No. 144 | 22.04.2023

Young people at the Yonghe Temple (Lama Temple) in Beijing [Uni You]

While reading the digest you can listen to 在路旁, the Chinese version of the Brazilian song ‘Se essa rua fosse minha’ (‘If this Street was Mine’). Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai is said to have been very fond of it, and it was played at a reception for President Lula a few days ago.


China-Russia trade up 38.7% year-on-year in first quarter, with energy sector accounting for 40% of transactions

Bilateral trade amounted to US$ 53.85 billion in the first quarter, with China’s shipments to Russia up 47.1% year-on-year to US$ 24.07 billion and Russia’s shipments to Russia up 32.6% to US$ 29.77 billion; the share of the yuan and rouble in the Russian foreign exchange market reached a new record high of 39% in March

Global Times, 13.04.2023

US buys 400 Harpoon missiles from Boeing on behalf of Taiwan in a US$ 1.7 billion contract, following government approval in 2020

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin criticized the deal, saying it would “undermine China’s sovereignty and security interests” and that the US should “stop trying to change the status quo” in the strait; at the same time, some 200 US advisors are in Taiwan in training camps and reserve brigades

Bloomberg, 18.04.2023

South China Morning Post, 19.04.2023

National Politics

China has one-fifth of top Artificial Intelligence (AI) researchers compared to the US, according to study

The country has nearly one million AI talent, but most have undergraduate degrees and only 0.1% have PhDs, while the demand in the sector in China is nearly 300,000 highly skilled workers; from 2019 to 2022, more than a third of universities in China have received approval to create AI courses

Caixin Global, 15.04.2023


China’s first-quarter GDP beat expectations and grew 4.5% year-on-year to 28.5 trillion yuan (US$ 4.14 trillion)

Consumer goods sales rose 5.8% year-on-year, after falling 2.7% in the previous quarter, and international trade grew 4.8%; infrastructure and manufacturing investment rose 8.8% and 7% respectively

National Bureau of Statistics of China, 18.04.2023

Reuters, 18.04.2023

China’s auto production and sales grew by 15.3 % and 9.7 % in March

Despite the first quarter showing a 4.3% drop in production and a 6.7% drop in sales in year-on-year comparison, the sector rebounded in March with exports up 110%; the new energy vehicle (NEV) industry continues to grow, with an increase of 44.8% in production and 34.8% in sales

Global Times, 17.04.2023

Category Icons

Agriculture and Environment

New rapeseed variety developed in China can increase vegetable oil production by 12%

The plant that is being tested overcomes limitations of winter planting with shorter cycles and more tolerance to cold and will allow to take advantage of 4.27 million hectares of unused fields after rice harvests; government aims at reducing dependency on imported vegetable oil, and rapeseed is responsible for half of this production

South China Morning Post, 17.04.2023

China grants 10 billion yuan (US$ 1.46 billion) in subsidies to support the purchase of agricultural equipment

These will be given directly to a range of grain growers – from individual farmers to agricultural corporations – and those connected to the industrial chain; rounds of agricultural subsidies are usually launched to ensure the normal operation of production, especially at specific times such as the spring plowing and autumn harvest period

Global Times, 17.04.2023

Science and Technology

Chinese researchers plan to make bricks out of lunar soil to build their base using a robot, 3D printers, and lasers

The Clover and Red Star lunar base designs could support three to four astronauts each, although experts say it could take 20 to 30 years and there are multiple challenges such as lack of water, low gravity, moonquakes, and strong cosmic radiation; in 2025, the Chang’e 6 mission will be the first in history to collect samples from the dark side of the Moon

South China Morning Post, 12.04.2023

China’s Space Station achieved 100% regeneration of its oxygen resources and 95% regeneration of its water resources

The system has six types of regeneration, including carbon dioxide removal, urine treatment, and carbon dioxide and hydrogen water production; the station is inhabited by the Shenzhou-15 crew, which completed its fourth spacewalk, a national record for a single mission

CGTN, 14.04.2023

China Daily, 16.04.2023

People’s Life and Culture

Buddhist temples are gaining popularity among young people and on social media in China

Once a rare tourist destination, temples now have to control the flow of visitor – photos and videos of visiting young people in traditional Chinese dress have gone viral on the internet; for many it is also a spiritual outlet from stress and daily life, using guides and apps to worship the Buddha

The Beijinger, 05.04.2023

The World of Chinese, 11.04.2023

A young girl wearing a traditional dress in the Forbidden City, Beijing [CGTN]

Dongsheng’s interventions and productions this week:

Subscribe to News on China. The digest is published every Saturday in English, Spanish, and Portuguese.

Follow our social media channels: