Skip to content


Xi Revives Mao-Era ‘Fengqiao Experience’ to Consolidate Power

{Editor’s note: The “Fengqiao Experience” refers to a practice from China’s Cultural Revolution where masses of citizens would monitor and “reform” those who are labeled as class enemies. In the town of Fengqiao, Zhejiang Province, CCP cadres relied on grassroots mobilization of masses to “reform reactionary elements,” a practice which Mao promoted for nationwide adoption.}

According to China’s CCTV, this year marks 60 years since Mao Zedong promoted implementation of the “Fengqiao Experience” throughout China. On September 20th, Xi Jinping visited the town of Fengqiao, saying that the country must “uphold and develop” the Fengqiao Experience in the new era to “correctly handle internal contradictions” and “solve problems at the grassroots level.”

Xi first mentioned the Fengqiao Experience in 2013, saying that CCP cadres in Fengqiao pioneered the practice of “relying on the people to resolve conflicts on the spot.” He asked cadres to apply “rule of law thinking and rule of law methods” in resolving issues affecting “vital interests of the masses.”

In an interview with Radio Free Asia, exiled Chinese scholar Chen Pokong said that Xi’s reintroduction of the practice shows that Xi must be facing much opposition from within the CCP, and that he is now consolidating power and mobilizing people to fight against his political opponents within the CCP.


Radio Free Asia, September 26, 2023, “Fengqiao” (楓橋)
retrieved 2023-09-28

Central American Parliament Approves China’s Rubberstamp Congress as Permanent Observer, Abolishes Observer Status of Taiwan Legislature

The Central American Parliament ratified an agreement on September 25th to admit China’s National People’s Congress (NPC), the country’s rubberstamp Congress, as a permanent observer. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin welcomed the move at a press conference on September 26th, saying China is willing to further friendly cooperation with the Central American Parliament and countries in Central America on the basis of the one-China principle.

The agreement was approved by a majority vote at the Central American Parliament’s plenary session in Managua, Nicaragua. Wang said the decision reflects the parliament’s firm determination to develop ties with China.

On August 21st, the Central American Parliament adopted a resolution to abolish the status of Taiwan’s Legislative Yuan as permanent observer and admit China’s NPC instead. On September 22nd, the Speaker of the Central American Parliament and the NPC Standing Committee Chairman signed the agreement in Beijing, making the NPC a permanent observer.

The Central American Parliament statement said the NPC’s accession as observer will deepen dialogue around cooperation in areas like education, health, infrastructure, trade, agriculture and food security.

Source: Sputnik News, September 26, 2023

China’s Local Bond Issuance at Record High

China’s Ministry of Finance released an update on local government bond issuance from January to August 2022. Total issuance reached RMB 6.3 trillion, up 4% annually, hitting a record high.

The issuance by Guangdong Province was the highest, with RMB 655 billion (US$ 89.7 billion) issued, followed by Shandong (RMB 480.3 billion or US$ 65.7 billion) and Sichuan (RMB 401.1 billion or US$ 54.9 billion). Other major issuers were Hebei, Jiangsu, Zhejiang (over RMB 300 billion or US$ 41 billion each), and Henan, Anhui, Hunan, Yunnan, Guangxi, Fujian (over RMB 200 billion or US$ 27.4 billion each).

The Ministry of Finance’s report categorized bonds as either new bonds for infrastructure projects or refinancing bonds to repay maturing debt. During the period January-August, new bonds totaled RMB 3.7 trillion (US$ 510 billion), down 12% annually, and refinancing bonds totaled RMB 2.6 trillion (US$ 360 billion), up 44%.

The rise in issuance of refinancing bonds reflects increased pressure facing local governments attempting to service mature debts. China’s weak economic conditions, real estate downturn, declining government revenue from land sales, and slow tax revenue growth have all made local governments more dependent on taking out new debt to repay old debt.

Source: Central News Agency (Taiwan), September 26, 2023

Mingpao: Hong Kong’s Container Throughput Fell 16 Percent, Far Behind Shenzhen

Mingpao, one of Hong Kong’s primary newspapers, recently reported that business has decreased at Hong Kong’s container terminals. This decrease contrasts with prior expectations that demand would increase following the easing of Covid-related commerce restrictions between Mainland China and Hong Kong. Hong Kong’s ports have taken a greater hit than the nearby Mainland Shenzhen Port in the Pearl River Delta.

Hong Kong’s container throughput during the first seven months of this year fell by 15.8 percent year-over-year, totaling 8.32 million TEU (standard containers). Container throughput for the month of July was 1.2 million TEU, down 17.9 percent compared with July of 2022. Meanwhile, the nearby Shenzhen port saw only a 4 percent decrease in year-over-year throughput during the first seven months (16.35 million TEU) and had a 7.6 percent increase in year-over-year throughput for the month of July (2.82 million TEU).

