No.09 | 18.07.2020

Women volunteers carry sand bags to dike in Jiangjialing Village in China’s eastern Jiangxi Province, 11 July 2020. [Xinhua/Zhou Mi]


London gives in to White House pressure and bans Huawei, but decision is expected to cost the economy US $8.8 billion and could delay full 5G implementation in the country for three years

The gradual removal until 2027 will delay British technological development and widen digital divide in small towns and rural areas

China and Iran to sign US $400 billion deal for strategic infrastructure investments, defying US sanctions that have suffocated Iran’s economy

Iran will supply discounted oil to China for 25 years in exchange for physical (ports, airports, railways, subways, etc.) and digital (5G, Beidou and firewall) infrastructure; includes military cooperation

China to announce sanctions against US arms producer Lockheed Martin, which recently approved a US $620 million deal to upgrade Taiwan’s ground-to-air missiles

Rare earths are likely target of sanctions; US imports about 80% of its demand for this essential raw material from China, the world’s largest exporter

National Politics

Harvard research (2003-16) reveals that public approval of Chinese government has increased in recent years, especially in less developed regions

93% say they are satisfied with the central government (86.1% in 2003) and 70.2% with township administrations (43.6%). Social welfare policies for the working classes and the fight against corruption were decisive factors


After a historic fall of 6.8% in the first quarter, Chinese GDP recovers with 3.2% growth in the second, avoiding recession

GDP in the first half of 2020 had a year-on-year decline of 1.6%, but economy shows stable signs of recovery with production, consumption, investment and international trade having grown significantly in recent months

Foreign direct investment in China saw an 8.4% year-on-year growth in the second quarter, but fell 1.3% in the first half of 2020 (US $67.4 billion)

Chinese direct investment abroad fell 0.7% in the semester year-on-year (US $51.7 billion), but grew 19.4% in the Belt and Road countries (US $8.1 billion)

Chinese GDP growth increasingly depends on domestic market expansion rather than on exports, equivalent to 18% of GDP (half of 2008 index)

Exports to US represent only 3% of GDP (US $400 billion), a 20% drop compared to 2018

Science and Technology

Criminalized for selling 5G products to Iran and North Korea, ZTE was nearly destroyed by US sanctions in 2018, but “rose from the ashes”

Owing to a massive global presence and state aid, ZTE had net profits of US $9.4 billion last year and is already conducting research on 6G technology, while US threatens to impose new sanctions

For the first time, Toyota will procure Chinese electrical steel sheet – from China Baowu – for hybrid and electric vehicle production

Producing 60% of the world’s crude steel, China begins to compete in the Japanese-dominated high quality market; China Baowu already supplies Tesla

Autonomous vehicle (AV) deployment grows amid increased demand for physical distancing in the world’s largest ride-hailing market of US $23 billion

Chinese auto industry shifts focus to AV commercialization and practical operations; highly automated vehicles expected to make up 15% of sales by 2025

Category Icons

Agriculture and Environment

After a Beijing market outbreak, China intensifies inspection of frozen meat, suspends imports from 23 foreign producers and runs 288,000 COVID-19 tests

Viruses have been detected in containers and outer packaging of three Ecuadorian shrimp exporters, now suspended; scientists still don’t know if it is contagious

Biggest rainfall in the Yangtze River basin since 1961 has caused unprecedented flooding in some regions. 141 people have died and 38 million affected nationwide

Flood monitoring and weather forecasting technologies using big data and artificial intelligence, and mobilization of 70,000 people, helped minimize tragedy


China has half of world’s liver and gastric cancer cases and ¼ that of chronic hepatitis B and colorectal cancer, attracting medical testing industry

Prospective market for liver cancer screen testing alone could reach US $7.2 billion by 2023; estimated 130 million Chinese at high-risk”

People’s Life and Culture

Fuping county (Hebei Province) lifted from national poverty-stricken list after 34 years, due to housing and employment-led poverty alleviation

Since 2010, population living below the poverty line (US $329/year) dropped from 90,000 to 832 (0.45% of population), with investment in local industry and business, and construction of 17,714 household units

Documentary profiles Yuan Longping, 90-year old legendary agronomist and “father of hybrid rice”

High-yield rice invention helps feed ⅕ of the world’s population with less than 9% of its arable land. China is world’s top producer of rice, the food staple for 60% of Chinese”

Yuan Longping, known as China’s “Father of Hybrid Rice,” inspects new breed in the fields in Hekou Township in central China’s Hunan Province, 29 Sept 2017. [Xinhua/Xue Yuge]