A few things to consider

Domestic News
  • Rand Corporation was founded to advise the U.S. military: its employees are generally not doves. Yet in the current atmosphere of growing suspicion of China, they have produced a sober and cool-headed assessment of the threat posed to the U.S. by Beijing. It’s a good corrective to some of the more paranoid ideas out there.
  • The Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act passed, and simply awaits Trump’s signature: Radio Free Asia reports:

In a strong show of bipartisan support, the U.S. Congress on December 11 passed legislation demanding access to Tibet for American journalists and diplomats now routinely denied entry by Chinese authorities to the Beijing-ruled Himalayan region.

The Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act of 2018 will require the U.S. Secretary of State, within 90 days of the bill being signed into law, to identify Chinese officials responsible for excluding U.S. citizens from China’s Tibet Autonomous Region, and then ban them from entering the United States.

  • Artificial intelligence nerds: Think tank Macro Polo has produced a great minisite that covers the state of AI in China right now, and plans from the government and entrepreneurs for the future.
  • If AI interests you, you might also like the ChinAI newsletter — “Jeff Ding’s weekly translations of writings on AI policy and strategy from Chinese thinkers.”
  • Blood for sale: That is the subject of this fascinating paper by scholar Yáng L. Dàlì 杨大利 that looks at the push by local authorities in Henan Province to develop a blood plasma economy, which “turned into a blood plasma fever that spread HIV/AIDS with deadly efficiency,” as “a unique lens for better understanding China’s struggles to reform the economy and build a regulatory state.”
  • “Top engineer discloses how China deals with foreign intelligence-backed cyber attacks” is the title of a recent Global Times piece. China tech analyst Paul Triolo tweeted that the engineer “is one of most well respected cybersecurity figures in China.”