning, a very good place to start, as the great poet Oscar Hammerstein II said. 


I FIRST MET Jimmy Lai Chee-ying, founder of Apple Daily, at a politician-packed brunch party in 1995. It was at the luxurious Hong Kong apartment of L. Gordon Crovitz, a senior executive for the Wall Street Journal group. His wife Minky was the perfect hostess. 

Garment tycoon Lai wasn’t how I expected him to be, but I liked him. Behind his sad puppy eyes was toughness. He was in the process of launching an oppositional, China-baiting newspaper.

We all congratulated him for taking a step that was clearly brave and very likely foolhardy: he would inevitably get into trouble.

It was only after I had left that brunch party that something occurred to me: the hosts were all right wing United States people, and the invited politicians were all from the Hong Kong opposition. It was like a convention of people who didn’t like China. 



Over the next few years, Apple Daily carved its place in the city’s media scene over the next few years, and this reporter, like most Hong Kong people, were shocked and horrified.

Lai’s publications made a niche for themselves by taking the lowest of the low paths. There was sex and sensationalism, outrage and scandal, allegations and celebrity gossip of the tawdriest kind, and worse, pornographic stories and  reviews/ critiques of sex workers and massage parlours. 

The Hong Kong community is a rather gentle, low-crime, conservative, majority female society, and the present portrayal of Apple Daily as the natural voice of the community was and is deeply misleading. 

The paper, crude, brutal and sexist, was for men. Jimmy Lai, in a 1995 interview with the South China Morning Post, said: “Our porn page is not very well done, but we have to have it because man has basic needs.”



Other publications lowered their standards to compete, and the Hong Kong newsstands became embarrassing to walk past. Remember the “downblouse” photo of schoolgirl Alice Patten on the front page with the headline: “The peaches are ripening”? 

The misogyny and cruelty to women and children were shocking, with people being hurt constantly - and discovering that the newspaper simply didn't care. 

After a few years, it felt like most people knew individuals who had been hurt by Apple Daily. The Hong Kong public preferred its traditional newspaper voice, and Jimmy Lai's newspaper could never rise above being a minority interest, thank God.

One 1998 story, sadly typical of the paper, stuck in my mind: Apple Daily published a feature about an unbelievably crass man who apparently sought out prostitutes soon after his wife had thrown their children out of a window to their deaths before jumping after them. 

The paper later admitted paying the man to pose in bed with the sex workers for the photographs, knowing that it would be the most talked-about story of the week.

The paper was in trouble with the law, usually because of contravening the rules against obscene publications, every two or three months.



It also flouted basic journalistic ethics. Chequebook journalism was the norm. In 2000, an Apple reporter received a 10-month jail sentence for bribing police officers to reveal information. In 2019, the paper was widely reported to have given HK$1.5 million to a taxi driver for video footage of a married celebrity canoodling with a woman who wasn’t his wife.

Yes, it also did some positive work, like attacking civil servants for doing their jobs badly, but those few tales became over-politicized to an extent that they were not journalism, but political campaigning for its endless pro-America, anti-China message.

Then one day, I got a call. Apple Daily senior executive Mark Simon wanted to meet me and would like to me to give them some help.



MARK SIMON, now there's an interesting character. People were already wondering if Jimmy Lai's right-hand man was a CIA agent, given the newspaper's anti-China stance. 

I found the notion unlikely, and not just because we were friends. He was enormous and unhealthy looking, and would be unlikely to pass the most basic fitness tests. Also, he liked the limelight too much to be an agent, although there is a sub-group of agents who do their work in the spotlight. 

In a discussion on that topic, someone asked me a related question: If not an agent, was Mark Simon a CIA asset, witting or unwitting?

I gave her a reply that my father's experiences taught me: "Sweetheart, almost every journalist in the world is a CIA asset, witting or unwitting. That's how the Western press works."



I met Mark at a coffee shop in Kowloon's Ho Man Tin district where he introduced me to Marina Shifrin, an American woman who had been hired to write scripts for a new "3D animated news" venture for Next Digital, the parent company of the newspaper. The operation was based in Taiwan, where the group was doing very badly.

