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One Chinese Real Estate Company Goes Belly-up Every Day

According to Chinese media, as of September 5, the year 2021 has seen bankruptcy applications from a total of 274 real estate companies. That’s an average of one bankruptcy per day.

The Chinese government recently made it clear that “houses are for living, not for speculation.” Since the second half of last year, the regulatory authorities implemented strict standards to limit real estate companies’ ability to borrow. As a result, the housing market has lost its steam.

On August 31, Sun Hongbin, chairman of the board of directors of Sunac China, a major property developer headquartered in Tianjin, expressed concerns about the pressure on sales in the second half of this year. The concerns are partly due to the “resolute government policy.” As the impact of the sluggish economy on people’s purchasing power continues, he expected that the market would be “more miserable” in the coming months.

Data from the China Index Academy, an influential property research institute, the real estate sector is facing a peak in debt repayment, with a total of 83.85 billion yuan (US $13 billion) in bonds to mature in September. The next peak will occur in March and April of 2022, with a monthly bond payment of 103.94 billion yuan (US $16 billion) and 94.06 billion yuan (US $14.5 billion) respectively.

Source: Central News Agency, September 7, 2021
https://www.cna.com.tw/news/acn/202109070378.aspx

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

DW Chinese: Most Germans Support a Tougher Position against China

Deutsche Welle Chinese Edition recently reported that Internationale Politik (IP) magazine under the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP) commissioned a survey conducted by Forsa, a polling agency. The survey showed that 58 percent of Germans believe that, even if economic and trade relations with China will be affected, Germany should adopt a tougher policy toward China and pay more attention to defending Germany’s own interests. Around 17 percent of the interviewees supported a tougher position if economic and trade relations are not affected. Another 19 percent of the respondents opposed any form of hardline in principle. China is often criticized by the international community for its bad human rights record, especially on its suppression of Uyghur Muslims. However, Germany has strong economic and trade ties with China. In Germany’s current federal election, the China issue clearly occupies a more important role than in the past. The campaign strategy papers of all major German political parties have all covered their China policies in great length.

Source: DW Chinese, August 30, 2021
https://bit.ly/3h7z8wp

Lianhe Zaobao: China Ordered American Chamber of Commerce in Chengdu to Suspend Operations

Singapore’s primary Chinese language newspaper Lianhe Zaobao recently reported that the Chinese authorities have instructed the American Chamber of Commerce in Southwest China in Chengdu to cease operations. The Chamber officially notified its members that, in accordance with Chinese laws and regulations, it ceased operations and “no longer engages in any activities in the name of the American Chamber of Commerce in Southwest China.” The relevant statement did not provide specific reasons why the Chamber of Commerce in Chengdu was suspended. Wang Xiaodong, President of the American Chamber of Commerce in Southwest China, responded to the inquiry via WeChat that the Chamber of Commerce is discussing its registration and future directions with the local government. The Chinese Ministry of Civil Affairs did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The Chengdu Chamber of Commerce is not affiliated with the American Chamber of Commerce in China (AmCham).

Source: Lianhe Zaobao, August 31, 2021
http://www.haozaobao.com/cngov/2021-08/3199441.html

Global Times: Taliban Said China is Afghanistan’s “Passport to the Global Market”

Global Times recently reported that Taliban spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid mentioned in an interview with the Italian newspaper La Repubblica that China is Afghanistan’s “Passport to the Global Market.” He also emphasized that, “China is our most important partner. This is a fundamental and unusual opportunity for us, because China is willing to invest and rebuild our country.” Zabiullah Mujahid expressed his strong interest in China’s Belt and Road project. He made it clear that the Taliban hopes to rebuild Afghanistan’s economy with the help of China. He said that Afghanistan is rich in copper resources. With China’s participation, production can be restarted and modernized. Mujahid also encouraged Western countries like Italy to have diplomatic contacts with the Taliban. Recently, the Taliban has repeatedly released friendly messages about China. On September 2, Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister Wu Jianghao had a phone conversation with the deputy director of the Taliban’s political office in Doha. The two sides exchanged views on the situation in Afghanistan and issues of common concern. The Taliban emphasized that China is a “trustworthy friend of Afghanistan.” The Taliban is willing to continue developing friendly relations between Afghanistan and China, and will never allow any force to use Afghan territory to threaten China’s interests.

Source: Global Times, September 3, 2021
https://world.huanqiu.com/article/44cCVl3AGPi

Pandemic Diplomacy: South Africa Rejected China’s Vaccine

The COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) program under the World Health Organization (WHO) plans to distribute 100 million doses of Chinese COVID vaccines to countries in Africa and Asia. These vaccines are made by China’s two vaccine producers Sinovac Biotech and Sinopharm.

South Africa was given 2.5 million dozes of the Sinovac vaccine (CoronaVac). Its officials rejected these vaccines. Nicholas Crisp, Deputy Director-General in South Africa’s National Department of Health, overseeing its COVID-19 vaccine roll-out, said, “There is not enough information on the effectiveness of these vaccines against the Delta variant, nor is there information on the efficacy of the Sinovac vaccine in HIV-infected populations. We did not accept the Sinovac vaccine from COVAX because it was not mature enough in our evaluation and planning process.”

Algeria, which was given 8 million dozes of Sinopharm’s vaccine, is also cautious and said that vaccine is a “possible” choice.

Related postings on Chinascope:

Source: Taiwan Apple Daily, August 29, 2021
https://tw.appledaily.com/international/20210829/IXSELKR7KZF65MH4FBGCGK5SOA/

Xi Jinping’s Speech at the Central Party School: Have a Fighting Spirit in the Current Situation

Xinhua reported that, on September 1, 2021, the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP’s) Central Party School started its Fall Training Class for Young and Middle-Aged Cadres. Xi Jinping gave a speech at the opening ceremony.

Xi recommended that cadres have a fighting spirit in the current situation. He stressed that, at the current moment, the world’s unprecedented changes have been accelerating and the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation has arrived at a critical period. The risks and challenges that the CCP faces have increased significantly. It is impractical to dream of always living in a peaceful environment without taking on any struggles. (The CCP cadres) should be realistic, dare to fight, and not yield on any principle issues. Thus they can safeguard our national sovereignty, security, and development interests with unprecedented determination. Communists, at any time, should have the bones and courage not to believe in any spirits, not to be afraid of anything, and not to yield to anyone.

Xi also stressed that the party cadres must have high ideals and firm beliefs. These ideals and beliefs are from Marxism, Communism, and Socialism with China’s Characteristics. Having a firm belief is tightly linked to being loyal to the party.

Source: Xinhua, September 1, 2021
http://www.news.cn/politics/leaders/2021-09/01/c_1127818076.htm

Beijing Passed a “Maritime Traffic Safety Law,” Regulating Submarines and Nuclear Ships

In April, Beijing passed the “Maritime Traffic Safety Law of the People’s Republic of China” and started enforcing it on September 1.  According to the law, five types of foreign ships entering China’s territorial waters need to report to China’s Maritime Administration, including: submarines; nuclear-powered ships; ships carrying radioactive substances; ships carrying toxic and harmful substances such as oil, chemicals and liquefied gases in bulk; and other ships that may endanger the safety of China’s maritime traffic as stipulated by laws, administrative regulations or the State Council.

Beijing has taken several coral reef islands in the South China Sea and built them into permanent islands, thus expanding its claim to territorial water deep into South China Sea. Observers pointed out that the first two items in its must-report list – submarines and nuclear-powered ships – are likely to refer to U.S. naval ships.

Source: United Daily News, August 30, 2021
https://udn.com/news/story/7331/5710339