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People’s Daily Opinion Articles Attack U.S. for Launching Sino-U.S. Trade War

Since last Friday, People’s Daily has published a series of opinion articles on the Sino-U.S. trade war. Below are highlights from two of the opinion articles.

In the article it published on July 11, titled “Be wary of the ‘cold war trap’ that US unilateral protectionism has set up,” it attacked the U.S. “not only for seriously jeopardizing the safety of the global industrial chain and value chain, but also for hindering the pace of economic recovery. It (the U.S.) also brings the risk of sliding the normal world economic and trade pattern into trade protectionism and unilateralism in a ‘cold war trap.’” The article called out the following actions that the U.S. has taken in order to “expose the poisons the U.S. brings to international relationships.” It politicizes the trade issue; it has resumed the 232 investigation; withdrawn from the TPP, the Paris Agreement, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, and the Iran Deal; it has openly violated World Trade Organization regulations and has used the investigation results from 301 to impose tariffs on other countries; it expanded the definition of national security and frequently seizes foreign investments in the high-tech field.

In a report published on July 9, titled “The U.S. ‘Zero Sum Trade Theory’ is a kind of evil that harms the world,” it claimed that the trade war the U.S. launched against China has drawn criticism from the international community. “The zero sum trade war game that the U.S. is playing is against the law. It not only impacts Sino-US economic and trade cooperation, but also brings great uncertainty to the entire world economy.” The article claimed, “Under its zero sum mentality, ‘America First’ is evolving into extreme self-interest.” The article stated that in 2017, the trade between China and the U.S. reached US$583.7 billion. It was 233 times what it was after the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries in 1979. The article further claimed that, “The huge Chinese market that the world values is increasingly becoming an important business growth point and profit consideration in the global strategy of U.S. companies. … Let other countries sacrifice their own core interests to pay for the unreasonable demands of the U.S. This is a backward and outdated concept of trade.”

1. People’s Daily, July 11, 2018

2. People’s Daily, July 9, 2018

China’s Direct Investment in the U.S. Went into Free Fall

Well-known Chinese news site Tencent News recently reported that, according to an independent study that the Rhodium Group conducted, in the first five months of this year, China’s direct investment in the United States (including mergers) saw a year-over-year sharp decline of 92 percent, to US$1.8 billion. This is the lowest level in seven years. If one counts the sell-off of China-owned U.S. assets, China’s direct investment in the U.S. is actually -US$7.8 billion. The drama of Chinese companies “sweeping” the U.S. market with mega-deals has “faded into history.” The same statistics in 2016 were a completely different story. China’s direct investment doubled in 2016 to $46 billion. Since the second half of last year, the Chinese government has put a very tight control over out-flowing capital. As Xinhua has indicated, starting early this year, in the name of national security, the U.S. government has subjected Chinese investments to tight reviews. The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) has stopped many Chinese investment projects. Many Chinese companies are still in the process of selling their U.S. assets.

Source: Tencent News, June 21, 2018

Chinese Foreign Exchange Administration Warned about Illegal Activities

Well-known Chinese news site Netease recently republished a report from Xiamen Daily News that the State Administration of Foreign Exchange, Xiamen Branch, issued a public risk warning on illegal foreign exchange activities. The warning said that, without approval and authorization from the Administration, no organization is allowed to conduct the business of exchanging Chinese currency for any foreign currencies. Any organization without a permit will have to face law enforcement. The warning listed the authorized local commercial banks as well as companies that have a permit. Some companies may require a prior appointment for doing an exchange transaction. {Editor’s note: before the great Reform that Deng Xiaoping started, China used to have a large foreign exchange black market. In the past few decades, since the government authorized organizations have had an ample supply of foreign currency, especially the U.S. dollar, the black market nearly disappeared from everyday life. However, recently, the Chinese government has been tightening up the supply of U.S. dollars.}

Source: Netease, July 2, 2018

China’s First Batch of Graduates with Masters Degree in United Front Studies

The Central Institute of Socialism (CIS), the Chinese Communist Party’s training and education facility for its officials, recently saw its very first batch of graduate students receiving Master’s degrees with a major in united front studies. The program is a joint effort between CIS and Shandong University and was launched in 2015.

