Links for December 16, 2019

BUSINESS AND TECHNOLOGY:

U.S. and Chinese officials have held discussions on an agreement that would allow the American audit regulator to review the books of Chinese companies listed there, according to people familiar with the matter, tackling a decades-long point of contention.

Cisco Systems has won a legal battle against counterfeit versions of key networking equipment, securing an injunction that requires big online marketplaces, including Amazon.com and Chinese rival Alibaba  to halt the sale of some knockoffs.

China’s securities regulator has approved a joint venture between Alibaba-owned fintech firm Ant Financial and American asset-management company Vanguard that will offer investment advisory services to retail clients in China, the two companies said in a statement Friday.  

  • 737 Max crisis has reduced the need for foreign pilots.
  • Demand for overseas Airbus skippers in China is unabated.

A total of 29 of China’s rural banks this year have applied to raise capital by selling new shares to replenish their balance sheets in 2019 Almost a third have reported a non-performing loan ratio of more than 5 per cent, the so-called warning line established by regulators.

SCIENCE, HEALTH, AND THE ENVIRONMENT:

China and India, the world’s No. 1 and No. 4 carbon emitters respectively, made it clear they see no need to improve on their emissions reduction plans, which run to 2030.

They chose instead to emphasize the historical responsibility of rich nations to lead the way and provide financing to poor countries.

Scientists in southern China are planning to create machines that will be used to unravel the mysteries of the building blocks of the universe.

They said two ring-shaped electron-ion colliders — one 2km (1.2 miles) long — will be built in Huizhou, a city in Guangdong province, beginning in 2025 and they will be designed to accelerate electrons to close to the speed of light.

The project — known as the Electron-Ion Collider of China, or EICC — will see electrons being fired at the nuclei of heavy elements such as iron or uranium at high speeds.

POLITICS AND CURRENT AFFAIRS:

A YouTuber in Taiwan said his Chinese talent agency is demanding he remove a video in which he addressed Taiwan leader Tsai Ing-wen [蔡英文  Cài Yīngwén] as president, the latest clash over China’s assertions of territorial control in Asia.

Chen Chia-chin [陈加晋 Chén Jiājìn], better known as Potter King, published a video on Facebook and YouTube Saturday, showing Tsai visiting his media startup. He used his signature humorous pickup lines and repeatedly addressed Tsai as “president,” which is in fact her title.

Scholars say the island, which China claims as part of its territory but has been functionally independent since the 1950s, is the target of a Russian-style disinformation campaign by China to exploit social divisions and undermine democracy in the lead-up to the presidential election in January.

  • Move designed to align senior officers’ ranks with their place in the broader hierarchy.
  • Current system creates loopholes, opportunities for corruption, observers say.

There are still some hard-working investigative journalists in China doing serious investigations, although the environment they are working in keeps getting more difficult. These investigations are like wild plants surviving in the cracks, persistent and powerful.

This island of granite, where LIFE magazine and New York Times correspondents were once stationed, was once known as the ‘West Berlin of East Asia.’ It never surrendered despite twenty-one years of constant shelling by China. However, since becoming a pilot city for the ‘Three Links’ (direct transport, mail, and communications) across the Taiwan Strait in 2001, in less than 20 years, Kinmen has gone from being a base for anti-communist opposition, to the most pro-Beijing county in Taiwan.

SOCIETY AND CULTURE:

Though some in China praise Li for achieving international fame [she has 7.6 million subscribers on YouTube], others worry that the Sichuan-based influencer reinforces negative stereotypes of rural China.