The animations were unfunny, getting few hits and were not being widely shared. Mark wanted me to give her the key storytelling points to creating viral media. It was hard to boil down decades of experience into a short lecture, but to sum up, I told her to be authentic, funny, detached and offbeat. We swapped contact details.

I left the meeting pondering how long a principled American woman could stay at such an unprincipled company. 



For Hong Kong's majority population a significant problem was Apple Daily’s undisguised bigotry. Apple popularized the term “locusts” for people from mainland China coming to Hong Kong. 

This was a horrific mistake in the eyes of this community, where many people had mainland cousins, and recognized that the city’s businesses were reliant on mainland Chinese customers.

But here was the puzzle. Despite the repulsive content, there was a rock-solid partnership between the Apple Daily crowd and American media people—and on particular, the most hawkish and right wing of people in that country. 

L. Gordon Crovitz remained closely in the loop. Crovitz’s wife, Minky Worden, was “media advisor” to the Hong Kong opposition for several years. Mark Simon had a US Naval Intelligence background and became president of Republicans Abroad in Hong Kong. 



To combat its bad reputation for bigotry, Apple sometimes accused others of the same thing. In 2013, it ran a front-page anti-government “scoop” reporting that Executive Council member Franklin Lam, said: “I utterly discriminate against new immigrants."

Unfortunately for the reporters, the meeting had been recorded and the tape showed that what he actually said was: “I utterly do not discriminate against new immigrants. On arrival in Hong Kong, they are legally Hong Kong citizens. They are also first-class citizens." 

The truth is that Hong Kong people are generous, and the city has an extensive program to help mainland immigrants settle in.



The world is being told that Apple Daily is a pro-democracy paper. Let’s talk about that. In 2013 and 2014,  Hong Kong civil servants announced the results of a years-long process to introduce a one-person-one-vote system to this city. 

A Chinese University survey of the public showed that some 55 percent of people were in favor of proceeding with the government’s universal suffrage plan, providing that satisfaction could be achieved on the composition of the "broadly representative nominating committee". 

But Apple Daily and the more strident members of the opposition called for the whole universal suffrage package to be jettisoned, as not being sufficiently close to Western liberal democracy. (In fact, the Hong Kong system allowed direct voting for the leader, unlike UK and US systems, where you vote for parties, and the party or the electoral college appoint a leader.) 



The Western media, including this reporter, who was writing op-eds for the New York Times at the time, got caught up in the faux outrage, and the path to democratic self-government that Hong Kong civil servants had taken literally years to build was demolished in a single day.

Many academics and journalists (including the present writer), later realized that we'd made a huge error, denying Hong Kong people an important chance to take the first steps towards a more democratic system.



In Taiwan, Marina Shifrin worked until 3 o'clock in the morning and then made a video of herself holding an "I quit" sign and dancing at multiple locations in the Next Media offices.

It went viral on the internet, winning her 19 million views, plus a job offer of working in televison in the United States. She left Taiwan as fast as she could.  



In late 2014, Western “revolution consultants” revealed that they had been working with Hong Kong anti-China campaigners for almost two years before the “Occupy Central” campaign shut down much of the business center. 

Leaked documents revealed that Jimmy Lai was secretly handling the finances for those protests: more than HK$40 million (US$5.2 million) came from unknown sources and went to hostile groups in Hong Kong. 

In one of the emails, Lai spoke scathingly about the protest leaders, saying they “could accomplish nothing if there was no help”.



Hong Kong was swept by rumors, later confirmed, that the US State Department had a budget of millions to destabilize China by poisoning minds against the country in its outlying areas - Hong Kong, Xinjiang, Tibet and Mongolia. 

Piece by piece, stories of unexplained payments popped up. It became clear that the cash coming through the National Endowment for Democracy was peanuts compared to money from other American sources. But it was hard to find the links between the odd bits of news that popped up.

