There are no open elections to national-level political positions in China, so the news earlier this week that President Xi Jinping had won a seat as a delegate to the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) was unremarkable on the surface. But today, the Wall Street Journal has a piece exploring the meaning behind Xi’s unusual choice of district to “run” from: the poor, southwestern province of Guizhou, where he has neither lived nor held office in his life. One former top political science professor tells the Journal that Xi is “sharing a platform” with Chen Miner 陈敏尔, the Guizhou Party chief whose poverty alleviation focus dovetails with Xi’s rhetoric. Furthermore, it may signal that Chen is likely to gain a seat in the powerful 25-member Politburo when the new CPC National Congress votes this fall.
China rights lawyer wins little in successful appeal of sentence / SCMP
“Rights lawyer Xia Lin, who has defended high-profile activists and dissidents, had his jail term reduced from 12 to 10 years by an appeal court in Beijing on Friday, his lawyer said. Xia, whose former clients include outspoken artist Ai Weiwei, Sichuan earthquake activist Tan Zuoren and rights lawyer Pu Zhiqiang, was first convicted of fraud involving 4.8 million yuan ($697,000) last September, nearly two years after being detained.”
Former senior Hebei official stands trial for bribery / ECNS.cn
Zhang Yue, a former provincial-level official in northern China’s Hebei Province, is accused of “taking advantage of his positions to seek benefits for others and of accepting money and assets worth more than 157 million yuan (nearly 23 million U.S. dollars) between 2008 and 2016.”
Philippines sends defense chief to disputed South China Sea island / NYT (paywall)
“The Chinese challenged the flight at least four times on radio as it passed through the region. China claims the island, as do Vietnam and Taiwan.”
- Chinese coastguard accused of firing on Philippine fishing boat / SCMP
U.S. official: With eye on North Korea, China puts bombers on ‘high alert’ / CNN
“But China’s Ministry of National Defense said the U.S. official’s assertions were ‘not true.’”
Chinese drama shelved / China Media Project
White Deer Plain (白鹿原 bái lù yuán) was pulled after airing for exactly one episode, an unusual time for censors to step in, David Bandurski reports. It is not yet clear what caused the move, although some allege political pressure.
- You will pay: Chinese media warn India over Dalai Lama’s Arunachal visit / Hindustan Times