No. 43 | 20.03.2021

United Nations General Assembly []

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“Quad” countries – Australia, India, Japan and US – hold virtual meeting with heads of states as Biden continues US course against China

Alliance increases military and economic pressure against China to contain its technological development in telecommunications (Huawei, ZTE), artificial intelligence and bio-genetics, while securing critical supply chains to maintain “US primacy in region”

People’s Dispatch, 15.03.2021

China, Russia and Venezuela announce the formation of a new bloc to defend UN founding charter against US unilateralism

Against sanctions and arbitrary interventions by US and allies, the “Group of Friends” – including Cuba, Bolivia, Angola, Iran and 10 others – calls for principles of multilateralism, non-interference in countries’ internal affairs and peaceful conflict resolution

Brasil de Fato, 15.03.2021
Newsweek, 12.03.2021

After recent moon mission successes, China signs agreement with Russia to build and operate the International Scientific Lunar Station

Station will be on and/or orbit the moon, serving for numerous remotely-operated research projects, toward future prospects of human presence on the Moon; Russia rejected US’s Lunar Gateway station deal

The Verge, 09.03.2021

National Politics

China raises tax-break criteria for domestic chipmakers, a priority for the national economy after US sanctions

State-backed semiconductor investment (US $21.5 billion) grew fivefold in 2020, but some projects failed due to lack of experience; increased standards for receiving aid includes minimum number of patents, R&D spending and staff education level

Nikkei Asia, 13.03.2021

China will gradually raise retirement age as life expectancy increases, population ages and pension deficit rises (US $103 billion)

Retirement age for men (60) and women (50-55) remained unchanged since 1950s, while life expectancy nearly doubled (40-77.3 in 2019); country faces declining birth rate and increase of elderly from 200-460 million (2020-50)

South China Morning Post, 14.03.2021
Global Times, 12.03.2021


February’s record purchase of Chinese bonds (US $14.4 billion) signals they are a safe alternative to US bonds

With lower volatility, Chinese 10-year bonds have higher yields (3.25%) than the US’s (1.61%), which rose for the first time in over a year, but still leads the market, moving US $3 trillion weekly

Bloomberg Quint, 12.03.2021

Science and Technology

Led by Huawei, tech giants focus on transforming coal industry to improve worker safety to develop a “Digital China”

Hit by sanctions, Huawei diversifies operations and applies 5G tech, automated machinery and smart sensors; measures implemented to further reduce fatal work accidents (2,433-225 annual deaths, 2010-20) and limit exposure to toxic coal dust 

South China Morning Post, 13.03.2021

Category Icons

Agriculture and Environment

86% of Chinese cities experienced cleaner air and 11% decrease in pollution exposure in 2020

Covid-19 shutdowns account for half of particulate matter (PM) reduction, while fossil fuel consumption increased (+4%, H2); 15 of East Asia’s most polluted cities are Chinese, topped by Hotan (Xinjiang), where dust and weather exacerbate air pollution

Caixin, 16.03.2021

People’s Life and Culture

China’s annual Consumer Rights Day exposes domestic and international brands, with focus on data security, malware and résumé illegal market

Public broadcaster CCTV launched “315 gala” in 1983 to criticize corporate violations (Qutoutiao app’s NYSE shares dropped 23% after 2020 feature); US’s Kohler named among 20 companies for covert facial-recognition data collection and publicly apologized

Sixth Tone, 17.03.2021
Reuters, 12.03.2021

On its 150th anniversary, the Paris Commune traces its legacy to the Guangzhou Uprising in 1927

Young peasants and students – including Zhou Enlai and Deng Xiaoping – who joined WWI efforts and factory work-study exchanges in Europe, brought back revolutionary ideas of the Parisian workers’ state that would inspire Guangzhou’s “Paris Commune of the East”

People’s Dispatch, 18.03.2021
The Funambulist, 03.04.2021

Guangzhou Uprising, 1991 [Baidubaike/Guo Yunwen]