No. 143 | 15.04.2023

Lula da Silva and Xi Jinping in Beijing, 14.04.2023 [Ricardo Stuckert]

We recommend that you listen to Vinida Weng’s ‘Mojiadai’ – a song linked to the People’s Life and Culture section – as you read this week’s digest.


Brazil and China will deepen comprehensive strategic partnership after historic Lula-Xi meeting

During the inauguration of Dilma Rousseff as president of the New Development Bank, Lula gave harsh criticism of the international financial institutions of the Global North and the hegemony of the dollar in trade; the Brazilian president also met with executives from Huawei, BYD, CCCC and state energy company State Grid

Brasil de Fato, 13.04.2023

Brasil de Fato, 13.04.2023

Macron declared that “the great risk” facing Europe is that of “getting caught up in crises that are not ours” in reference to Taiwan

After his six-hour meeting with President Xi, the French president stressed the concept of “strategic autonomy” that Europe must have in order not to become “followers of the United States”; Macron’s visit to China was marked by a congenial atmosphere, warmly welcomed by a crowd of university students in Guangzhou

Politico, 07.04.2023

Politico, 09.04.2023

National Politics

China conducted precision strike drills on the island of Taiwan a day after Tsai Ing-wen returned from her visit to the US

Shi Yi, spokesman for the PLA’s Eastern Theater Command, said the drills were a warning to secessionist forces of “Taiwan independence” and their collusion with outside forces; the Command also released an animation showing a possible missile attack on the island from multiple directions

Global Times, 09.04.2023

China increases vocational training and limits general university expansion as part of the country’s higher education reform

Facing shrinking workforce and changing socio-economic demands, provincial governments focus on improving educational quality and increasing vocational university enrollment to 10% of total by 2025; reforms aim to align with government goals to spur tech innovation and high-end manufacturing

Caixin Global, 06.04.2023

China Daily, 07.04.2023


Tesla announced that it will build a mega-factory in Shanghai – its first outside the US – aiming to produce 40 GWh/year of energy storage

The plant will produce Megapacks, a powerful battery, and is expected to produce 10,000 units/year and create an industrial hub worth more than 100 billion yuan (US$14.529 billion); US Congressman Mike Gallagher expressed concern about the announcement and questioned how Musk balances his ties with the both governments

Xinhua, 09.04.2023

Reuters, 11.04.2023

China’s first-quarter rail investment reaches highest level since 2013, up 6.6% year-on-year

With an investment of 113.55 billion yuan (US$16.5 billion), the government is looking to boost the economy and expand infrastructure in the western border regions; that area of the country is key both for trade with Central Asia and the Middle East, as well as defense demands

South China Morning Post, 10.04.2023

ByteDance, the company that owns TikTok, announces record earnings in 2022

Despite TikTok’s losses, earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization rose 79% to US$25 billion and surpassed that of Chinese tech giants Tencent and Alibaba for the first time; explosive growth comes amid US attempts to force the sale or outright ban of TikTok

Financial Times, 09.04.2023

Category Icons

Agriculture and Environment

Sinopec to build the first 400 km long-distance hydrogen pipeline connecting Inner Mongolia to Beijing

In the first phase, it will have a capacity of 100,000 tons of hydrogen each year with the potential to reach 500,000 tons in the long term; after being put into operation, the Inner Mongolia supply will replace current hydrogen production from fossil fuels in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region

Xinhua, 10.04.2023

Government shows caution around the application of genetically modified corn, halting mass plantation until at least 2024

Despite the push towards food security, only 200,000 hectares were designated for such a crop this year amid public fears about health risks; seed companies say the technology is ready and expect GM seeds to account for 90% of corn production in the next five years

South China Morning Post, 04.04.2023

People’s Life and Culture

Afrobeat, which originated in Nigeria in the 1970s, gains popularity in China’s music market

The genre fuses original African rhythms with electronic and other musical styles and several famous Chinese hip hop artists have adopted it in their compositions; African DJs are becoming more and more frequent in nightclubs, but it is still difficult for African artists to perform on big stages in China – partly due to the language barrier

The World of Chinese, 10.04.2023

Chinese hip hop singer Vinida Weng performing on TV [iQiyi]

Dongsheng’s interventions and productions this week:

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