There has been basically no expansion of Hong Kong’s terminals in the past decade. Meanwhile, the layouts of the ports in Guangzhou and Shenzhen have become increasingly complete. Thus, some goods are no longer shipped through Hong Kong.

According to the Hong Kong Marine Department’s April 2023 ranking of the world’s top ten container ports, Hong Kong ranked ninth from 2020 to 2022, surpassed by Shanghai, Shenzhen, Guangzhou and other Greater Bay Area ports. Hong Kong was still ranked among the top three ports in the world between 2008 and 2012. It ranked fourth from 2013 to 2014 and fifth from 2015 to 2017.

Source: Mingpao, September 18, 2023

RFI: U.S. Companies’ Confidence in the Chinese Market Declines to Record Low

Optimism among U.S. companies operating in China has hit a “record low” according to a Radio France Internationale (RFI) Chinese Edition report on a survey conducted by the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) in Shanghai. More and more companies are seeking to withdraw investment from China even as the Chinese government is taking measures to boost the country’s sluggish economy.

The AmCham report stated that, after years of pandemic disruption and restrictions, 2023 was supposed to be a year of rebound in investor confidence and optimism. However, the Chamber’s 2023 survey of U.S. companies in China found that such a rebound has not materialized and business confidence has continued to deteriorate.

In addition to poor economic conditions, tensions between Beijing and Washington have also put heavy pressure on U.S. companies operating in China. The report indicated that respondents’ optimism about the next five years is the lowest on record: only 52 percent of companies, a decrease of three percentage points from the previous year, expressed optimism about their prospects for that time period. When asked about the top three challenges they face, 60 percent of the 325 surveyed companies mentioned that US-China relations were a significant challenge, and 60 percent of respondents mentioned economic slowdown as one of the top three headwinds. Around 40 percent of companies are planning to move or have already moved capital out of China, an increase of six percentage points over last year. Southeast Asia is the most popular alternative destination to which U.S. companies are moving their production and capital.

Source: RFI Chinese, September 19, 2023

CNA: Foreign Participation in Hong Kong Stock Market Plummets

Primary Taiwanese news agency Central News Agency (CNA) recently reported that, according to a research report by Morgan Stanley, overseas institutions’ participation in Hong Kong stocks has dropped by one third since 2021. Overseas funds are gradually withdrawing from the Hong Kong stock market.

In the years 2016 to 2020, participation of overseas institutions in Hong Kong stocks accounted for 39.5 percent, 37 percent, 36.6 percent, 32.1 percent and 39.5 percent, respectively. In 2021, participation dropped sharply to 26.7 percent, and dropped to 23.1 percent last year and 24.6 percent today. Morgan Stanley’s research showed that overseas institutional funds continue to withdraw and continue to reduce allocations to Mainland China and Hong Kong stocks. Foreign investors are less interested in participating in Mainland Chinese and Hong Kong stock markets due to uncertainty in China-US relations, political instability across the Taiwan Strait, risks in the Mainland’s real estate market, and uncertainty about the pace of China’s economic recovery.

Source: CNA, September 12, 2023

China Informally Asks EV Manufacturers to Use Domestic Parts

Taiwanese newspaper United Daily News quoted a report by Japanese outlet Yomiuri Shimbun saying that China has unofficially urged its electric vehicle (EV) manufacturers to utilize domestically-produced electronic components, including semiconductors. The Chinese government has additionally encouraged these EV manufacturers to set up specific targets for the incorporation of domestic parts, with potential penalties for non-compliance.

According to diplomatic sources in China, “The purpose of (Beijing’s) sending instructions verbally through former officials is to leave no evidence of exclusion of foreign investment.” Insiders said that, as Chinese automobile manufacturers swiftly shift from gasoline-powered vehicles to electric ones, they have established their own systems for production of electronic components and they have vertically integrated production of nearly all related technologies except the drivetrain.

Source: United Daily News (Taiwan), September 17, 2023

Mongolian Activist Accuses CCP of Cultural Eradication and Genocide

Enghebatu Togochog, the Director of the Southern Mongolia Human Rights Information Center (SMHRIC), has accused China and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) of cultural eradication and genocide in Inner Mongolia. According to Togochog, the “bilingual education” imposed in the region is effectively monolingual, with instruction predominantly in Mandarin and with only minimal education in the Mongolian language.

The CCP prohibits the use of Mongolian language in schools, leading to what Togochog describes as systematic erasure of Mongolian culture. For example, the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region Books and Periodicals Distribution Industry Association issued a notice in August instructing its members to cease sales of the Mongolian-language book “General History of the Mongols” and to remove it from shelves. Togochog says that this is just one example of Mongolian literature being banned, with schools, libraries, bookstores, and other outlets prohibited from distributing  Mongolian-language publications, books, journals, etc.

Togochog also accused the CCP of conducting genocide in Inner Mongolia.

Source: Epoch Times, September 19, 2023