China News - 8 October 2021

International

CIA reorganisation to place new focus on China. The agency will create two new mission centres, one focused on China, the other focused on emerging technology, climate change and global health. Announcing the expansion on Thursday, CIA director Bill Burns said the spy agency would be at “the forefront” of “facing our toughest geopolitical test in a new era of great power rivalry”. NYT, WSJ, Reuters, Politico, FT, The Japan Times, 7 October

US troops have been deployed in Taiwan for at least a year. According to people familiar with deployments, the Pentagon has been sending special operations forces to Taiwan to help the country prepare for a possible Chinese attack. The deployments have involved rotating special forces for short periods and training Taiwanese forces partly in connection with that country’s purchase of arms. WSJ, Bloomberg, Reuters, The Guardian, The Telegraph, Daily Mail, 7 October

US deeply concerned over Taiwan-China tension. Speaking to the BBC, US national security adviser Jake Sullivan expressed ‘deep concern’ about actions that undermine peace across the Taiwan Strait. BBC, 8 October

Tony Abbott raises fears China ‘could lash out disastrously’ as Taiwan tensions grow. The Guardian, 8 October

US, Japan, Australia tout support of infrastructure projects as ‘transparent’ alternative to China. Washington, Tokyo and Canberra joined forces three years ago to provide an alternative development financing model to Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative. In a think tank discussion on Thursday, officials from all three countries committed to providing “transparent, private sector-driven, project-based sustainable funding.” SCMP, 8 October

US electronics firm struck deal to transport and hire Uyghur workers. In a Reuters exclusive, remote-control maker Universal Electronics Inc revealed it struck a deal with authorities in Xinjiang to transport hundreds of Uyghur workers to its plant in the southern Chinese city of Qinzhou, the first confirmed instance of an American company participating in a transfer program described by rights groups as forced labour. Reuters, 8 October

Hong Kong plans megacourt to deal with protest arrests backlog. Carrie Lam announced that will build a new megacourt to address a shortage of space as it works through a backlog of the thousands arrested during the 2019 mass protests, and the more than 150 arrested under the national security law. The Guardian, 7 October

Migrants offer helping hand. New immigrants from Hong Kong in the UK have already begun organising groups to help Afghan refugees in their time of need. The Standard, 7 October

Boris Johnson picks navy chief as head of British armed forces. Admiral Sir Tony Radakin is the first chosen from the navy in 20 years, reflecting a switch of focus to Indo-Pacific region. The Guardian, 7 October

US nuclear submarine collides with 'unknown object' in South China Sea. The Telegraph, BBC, 8 October

Ecuador eyes trade deals with China, Russia in bid for investment. Reuters, 7 October

Economy & tech

China orders coal miners to boost output to counter energy crunch. North China's Inner Mongolia region has told more than 70 mines to boost annual output capacity by nearly 100 million tonnes, according to Reuters, citing a government official and coal traders. Reuters, Caixin, BBC, FT, 7 October

Hungary to build Europe's first 5G smart railway port together with Huawei. Chinese telecommunications equipment giant Huawei on Wednesday signed a cooperation agreement with Hungary's East-West Intermodal Logistics and British telecommunications operator Vodafone, in a joint effort to build Europe's first smart railway hub managed by a 5G private network. Global Times, 7 October

Fall in China's $1.3 trillion land sales to test local finances, economy. Reuters, 7 October

No more graveyard loans: Beijing wants everybody to quit bingeing on debt. SupChina, 7 October

Evergrande chair’s wealth under scrutiny as developer faces default. FT, 8 October

China focus

China’s Chang’e 5 lunar mission brought back youngest rock samples ever collected on the moon. International researchers have found that the rock samples brought back from the Moon in December were just two billion years old. SCMP, BBC, 7 October

‘Profound regret’: Chinese University of Hong Kong’s student union dissolves after 50 years amid pressure. The group, founded in 1971, cited increased difficulties after the university severed ties with it eight months ago. HKFP, 7 October

China says protecting nature a 'priority' ahead of UN biodiversity talks. Reuters, 8 October

China saw 515 million trips during Golden Week, slightly down from last year. CGTN, 7 October

Longer reads & opinion

What does Xi want? Michael Schuman. Politico, 8 October

The real reasons behind China’s energy crisis. Laurl Myllyvlrta. Foreign Policy, 7 October

China, one cold winter and the origins of Britain’s fuel crisis. Marc Bennetts et al. The Times, 7 October

China’s power crunch exposes tensions ahead of key UN climate summit. Keith Bradsher and Lisa Friedman. NYT, 7 October

China’s property crisis is a symptom of its soaring inequality. Tom Stevenson. The Telegraph, 7 October

A Chinese vision of free trade. The Economist, 7 October

What’s behind China’s latest mega hydro-engineering project? Genevieve Donnellon-May and Mark Wang. The Diplomat, 7 October

Japan’s Kishida: A dove in hawk’s clothing? John Nilsson-Wright. The Diplomat, 7 October

Looking close at the fragile beauty of Chinese painting. Howard Cotter. NYT, 7 October

Decoding China’s latest World Internet Conference. Shen Lu. Protocol, 29 September