China News - 11 October 2021

New event: COP26 and China: what does success look like? Join us for our pre-COP26 briefing on Monday 25 October at 3pm BST. Register here. Speakers include:

  • Amber Rudd, former Home Secretary and Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change during Paris climate negotiations

  • Isabel Hilton, founder of think tank China Dialogue

  • Alex Wang, Professor of Law at UCLA and a leading expert on environmental law and the law and politics of China


Liz Truss plotting reset of UK foreign and trade policy in style of Aukus deal. According to the Financial Times, the new foreign secretary will focus her diplomatic efforts on regions with the biggest bearing on Britain’s security and commercial interests. Truss is reportedly eyeing further security and trade ties in the Indo-Pacific region, with India, Japan, Indonesia, as well as Australia, among those countries with which she will aim to build better ties. FT, 10 October

Britain to "pull out all the stops" to convince critical nations to do their bit for climate change. Senior royals are expected to attend the Cop26 conference in Glasgow next month as well as hold talks with key world leaders. It is understood that Chinese negotiators are to attend the conference, but the attendance of Xi Jinping, the president, has not been confirmed. The Sunday Telegraph, 10 October

Taiwan national day: we won’t bow to China, says president amid tensions. Responding to repeated threats from China’s leaders that it will one day take Taiwan – by force if need be – Tsai Ing-Wen said Taiwan had the resolve to defend itself and its future, which “must be decided in accordance with the will of the Taiwanese people”. BBC, The Times, Bloomberg, Reuters, SCMP, The Japan Times, 10 October

China's Xi Jinping urges a 'peaceful reunification' with Taiwan. NPR, Reuters, WSJ, The Guardian, HKFP, 9 October

China lambasts Tony Abbott for ‘despicable and insane performance in Taiwan’. The Guardian, Reuters, 9 October 

China’s cameras face fresh scrutiny in Europe. Surveillance technology firm Hikvision is facing criticism over a new vulnerability found in its products, adding to mounting concerns the company's high-tech cameras, which are used all over Europe, pose security risks. An anonymous security researcher found a glitch in Hikvision's products that "permits an attacker to gain full control of the device," Politico, 11 October

China presses US to cancel tariffs in test of bilateral engagement. China said on Saturday it pressed the United States to eliminate tariffs in talks between the countries' top trade officials that Washington saw as a test of bilateral engagement between the world's biggest economies. Reuters, SCMP, 9 October

No time for US’ James Bond theatrics – let’s talk recoupling, China’s US envoy Qin Gang says. SCMP, 10 October

China's Xi, Japan's new PM hold first talks, agree on need for dialogue. New Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told reporters he raised issues of concern, including the Senkaku Islands, Beijing’s crackdown on pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong and the treatment of the Muslim Uyghur minority in Xinjiang but agreed to seek “constructive and stable” relations with China. Japan Times, 8 October

First judge leaves city for UK. District Judge Sham Siu-man has applied for early retirement to migrate to the United Kingdom with his family, becoming the first local judge to move out of Hong Kong after the enactment of the national security law. The Standard, 10, October

Pentagon ‘has already lost in AI warfare’ as chief software officer steps down. The Times, FT, 11 October

India, China army commanders meet to defuse border tensions. ABC, The Hindu, CGTN, 10 October

Economy & tech

China’s coal futures hit all-time high as floods worsen energy crisis. Chinese coal futures rose to record levels as flooding in the central province of Shanxi over the weekend piled further pressure on Beijing to contain a growing energy crisis that threatens to undermine the recovery of the world’s second-largest economy. FT, Bloomberg, 10 October

Half of China’s top developers crossed Beijing’s ‘red lines’. Almost half of China’s 30 biggest developers were in breach of at least one of Beijing’s recently introduced rules on property sector leverage, according to a Financial Times analysis of the latest available data. FT, 8 October

Evergrande reprimands insiders for hitting the exit ahead of wealth product clients, forcing redeemers to return proceeds. SCMP, Reuters, 9 October

Lenovo withdraws Shanghai mega IPO in setback for the fundraising centre stage of China’s technology champions. SCMP, 9 October

Beijing fines Meituan $530 million in second major antitrust case this year. NYT, 9 October

China focus

Hong Kong: university orders Tiananmen statue's removal. The University of Hong Kong has said that the Pillar of Shame, depicting dozens of torn and twisted bodies to commemorate the 1989 crackdown, was "based on the latest risk assessment and legal advice". BBC, The Guardian, The Japan Times, HKFP, 8 October 

China’s Communist Party formally embraces assimilationist approach to ethnic minorities. After launching experiments aimed at more forcefully assimilating ethnic minorities in remote regions, CCP has moved subtly but decisively to make cultural assimilation the central tenet of its policy for managing minority populations nationwide. WSJ, 8 October

Flooding in Shanxi province forces 120,000 to flee homes amid record rainfall. The Guardian, BBC, 11 October

China marks 1911 Revolution anniversary, pooling strength for national rejuvenation. Xinhua, 9 October

Longer read & opinions

The Observer view on Xi Jinping’s increasing threats to Taiwan. The Guardian, 10 October

Taiwan’s defiance of China raises the central question of our age. Richard Lloyd Parry. The Times, 10 October

Is defending Taiwan worth the risk? Emma Ashford and Matthew Kroenig. Foreign Policy, 8 October

Working toward responsible competition with China. Patricia M. Kim. Brookings, 8 October

Cop26 must not overshadow UN conference in Kunming: we need joint climate and biodiversity goals. Ma Jun. The Guardian, 11 October

China is cutting its tech giants down to size. Should the west learn from this? John Naughton. The Guardian, 9 October

A new tone, but Biden’s China policy echoes Trump. Louis Ashworth. The Sunday Telegraph, 10 October

The West has lost the moral authority to lecture China on human rights. Dominic Lawson. The Sunday Times, 11 October

World Bank and IMF join long list of global bodies under Beijing's spell. Jeremy Warner. The Telegraph, 9 October

Companies prepare for a ‘selective decoupling’ with China. Leo Lewis. FT, 9 October

What was the revolution that led to the first Chinese republic? And how does the Communist Party view it today? Jack Lau. SCMP, 9 October

Artists and craftsmen try to preserve the sounds of old Beijing. The Economist, 9 October