June 26, 2018



Pentagon chief in Beijing with open mind
Mattis to become first Pentagon chief to visit China since 2014 / Bloomberg (paywall)
“Jim Mattis was set to arrive Tuesday in Beijing on the first China visit by a U.S. defense secretary in four years, as the Trump administration moves to push back against the country’s growing economic and military influence.”
Amid tensions, Mattis arrives in China to ‘have a conversation’ / NYT (paywall)
“I want to understand how they see the strategic relationship developing,” Mr. Mattis told reporters that day before the first stop of his trip, in Alaska. “And so I want to go in, right now, without basically poisoning the well at this point, as if my mind’s already made up.”
Mattis arrives in China; NKorea to be key topic of meetings / AP
“The North Korean negotiations are expected to be a primary discussion during Mattis' meetings in China. Beijing is considered a key influencer on Pyongyang and Chinese President Xi Jinping said last week that China would ‘as always play a constructive role’ in the process.”How China got a Sri Lankan port
How China got Sri Lanka to cough up a port / NYT (paywall)
“Under heavy pressure and after months of negotiations with the Chinese, the government handed over the port and 15,000 acres of land around it for 99 years in December.”
“Months of interviews with Sri Lankan, Indian, Chinese and Western officials and analysis of documents and agreements stemming from the port project present a stark illustration of how China and the companies under its control ensured their interests in a small country hungry for financing.”
“Nihal Rodrigo, a former Sri Lankan foreign secretary and ambassador to China, said that discussions with Chinese officials at the time made it clear that intelligence sharing was an integral, if not public, part of the deal. In an interview with The Times, Mr. Rodrigo characterized the Chinese line as, ‘We expect you to let us know who is coming and stopping here.’South China Sea 
US aircraft carrier patrols disputed sea amid China buildup / AP
“The 97,000-ton USS Ronald Reagan, carrying more than 70 aircraft, anchored in Manila Bay on Tuesday after plying the contended waters for meetings between navy officials of the two countries and liberty for its thousands of sailors after weeks at sea.”
Australia invests in unmanned spy drones to fly over South China Sea / CNN
Australia recently spent $6 billion on remotely piloted aircrafts that will “complement the current surveillance aircraft Australia already uses to survey its maritime borders, conduct search and rescue, and carry out Freedom of Navigation exercises in the contested South China Sea.”Taiwan
Interview: Taiwan Pres. Tsai Ing-wen urges world to stand up to China and reaffirm democratic values / AFP via HKFP
“Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen called on the international community to ‘constrain’ China by standing up for freedoms, casting her island’s giant neighbour as a global threat to democracy.”
Chinese warships drill in waters near Taiwan / Reuters
“A formation of Chinese warships has been holding daily combat drills for more than a week in waters near Taiwan, China’s state media said on Tuesday, amid heightened tension between Beijing and the self-ruled island.”
Beijing’s demand to refer to ‘China Taiwan’ still being defied by US airlines/ SCMP
“With a month to go for the world’s major airlines to meet Beijing’s demand that they recognise Taiwan as part of China, US carriers risk flying fewer mainland passengers by staying defiant.”Australia-China relations: it’s still very complicated
Australia to ban covert foreign interference in politics / AP
“Australia's House of Representatives has overwhelmingly approved national security legislation that would ban covert foreign interference in domestic politics and make industrial espionage for a foreign power a crime.”
China's Huawei top sponsor of Australian politicians' overseas trips / Channel NewsAsia
“The report comes as several politicians have called for Huawei to be banned from participating in a roll-out of Australia's 5G next-generation communications network, amid fears the company is effectively controlled by the Chinese government.”Chinese asylum-seekers in America
New life but families’ trauma in China’s human rights sweep remains / SCMP
Documentary 709 The Other Shoredelves into the traumatic experiences of the families of prominent human rights lawyers seeking refuge in the United States both inside and outside of China.Ivanka Trump investigators out on bail
Men who investigated Ivanka Trump China suppliers off bail / AP
“Three China Labor Watch activists arrested last year while investigating abuses at Chinese suppliers for Ivanka Trump's fashion brand were released from bail Tuesday, the New York non-profit group said, but questions remain about their ability to live and work freely in China.”Tibet
Tsering Shakya on Tibet, development, and diversity / China Digital Times
University of British Columbia historian Tsering Shakya discusses a wide range of Tibet-related topics in an interview with Himal Southasian, including “the region’s place in Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative; inequalities in development; similarities and differences between the situations in Tibet and Xinjiang” and more.The Xinjiang gulags
Uighurs live with fear, trauma as families remain stranded in China's growing 're-education camps' / ABC
Life in Australia may seem idyllic compared to the discrimination and oppression many Uighurs face at home, but the community in Australia reports feeling “hopeless, helpless, and unable to trust anyone.”


Smoking prohibited on Chinese trains
Chinese court removes smoking areas from trains / Sixth Tone
“A Beijing court ruled Monday that a train operator should cancel all designated smoking areas on its trains after a passenger sued the company over secondhand smoke, The Beijing News reported.”
Chinese woman wins case after suing rail operator over smoking on ‘no smoking’ train / SCMP
“Beijing Railway Transport Court ruled on Monday in favour of the plaintiff, Li Ying, who had sued the train operator, Harbin Railway Bureau, for breaking its own smoking ban in her carriage.”Defying spinster stereotypes 
Why Chinese unmarried women are rooting for actress Faye Yu / What’s on Weibo
“The various quotes show how Yu, in a relaxed and matter-of-fact way, addresses questions about her being unmarried, expressing that she does not need a partner to fulfill her needs, and that she did not feel she wants or needs to adapt her life to existing social expectations on the right age to get married.”Serving tea instead of holding up half the sky 
'Hold in your belly . . . legs together': Chinese college teaches female students to be 'perfect' / “The Communist Party wants women educated, yes, but with economic growth slowing and the population shrinking, it is bringing back the idea that men are breadwinners and women are, first and foremost, wives and mothers — so it is teaching young women that this is the norm.”Organ donation
Phillip Hancock: Rare foreign organ donor praised in China / BBC
“Phillip Hancock had been working as an English teacher in China when he unexpectedly fell ill and died last month. The posthumous gift of the Australian's organs has been lauded in China, a nation with few foreign donors, and changed five lives.”Beijing clamps down on auto emissions
Odds of getting a Beijing license plate are now 1 in 2,031 / Sixth Tone
“Beijingers cannot legally buy a car until they obtain a license plate, which are given out according to a lottery system designed to limit the number of vehicles on the road.”Drug trafficking
Chinese city barbecues 4 tonnes of illegal drugs as crime rate soars / SCMP
“The publicity stunt was held in Lincang, Yunnan province, as part of a national campaign to mark International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.”Gun crime in Hong Kong
Hong Kong shooting: One killed, two critically injured and another wounded as female bodyguard guns down relatives in inheritance feud / SCMP
“A woman was apprehended by police in a busy Hong Kong shopping mall on Tuesday after four people were injured in a shooting at a nearby park.”Photographing the Yangtze River
Mapping China's frontline: The Yangtze at 100km intervals / The Guardian

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