Major Issue Tracker

 

China’s Global Influence

Australia’s Prime Minister ‘Surprised’ by State’s Secret Deal With China (November 13): Prime Minister Scott Morrison of Australia was blindsided by reports that a state government had quietly sidestepped federal regulators and signed a deal with China to participate in that country’s contentious Belt and Road infrastructure initiative… Read More>>

China’s Li Keqiang says Beijing is set on path to free-trade deal talks with Canada (November 14): Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau meet at Asian summit to discuss way ahead for relations. Canada sees no impediment to China deal after signing up for USMCA… Read More>>

How luxury fashion house Dolce & Gabbana came crashing down (November 26): Dolce & Gabbana is one of the world’s most elite brands. But the powerhouse has come crashing down over a series of ‘racist’ mishaps in China… Read More>>

 

U.S. Asia Policy 

Bolton Warns China Against Limiting Free Passage in South China Sea (November 13): National security adviser John Bolton said the U.S. would oppose any agreements between China and other claimants to the South China Sea that limit free passage to international shipping, and that American naval vessels would continue to sail through those waters… Read More>>

Trump Is Skipping All of These Asia Summits (November 10): U.S. President Donald Trump is skipping a new rounds of Asia summits, including the ASEAN meeting held in Singapore and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting in Papua New Guinea. Mike Pence will attend in place of Donald Trump, and many have interpreted this as a snub due to U.S. lessened interest in the region… Read More>>

Mike Pence challenges China at Asia-Pacific economic summit (November 17): Vice President Mike Pence laid out a forceful challenge to China’s growing global influence on Saturday, saying that the United States offered countries “a better option” for economic partnership and criticizing Chinese “authoritarianism and aggression”… Read More>>

 

Southeast Asia and the South China Sea 

As Beijing and Manila shake hands on South China Sea energy deal, backlash from Filipino critics begins (November 21): In Philippines, campaigners challenge Duterte’s assertion that Beijing’s control over disputed South China Sea is fait accompli they must accept… Read More>>

Taiwan's political earthquake: Does China gain from Tsai Ing-wen's losses? (November 26): In a series of local elections, the ruling pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), which came to power in 2016 in a landslide victory, lost more than half the cities and counties it held and is left with only a handful… Read More>>

 

Technology, Surveillance, and Espionage

 

Scholars due to speak at Harvard barred from leaving China (November 5): A researcher at a prominent Chinese think-tank repeatedly targeted by the Communist government said Monday he and the organization's director have been barred from leaving the country… Read More>>

Tesla, Amazon, Microsoft and Qualcomm receive special mentions at Wuzhen World Internet Conference (November 7): Despite an escalating U.S.-China trade War, Elon Musk’s Tesla and Jeff Bezos’ Amazon.com maintained a good relationship with China and are among the four foreign companies whose products and services are included in a “World Leading Internet Scientific and Technological Achievements” list released by the state-sponsored Wuzhen Internet Conference… Read More>>

China’s brightest children are being recruited to develop AI ‘killer bots’ (November 8): Beijing Institute of Technology recruits 31 ‘patriotic’ youngsters for new AI weapons development programme. Expert in international science policy describes course as ‘extremely powerful and troubling’… Read More>>

China has developed a virtual anchor to deliver the news (November 9): China’s state news agency, Xinhua unveiled its "artificial intelligence news anchor" at an internet conference in the eastern city of Wuzhen. This virtual anchor is designed to be able to deliver the news 24 hours a day… Read More>>

U.S. Accuses China of Continuing IP Theft as WTO Launches Probe (November 20): The U.S. accused China of continuing a state-backed campaign of intellectual property and technology theft as the World Trade Organization said it would establish a dispute panel to rule on the complaint… Read More>>

World’s first gene-edited babies created in China, claims scientist (November 26): A scientist in China claims to have created the world’s first genetically edited babies, in a potentially ground-breaking and controversial medical first… Read More>>

 

Academia and Law

China makes a U-turn on legalizing tiger and rhino trade following international outcry (November 13): China has halted a directive that partially legalized the domestic trade in farmed rhinoceros and tiger parts, two weeks after the move drew a torrent of criticism from conservation groups… Read More>>

Young Activists Go Missing in China, Raising Fears of Crackdown (November 11): At least a dozen young activists who took part in a national campaign for workers’ rights in China are missing, friends said on Sunday, in what appeared to be an effort by the government to silence one of the most visible student protests in years…Read More>>

Harvard on Trial: Chinese and Chinese American Responses to Affirmative Action (November 1): The last few weeks have seen Harvard’s admissions process on trial. But the case — brought by Affirmative Action opponent Edward Blum and being tried by the Boston Federal Courthouse at the moment — is also being seen as a major test for Affirmative Action in general, with CNN stating that it has the potential to “end” the policy… Read More>>

 

Soft Power, Media, and Censorship

Kris Wu Controversially Pulled from iTunes Top Spot as Twitter Asks, “Kris Who?”(November 7): After Kris Wu’s new album, Antares, came out, it immediately topped the U.S. iTunes chart. Yet allegations of sales manipulation has sparked Twitter comments from Ariana Grande, Lady Gaga and others that are competing for the #1 iTunes slots… Read More>>

Alibaba sets record US$30.8 billion for Singles’ Day sales, underscoring resilience in consumer spending (November 11): Sales tally surpassed last year’s record at 3.49pm on Singles’ Day. Singles’ Day sales performance increasingly seen as a barometer for China retail health and consumer confidence… Read More>>

Dolce & Gabbana Tripped Up in China by Poor Taste (November 21): Dolce & Gabbana scrapped a Shanghai fashion show hours before its start, after promotional videos and social-media comments touched off a furor from Chinese who saw them as racist… Read More>>

 

Trade and Economic Relations

Xi Jinping promises greater opening up at China International Import Expo, warns against winner-takes-all mentality (November 5): Chinese president Xi opens Shanghai trade event, which is intended to signal country’s support for free trade and openness. Some 3,000 companies from around the world have signed up… Read More>>

Foxconn Considers Bringing Chinese Workers to Wisconsin as U.S. Labor Market Tightens (November 6): Foxconn Technology Group is considering bringing in personnel from China to help staff a large facility under construction in southern Wisconsin as it struggles to find engineers and other workers in one of the tightest labor markets in the U.S… Read More>>

China grants 16 trademarks to defunct Ivanka Trump business (November 6): China has granted preliminary approval for 16 trademarks for fashion accessories and other items to White House adviser and presidential daughter Ivanka Trump, even though she announced earlier this year she's shutting her business down... Read More>>

China Approves American Express Card Service, Addressing U.S. Concerns About Markets (November 9): American Express won approval to set up card-clearing services in China-the first U.S. card network to gain permission. It will form a 50-50 joint venture with Chinese fintech firm Lianlian Grop to set up the payment network. This decision comes more than a decade after Beijing promised to open the sector… Read More>>

 

 

 

If You Read/ Watched Nothing Else…

 

Blog Posts

 

Reluctant Stakeholder: Why China’s Highly Strategic Brand of Revisionism is More Challenging Than Washington Thinks (Evan Feigenbaum, Macropolo)

Protecting Sensitive Technologies Without Constricting Their Development (Robert D. Williams, Brookings)