Although President Xi Jinping had a difficult time finding a delicate balance between combating various kinds of pollution and meeting economic growth targets during his first term, the ruling Communist Party seems determined to make good on its promise of a “war on pollution,” as indicated by the arrival of a tide of encouraging news:
- The Financial Times reports (paywall) that ahead of the political congress that is scheduled to take place on October 18, tens of thousands of factories producing commodities from industrial chemicals to cement and rubber were forced to close due to increasingly widespread and strict environmental inspections. The sweeping campaign will probably knock 0.25 percent off China’s GDP growth in the next six months, according to French bank Société Générale, and has already made a huge impact on international supply chains.
- Reuters notes that northern China’s Shanxi Province, known as the country’s coal hub, vowed to “cut concentrations of hazardous airborne particles known as PM2.5 by 40 percent over the winter months.”
- Caixin reports that in collaboration with various research facilities across the country, the Chinese Ministry of Environmental Protection has created a series of research programs to tackle air pollution.
- Chinese scientists have discovered a new catalyst to accelerate the rate at which carbon dioxide can be converted into methanol, a cleaner energy compared with fossil or gasoline, according to Sixth Tone.
- Meanwhile, the Agriculture Ministry of China has established a Pesticide Management Office to better regulate the production, sale, and use of pesticides, Sixth Tone reports.
American spies in China
China grabbed American as spy wars flare / Politico
The previously unreported abduction and interrogation of an American in Chengdu in January 2016 is described as “an unusually bold act in a long-simmering spy game between Washington and Beijing.”
China rebuffs criticism of decision to bar British activist from Hong Kong / The Guardian
Opinion: Why the world must wake up to China’s threat to freedom in Hong Kong / The Guardian
Asked to explain ‘calm before the storm’ remark, Trump talks North Korea / Reuters
Foreign aid or foreign loans?
No, China is not about to become the world’s largest aid donor / Quartz
South Korea’s Lotte to abandon China supermarkets chain / FT (paywall)
Cambodia deports 74 Chinese arrested for telecom extortion scams / Reuters
Catalonia and Spain
China offers support to Spanish government amid Catalonia crisis / Reuters