For example, in May 2016 the Independent Commission Against Corruption highlighted an undeclared payment of HK$250,000 from Mark Simon to an opposition politician. It was not clear where the cash originated. 

But by that time, observers of the Hong Kong scene noted that we very often saw the same factors coming together: Americans, mystery money, Jimmy Lai, and anti-China politicians. 



In 2019, civil unrest again broke out and Apple Daily strongly backed the pro-independence protesters calling for Hong Kong to be "freed" from China, despite the fact that between 80 and 93 percent of Hong Kong people strongly oppose independence. 

The protesters wanted Donald Trump to take Hong Kong from China, possibly the worst idea in history.

Bizarrely, Apple Daily gave the biggest encouragement to the aimlessly violent people who had no plan other than to destroy Hong Kong’s economy, close the airport, and generally cause mayhem. There was no conceivable way that the endless destruction of public facilities would lead to more democracy, as Hong Kong people pointed out repeatedly in talk shows and on social media. 

Indeed, it was obvious that the process Apple Daily was encouraging could have no possible outcome except to cause Beijing to intervene – which was, of course, the whole point. Accusations that this city was just a pawn in a bigger game in which Jimmy Lai was serving the United States became impossible to dismiss. 



Also clear was that Jimmy Lai strongly favored the right wing of the United States, since they were more actively anti-China. In May, 2020, Jimmy Lai launched a  #TrumpSavesHK campaign on its front page. “Trump is a statesman,” Lai wrote in the newspaper in October. 

Behind the scenes, Apple Daily dug into its coffers to commission a fake report “revealing” that Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden had secret dealings with China. Managed by Mark Simon, the project was a direct bid to interfere in the US elections, and ensure a Trump win. 

Again, we saw creative, out-of-the-box thinking, but also an appetite for deliberate deception of the public - the journalist credited with writing the dossier didn't exist, but was a fake name with a computer-generated face.


Throughout this period, the paper called for international sanctions on Hong Kong, even though the city was being hammered for reasons mired in disinformation. I don’t think anyone taking a genuinely detached look at the paper’s actions over the past few years could possibly call it pro-democracy, or even pro-Hong Kong. It worked instead to actively harm this community.

Oh, and the misogynistic harm to women and children has continued. Earlier this month, Hong Kong saw the end of a court case involving Apple Daily staff pretending to be related to a female celebrity in order to get a birth certificate for her child, which they then published.



This month, the board of Apple Daily, not the Hong Kong government, closed the newspaper.

Who is on the board? There’s American journalist Mark Clifford. There’s L. Gordon Crovitz, the charming but staunchly right wing former publisher of the Wall Street Journal, who invited me to that brunch party at his home 26 years ago. 

His wife Minky Worden has become a key voice in the US campaign against the 2022 Winter Olympics in China. 

Ms Worden is a senior staff member at Human Rights Watch, a group which has been criticized by more than 100 cultural figures, including Nobel Peace Laureates, for its  “close ties to the government of the United States”.  

Since Olympic activities in mainland China always involve Hong Kong city too, the success of her campaign would further harm the long-suffering people of this city.



Meanwhile, Mark Simon, who told journalists he was in Hong Kong to stay, left the city suddenly to move to Taiwan shortly before the promulgation of a US-style security law, which among other things, targets people who take overseas money to interfere in local politics.

But of course none of this will be covered in the international media. It doesn’t fit the narrative. 

The Western media will repeatedly report that Beijing is to blame for Apple Daily's problems in Hong Kong, hoping and praying that no one will point out the key fact that demolishes the argument: The newspaper group has been even more of a disaster in Taiwan, where it has stopped all its print publications, despite the island allegedly having glorious USA-Style True Democracy. USA! USA! 



If you want the real story of this newspaper, perhaps speak to the 98.5 per cent of Hong Kong adults who did not buy a copy of Apple Daily with their breakfast every day.

And perhaps spend a moment reflecting on Jimmy Lai's connections with the right wing of the United States, and what the jailed publisher thinks of Hong Kong’s anti-China movement – that they “could accomplish nothing if there was no help”. More..


