Belgian-Chinese Chamber of Commerce (BCECC)

China Press Review – November 23, 2021

British Chamber of Commerce warns China’s data policies could slow innovation
China’s policy regarding data transfer and localisation are causing companies to cancel projects due to fears of compliance issues, according to a report from the British Chamber of Commerce in China published on Tuesday. “The uncertainty is causing considerable anxiety, as it could create insurmountable barriers to data flowing from China,” the chamber writes. “Some businesses are already affected by slowed data flows – one business has canceled two thirds of their planned R&D projects in China, while another has been forced to downgrade the quality of service they provide to clients.

China must clarify ‘uncertainty’ over data security laws, allow more cross-border transfers
China has introduced a Data Security Law and Personal Information Protection Law this year amid a drive to legislate how companies store, protect and share data. Report from the British Chamber of Commerce in China highlights concerns over uncertainty surrounding cybersecurity and data protection requirements

How big are China’s crude oil reserves and how do they compare to the US’ SPR?
The US asked China to release crude oil reserves to help stabilise soaring international prices as part of ongoing discussions on economic cooperation. The issue was raised during the virtual meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Joe Biden at the end of November

US orchestrates strategic oil reserve releases with China, India, UK
Washington says it will release 50 million barrels of crude in an effort to bring down gas prices. India quickly announced it would also release 5 million barrels

Japan allocates $5.2bn to fund chip plants by TSMC and others
Micron and Kioxia set to get subsidies for domestic memory chip factories   Japan is allocating about 600 billion yen ($5.2 billion) of its fiscal 2021 supplementary budget to support advanced semiconductor manufacturers, Nikkei has learned.   The government plans to invest about 400 billion yen in a new factory set up by the world’s largest contract chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. in Kumamoto prefecture, southwest Japan. The remaining 200 billion yen will go toward setting up other new factories, with projects under consideration including by U.S. memory chipmaker Micron Technology and Japan’s Kioxia Holdings.n  Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida recently told Nikkei, “while TSMC is a hot topic, I think it is important to take measures to expand various possibilities in the private sector, such as attracting the U.S. semiconductor manufacturers.” Amid accelerating digitization and an increase in data center investments, demand for memory chips is expected to grow in the mid- to long-term. Japan’s industry ministry has stated in its semiconductor reinforcement package that “securing a stable supply of advanced semiconductors (logic, memory) is the most important security issue.”

Taiwan’s chip manufacturing growth slows
Data on industrial production shows that chip production in Taiwan has slowed further. This confirms our view that Taiwan’s capacity to produce semiconductors has reached its limit. Faster growth will only be seen when new production lines are ready to operate

US-China tech war: Beijing’s semiconductor ambition faces fresh headwinds as Washington adds pressure on SK Hynix
German tech firm ZEISS is expanding its electric car business by setting up the global headquarters of its New-Energy Vehicle operations in Shanghai, in a move which also fuels China’s carbon neutrality goal.    ZEISS, with a history of 175 years, offers optical products and technologies in industries ranging from lenses to medical to consumer electronics and semiconductor manufacturing.

China EV war: Xpeng expects sales to rev up as it snaps at Tesla’s heels on the mainland
Guangzhou-based carmaker expects to deliver between 24,362 and 26,362 vehicles in the final two months of the year   EV start-up however reports mounting losses in the third quarter to US$248.8 million, up from US$180 million a year ago   Xpeng, along with Shanghai-based NIO and Beijing-headquartered Li Auto, are dubbed the three Chinese challengers to Tesla. They all develop intelligent EVs with advanced driver assistance systems, sophisticated in-car entertainment systems and high-performance batteries that ensure long driving range on a single charge.  Xpeng powered ahead of its two domestic rivals over the last two months, with monthly deliveries exceeding 10,000 units in September and October. An accelerated pace of electrification in mainland China has fuelled EV sales.   Teresio Gigi Gaudio, founder and chief executive of Italian automotive design group Icona, told reporters on a video conference during the China International Import Expo in Shanghai on November 7 that some problems have to be addressed before autonomous driving can go mainstream and this would require huge investments.   “Human beings are afraid to give control to intelligent robots, and there is a lot to be done to convince people that such systems are reliable,” Gaudio said.  Xpeng, which began selling the P5, the world’s first lidar-guided EV in September, said that the new model had a strong order backlog.  Last week, the company unveiled its fourth model, the G9 SUV, at the Guangzhou International Automobile Exhibition, which will be equipped with a semi-autonomous driving system

In China, Luxury Must Bridge Digital and Physical Like Never Before
In-person events must adapt to the demands of younger Chinese consumers, who increasingly demand immersive and engaging content from luxury brands.  Recent events held in Beijing and Shanghai offer successful on-and-offline marketing blueprints for the year ahead.  Today, it is critical for luxury brands to effectively incorporate both on- and offline touchpoints at physical events.

