Editor’s note for Wednesday, September 9, 2020

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

My thoughts today:

“China is staring at a population crisis,” writes Shailendra Raj Mehta, adding that its government is covering up the extent of the problem “by obfuscating census data.” He estimates that “the population of China has been overstated by at least 100 million to maintain the fiction that China is the largest country in the world and not India.”

If he’s right, the consequences could be grave for “the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation” and the “China dream” that Xí Jìnpíng 习近平 seeks to realize.

Bad news for real estate tycoon Rèn Zhìqiáng 任志强 who disappeared in March after writing an essay critical of Xí Jìnpíng 习近平: He will stand trial in Beijing this week Friday for alleged corruption. Charges include graft, embezzlement, bribery and abuse of power as an employee of a state-owned enterprise.

We can expect a guilty verdict: he has not even been allowed to meet his lawyers.

Our word of the day is barbaric and unreasonable behavior (野蛮无理行径 yěmán wúlǐ xíngjìng). See our story on Australia-China relations today.

—Jeremy Goldkorn, Editor-in-Chief