The US Underestimates China’s Economic Challenge at Its Own Peril

Richard D. Wolff

The economy of the People’s Republic of China has been growing much faster than that of the United States for decades. So too has China’s average real wage. China is now the world’s second superpower, catching up to the United States economically if not (yet) militarily. Its political influence grew alongside its GDP. Where once the chief scapegoat for the U.S. was the USSR/Russia, China has replaced the latter in that position. The global tourist industry courts Chinese big spenders.

China’s technical advances continue to amaze and impress most of the world.

The basic story here replicates in large part the story of the United States and the British Empire. The United States was once a mere colony, humiliated as well as economically abused by its colonizer. China suffered similarly at the hands of its colonizing abusers, although it was able to avoid formal colonial status, except for some enclaves. Resentment and bitterness accumulated in the American revolutionary break from its colonial status in the late 18th century. The same happened in China in the middle of the 20th. In the War of 1812, the new United States proved that the British Empire could not undo the American Revolution. In the Korean War, the new People’s Republic of China proved that the U.S. empire could not undo the Chinese Revolution.

Independence unleashed rapid economic growth in the United States, which caught up to and overtook its colonizer economically across the 19th century. World War I marked the reversal of roles between the United States and the UK. On many levels—political and cultural as well as economic—the dominator and the dominated changed places. Across the 20th century, the United States displaced (and itself replaced) the British and other European empires to become the global hegemon. After stumbling badly in the Great Depression, it responded with the New Deal’s burst of social democracy. On that basis, the United States undertook to make the rest of the world copy what it labeled a “people’s” or a “welfare” capitalism that represented the epitome of human development. By the beginning of the 21st century, critics labeled UK Prime Minister Tony Blair as “America’s poodle” for his slavish subordination to the George W. Bush regime in the United States.

China’s 1949 revolution likewise unleashed a stunning economic recovery from the sequential scourges of Japanese invasion, World War II, and the civil war. The economic recovery enabled a political maturation that transformed the Chinese Communist Party and the People’s Republic of China from disciples of the Soviet Party and of the USSR into equals with their own agenda, values, and interpretation of Marxism. Culturally, China gained a remarkable self-confidence as an awakening giant retaking its hegemonic position in Asia and beyond that in the entire world. Changing global conditions and a certain exhaustion of the recovery phase of its development led China to change course with Mao Zedong’s passing. It crafted a new Chinese economy and labeled it socialism with Chinese characteristics.

Not only did that economy achieve the unprecedented growth feats mentioned above, but it also did so without most of the foreign aid given to many other developing nations. The active enmity of the United States imposed that deprivation on China. It thereby also made self-reliance a crucial basis for China’s development. For the last half-century, China has been a model of how a determined developing nation can mobilize its surplus for development. China’s workers produced a surplus used primarily to build and expand the Chinese economy via huge investments in infrastructure, industrial capacity, productivity growth, education, and research and development. This deliberate investment program continued even after China opened itself to (1) foreign private capitalist investments, (2) private Chinese capitalist enterprise development and growth, and (3) partnerships between them. The Chinese Communist Party and the Chinese state apparatus controlled and maneuvered the resulting acceleration of surplus production to tilt investments toward the growth goals set by the party and the state. China’s surplus was also used, secondarily, to reproduce the complex class structures of private and state enterprises and of foreign and domestic private capitalists, and finally to undertake the regulation of markets and governmental economic planning.

Today, the challenge offered by China to the United States and indeed the capitalist world economy is a model that departs sharply from the private laissez-faire model of capitalism that has prevailed in global capitalism to date. In the latter model, the government is called in (à la Keynes) only when crises hit and threaten private capitalism. And then the government’s economic interventions are constricted in scope and reach and are temporary in time. Minimal government regulation and minimal direct production of goods and services by government are the key rules.