China’s Growth Model Is in Crisis
China has long seen high-speed economic growth tied to property investment. That model is now failing.

Biden shifts China policy toward deterrence
Bid to counter Beijing’s narrative of U.S. decline   Biden has accepted Trump’s diagnosis but not the prescription of dealing with China’s strategic threat. He has abandoned any notion of undermining the CCP or influencing its internal deliberations. With Asia as the new center of gravity, Washington is set on building alliances and networks to maintain the status quo and its own strategic position.    During the Cold War, despite flashpoints like Berlin and standoffs in regional conflicts in Central America, Africa and Southeast Asia, the doctrine of deterrence helped to prevent direct conflict or nuclear conflagration. In these dangerous times, the best hope for relations between the U.S. and China is that it produces a stalemate

Biden’s Summit for Democracy should focus on rights, not economics and geopolitics
President Joe Biden’s first “Summit for Democracy” is an opportunity for the United States to highlight civil liberties, freedom of conscience, and peaceful dissent at a moment in which democracy is in a fragile state around the world. Democracy is the only political system which can protect these freedoms: For authoritarian regimes of any form — single-party regimes like China, personalist dictatorships like Russia, or absolute monarchies like Saudi Arabia — criticism, mobilization, and dissent are no less than fundamental threats to the ruling order. The U.S. has long had an inconsistent record of democracy promotion around the world, and the record of democracy within the United States is uneven as well. The Biden administration views the work of the summit as building strategies to strengthen and defend democracies — the United States included — against authoritarianism.  The Summit for Democracy, however, has a larger geopolitical ambition. It reflects a prominent view within the Biden administration that assembling a global coalition of democracies can counter China’s rise and continued Russian aggression. There are good reasons to emphasize the common interests of new and established democracies, but the geopolitical ambitions of the Summit for Democracy are bound to disappoint.

Beijing’s campaign to ‘discipline’ celebrities expands to what they can do on social media
Online platforms will be required to monitor celebrity accounts and report any inappropriate activity to the authorities        The notice also banned the act of whitewashing’ any celebrity who has broken the law or engaged in what is deemed as unethical behaviour

China sets stage for easier monetary policy as central bank deletes language from new report
The People’s Bank of China deleted several phrases in its latest monetary policy report, a move that economists say signals a shift toward easier policy.    The phrases had signaled a level of restraint in central bank policy, despite signs of growing slowdown in the economy.   However, the PBoC maintained a tough stance on the property market, which has struggled in the wake of Beijing’s crackdown on real estate developers’ high debt levels.

Property tax concerns for China’s homeowners, buyers amid Xi Jinping’s common prosperity drive
China’s property tax plan is part of Xi Jinping’s so-called common prosperity campaign to redistribute wealth and to address widening social inequality   After a five year pilot programme, both residential and non-residential properties will taxed based on their values, but rural households will be excluded

Keep out fake news in age of Covid-19, Chinese propaganda chief urges world media
Media should use ‘rational judgment’ and be ‘responsible disseminators of public information’ as Covid-19 rages, Huang Kunming tells Xinhua-hosted summit   Beijing’s charm offensive on media executives would have limited effect, given China’s negative image in much of the Western world, say analysts  The Chinese state-run news agency said the summit ended with a joint statement calling on world media to “evolve with the times” and use new technologies to drive “transformation and development”. Analysts, however, said Beijing’s charm offensive on media executives would have limited effect. “The conflict of values and interests between China and Western countries cannot be reversed by hosting publicity events, [when] public opinion towards China in Western European countries and America have become negative,” said Xiaoyu Pu, associate professor of political science professor at the University of Nevada, Reno. “While this is an external propaganda event, it also serves internal propaganda purposes. “It will certainly make the local population elated. But I am afraid that it will not fundamentally change international public opinion.”  Chen Daoyin, a political commentator and former professor at Shanghai University of Political Science and Law, said it would be very difficult for China to gain the upper hand in wrestling with the world media in the short term. “China now faces pressure from Western countries on all fronts, especially in the publicity area, but it is difficult for its top-down and cumbersome propaganda machinery to cope with it, not to mention mounting a counter strike,” Chen said. “But China is spending money and devoting resources to events like this, because it has to start somewhere.”

China attacks countries for “maliciously hyping up” Peng Shuai censorship
In their most direct response to the situation yet, China have accused the West of “maliciously hyping up” the disappearance and censorship of Peng Shuai.

podcast Chinese mines in DRC raise eyebrows
The Democratic Republic of Congo is particularly rich in mineral resources such as coltan. China operates some of the gold mines there, but the locals complain about poor working conditions.

