No. 60 | 24.07.2021


China commits to playing a “constructive” role for regional stability, as US troops withdraw from Afghanistan after 20-year war

China is a leading investor in Afghanistan, which shares 90-km border with Xinjiang, is key to the region’s BRI projects, reportedly holds the world’s largest unused energy and mineral reserves (US $1 trillion), and is a member of regional security Shanghai Cooperation Organization

South China Morning Post, 18.07.2021
Global Times, 17.07.2021


China ranked first in port cargo (14.55 billion tons) and container throughput (260 million TEUs) last year

With eight of the world’s top 10 ports (in cargo throughput) and 95% of trade delivered by sea, China’s foreign trade volume reached US $2.8 trillion in first-half of 2021 (+27.1% year-on-year)

Beijing Review, 16.07.2021
China Briefing, 19.07.2021

70.8 million transactions totaling US $5.3 billion in digital yuan trials were made since 2019, according to Central Bank report

China will continue trials through the Winter Olympics in Beijing (2022), expecting to launch next year; research on monetary and financial impacts advances, while improvements in data security and legislation creation will be needed

Nikkei Asia, 17.07.2021
Central Bank, July 2021

Category Icons

Agriculture and Environment

China’s national carbon trading market reaches US $32.48 million on opening day, with participation from 2,225 power-generation companies

Representing 40% of China’s energy-related carbon emissions, over 4.1 million tons of quotas were traded – averaging US $ 7.92/ton vs. EU’s US $38.60/ton in 2020 – in what will become the world’s largest carbon market

Global Times, 17.07.2021
Caixin, 15.07.2021

Science and Technology

Huawei more than doubles Chinese market share in cloud computing, tying with Tencent (11%) and trailing behind Alibaba (40.6%, Q4 of 2020)

Shifting from hardware to services (less affected by sanctions), Huawei Cloud grew 168% last year; cloud services grew 50% in China to reach US $19.4 billion (2020), behind the US

Nikkei Asia, 16.07.2021

China boosts training of domestic semiconductor engineers, towards adding 230,000 workers to the sector (total of 745,000) by 2022

Amid US sanctions, “chip schools” across China are partnering with industry heavyweights like Huawei, SMIC, and US-based Synopsis to meet growing industry needs and achieve technological self-reliance

South China Morning Post, 16.07.2021
Nikkei Asia, 07.07.2021

National Politics

Chinese big tech companies sign anti-monopoly agreement, including “self-discipline”, fair competition, and consumer protection, amid government’s regulatory push

Alibaba, Tencent, and Bytedance are among the 33 companies that made the pledge at Beijing’s China Internet Conference; companies like Kuaishou and Tencent have begun to reduce overtime in controversial 996 culture (9am to 9pm, 6-day workweeks)

South China Morning Post, 15.07.2021
South China Morning Post, 25.06.2021

Government launches pilot project of “common prosperity” in Zhejiang province to address regional inequalities and expand middle class

By 2025, the province of 65 million people aims to increase GDP/capita by 30% (to US $20.340), as well as invest in education, health, and advanced technology; after eradicating poverty, reducing inequality is a national goal

Global Times, 19.07.2021
CGTN, 28.06.2021
Caixin Global, 11.06.2021

People’s Life and Culture

Grandparents who move to cities to raise grandchildren comprise 43% of elderly migrant population, which grew from 5 to 13 million (2000-15)

In keeping with traditional values, retirees hope to support their adult children, but challenges include differences in language, social habits, and opinions about child-rearing, and feelings of isolation and homesickness

The World of Chinese, 17.07.2021

China’s successful space program begins to challenge US hegemony over space exploration in the popular imagination

Fashion, toys, fast food, and cinema reference the country’s space program, which makes use of Chinese mythology, such as Chang’e lunar mission named after moon goddess; Liu Cixin and other science fiction writers gain international fame

The Conversation, 26.06.2021
The Diplomat, 26.03.2021

Mars rover “Zhurong” (God of fire) takes a selfie [CNSA via CGTN]