In contrast, in China, the Communist Party and the state intervene much more in economic affairs by regulating private businesses (foreign and domestic) more and also by having the state own and operate businesses. What results for the party and the state is an overarching control of economic development. That control, in its extent and duration, far exceeds the governments’ role in western Europe, North America, and Japan. Having the party and state as collaborative entities pushing determined policies enables the regular mobilization of most private and public resources to achieve agreed goals. Chief among the goals has been economic development to escape the endemic poverty of southern Asia. The mobilization to stop the spread of COVID-19 via lockdowns in Wuhan and elsewhere was another example. So too was the achievement of technical parity with and sometimes superiority to the United States in many fields.

Keynesian economics enjoyed a meteoric rise within the discipline of economics when it enabled government policies clearly to assist capitalism’s survival and recovery from the 1930s Great Depression. Neoclassical economics could return to dominance within the profession in the 1970s when it enabled government policies (neoliberalism) clearly to assist in rolling back the Keynesian regulations of and constraints on private capitalists (such as the New Deal and social democracy). China’s remarkable economic growth over the last 30-40 years will likely provoke and be further enabled by corresponding developments in the discipline of economics. These will entail the rediscovery, embrace, and strengthening of governments’ economic interventions as means to achieve socially prioritized goals.

As denials of what China continues to accomplish economically lose their rhetorical power, attention likely will turn increasingly to the Chinese model, to exploring whether and how the capitalisms of western Europe, North America, and Japan can learn from and coexist with China. Demonizations and threats (a new cold war) directed at real and false political and cultural problems in China will also likely fade in favor of mutual accommodation with China. Chinese leaders have made clear their view that they have accommodated and will continue to accommodate trade with and investments by private capitalists alongside and interacting with enterprises owned and run by the state. That was an engine of their remarkable development, and they see no reason to change that approach.

It is rather parts of the United States that consider a military confrontation with China as needed and rationally possible now. If it happens, the Chinese will see it for what the United States has in fact opposed, namely the continuation of the power of the Chinese Communist Party and the social structure over which it and the Chinese state preside. The Chinese leadership has said it will fight that totally.

China has more than four times the population of the United States. Its economy’s total output may well surpass that of the United States in a few years. Its global political influence is rising fast. Allies of the United States must increasingly rethink their foreign relations in light of China’s ascendancy. Meanwhile, the economic problems of the United States (such as instability cycles, inequalities of wealth and income, political divisions, and explosive debt accumulation) mount. The ability of the United States to change China, to move it away from the path and structures that took it so far and so fast, has proved less than impressive to virtually everyone who pays attention.

Ratcheting up demonizations of China seems a poor and likely counterproductive response. Yes, it does replicate the demonization of the USSR that served effectively to cover the rollback of the New Deal. But for the United States to roll back another country’s progressive period is a project quite different from doing that domestically. Also, the conditions (economic, political, and cultural) of today’s world differ drastically from those after 1945. Yet Biden’s repetition of post-1945 Cold War policies is much closer to that original than his economic policies are to those of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. And that will prove to be exactly the reverse of what today’s crisis needs. More.

Richard D. Wolff is professor of economics emeritus at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and a visiting professor in the Graduate Program in International Affairs of the New School University, in New York. Wolff’s weekly show, “Economic Update,” is syndicated by more than 100 radio stations and goes to 55 million TV receivers via Free Speech TV. His three recent books with Democracy at Work are The Sickness Is the System: When Capitalism Fails to Save Us From Pandemics or Itself, Understanding Marxism, and Understanding Socialism.

Afghanistan II

Afghanistan and the Great Powers

Bruno Maçães
  1. Europe. A new wave of refugees from Afghanistan could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. It is common in Europe to hear that Turkey uses refugees as blackmail. Obviously that is not the view in Ankara: refugees crossing from Turkey to Europe are not Turks, so why should Turkey be held responsible for hosting them? A wave of refugees from Afghanistan traveling from Quetta to the Aegean would not be as easy to accommodate by Turkey as the 2015 wave resulting from the Syrian civil war.

