No. 171 | 11.11.2023

Fei Xiang (费翔), also known as Kris Phillips, is one of the most popular musicians in China, with big hits in the 1980s. We share with you the song “A Fire in the Winter” (冬天里的一把火).


Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese visits Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping as part of the normalization of bilateral relations

Xi said that “China and Australia should follow the trend of the times and build a relationship based on common interests” and criticized blocs seeking to destabilize the Asia-Pacific region, though not directly name the Aukus or the “Quad” (blocs comprising Australia and its Western allies); since Albanese came to government in 2022, most of the trade barriers with China, which cost Australian exporters some US$ 13 billion, have been lifted

Global Times, 05.11.2023

South China Morning Post, 06.11.2023

The Philippines announces withdrawal from some Belt and Road projects, amid growing tensions with China

Following numerous episodes of tension over recent territorial disputes in the South China Sea, the Philippine Department of Transportation announced that several infrastructure projects that China had been financing will be completed with Japanese and Western investment; in April this year, Manila announced an agreement for the installation of four new US bases, which will now total nine in the country

Asia Times, 02.11.2023

Reuters, 03.04.2023

Following the announcement of a “strategic partnership” between China and Colombia, bilateral trade in livestock and mobile telephony is expected to increase

The Colombian president visited Xi Jinping at the end of October, where he signed 12 cooperation agreements; bilateral trade totaled US$22.64 billion last year, while Chinese companies Xiaomi and Oppo accounted for 28% of the smartphone market in Colombia during the first quarter of 2023

South China Morning Post, 05.11.2023

Saudi Aramco, the Saudi Arabian oil giant, increases its investments in refining and petrochemicals in China

Seeking to increase its petrochemical products in light of the possible fall in fossil fuel consumption in the coming years, the company will supply approx. 70% of crude oil for a new petrochemical complex in Panjin, has acquired a 10% stake in Rongsheng Petrochemical for US$3.6 billion, and could take over the same portion from a company in Jiangsu

Caixin Global, 06.11.2023

Caixin Global, 06.11.2023

National Politics

Free trade zone (FTZ) planned for Xinjiang, the first in northwest China, will promote cross-border yuan trade settlements with Belt and Road partners

While increasing access to the neighboring foreign markets’s 2.8 billion people, the FTZ aims for export-oriented, labor-intensive industry chains from the east to migrate west and extend the industrial reach of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region to China’s coastal areas; despite US sanctions, Xinjiang’s foreign trade surged by 51.25% year-on-year to reach 219.19 billion yuan (US$30 billion) in Q1-Q3 2023 and trade with five Central Asian nations grew by 59.1% to hit 176.64 billion yuan

Global Times, 05.11.2023

China’s new public academic platform, PubScholar, challenges CNKI private monopoly

Led by the Chinese Academy of Science, the free platform provides access to approx. 170 million texts and is considered a better alternative to China’s largest, privately-owned academic database by 533 out of 800 netizens polled; CNKI has faced regulatory challenges, fined 87.6 million yuan – 5% of their 2021 revenue – for “abusing its market dominance” and sued for unauthorized distribution of an academic’s work in 2022

Sixth Tone, 03.11.2023


China’s private companies are experiencing a wave of succession that could bring profound changes to the industry and the global supply chain

More than 80% of China’s one billion private companies are family-owned, and ¾ of those companies went through leadership transitions between 2017 and 2022 – the largest wave of succession in China’s history; this new generation faces challenges such as economic slowdown and overcapacity, while prioritizing the adoption of new technologies, attracting talent, and expanding into new industries or markets

Caixin Global, 03.11.2023

China continues to sell its U.S. Treasury bonds, which now amount to US$ 805.4 billion, 40% less than ten years ago

According to analysts, the reduction in US bond holdings may be due to both the poor performance of the dollar and an attempt to strengthen the yuan; Japan, which together with China accounts for a quarter of all US debt abroad, has also reduced its holdings in recent months

Nikkei Asia, 04.11.2023

Nikkei Asia, 09.09.2023

Science and Technology

Huawei’s newly launched 5.5G promises improvements in industrial automation and autonomous vehicles, 10 times faster than conventional 5G

China has already established an almost complete supply chain for 5G networks, holds more than 40% of global patents, and has completed all technical performance testing of 5.5G, for which Huawei has already built the first industrial production line; separately, a state-owned computer lab will use a new processor developed by Huawei to build what is likely to be the world’s largest artificial intelligence platform

Caixin Global, 06.11.2023

Asia Times, 31.10.2023

People’s Life and Culture

The Israel-Palestine conflict generates debate on Chinese social networks, although support for the Palestinian cause predominates

On Weibo, the Chinese Twitter-like platform, the hashtag “Israel-Palestine Conflict” (#巴以冲突) exceeded 55 million posts; many users condemned Israel’s actions and some blame the United States and Britain for the current situation in the Middle East

The Print, 08.11.2023

South China Morning Post, 14.10.2023

Pro-Palestine artwork on Chinese social media (images via Weibo)

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