Coronavirus: former heads of pandemic review panel warn ‘the world is losing time’
Six months after report on Covid-19 response, members of independent body evaluate progress on the reforms they called for    They say it has not been ‘fast or cohesive enough to bring this pandemic to an end across the globe in the near term, or to prevent another’

Taiwanese, US officials hold five-hour virtual economic dialogue
Supply chain resilience, science and technology, the digital economy and 5G were discussed in second annual meeting   Business advisory group to be established in bid to enhance economic and commercial ties between US and the self-ruled island

Remarks by Ambassador Zhang Jun at the Interactive Dialogue Between the Third Committee and the Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues
To the US and a few other countries: Your plot to obstruct China’s development is doomed to fail. The path of China’s development is chosen by the Chinese people ourselves. You are in no position to make choice for the Chinese people, let alone lecture China. China’s progress is unstoppable. No one can deprive the Chinese people of their rights to lead a happy life. It’s time to wake up! Your days of bullying and oppressing developing countries are long gone.

Chinese hypersonic test included path-breaking second missile launch, say US reports
Neither the US nor Russia has shown the same ability, which requires launching a missile from a parent vehicle travelling five times the speed of sound    During the weapon test in July, the hypersonic missile released a separate missile that rocketed away, falling harmlessly into the South China Sea

US again sends warship through Taiwan Strait
Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer Milius conducted a ‘routine Taiwan Strait transit’, the US Navy said     There was no immediate response from Beijing, which sees such moves as attempts to stir regional tensions

The Pentagon needs a new AI strategy to catch up with China
Finally, we must stop preparing for the wrong battles. The next war will be software-defined, it won’t be won with a $1.7tn programme of fifth generation F35 fighter jets or $12bn aircraft carriers. China can take down our power grid without firing a single shot, because of kindergarten-level cyber security in our critical national infrastructure. This shows we are investing in the wrong defence capabilities. As we have seen recently with the Colonial Pipeline hack, the risk is tangible. We must act now to trade off some F35 jets for scalable autonomous systems such as drone swarming, self-flying jets and ships, hypersonic and cyber capabilities, and military advances in space.
Reports claiming the US has as much as 10 years to take meaningful action in AI are just wrong. Analysts forget that AI innovation progresses exponentially, based on the speed of deployment and the volume of data available to train its models. Since China has more experts engaged in this field, and more data, the US is already at a disadvantage. By this time next year, it will be too late to catch up.

As China threat rises, can Aukus alliance recover from rancorous birth?
The risk is that Aukus, far from strengthening a regional alliance against China, leads to fracture, with big players such as Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand and India disturbed by the advent of a new inner Anglosphere core in their region. The concern is that it subtracts rather than adds. It has also raised legitimate questions among Pacific nations and thinktanks about a nuclear arms race and loopholes in the nuclear non-proliferation treaty. Some of those concerns have been echoed by Rafael Grossi, the head of the UN weapons inspectorate, as well as by the UN general assembly.

Why China’s worsening demographic situation will impact economic prospects for decades to come
Based on the experiences of other countries, China would have faced a decline in its population anyway, even without state involvement in ‘family planning’    Beijing doesn’t like candid discussions about the country’s population trend, labelling them as ‘bad mouthing’ the country’s bright future

China: The need to look to the past in order to enter the 21st century
The seventh part focuses on the Chinese Communist Party in the New Era. It dwells on the entry into the second centenary, for which the whole Party must work hard to achieve the goal set, with the perseverance of clinging to its country and not letting go, and for which the Party’s basic theories must be adhered to. The basic policy line and strategy of fostering high quality development and committing to the promotion of the prosperity of the people, the country and the multimillennial beauty of China. The Party must always maintain flesh and blood contact with the people and safeguard and develop the fundamental interests of China’s people and ethnic groups. For Party leaders, the principle to keep in mind, is “be born in trouble and die in happiness”. It means always having a long-term vision, being prepared for danger in times of peace and continuing to promote the new great project of national construction.    The Party urges us not to forget the sufferings of the past, so as to be worthy of today’s mission, which leads to the great dreams of the future. For the CPC, it is essential to learn from history, create and shape the future, work hard and move forward with courage. It must continue to make unremitting efforts to enter the second centenary.

Academics and students in the West consider future China studies without access to China
China’s Covid-19 travel rules and its strained ties with the US and allies are obstacles for foreigners seeking mainland fieldwork   Scholars say those difficulties add to what was an increasingly restrictive research environment in the country

Alain Gillard
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