China News - 19 October 2021


Boris Johnson says UK doesn’t want to turn away Chinese investment. Ahead of the Global Investment Summit in London, the Prime Minister said China would continue to play a "gigantic part" in UK economic life for years to come. At the same time, he insisted the Government would not be "naive" about allowing China access to the UK's critical national infrastructure. Bloomberg, Independent, 18 October

UK PM sees ‘extremely tough’ global climate talks in Glasgow as US and China are urged to work together before COP26. Johnson said the COP26 summit will be “extremely tough,” as he made a last-ditch call on world leaders to take concrete steps to protect the planet. Similarly, former UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon appealed to Joe Biden and Xi Jinping to meet and find common ground. Bloomberg, The Guardian, 18 October

China’s denies testing nuclear-capable hypersonic missile; Washington accuses Beijing of deviating from ‘minimal nuclear deterrence’ strategy. Beijing has denied a report by the FT that it tested a nuclear-capable hypersonic missile earlier, insisting instead that it was a routine spacecraft check. However, State Department spokesman Ned Price expressed deep concerns “about the rapid expansion of the PRC’s nuclear capabilities”. Independent, BBC, The Guardian, The Telegraph, SCMP, CGTN, 18 October

China, Russia navy ships jointly sail through Japan strait. A group of 10 naval vessels from China and Russia sailed through a strait separating Japan's main island and its northern island of Hokkaido on Monday, the Japanese government said, adding that it is closely watching such activities. Reuters, 19 October

Energy pact sees Cuba sign up to China’s Belt and Road Initiative. The Times, 19 October

US investment drive to take on China in Latin America. FT, 18 October

Taiwan asked United States to expedite F-16 Viper fighter aircraft as threat from China rises. The Times, Taipei Times, 18 October

India and China deadlocked over troops near key Himalayan pass. The Japan Times, SCMP, 18 October

Xinjiang officials overseeing detention camps studied at Harvard. FT, 19 October

Economy & tech

China GDP: slowdown in third quarter growth raises fears of more economic trouble ahead; Xi undettered from structural shifts. China’s GDP in the third quarter grew by 4.9% from a year ago, down from 7.9% growth in the previous quarter. This worse than expected growth has ignited concerns about stagflation, but is unlikely to deter Xi from policies that prioritise long-term structural changes. SCMP, FT, BBC, The Times, Reuters, WSJ, 18 October

Evergrande, COVID, and the coal crisis: are they weighing on China’s recovery? FT, NYT, The Guardian, The Times, The Telegraph, Reuters, 18 October

Goldman Sachs wins approval to buy out partner in China. The China Securities Regulatory Commission gave Goldman Sachs the go-ahead to buy out Beijing Gao Hua Securities, its local partner, as Beijing tries to make good on a pledge it made in 2017 to allow foreign investment banks to fully own their China operations. NYT, FT, 18 October

Alibaba said to be launching a server chip based on Arms technology this week. Alibaba is set to launch a server chip based on technology from British firm Arm Holdings, joining Huawei and Baidu in a push on semiconductor development. Caixin, SCMP, 18 October

China’s magnesium shortage threatens global car industry. The world’s largest carmakers could face a potentially crippling shortage of aluminium, as China’s power crisis threatens supplies of a key component used to make the lightweight metal. FT, 19 October

China’s semiconductor industry faces a growing talent shortage as Beijing aims for global dominance in chip manufacture. SCMP, 18 October

China focus

China’s top leaders set date for key meeting next month. China’s top leaders will hold the sixth plenary session of the 19th Central Committee from November 8 to 11, when they are expected to adopt a resolution on the Communist Party’s achievements over the past 100 years. SCMP, NHK, Reuters, CGTN, Xinhua, 18 October

Xi flexes power with plan to rewrite Communist Party history. Xi is preparing for a historical overview, which is previously issued only under Mao and Deng, during the plenary session, a sign of his strengthening grip on power. WSJ, Nikkei Asia, 18 October

Communist Party’s picks to join Xinjiang leadership point to focus on security. Beijing has appointed a Guangdong veteran and two Uyghur cadres with significant security and development experience to the Xinjiang Communist Party committee. Meanwhile, China’s ‘most sanctioned official’, Wang Junzheng, will take over as party secretary in Tibet. SCMP, 18 October

Beijing sets journalists 90 hours of lessons to learn the party line. The Times, 18 October

Seven Hong Kong democrats jailed for up to 12 months over banned protest against security law. HKFP, 18 October

China tests civilian ferry as military transport and nurses in nighttime island landing simulation. The Times, SCMP, 18 October

Opinions & editorial

The Guardian view on China’s missile launch: the arrival of a peer competitor. The Guardian, 18 October

Why we should be wary of the China hypersonic missile revelations. Sophia Yan. The Telegraph, 18 October

China’s hypersonic wake-up call. A missile test shows the next war won’t be anything like the last one. WSJ, 18 October

What Xi Jinping really means by “common prosperity”. Shuli Ren. Bloomberg, 18 October

Welcome to the age of unpeace. Increasingly, it is the forces meant to bring the world together that are pushing it toward conflict. Mark Leonard. Politico, 18 October

Longer reads

A dangerous decade of Chinese power is here. Andrew S. Erickson and Gabriel B. Collins. Foreign Policy, 18 October

Can China defeat three stubborn modern inequalities? ‘Socialism with Chinese characteristics’ is replicating US inequalities - some are more difficult to tackle than others. Branko Milanović. IPS, 18 October

China and Central Europe: The View From Warsaw. Mercy Kuo. The Diplomat, 19 October

China’s overseas coal pledge is not a climate change gamechanger. Mathias Lund Larsen. The Diplomat, 18 October

Chinese power sector reforms mean more coal now, less coal later. David Fishman. SupChina, 18 October

After coronavirus, can we get our data back? The pandemic gave rise to an arsenal of monitoring and surveillance technologies in China and around the world. Shen Weiwei. SixthTone, 18 October

China issues “inadequate” and “misleading” response to UN correspondence on forced organ harvesting. Evidence-based concerns raised by nine UN Special Rapporteurs dismissed as “fabricated” and “defamatory” by the PRC. ETAC, Forbes, Daily Mail, 16 October