No. 54 | 12.06.2021


US approves bill to finance technological competition (US $250 billion), among numerous measures against China

Plan provides investment in semiconductors (US $52 billion), artificial intelligence and quantum computing (US $120 billion), and tries to contain Beijing’s participation in multilateral organizations, among other initiatives; China reproaches US for projecting an “imaginary enemy”

Despite pressure from Washington, growing number of African and other developing countries embrace Chinese 5G technology

With 70 contracts (>1/3 in Africa) in 41 countries for cloud infrastructure and government services, Huawei remains largest telecoms equipment and technology provider in Africa and, with ZTE, accounted for 50-60% of wireless equipment sales in Africa and Middle East (2020)

Science and Technology

Huawei launches new HarmonyOS operating system, two years after the US banned its access to Google apps

Chinese tech giant increases software self-sufficiency and seamless experience across “Internet of Things” devices (cell phones, home appliances, drones, etc.); over 500,000 developers adapt apps to HarmonyOS, but breaking the Android and iOS monopoly remains a challenge

National Politics

Facing Covid-19 Delta strain outbreak, Guangzhou tests 28 million people in 12 days and enforces travel restrictions

While authorities still search for “patient zero”, world’s largest testing program detected 119 cases; the variant’s high transmissibility and viral load are the first real test of the administered vaccines’ effectiveness (13 million doses, 31 May)


Government prioritizes reduction of domestic debt, which reached 270.1% of GDP by end of 2020 due to pandemic (180.8% in 2010)

China’s domestic debt-to-GDP for corporations reached 162.3% (120.6%), household 62.2% (27.3%), government 45.6% (32.9%); debt was reduced to 248% of GDP in Q1

May imports (US $218.4 billion) surged 51% year-on-year, while exports (US$263.9 billion) grew 27.9%

Trade with EU (US$67.17 billion) – second largest trading partner – rose 27.36% in April, while China overtook Germany to be UK’s biggest import source (US $24 billion, 16.1% of total) in Q1

Agriculture and Environment

Supply chain disruptions during pandemic sparked growth of high-tech greenhouses in China, world’s largest vegetable producer

Efficient glass greenhouses grew 28% in 2020, largely producing to sell directly to e-commerce platforms and supermarkets, which reduces logistics “middlemen”; China is world’s top producer of spinach (92%), asparagus (88%), green beans (81%), cucumbers (80%)

China’s dairy sector (US $62 billion) plans to add 200 farm projects and 2.5 million cows to meet growing taste for milk

World’s third largest producer generated 34 million tonnes of milk last year, meeting 70% of domestic demand – annual per capita consumption is 6.8 liters (vs. 50 liters in US)

People’s Life and Culture

Record 10.78 million students take the national university entrance exam (gaokao), while facing new challenges in Chinese education

2020 educational reforms responds to lack of students in humanities and basic sciences; this year’s gaokao introduced 37 new majors (law, education, history, etc.) and expanded options for exam subjects in eight pilot regions

China cultivates next generation leaders through international exchanges, increasing overseas cadre training institutes from 144 to 243 (1999-2016), primarily in the Global North

History of sending leaders for administrative, technical, and political education includes Moscow’s Toilers of the East University (1921), 10,000 cadre sent to Soviet Union and Eastern Europe (1951-63), and opening-up to Western institutions (since 1980s)

Huawei products using HarmonyOS at the company’s flagship store in Shanghai [Wang Gang/China Daily]

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