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China Buys Nearly a Quarter of the World’s Exported Whole Milk Powder

According to a Russian report, in 2020, China bought nearly a quarter of the total of all global exports of whole milk powder and in 2021, China has continued to expand its imports of whole milk powder. 

On September 14, 2021, the Agricultural Products Export Development Center of the Russian Ministry of Agriculture released a report. According to the report, the total exports of whole milk powder in 2020 was 2.745,900 metric tons. China bought 23 percent of those exports. 

From January to July 2021, China’s total whole milk powder imports increased by 34 percent from 455,000 metric tons compared to the same period last year. The total reached was 609,000 metric tons. New Zealand exported 561,000 metric tons to China during this period. 

In addition, the Russian report also mentioned that, in 2020, China bought 13 percent, 9 percent, and 4 percent of global exports of skimmed milk powder, butter, and cheese. The Russian government is currently negotiating with the Chinese government on the milk powder supply. Recently, on August 7, 2021, the two sides held talks on this issue.

Source:

Liberty Times, September 16, 2021
https://ec.ltn.com.tw/article/breakingnews/3673306

Xi Jinping: The Communist Party Must Firmly Lead All

On September 15, 2021, after several major government actions to control China, the General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Xi Jinping published a collection of the remarks he has made since 2012. The title in Qiushi magazine was, “Unswervingly Persist and Strengthen the Party’s Overall Leadership.”

Xi stated that the CCP must lead in the areas of the economy; politics; cultural, social, and ecological conditions; national defense and the military forces; the reunification [Taiwan], diplomatic work, the CCP’s party-building; and other areas of importance. Xi also said that the CCP’s leadership is the fundamental point of China’s political stability, economic development, national unity, and social stability, and there should not be even the slightest doubt about it.

Xi added further that China’s most significant national condition is the CCP’s leadership. History and the people have chosen the CCP. The CCP’s leadership is the essential feature and the advantage of socialism with Chinese characteristics. The fundamentals of governing China are the CCP’s  leadership and the Chinese socialist system.

Xi pointed out that the Communist Party of China is the ruling party. The CCP rules every aspect of China and is the supreme political leadership.

Xi said that upholding and strengthening the CCP’s leadership has a bearing on the future and destiny of the CCP and China. All undertakings are built on this foundation and rooted in this essential feature and this most significant advantage.

Source: Qiushi, September 15, 2021
http://www.qstheory.cn/dukan/qs/2021-09/15/c_1127862367.htm

State-owned Enterprises Ordered to Migrate to State-owned Cloud Services

China’s national data security law went into effect on September 1, 2021. Just days before it became effective, the China State Council’s State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC) for Tianjin issued a directive mandating state-owned enterprises in Tianjin to accelerate data migration from cloud services of tech companies like Alibaba and Tencent to the state-owned infrastructure. Currently, Alibaba, Huawei, and Tencent dominate the cloud computing market in China.

In a directive dated August 12, 2021, Tianjin’s SASAC directed state-owned enterprises in Tianjin not to build new data centers, or purchase servers and other storage hardware. State-owned enterprises cannot renew or sign new contracts with cloud platforms owned by Huawei, Alibaba, Tencent, China Unicom, China Mobile, and China Telecom. Data stored in these platforms must be migrated to cloud platforms controlled by SASAC within two months of the expiration of existing contracts, with the final deadline being at the end of September 2021.

Section 3(3)(1) on page 7 of the SASAC directive reads, “The data of state-owned enterprises are state assets and must be put under state-owned assets supervision and administration…”

Since early 2021, local SASACs have started local state-owned cloud platform projects. The essence of “state-owned cloud” is to shift from a cloud platform hosted by a third party to a state-owned cloud built and operated by local state-owned enterprises. In March 2021, Tianjin state-owned cloud started operation, with three state-owned enterprises, including Tianjin Communications Group and Tianjin State-owned Capital Investment and Operation Co., Ltd. In March, the SASAC of Zhejiang Province also initiated a project that included a state-owned cloud platform. In April, SASAC of Sichuan Province officially kicked off its state-owned cloud platform.

Sources:

Lianhe Zaobao, September 4, 2021
http://www.haozaobao.com/shiju/20210904/99713.html

State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of Tianjin, August 12, 2021
http://www.d1net.com/uploadfile/2021/0827/20210827062000825.pdf

Yicai, September 7, 2021
https://www.yicai.com/news/101166263.html

Shortage of Senior Technicians Creates a Bottleneck in Manufacturing

Based on Chinese media, according to its Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, China has a shortage of 20 million senior technicians.  Estimates are that the number will hit 30 million in five years.  “Senior technician” is now among the top 100 job categories that are in the shortest supply.

However, according to a  survey, only one percent of workers in China want to be a technician. As many as 90 percent believe that technicians have low social status and low wages because generally, they do not have the education credentials of college graduates.

