Editor’s note for Wednesday, July 1, 2020

A note from the editor of today's SupChina Access newsletter.

Dear Access member,

Please accept my humblest apologies for the message some of you received earlier that your subscription was cancelled. Your subscription is NOT cancelled — the message was sent by gremlins as we migrated to a new subscription management system. This change is connected to our new website, and part of the overhaul of our entire web experience, which will include an Access-members-only web app for reading and sorting all global news on China even better and faster than ever before.

Now for today’s news and commentary:

Here’s some hope, if you are depressed by the state of U.S.-China relations, from Hong Kong–based asset manager Cheah Cheng Hye (謝清海 Xiè Qīnghǎi) in a new essay. Cheah argues that “mutual benefit should eventually bring both sides back together” sometime after the American elections in November. I wish I could share his optimism.

News from Hong Kong itself is grim — see our top story below. One chilling pronouncement from a senior Chinese official stands out: Suspects arrested in Hong Kong on national security law charges will be tried in the mainland.  

Our word of the day is entirely reasonable (完全合情合理的 wánquán héqínghélǐ de), which is how Zhāng Xiǎomíng 张晓明 of Beijing’s Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office described (in Chinese) Beijing’s plan to bypass local Hong Kong institutions in the implementation of the national security law.

A Chinese embassy spokesperson in India either has a great sense of humor or a severe irony deficit: In a statement released yesterday, the spokesperson — who works for a government that blocks Facebook, Google, Twitter, WhatsApp, and thousands of other websites — said India’s ban on Chinese apps is suspected of “violating the WTO rules.”  For More on TikTok and India, see our second story below.

Are you a scholar or student of Chinese studies or history struggling to cope with COVID-19 lockdowns and shuttered libraries? Emily Baum of UC Irvine and Denise Y. Ho of Yale University are presenting a series of three online webinars for graduate students in Chinese history and Chinese studies to help them use digital sources while they are stuck at home.

Finally, today is the 99th birthday of the Chinese Communist Party, and it is celebrating by touting its success in handling COVID-19.

—Jeremy Goldkorn, Editor-in-Chief