News roundup: Malaysia and China smile across the South China Sea

Business & Technology

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Malaysia and China smile across the South China Sea

Diplomatic and military strategies in the South China Sea and beyond are featured in a number of stories from China today. Chinese state media have highlighted President Xi Jinping’s talking points from a meeting on Tuesday with a delegation led by Hung Hsiu-chu, leader of Taiwan’s Kuomintang (KMT), currently the opposition party, during which he stressed “the importance of adherence to the 1992 Consensus” and called for “maintaining the peaceful development of cross-Strait relations.” Taiwan’s president, Tsai Ing-wen, and her Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) are seen by mainland officials as advocates for Taiwanese independence from the People’s Republic.

Also on Tuesday, Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak visited China and met Premier Li ­Keqiang in Beijing, which yielded an agreement to buy four Chinese naval vessels. The South China Morning Post saw the results of the meeting as a “pledge to narrow differences” on the South China Sea. This comes the week after a visit by President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines, which the New York Times called “cozying up to China.”

In military news, China publicized its J-20 stealth fighter for the first time, with two of the jets performing a 60-second flypast at the Zhuhai Air Show, the country’s biggest aviation exhibition. At the same event, an official from the China Academy of Aerospace Aerodynamics said that China has granted an export license for its powerful CH-5 reconnaissance and combat drone.

On SupChina today, you can find a background reading list for the upcoming Sinica podcast interview with Bill Lascher on his book about Mel Jacoby, subtitled “The Star-Crossed Love Story of Two WWII Correspondents and Their Epic Escape Across the Pacific.”

Other stories to watch from China are below.


Airbnb has set up a dedicated web platform in mainland China, which will create business while exposing the company to tough domestic competition and information regulation.

Shaoxing’s most famous tofu shop was impacted by the government’s crackdown on unlicensed food producers and received 500,000 yuan in penalties.

Two indicators covering large and smaller factories “rose to their highest respective levels in two years in October, a signal that China’s economy is stabilizing.”

As online shopping — particularly for groceries — quickly ramps up in China, “there will absolutely be a war between Alibaba and,” said an Alibaba chief, referring to the two major online retailers.


“The cruise ship was hosting a weeklong meeting of some of the world’s most brilliant economists, who had assembled to figure out a plan for China’s troubled economy. The gathering came at the zenith of an era when officials under Deng Xiaoping were scouring the globe for fresh ideas that would set China on the path to prosperity and global economic power.”

“Citing Article 104 of the Basic Law, People’s Daily said those who embraced the city’s independence could not be legislators” in Hong Kong’s Legislative Council.

“As China’s economic and military capabilities advance—and America declines against China in relative terms—the stage is set for a more intense round of strategic rivalry.”

“Trump’s policies, including his stress on law and order, tax cuts and putting American citizens first, were appealing, said entrepreneur Jeffrey Liu.”

Referring to the recently canceled purchase of the semiconductor company Aixtron, one expert said, “It’s the deal that broke the camel’s back,” adding, “There’s a real fear that the technology is going to leave Germany.”

See also: Germany Inc. is not for sale to China, Berlin says / Foreign Policy


“China’s rural toilet revolution began 12 years ago. From 2004 to 2013, 8.27 billion yuan ($1.2 billion) was spent on new toilets in some of the poorest parts of the country, but despite some remarkable achievements, a long march still lies ahead before the revolution can be considered successful.”

“The textbook, focusing on the mental health of male pupils, comes as nationwide discussions about what is called the ‘boys’ crisis’ are rife. A phenomenon that has long been observed, the boys’ crisis refers to the tendency of male students to lack masculinity, and be outperformed and overshadowed by girls at primary and secondary schools.”

Proposed draft rules, which would affect 12 million students at 10,700 schools, are expected to be passed next week as part of a government push for greater control over what’s taught in classrooms.

Bai Ling, an actress who was barred from visiting China after her role in the 1997 film Red Corner, has appeared in a CCTV documentary, sparking outrage from patriotic internet users.