  2. United States. The withdrawal is an unmitigated failure. I hear sometimes that America’s goal in Afghanistan was unrealisable. There is a problem with this thesis: I have no idea what the goal was and neither does anyone in Washington. When you occupy a country for twenty years without knowing what you are doing there, it is perhaps unsurprising that the story does not end well. The United States has just sent a chilling message to its allies worldwide: if domestic considerations so dictate, they may be abandoned to their luck in the blink of an eye. More important in my opinion: Washington has shown over the past two decades that it is no longer able to create political order outside America’s borders and the reason is it has no understanding of political realities and no capacity to articulate foreign policy goals within those realities.

  3. China. There will be an opportunity for China, which is starting to build a new regional order encompassing Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan and Central Asia. China is not interested in changing Afghanistan, but it is very much interested in the country’s mineral deposits, many of them of great importance for the ongoing climate transition. Beijing can easily work with Pakistan to extend its influence over the Taliban. Chinese economic interests in Afghanistan will be carved out from the rest of the country and heavily secured, a process I have witnessed in many other countries and regions. Follow Bruno's writing here.


Village Life

How China Escaped Shock Therapy

Isabella M. Weber

"A far cry from the revolutionaries’ ambition for material improvements for the masses, ten years into the Communist reign, “the most appalling famine in the history of mankind took place” (Wemheuer, 2014, 11). By the time of Mao Zedong’s death on September 9, 1976, China had long recovered from the Great Famine and had achieved remarkable progress in public health, education, efforts toward a green revolution, as well as industrialization (World Bank, 1983). But China was still a very poor country. 

"Estimates of China’s average per capita growth rates from the 1950s to 1978 vary. Maddison (2007, 100) estimates a 2.33 percent growth in GDP per capita. The first World Bank report (1983, 78) suggests a GNP growth per capita of 2.7 percent, which would have outpaced other low-income countries but was somewhat below the world average GDP growth of 2.62 percent. Johnson and Papageorgiou (2020, 140) place China among the ten worst growth performers in the 1960s, with −0.32 percent per capita growth. 

"Whatever the precise growth rate, it was too low to result in catching up. As a result, at the time of Mao’s passing in 1976 China’s share in world GDP had not increased by any considerable margin since the revolution (Maddison, 2001). Economic growth had been mainly driven by high levels of urban-industrial investment at the cost of consumption—rural consumption in particular (World Bank, 1983, 10, 81–81). One-third of the country’s rural population, about 260 million people, lived in absolute poverty, according to the official Chinese poverty line (Bramall, 2004, 119), and living standards in terms of per capita grain output were stagnating on a low level (Ash, 2006, 968). In the late 1970s, the failure to overcome rural poverty created a great urge for reform”.

The author, Isabella Weber, has done a great service to all Sinophilic economists and students of decision-making. Her description of China's transition from pure socialism to a socialist/capitalist economic model is excellent.

Alas, she dismisses China's prior economic history with the standard canard that Mao's was essentially a period of economic stagnation. It was anything but.

Mao offered to come to Washington in the last months of World War II to talk person ally with President Franklin D. Roosevelt but their message was never relayed directly to him, according to Barbara W. Tuch man, 

In 1949, Mao wrote President Truman, “China must industrialize. This can only be done by free enterprise. Chinese and American interests fit together, economically and politically. America need not fear that we will not be co-operative. We cannot risk any conflict”. 

He repeated the invitation to Presidents Truman and Eisenhower but they, too ignored his pleas. 

Deng's economic record was less impressive than Mao's, in any case. Says  John King Fairbank, “The simple facts of Mao’s career seem incredible: in a vast land of 400 million people, at age 28, with a dozen others, to found a party and in the next fifty years to win power, organize, and remold the people and reshape the land–history records no greater achievement. Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne, all the kings of Europe, Napoleon, Bismarck, Lenin–no predecessor can equal Mao’s scope of accomplishment, for no other country was ever so ancient and so big as China. Indeed Mao’s achievement is almost beyond our comprehension". 

