Links for Friday, June 26, 2020

Notable China news from around the web.

BUSINESS AND TECHNOLOGY:

SCIENCE, HEALTH, AND THE ENVIRONMENT:

POLITICS AND CURRENT AFFAIRS:

The government told HKFP that it has spent at least HK$6,880,120 [$887,720.56] of taxpayers’ money on promoting the looming legislation, the details of which have yet to be revealed. Public calls for support have appeared on billboards, trams, buses, on TV, radio, social media and in newspapers, despite Chief Executive Carrie Lam  repeatedly saying she did not know the details of what the law includes.

The U.S. visa restrictions apply to “current and former CCP officials who are believed to be responsible for, or complicit in, undermining Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy,” Pompeo said without naming them.

A group of 19 prominent figures, including former cabinet ministers and diplomats, this week wrote a letter to Trudeau urging Ottawa to halt the extradition proceedings against Meng. This, they said, would boosting the chances of China freeing the two men…

“(This) would endanger the millions of Canadians who live and travel overseas every single year. We cannot allow political pressures or random arrests of Canadian citizens to influence the functioning of our justice system,” [Justin Trudeau] told reporters.

The renegotiation talks began after Islamabad released a report by a committee convened by the prime minister that accused Chinese and local power companies of “malpractices” and exaggerating costs. The financial stress caused by the coronavirus pandemic has lent the negotiations greater urgency.

The report said coal plants Huaneng Shandong Ruyi (Pakistan) Energy and Port Qasim Electric Power Company were overcharging by about $3bn over the 30-year project lifetime through inflated set-up costs and interest payments. Set-up costs alone for the two plants were inflated by more than Rs32bn ($204m) over “misrepresentation” of interest payments.

  • Scanning for subs
    U.S. Air Force ‘heads out again on search for Chinese submarines’ / SCMP
    “The South China Sea Strategic Situation Probing Initiative, a mainland Chinese think tank under Peking University, said three American warplanes — a EP-3 reconnaissance plane, a P-8A anti-submarine aircraft and a KC-135 aerial refueling aircraft — appeared in the Bashi Channel between 10am and noon.”

SOCIETY AND CULTURE:

By the end of 2019, there were still 5.5 million individuals in extreme rural poverty around China. Xi’s goal is to bring this figure to zero in time for the centenary of the Communist party in July 2021…

While the rapid rate of alleviation is real, the true level of poverty may be impossible to gauge in a system not designed to admit mistakes.

Some have committed serious crimes. Zheng and two accomplices were convicted of holding up a wealthy Chinese-American family at gunpoint in July 1986, stealing US$34,000 in cash and goods.

Most, however, are ensnared in the U.S. immigration maze for minor infractions like overstaying visas or breaking traffic rules.