No. 30 | 12.12.2020

Vaccine developed by the state-owned SinoPharm, 2020 [Xinhua]

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China set to produce 600 million doses of the inactivated Covid-19 vaccine by year’s end with “big announcement” expected in two weeks

With plans for mass vaccination of its population and donations to several countries in Asia and Africa by the government, state-owned SinoPharm will produce 100 million doses in 2020 and 1 billion in 2021

NATO report says China has become a “full-spectrum systemic rival” and represents a security challenge to its members

While Biden promises to re-establish US-EU alliance to counter China, Chinese analysts advise their country to speed up Bilateral Investment Treaty negotiations with Europe and resolve tensions with neighboring countries to defend itself against NATO aggression

National Politics

Nearly 1.58 million graduates took exams for government positions, up 140,000 from 2019, but only 1 in 61 will secure job

Due to shrinking private companies and return of over 800,000 overseas graduates due to the pandemic, jobs dropped by 17% but applicants increased 70% in first quarter

China establishes criteria for shadow banking for the first time in an effort to reduce systemic financial risks

Sector shrank from US $16.9 trillion to US $12.9 trillion (2017-19) due to government efforts to increase regulation and decrease high leverage of parallel banks, which are highly interconnected with the financial system


In three-year high, China’s November exports grew 21.1% year-on-year (US $268 billion) with trade surplus up 102.9% (US $75.42 billion)

Electronic goods (+24.81%), medical equipment (+38%), plastic products (+112%) and lighting equipment (+47%) topped exports; trade with US and Australia increased, despite disputes

Since China authorized world’s largest trials in April, four million transactions totalling US $299 million were made using digital yuan

By May, China led globally with 120 digital currency patent applications; policymakers draft law to give digital and physical yuan same legal status, while became first private company to accept digital yuan

Science and Technology

China activates “artificial sun” reactor in an important step towards developing nuclear fission energy

HL-2M Tokamak operates at 150 million °C (three times hotter than its predecessor HL-2A and ten times the sun); China aims to produce fusion energy commercially by 2050 and resolve clean energy needs

Chinese scientists claim “quantum advantage” with computer that can calculate ten billion times faster than Google’s Sycamore

The quantum computer prototype named Jiuzhang took about three minutes to calculate what would take the world’s fastest conventional computer 600 million years to do, and has potential applications in data mining, bioinformatics and finance

Category Icons

Agriculture and Environment

Muyuan Foods builds world’s largest pig farm as company profits (US $3.21 billion) grew 1,413% in January-September 2020

After China halved its pork production in 2019, Muyuan invests US $6.1 billion in high-tech, high-density farms with disease-prevention systems, including megafarm that will produce 2.1 million pigs/year


China’s efforts to curb carbon emissions show potential to improve public health, says Lancet medical journal, but further steps must be taken

China lowered particulate matter by 28% in urban areas (2015-2019) and reduced 90,000 deaths/year by shifting away from coal, which still makes up 59% of energy sources

People’s Life and Culture

High-pressure education and work environments for urban middle and working classes give rise to the concept of “involution”

Intense work cultures like “996” (9am-9pm, six-day workweek) are causing feelings of defeat and fear of being left behind (neijuan); experts say global market competition, more than Confucian influences, is responsible

Youth born during the 1990s onwards are more accepting of China’s early socialist history (1949-1979), popularized on online platforms

Unlike prior generation’s pro-US and capitalist outlook, today’s youth embrace the industrial and social advances led by Chairman Mao, who topped online Q&A poll as greatest modern Chinese historical figure

Selfie with Karl Marx at exhibition celebrating 200 years since his birth, 2018 [Chen Xiaogen/People Visual via Sixth Tone]