Starting with little but rubble, and working entirely under massive Western sanctions and embargoes, here is what Mao accomplished before retiring and leaving China debt free.
1) reunification of the country, 
2) chasing out foreign powers, 
3) providing basic universal health care 
4) services lifting average life expectancy from 35 to 68, 
5) quadrupling literacy  
6) massive infrastructure building from dams to rail to road.
7) major technological breakthroughs like nuclear bombs, rockets, satellites.
8) creating the concept of 3rd world nations with China as the leader to counter the 1st World (US and Europe), 2nd world (USSR...)
9) using the geopolitical strategy of the cold War to break  US led sanction against china
10) paving the way for PRC to replace Taiwan as the legitimate government of China in the UN
11) Defeating the US in Korea.

  • German economic growth from 1880-1914 was 33% per decade. 
  • In Japan from 1874-1929 the rate was 43%. 
  • The Soviet Union between 1928-58 the decadal increase was 54%. 
  • In Mao's China the decadal rate between 1952-72 was 64%. 
Fortunately, this is not the book's focus and does nothing to detract from our enjoyment of its central theme.  Buy it on Amazon


The first–and only–book to explain all three elements of China's success: 
  1. Talent at the Top: Only the brightest, most idealistic people are are admitted to politics–a policy unchanged in 2200 years.
  2. Data in the Middle: policies are implemented, tracked, and optimized based on terabytes of data. The PRC is the world's largest consumer of public surveys.
  3. Democracy at the Bottom: ordinary people, all unpaid amateurs, assemble twice a year to check the stats and sign off on new legislation. Policies need a minimum of 66% support to become law. That's why 95% of Chinese say the country is on the right track.
The proof? There are more hungry children, more poor, homeless, drug addicted, and imprisoned people in America than in China.  

Why China Leads the World
investigates why the epidemic accelerated the change of global leadership from America to China and examines China’s bigger, steadier economy, its science leadership, stronger military, more powerful allies, and wider international support.

Crammed with charts, footnotes, and lengthy quotes, Why China Leads the World is a profoundly disturbing book that helps readers understand the tectonic shift and adapt to this new era–and even thrive in it.
The size of China's displacement of the world balance is such that the world must find a new balance. It is not possible to pretend that this is just another big player. This is the biggest player in the history of the world. Lee Kuan Yew: The Future of US-China Relations. The Atlantic.  
The Coronavirus accelerated the pace of change of global leadership from America to China. There are now more hungry children, more poor, homeless, drug addicted, and imprisoned people in America than in China. 

Suddenly, China's larger, steadier economy, its leadership in science, its stronger military, more powerful allies, and wider international support have handed it a lead that widens every day.  Crammed with direct quotes from its movers and shakers, charts, and footnotes, Why China Leads the World tells a remarkable tale, explains a tectonic shift, and helps you adapt to this new era, and even thrive in it. 
If we could just be China for one day we could actually authorize the right decisions. Thomas L. Friedman. The New York Times  

300 pages, 27 charts and graphs. $9.99 on Amazon and in bookstores worldwide.

The ISC Report

The ISC (Needham) Report

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.

The most vilified document of the 20th Century.

The report’s release in September, 1952, brought a withering international attack. It was roundly denounced by American and British politicians of the highest rank, ridiculed by four star generals, accused of fraud by celebrated pundits, misquoted by notable scientists, and scorned by a compliant Western press. Charges were made against the quality and truthfulness of its science. Its “unstated” political agenda was denounced. The ethics of interviewing captured US pilots was excoriated and its authors were publicly flayed as communist dupes. The report was red baited in the US halls of Congress and deemed unpatriotic to read, and therefore went unread and deliberately forgotten over the years, which has been the fate of Korean War history in general. In subsequent decades, volumes placed in American university library collections were quietly and permanently removed from circulation.
When the rare copy came up for auction, it was discretely purchased and disappeared from public view. This critical 67 year old truth commission document from the Korean War was slipping towards oblivion. For these very reasons, historians and truth seekers should exalt the wondrous rebirth of the ISC Report from near extinction with the publication of this new electronic edition. We welcome the sunshine that re-publication brings to a shadowy and suppressed chapter of American Cold War history. (from the introduction by Thomas Powell) 800 pages.  $9.99.


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