No. 169 | 28.10.2023

The song “Chinese Herbal Handbook” (本草纲目), performed by Jay Chou, literally lists 16 of the many herbs used in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Lyricist Vincent Fang satirizes young people who fawn over the West and seeks to demonstrate the wisdom of ancient China.


The U.S. announced more export controls for China on semiconductor and artificial intelligence chip manufacturing equipment

The aim is to further restrict China’s access to U.S. technology and eliminate some alternatives that had been taken advantage of by companies such as Nvidia, a major exporter to the Chinese market; Peter Wennink, president and CEO of the Dutch company ASML, said that “the restrictive policies of Western governments are forcing China to be very innovative”

Caixin Global, 19.10.2023

Asia Times, 21.10.2023

China implements temporary controls on the export of graphite, an essential material in the manufacture of electric vehicle batteries

The government stated that the decision responds to the need to protect national security and interests and that the country firmly complies with its international obligations, “such as non-proliferation”; China is the main source and producer of the raw material, being responsible for around 60% to 65% of the world’s production of natural graphite and 90% of the synthetic variety, with the USA, South Korea, and Japan among the main importers

Caixin Global, 20.10.2023

South China Morning Post, 20.10.2023

China-Australia relations begin to make progress in the run-up to Australian President’s visit in November

In recent days, Australian journalist Cheng Lei was released after three years of detention in China and the Asian giant said it will accelerate the review of tariffs on Australian wine, which found its largest market in China; China’s trade restrictions on Australia peaked at US$ 12.6 billion and have now been lowered to about US$ 1.26 billion

Asia Times, 23.10.2023

China Briefing, 23.10.2023

National Politics

More than 69% of delegates at the 13th National Congress of the All-China Women’s Federation were from grassroots organizations

The congress, which was attended by more than 1,800 delegates, elected State Counselor Shen Yiqin as president, who called for efforts to defend the rights and interests of women; the congress recognized the hard work of women in reducing poverty, the search for excellence in scientific and technological innovation, and their courage in combating the pandemic

China Daily, 27.10.2023

CGTN, 23.10.2023

US tech sanctions spur industrial revival in Northeastern China

For the first time in a decade, Liaoning province’s economy grew by 5.3% in Q1–Q3 2023 (year-on-year), higher than the national GDP of 5.2%; the region which led heavy industrial and military development in the 1950s, but underwent economic decline in the 1980s, will be the focus of constructing a modern industrial system to boost self-reliance after heightened U.S. efforts to block China from the global hi-tech supply chain

South China Morning Post, 21.10.2023

Li Shangfu, State Councilor and Minister of National Defense, is removed from his posts, along with other top positions

Following a presidential decree, the Standing Committee of the 14th National People’s Congress also voted to remove Qin Gang as state councilor, and to replace Wang Zhigang with Yin Hejun as minister of science and technology, and Liu Kun with Lao Fo’an as finance minister

China Daily, 28.10.2023


More than half of China’s top 50 real estate companies have defaulted since 2020

According to Bloomberg, defaults on offshore dollar bonds reached US$115 billion since 2021 and a large number of onshore bank loans also face restructurings; of the top 10 real estate companies, eight have seen their sales fall between 2020 and 2023 due to consumer distrust, who prefer to buy from state-backed companies that are viewed as less prone to bankruptcy

Financial Times, 23.10.2023

If you want to know more about the Chinese real estate market, you can read our Dongsheng Explains on the subject.

Beijing removes price caps on land sales in bid to boost property market

The 15% cap on the premiums that estate agents pay for land will be removed, meaning plots will go to the highest bidder, rather than a random winner from all those who bid the maximum below the cap. In addition, a rule change regarding the useful area coefficient will allow houses to be built that have fewer square meters of space than the land area outside urban areas

South China Morning Post, 23.10.2023

Category Icons

Agriculture and Environment

China approves commercial use of genetically modified corn and soybeans after years of testing and public questioning

A total of 37 GM corn varieties and 14 GM soybean varieties will be allowed to be grown in designated areas as of November 15; food imports amounted to 146 million tons last year, of which 60% was soybeans, which is partly due to the unwillingness of domestic farmers to cultivate due to the low yield of existing varieties

South China Morning Post, 19.10.2023

People’s Life and Culture

Traditional Chinese Medicine gains popularity among young Chinese, a cost-effective way to treat health problems

No longer only associated with the healthy lifestyle habits of older people, herbal remedies, folk medicine, and medicinal drinks such as suanmeitang (酸梅汤, “sour plum juice”) and goji berry tea are embraced by young consumers; however, specialists warn that popularization and adaptation to cold and sweet drinks should not lead to excessive consumption that may have adverse effects

The World of Chinese, 19.10.2023

A science fiction novel, The Space-Time Painter, inspired by an artwork from the Song dynasty (960–1279) won the Hugo Award

Hai Ya became the third Chinese writer to receive the most prestigious international award for science fiction and fantasy at the 2023 World Science Fiction Convention in Chengdu, the first of its kind held in China; Zhao Enzhe, a Chinese digital artist, won Best Digital Artist, and Zero Gravity Newspaper magazine, also from China, won Best Fanzine

China Daily, 22.10.2023

“Three-Body Desk Calendar 2021” by artist Zhao Enzhe, Hugo Award for Best Professional Artist winner [Zhao Enzhe]

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