Meng Wanzhou welcomed at the Bao’an International Airport in Shenzhen, 25 September 2021 [Jin Liwang/Xinhua]
In this edition, we’re sharing with you what members of Dongsheng News have been working on.
In conversation with Rania Khalek, Kambale Musavuli and Dongsheng’s Mikaela Erskog debunk myths on China’s role in Africa and Western interventions on the continent (in English). Marco Fernandes was interviewed by João Pedro Stedile, a leader of Brazil’s Landless Workers’ Movement (MST), going behind the headlines on topics from Evergrande to China’s foreign policy and its impact on the Global South (in Portuguese). Tings Chak talks about China’s poverty alleviation in the context of the US’s “new cold war” against China, along with historian Vijay Prashad and economist Richard Wolff (in English).
Check out the powerful panels at the China and the Left conference organized by Qiao Collective, The People’s Forum, CodePink, and the Monthly Review (in English).
As a treat, this week’s News on China links to Zhang Liping’s 2018 series for Sixth Tone on the history and future of China’s favorite liquor, Maotai, and her visit to Maotai City.
Finally, as the People’s Republic of China celebrates its 72nd anniversary, News on China will also take a one-week break, returning after the Chinese national holiday.
—Dongsheng editorial collective
To circumvent the Evergrande crisis, Beijing asks state-backed companies to buy the builders’ assets, while local governments control its revenue
Among many deals, Guangzhou’s state-owned construction company is considering purchasing a soccer stadium (US $1.9 billion) and surrounding condominiums; municipalities in 10 provinces centrally manage the company’s cash flow to ensure continuity of projects
Over 20 provinces and regions face power cuts, mostly affecting heavy industry, while authorities vow to prioritize power supply for people’s needs
Due to soaring coal prices, coal plants reduce production to avoid losses, but the government agrees to increase electricity rates by up to 10%; state measures towards carbon emission goals are among the factors
HNA Group founder Chen Feng and CEO Tang Xiandong are arrested days after the restructuring of one of China’s largest private conglomerates
HNA ballooned with Hainan Airlines’ success and massive loans to buy assets – majority Deutsche Bank stake and 25% of Hilton Group – accruing US $77.3 billion in debt; part of group will be acquired by state-owned companies
South China Morning Post, 24.09.2021
Yuan Renguo, ex-chairman of state-owned beverage giant Kweichow Moutai, is given a lifetime sentence for receiving US $17.5 million in bribes
Yuan gave distribution privileges of the liquor, a national symbol commonly gifted in business and politics, with bottles costing up to US $2,700; anti-corruption policy targeted the custom, but company remains the world’s most valuable beverage-maker (US $260 billion, 2020)
US drops extradition charges against Huawei’s finance chief Meng Wanzhou, who returns to China after three years in Canadian detention
In 2018, Canadian authorities arrested Huawei founder’s daughter, at the behest of the US, on charges of violating sanctions against Iran, for which Meng pleaded not guilty but acknowledged wrongdoing; Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor – convicted for spying – left China hours after
Accusations against IMF managing director Kristalina Georgieva represent anti-China pressure from the US Congress, says Jeffrey Sachs
Republicans allege that Georgieva – as then head of World Bank – pressured her staff to improve China’s “Doing Business” ranking, denied by lead economist; China increased from 31st to 25th (2020-21) in rank, now canceled by current (Republican) director
Agriculture and Environment
New hybrid rice variety – resistant to diseases, floods, and saline-alkaline soils – is featured at the 2021 Chongqing Harvest Festival
Cultivated alongside fish, shrimp, and crayfish farming, the 2-meter tall “Giant Rice” is increasing peasants’ income while combating food insecurity; festival attracted over 100,000 visitors who participated in harvest-related activities
Chinese scientists succeed in synthesizing starch from carbon dioxide for the first time ever
According to a Chinese Academy of Sciences paper, synthetic starch production could save over 90% of the necessary arable land, reducing pesticide use and carbon emissions; the average age of the young team of scientists is 30 years
People’s Life and Culture
Chinese people enthusiastically welcome Meng Wanzhou home after 1,028 days in Canadian detention
A trending topic receiving 1.5 billion online views, Meng’s return was met with hundreds gathered at the Shenzhen airport carrying banners and singing patriotic songs, with live broadcast reaching 100 million people
Parents are satisfied with new education reforms aimed at easing the burden on students, according to Ministry of Education surveys
Surveys of 108,000 elementary and middle schools show that 96.3% of schools are offering after-school activities to assist working parents, 97.5% of the surveyed parents (57 million) are satisfied with “double reduction” policies
2021 Chinese Farmers’ Harvest Festival in Dazu, Chongqing [Dazu Media]
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