The U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, an advisory body to the U.S. Congress, submitted its annual report on November 15. It provides an extremely detailed look at a huge range of trade and national security issues in U.S.-China relations, but Reuters explains one of the report’s key takeaways:
- The Commission accused Chinese state media of spying in the U.S. Specifically, it says that Xinhua News Agency “serves some of the functions of an intelligence agency, gathering information and producing classified reports for the Chinese leadership on both domestic and international events.”
- This claim has been in the Commission’s annual report since at least 2009, when it cited a book by Anne-Marie Brady and The Tiananmen Papers as evidence. In the 2017 report, the Commission also cited two reports from the Epoch Times, based on conversations with a former Chinese diplomat and with a Canadian journalist.
- The Commission wants journalists at Xinhua and People’s Daily to register as foreign agents under the U.S. government’s Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). This follows written testimony to the Commission in May 2017, in which a representative from the American-funded NGO Freedom House said that “there appear to be loopholes in enforcement or definitions” for FARA, as China Daily and its top journalists were already registered, but Xinhua and People’s Daily were somehow not.
- Belt and Road in Pakistan
Pakistan stops bid to include Diamer-Bhasha Dam in CPEC / The Express Tribune
“Pakistan has withdrawn its request to include the $14-billion Diamer-Bhasha Dam in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) framework after Beijing placed strict conditions including ownership of the project.” Click here for a roundup of other recent bumps in China’s quest to strengthen regional economic ties along the Belt and Road.
- Chinese students in Australia
Chinese nationalism jostles with academic freedom in Australia / NYT (paywall)
- Climate change
Why China wants to lead on climate, but clings to coal (for now) / NYT (paywall)
More carbon emissions projected this year are described as an “anomaly” and “temporary,” the result of an “uptick in economic growth, a boom in energy-intensive construction projects and sparse rains to feed hydroelectric plants,” according to a researcher.
China’s top climate official rules out carbon futures, tax: media / Reuters
Climate action by China, India to offset Trump: study / Reuters
- The Philippines
China to donate P1.1 billion [$21 million] for Marawi rehabilitation / Rappler
- Human rights
Human rights lawyer Wang Yu on year of secret detention in China / Quartz
Chinese songwriter formally arrested for song about late Liu Xiaobo / RFA
3 UCLA players face punishment at home after China incident / AP
China builds world’s fastest wind tunnel to test weapons that could strike U.S. within 14 minutes / SCMP