In China, skilled workers primarily come from migrant workers. As of 2020, nearly 70 percent of the total migrant workers have an education level of junior high school or below. As a result, most technicians in China are low- and middle-level skilled workers.

Senior technicians account for only six percent in China, compared with Japan’s 40 percent and Germany’s 50 percent.

According to the International Labor Organization, of all skilled workers in developed countries, 35 percent are senior technicians, 50 percent are medium level, and 15 percent have a low level of skills.

Such a large gap creates a bottleneck in transforming and upgrading China’s manufacturing industry. Workers’ overall quality and skill level are limiting how scientific and technological developments translate into economic growth.

Sources:

1. Tencent, September 5, 2021
https://new.qq.com/omn/20210905/20210905A00F9000.html

2. China’s Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, July 22, 2021
http://www.gov.cn/xinwen/2021-07/22/content_5626620.htm

3. Sina, June 30, 2021
https://finance.sina.com.cn/money/roll/2021-06-30/doc-ikqciyzk2770023.shtml

CCP Watchdog: Cut off the Money Line behind the Entertainment Industry

In the headline news on its official website for August 31, 2021, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) stated that the entertainment industry must not harm the state’s interest.  The CCDI article reported on its interview with the State Council Development Research Center. The CCDI is the CCP’s disciplinary watchdog.

The CCP crackdown on the entertainment industry echoes its recent broader clampdown on the private sector. Increasingly Xi Jinping has emphasized the CCP’s dominant role in every aspect of China’s economy and society. The CCP has targeted high-tech, education, and other businesses using fines and restrictions. Private capital has been blamed for contributing to the risks of data breaches, education inequality, the disintegration of the Chinese culture, threatening social stability, harming state security, among other deep seated concerns.

According to the State Council Information Office in 2019, the value-added of China’s entertainment industry reached 4,436.3 billion yuan, accounting for 4.5 percent of China’s GDP.

The CCDI article states that money has been driving the growth and the chaos in the entertainment industry. Investment, entertainment stars, and fans’ consumption culture are part of one chain all led by money. In this chain, investment is the dominant force. It promotes entertainment stars to induce and influence fans’ consumption habits (particularly young people), ultimately eroding the socialist ideology.

“Entertainment is by no means mere singing, dancing, and playing music, but an important battlefield for ideological and cultural work. It is an important part of the superstructure [a Marxist term referring to culture, political power, and the state], and it is critical to Party [CCP] work. If capital is allowed to expand unfettered, entertainment will fail its role of serving the people and socialism, and it will disintegrate the spiritual homeland of the Chinese nation.”

“There are limits to capital expansion. The CCP dominant system has unique advantages so it can fully utilize capital in entertainment while effectively restricting disorderly expansion in the industry. The bottom line is that it cannot interfere with the development direction of socialism with Chinese characteristics;  it cannot manipulate the national economy and the people’s livelihood; it cannot harm state interests; and it cannot corrupt Party members and leading cadres, let alone seek improper political gains.”

Source: The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the Chinese Communist Party, August 31, 2021
https://www.ccdi.gov.cn/toutiao/202108/t20210831_249112.html

Airbnb-Style Online Listings In Beijing Ordered to be Removed

According to Chinese media reports, in Beijing, most listings have been removed from Airbnb-style short-term rental platforms . A notice from the Beijing Municipal Commission of Housing and Urban-Rural Development stated that the city-wide short-term rentals will not be open for business for the time being. On August 22, short-term rental platforms were to remove “non-compliant properties” within seven days. As of August 29, most of the listings were removed from the rental platforms. An estimated 100,000 rentals were affected.

According to the notice, short-term rental listings may be restored after the rental operators provide documentation showing agreements among property management, homeowners associations, and other owners in the neighborhood and agreements with the public security authorities, among other requirements. It is more than challenging to meet these requirements. As a result, it is unlikely that most short-term rental units will be able to continue operating.

Analysts believe the authorities are tightening the control over people visiting Beijing. After the short-term rental industry collapse, people visiting Beijing will have to stay in hotels, where guests must register. Also, the higher cost of staying at hotels may make it harder for grievance petitioners and rights defenders to come to Beijing.

The statistics released by a short-term rental platform, Tujia, show that the total number of short-term rentals exceeded 630,000 in the first half of 2021, an increase of over 16 percent compared with 2020 (540,000 units), and a year-on-year increase of 2.9 times that of 2019 (160,000 units).

Sources:

1.) Netease, September 4, 2021
https://www.163.com/dy/article/GJ33V13D051492T3.html

2.) Radio Free Asia, September 1, 2021
https://www.rfa.org/mandarin/yataibaodao/jingmao/ql1-09012021062135.html

Entertainment Ordered to Study Xi Jinping’s Articles; Crackdown Has Started a Revolution

On August 30, 2021, China’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism issued a directive requiring literary and artistic workers to study a series of articles by the General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party, Xi Jinping.

