No. 68 | 18.09.2021

“Ghost city” of Kangbashi in Inner Mongolia, 2019 [Caixin/Chen Liang]


President Xi announces additional donation of over 100 million vaccine doses for developing countries this year

China provided one billion doses to over 100 countries and pledges to reach two billion by year-end, adding to US $100 million donation to COVAX; WHO calls for G20 to fulfill their commitment to distribute vaccines

CGTN, 10.09.2021

CGTN, 09.09.2021

China opposes military coup in Guinea and calls for release of president Alpha Condé, amid region’s growing instability

Home to the world’s largest undeveloped iron deposit in Simandou, Guinea is the second largest producer of bauxite (essential material for aluminum), supplying 50% of imports to China, the world’s largest producer and consumer of aluminum

South China Morning Post, 12.09.2021

Global Times, 06.09.2021


Coal price soars (US $177.50/t) due to increased demand from China and India, approaching 2008 all-time high (US $180/t)

Economic recovery and summer weather increase energy demand in both countries, which consume 65% of global coal; Chinese power distributors ask government for rate increase to avoid multi-million dollar losses

Nikkei Asia, 13.09.2021

South China Morning Post, 10.09.2021

Increasing demand for high-tech products drive up rare earth prices, expected to hit component manufacturer profits

Since September 2020, prices increased for praseodymium (73.7%), holmium (109.4%), and terbium (60.4%), and other essential metals for electronics, electric cars, wind turbines, etc.; China is the only country to control the whole supply chain, producing 85% of global refining outputs

National Politics

China commits to raising teachers’ salaries, compensating for longer working hours, and equalizing pay among civil servants of similar categories

Public school teachers’ salaries vary by region, but average annual income was about US $16,500 (2020); announcement comes after recent education reforms that reduced extracurricular activities and increased working hours for teachers

Government-led investment revives China’s “ghost cities”, attracting private businesses and residents through jobs, housing, and schools

As urban population grew from 18-64% (1978-2020), over-construction, debt, and insufficient migration created “ghost cities” like Kangbashi, Binhai, and Zhengdong, now home to 945,000 residents (up 27.5%, 2019-20) and manufacturing (iPhone, pharmaceuticals, automobile), driving up property prices tenfold in 10 years

Bloomberg, 02.09.2021

Category Icons

Agriculture and Environment

Government invested US $5.09 billion in subsidies for new energy vehicle (NEV) production in five years, but plans to reorganize sector

Aiming to make the industry more competitive globally, China will remove subsidies by the end of 2023 and encourage mergers of national companies; since January, NEV sales jumped 190% year-on-year, reaching 1.8 million units

Caixin Global, 08.09.2021

CGTN, 13.09.2021

China doubles target for next 5 years after failing to meet energy storage commitment with pumped-storage hydroelectricity (PSH)

Storage reached 31.5 of the 40GW planned for 2020, while 2025 target will increase to 62GW; China is the global leader in installed PSH storage capacity, but this system accounts for only 1.4% of the national grid

South China Morning Post, 13.09.2021

People’s Life and Culture

Art and sports training industry grow after government bans private tutoring sector from teaching core school subjects

National plan to increase weighting of art and physics in school exams also boosts art education – expected to reach US $46.4 billion market value by 2022 – but focus on grades may counter government goals to ease burden on students

Beijing Review, 10.09.2021

South China Morning Post, 05.09.2021

Xi Jinping’s “common prosperity” is rooted in ancient history of philanthropy carried out by politicians, scholars, and merchants

Under the Confucian ideal that the rich should contribute to the well-being of all, philanthropist Fan Li gave away fortunes three times 2,500 years ago and Song dynasty politician Fan Zhongyan turned his home into a school for the poor

The World of Chinese, 09.09.2021

A dance teacher with her students in Chongqing, 2021 [Xinhua via Beijing Review]

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