No. 79 | 11.12.2021

“Fuxing” China-Laos train departs Kunming Railway Station, 3 December 2021 []

Dear reader,

This week, our co-editor Marco Fernandes spoke about the history of anti-democratic interventions by the US in the Global South at the launch of the Ten Questions for American Democracy report by Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies, Renmin University (Beijing). See the full event here.

Dongsheng editorial collective


Chinese government and think tanks publish studies and organize events comparing democracy in the US and China

Days before Joe Biden’s “Summit for Democracy,” Chinese studies, such as Chongyang Institute’s Ten Questions for American Democracy, highlight domestic and international contradictions in the US system, including military invasions, support for coups d’état, and the power of capital in politics

CGTN, 06.12.2021

Read Chongyang Institute’s study, Ten Questions for American Democracy

China-Laos railway begins operations and is expected to increase trade between the countries from 1.2 to 3.7 million tonnes (2016-30)

The 1,035-km project aims to transform Laos into a logistics center in Southeast Asia; linking to the Belt and Road Initiative could increase Laos’s GDP by up to 21%, and reduce land transport costs by 40-50%

Global Times, 03.12.2021

CGTN, 28.11.2021

Ride-hailing platform Didi Global withdraws shares from New York Stock Exchange, six months after its US $4.4 billion Initial Public Offering

For risk of data being “maliciously exploited by foreign governments,” Chinese government mandates that large companies undergo cybersecurity review before seeking a listing abroad; Didi plans to list in Hong Kong

Nikkei Asia, 03.12.2021

National Politics

China announces merger of five companies and creates state-owned logistics giant (US $4.7 billion capital), in government push to strengthen state assets

China Logistics Group has 120 rail lines – with routes linking Asia and Europe – storage facilities covering 4.95 million m², and 3 million vehicles licensed in 30 Chinese provinces and major continents

Caixin Global, 07.12.2021


November imports (US $253.81 billion) exceed expectations and increase 31.7% year-on-year, while exports (US $325.53 billion) increase by 22%

Import growth results from global commodity price rise, including coal, to ease energy crisis; exports contributed to nearly half of Q3 GDP growth (4.9%) and donations of vaccines and other goods skyrocket 464.7%

CGTN, 07.12.2021

Reaching 2060 carbon neutrality goal would see 81% reduction in China’s accumulated climate change losses (or US $134 trillion) by 2100

China’s climate warming (0.27°C per decade) is significantly higher than global average and country suffers $50 billion/year (0.4% of GDP) of losses over the past decade, according to Tsinghua University study

Caixin Global, 01.12.2021

Read Tsinghua University’s report

Category Icons

Agriculture and Environment

After shipment delays, China’s soybean imports from the US in 2021/22 are expected to drop by 20% year-on-year (<30 million tonnes)

Hurricane Ida caused an 81% decrease of US shipments to China, benefitting producers of Brazilian soybeans, which are cheaper and have higher protein content; pork price recovery may increase total soybean consumption used in animal feed

The Economic Times, 03.12.2021

China’s 2021 grain production (682.9 million tonnes) hits record and surpasses 2020’s (650 million tonnes), despite floods and droughts

News comes amid concerns from analysts about food security due to rising global food prices and geopolitical tensions; despite stable domestic production, China relies heavily on corn, cotton, soybeans, and sugar imports

South China Morning Post, 06.12.2021

People’s Life and Culture

New technologies and national braille libraries serve China’s 17 million visually-impaired people who continue to face barriers and discrimination

“New Braille” using pinyin was standardized in 1953, but only 10% of China’s visually-impaired – 10 of 17 million of whom have partial vision – can read braille; government-supported new devices include audiobook listeners, smart-route detectors, and smart glasses that can read text

The World of Chinese, 05.12.2021

China Daily, 14.11.2021

Popular and inexpensive bicycle rental services struggle to survive in Chinese cities, despite promising 2015 start and stricter regulations since 2017

Relying on a billion-dollar investment (US $4.5 billion) mostly from Big Tech, the shared bikes reached 23 million by 2018, but leading companies failed due to the sector’s low profitability; new companies are launching electric bikes and expanding app services

Sixth Tone, 30.11.2021

South China Morning Post, 27.12.2020

Shared bicycles on Shanghai sidewalk, 2017 [Visual China via Caixin Global]

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