The directive was issued to address the current violations of laws, regulations, and moral failures in the entertainment business, to further strengthen the control of education and to cultivate and promote the core values ​​of socialism.

The first item in the directive is to “strengthen study and education.” Specifically, it refers to studying Xi Jinping’s series of important expositions on literary and artistic work in depth. The directive calls for a deep understanding that the cause of entertainment is an “important cause for the party and the people” and that the entertainment front is an “important front of the party and the people.”

On August 29, 2021, the CCP media, China Youth Daily, posted a commentary entitled “Everyone Can Feel  that a Profound Change Is Underway!” More than 30 state media at the central, provincial and municipal levels in China have since prominently re-posted the commentary.

The commentary calls China’s recent crackdown measures “profound reforms” or “profound revolutions.” From censoring entertainment stars to suspending Ant’s Initial Public Offering, to Alibaba’s fine of 18.2 billion yuan, to the investigation of Didi and to the “common prosperity” policy, all measures show that a profound reform or revolution is taking place in the economic, financial, cultural, and even political arena. A profound “revolution” or “revolution” is returning capital to the people, to the CCP’s original goal, and to socialism. Those who attempt to block this reform will be “abandoned.”

The commentary continues that this “profound reform” is to counter the “barbaric and ferocious attack” of the United States against China. The commentary implies that China’s capitalists are the “fifth column” of the United States in waging a color revolution in China. “The United States is imposing increasingly severe military threats, economic and technological blockades, financial strikes, political and diplomatic containment and the suppression of China.” “The United States is more aggressively waging a color revolution through the fifth column within China. If this time, we still have to rely on those big capitalists as the main force of anti-imperialism and anti-hegemony,” China will not need enemies to fight. “It will fall first by itself,” just like the Soviet Union back then. That’s why China is reforming the “capital circle” and the “entertainment circle.”

Sources:

1.) China’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism, August 30, 2021
https://www.mct.gov.cn/whzx/whyw/202108/t20210830_927427.htm

2.) People’s Daily, August 29, 2021
http://politics.people.com.cn/n1/2021/0829/c1001-32211523.html

3.) Radio France Internationale, August 31, 2021
https://tinyurl.com/6p54dc87

 

Private Schools in China Are Disappearing

The owners of private schools in China have been forced to turn over their facilities to the state.

On August 25, 2021, the Ministry of Education of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) responded to questions from the media regarding the “Notice on Regulating the Establishment of Public Schools or Participation in the Establishment of Private Compulsory Education Schools.” The Ministry of Education stated that schools must cooperate with the CCP and carry out education reform as an important political task. Under the new regulation, private schools will be either handed over to the state or cease their operation within two years. The CCP’s suspension of private schools appears to be politically motivated to strengthen ideological control and amounts to misappropriating private assets.

The fallout from the education reform is rippling across the country.

On August 25, 2021, Yingshang School in Anhui Province notified its students’ parents that it closed its doors. In 2020, the school was a flagship in Yingshang County’s investment promotion campaign. The Jiangsu Zhufeng Education Group established it and invested in it. It was to provide elementary, junior high, and high school education. The campus has a construction area of ​​130,000 square meters and can accommodate 6,300 students. The school year was scheduled to start at the end of August.

Recently, the Huaiyang No. 1 Senior High School in Henan Province announced that the school will be donated in its entirety to the local government to “repay society.” It had a teaching staff of 1,300 and more than 20,000 students. The Henan Provincial Department of Education approved the school in 2002 and started to admit students in 2005. The school was touted as a model high school in Henan Province.

Jiaxiang Foreign Language School in Sichuan Province was turned over to the local government and will operate as a public school. It is the first compulsory education school in Sichuan that was converted from a private school to a public school after the implementation of the “Notice on Suspending the Approval of the Establishment of Private Compulsory Education Schools” that the Sichuan Provincial Department of Education had issued on June 11, 2021. The Notice requires all local governments to suspend the approval of private schools in the compulsory education stage.

In Hunan Province, on June 22, 2021, the Department of Education issued a notice on regulating private compulsory education. It requested that private junior high and primary schools reduce their students to below five percent of the total compulsory education students. It amounts to a reduction of approximately 364,000 students. Further, Hunan Province will no longer approve new private compulsory education schools.

In Jiangsu Province, the CCP Education Work Leading Group issued a directive stating that it will no longer approve new private compulsory education schools. The order sets the goal of reducing students at private compulsory education schools to below five percent of the entire compulsory education students within two or three years.

Sources:

1.) The Government of the People’s Republic of China, August 25, 2021
http://www.gov.cn/zhengce/2021-08/25/content_5633202.htm

2.) Zhihu, August 3, 2021
https://zhuanlan.zhihu.com/p/396201138