No. 22 | 17.10.2020

Tourists visit a temple fair during the National Day holiday in Shenyang City, Liaoning Province, 3 October, 2020 [CFP via CGTN]

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China joins COVAX, the US $2 billion global distribution agreement of COVID-19 vaccine, prioritizing developing countries

Over 170 countries joined the WHO-backed COVAX — though the US has refused to — which aims to produce two billion vaccine doses by end of 2021

China participates in global Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI) as lender of US $28 billion, maturing in 2020

According to a study, China has never seized assets from debtor countries and has already agreed to renegotiate ¼ (US $94 billion) of its total loans; current largest beneficiaries are Venezuela, Pakistan and Angola (US $19, 14 and 6.2 billion, respectively)

Developing countries, mostly in Asia, will account for 95% of global growth in 2020-2021 and China for 51%, according to the IMF

GDP of advanced economies in 2021 is expected to fall 3.6% below 2019 level; US attempt to isolate China from global trade could have serious consequences for US and developing countries

Key anti-China Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) is funded by US State Department (US $1.37 million in 2019) and military industry giants

Shaping Australia’s foreign policy and public opinion, eight of the think tank’s financial backers (Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Boeing, UNICOR, etc.) benefit from forced labor of prisoners, earning as little as US $0.23/hour

National Politics

After discovering 13 new COVID-19 cases, coastal city of Qingdao tested nearly 11 million residents in five days using efficient batch-testing approach

New cases were traced to two dock workers treated at Qingdao Chest Hospital; over 10,000 medical workers have been mobilized, with a single lab testing 400,000 samples/day

China unveils plan to transform Shenzhen into a “socialist model” by 2025, leading growth and innovation in the Greater Bay Area

Project will allow city to further open up for greater advancement in technology, energy, telecommunications, transportation, education and land management sectors, increasing connection with Hong Kong and Macau

Even with declining domestic demand, China invests tens of billions of dollars in mega-refineries and is expected to increase its global sales

Daily production to increase by 1.4 million barrels/day (currently 1 million), but domestic demand to grow only 0.9% annually until 2025 peak (vs. 5.6% yearly 2000-19)


618 million people traveled during eight-day national holiday, demonstrating post-pandemic recovery in domestic consumption

“Golden Week” retail and restaurant sales (US $235.5 billion) grew 4.9% from 2019 and movie box office was the second highest in history (US $580 million)

China’s third quarter exports surge (US $742 billion) with a 10.2% year-on-year high, while imports (US $580 billion) grew 4.3%

Medical devices (+48.2%), textiles (+37.5%) and computers (+17.6%) topped exports; foreign trade had expanded 0.7% (January-September) and GDP estimated to grow by 5% this quarter

Science and Technology

Transsion leads African mobile phone market, responsible for half of phones sold last year, by adapting to local conditions and offering low prices (US $15-200)

Chinese company created phones with multi-chips, long battery life, cameras calibrated to darker skin-tones and its own music-streaming app; ranks 1st in volume shipped but 11th in profitability

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Agriculture and Environment

China faces continual challenge to reduce soil erosion (30% of territory) and launches campaign against illegal activities in 71 cities

Erosion affected 2.7 million km² last year – 26% reduction from 1980s mainly due to water conservancy projects – but 1 cm of soil can take up to 3,000 years to form

People’s Life and Culture

Less than 10% of China’s 14 million people on the autism spectrum are employed, but government is increasing efforts

With 200,000 new diagnoses each year and only half of children attending school, government is creating vocational schools and tax incentives for employers, but 20%+ of families do not apply for disability due to stigma

Ancient capital of Xi’an hosts 7th annual International Film Festival, as part of “Silk Road” cultural revival to promote China’s Belt and Road Initiative

17 films were selected out of 3,500 submissions from 116 countries, resuming cultural exchange and cooperation among BRI countries that was interrupted by COVID-19

Recreated Tang Dynasty-style night market in the former Silk Road hub of Xi’an, 2019 [Wang Jian/People’s Daily]