Links for Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Notable China news from around the web.

BUSINESS AND TECHNOLOGY:

China’s appetite for meat and other agricultural goods helped Chinese imports of U.S. goods to jump by 11.3% in June from a year earlier, after a 13.5% drop in May, data from Beijing’s General Administration of Customs showed Tuesday. The Chinese buying helped to narrow Washington’s trade deficit with Beijing from a year earlier, though Chinese exports to the U.S. also improved, rising 1.4% in June from a year earlier after a 1.3% decline in May.

Aides at the White House and State department had weighed the possibility of limiting Hong Kong banks’ access to U.S. dollars as a way of striking back at Beijing, Bloomberg News reported last week. But they dropped the idea after advocates could not gather enough support, with those against the move concerned that it would be difficult to implement and could end up hurting the U.S., according to people familiar with the matter.

SCIENCE, HEALTH, AND THE ENVIRONMENT:

FMD is “the most contagious of all infectious diseases in animals,” according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. Symptoms in infected animals include fever and blister-like sores in the mouth, between the hooves, and elsewhere. FMD is rare and not particularly serious in humans, but it can reduce productivity in livestock and disrupt international trade.

POLITICS AND CURRENT AFFAIRS:

Late on Monday Beijing’s top representatives in Hong Kong labelled the primaries “illegal” and accused organisers of colluding with foreign powers in a “serious provocation” of Hong Kong’s electoral system and to seize the private data of voters.

“The goal of organiser Benny Tai and the opposition camp is to seize the ruling power of Hong Kong and … carry out a Hong Kong version of ‘colour revolution’,” said a spokesman for the Liaison Office, whose chief is also in charge of implementing the national security laws.

As journalists in Hong Kong, things can seem equally hopeless – there is no longer such a thing as a “slow news day” and it often feels like we are just documenting the rearrangement of deckchairs on the Titanic. However, since citizens have no voice at the ballot box, and with a media landscape dominated by pro-establishment titles, there is even more motivation for us to bear witness, act as a watchdog and hold the powerful to account.

“In the vaunted ‘New Epoch’ of Xí Jìnpíng 习近平, the five main problematic social groups, or ‘black categories’, are rights lawyers, underground religious activists, dissidents, internet leaders (influencers), as well as various vulnerable groups. Perhaps ‘upright professors and outspoken educators’ will become another category in the country’s ever-expanding list of Former People.”

SOCIETY AND CULTURE:

Anorexia nervosa is the deadliest mental disorder in the world, according to the U.S. National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders. Around 18 to 20 percent of those who suffer from it die within 20 years due to organ failure or suicide…Despite its lethality, the disorder remains largely misdiagnosed and misunderstood in China, where mental disorders, especially eating disorders, are still a novel concept.