The united front is an alliance of groups against {communism’s} common enemies. They employ a tactic that socialism and communism have carried out in their revolutionary political and/or military campaigns. The Comintern, an international communist organization that former Soviet communists created in the wake of the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution first developed the theory.

According to the thesis of the 1922 4th World Congress of the Comintern:

“The united front tactic is simply an initiative whereby the Communists propose to join with all workers belonging to other parties and groups and all unaligned workers in a common struggle to defend the immediate, basic interests of the working class against the bourgeoisie.”

Chinese Communists extensively adopted this tactic during communism’s earlier years, before 1949, when carrying out propaganda and military campaigns against Nationalists. In later years, it also used the united front in its international politics, such as the recent attempts to ally with the European nations and to strike back at the tariffs that the U.S. imposed. According to the Jamestown Foundation, “The United Front Work Department (中共中央统一战线工作部) is the department of the CCP charged with consolidating support for Party policies among non-CCP members, including among individuals of Chinese descent overseas. It is has long been a key, albeit well concealed, element of the CCP’s foreign policy.”

The majority of studies on the united front at CIS include four fields of research: the theory and policy of the united front, China’s system of political parties, the theories of ethnic groups and religions in the united front, China’s traditional political thought, and the culture of the united front. In Shandong University, the program is housed in the School of Political Science and Public Administration, a subsidiary program under Political Science. Since its launch in 2015, the program has recruited 38 doctoral and 50 masters degree students.

Li Jinhe, a professor at CIS, said, “The united front is the study of the laws regarding the governance of the Chinese Communist Party. This is very important.”


1. Central Institute of Socialism, July 4, 2018
2. Jamestown Foundation, June 19, 2018.

BBC Chinese: Acquisition from Hong Kong Questioned in Australia

On July 2, BBC Chinese reported that Hong Kong Cheung Kong (Holdings) recently announced a plan to acquire Australia’s largest natural gas pipeline company, APA. However, this once again triggered considerable debate in Australia, based on the worry about losing control of critical national infrastructure to a foreign power. Hong Kong is currently under Chinese rule with the “One Nation Two Systems” policy. However, the system has no assurance that a Hong Kong company could be prevented from obeying an order from Beijing. The Cheung Kong acquisition attempt is to obtain a 100 percent stake in APA. The deal is valued at around US$9.5 billion. However, there is no signed agreement yet and multiple Australian officials have already stood up to express their concerns on antitrust and national security grounds. Cheung Kong has a large number of investments on a global level, especially in Britain and Canada. It already has control over many infrastructure companies covering most of the Australian states.

Source: BBC Chinese, July 2, 2018

People’s Daily: Opening Ceremony for 2018 Visiting of Young Sinologists Training Program Held in Beijing

On July 6, People’s Daily reported on the opening ceremony of the 2018 Visiting of Young Sinologists Training Program, which the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, the Chinese and Foreign Cultural Exchange Center, and the Beijing Language and Culture University hosted jointly in Beijing. Thirty-eight participants from 34 countries participated in the program. In the first three days, the participants had classes and then were divided into groups to conduct two-weeks of research studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Peking University, the Beijing Language and Culture University, the Beijing Second Foreign Languages Institute and at other academic institutions based on their academic interests. After that, they are scheduled to travel to Guizhou Province to study the situation of the Chinese minority culture, the development of the ecological civilization and the development of contemporary science and technology. After the 21-day training program, these young sinologists will continue to stay in touch with their Chinese mentors and maintain communication on academic research and essay writing. The report stated that the Young Sinologist Training Program was launched in 2014. Twelve sessions have been held since then with 360 participants coming from 95 countries around the world. In 2018, for the first time, the Young Sinologist Training Program will have spring, summer, and fall sessions to be held in Chongqing, Guangzhou, Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou, and Xi’an. The number of total participants is expected to exceed 200.

1. People’s Daily, July 6, 2018
2. China Studies, July 5, 2018

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