No. 140 | 25.03.2023

Xi Jinping and Putin at the Kremlin, Moscow, 21.03.2023 [Xinhua/Xie Huanch]


On Xi Jinping’s visit, Putin says Russia-China relations are at their highest level in history

Presidents signed agreement to boost economic cooperation by 2030 that will deepen ties in eight strategic areas, mainly finance, industry, and technology; Xi and Putin agreed on almost all parameters for the construction of the new “Power of Siberia 2” pipeline capable of delivering 50 billion m³ of natural gas per year

Statements to the press by the presidents of Russia and China, 21.03.2023

Russia Today, 22.03.2023

Xi and Putin advocate negotiations as the solution to Ukraine crisis and defend central role of the UN

The Russian president says Russia and China are working to create a more just and democratic multipolar world order and that the China peace plan can be taken as a basis for a peaceful settlement; both have spoken out against imposing unilateral sanctions without UN Security Council authorization

Statements to the press by the presidents of Russia and China, 21.03.2023

Xinhua, 22.03.2023

National Politics

For the first time, Hong Kong is developing an industrial policy with an initial fund of US$7.65 billion

By 2032, it will seek to increase R&D spending to 2% of GDP, tech startups to 7,000, the number of innovation and technology professionals to 100,000, and manufacturing’s contribution to GDP to 5%; in the 2023–24 budget, US$382.27 billion will go to the development of AI and quantum computing

South China Morning Post, 19.03.2023

The government published two texts on sexual harassment in the workplace, giving greater emphasis to the perception of the victim

Penalties for harassers range from transfers to positions where the victim cannot be contacted, termination of the employment contract to prosecution of the case; according to a 2021 survey, more than 70% of the 2,500 respondents had experienced sexual harassment in the workplace at least once, with 75% of those cases occurring in public areas of the company

Caixin Global, 14.03.2023


Consumption grows 3.5% and industry, 2.4% in the first two months of 2023 year-on-year, but urban unemployment rose to 5.6%

While exports fell 6.8%, investments in infrastructure and manufacturing grew 9% and 8.1%; the housing sector fell 5.7% year-on-year in the period, showing a recovery compared to December where the drop was 12.2%

Financial Times, 15.03.2023

China’s central bank will reduce banks’ compulsory deposit to 7.6%, which will inject 500 billion yuan (US$72.6 billion) in liquidity into the market

Measure will mean financial relief for large and medium-sized banks and may help reduce lending rates; officials and regulators warn that consumer demand is still weak, business expectations are subdued and the risk of external shocks has been increasing

South China Morning Post, 17.03.2023

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Agriculture and Environment

Scientists in China develop a new type of biodegradable and bio-recyclable glass

Researchers at the Chinese Academy of Sciences have manufactured a family of eco-friendly glasses using amino acids or peptides of biological origin; according to the study, published in the journal Science Advances, the protein molecules can degrade and be reused in nature by small organisms, unlike standard glass made from a combination of sand, limestone and other chemicals

Forbes, 17.03.2023

CGTN, 19.03.2023

Science and Technology

Chinese tech giant Baidu introduced Ernie BOT, a language model similar to ChatGPT

Among its core capabilities are creative writing and Chinese language comprehension; as one of China’s largest search engines, Baidu has access to a wealth of user data that allows it to train language models effectively, and it is also one of the few AI companies in the world with control over all stages of manufacturing

The China Academy, 17.03.2023

People’s Life and Culture

Following a new gala on March 15, ministries and regulators began investigating companies that have violated consumer rights

Every year, CCTV sends investigation teams to gather information from suspect companies and then reveals the results in the annual TV program, known as Gala 3.15; some of this year’s complaints were about counterfeit imported rice, abuse of personal data on the internet, and scamming the elderly

Global Times, 16.03.2023

The World of Chinese, 17.03.2023

One-third of China’s 150 million people aged 60 to 69 are still working, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics

Sixty percent work in agriculture, forestry, and fishing, while the rest are mainly engaged in manufacturing, construction, and retail sales; most of them live in rural areas, although a survey last year found that 70% of retirees in urban areas would be willing to return to work

Yicai Global, 17.03.2023

A 64-year-old rural worker in the village of Baiping, in central China [Yusuke Hinata]

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No. 139 | 18.03.2023


Two Sessions

The Two Sessions concluded last Saturday, March 11, with some proposals for ambitious changes and the re-election for a third term of President Xi Jinping. One of the ideas running through the meetings was that of “high-quality development,” considered the “first and foremost” task in China’s modernization process.

The principle is understood as innovative, coordinated, green, open development for all, and besides guiding the debates, it inspired several concrete proposals by the more than 5,000 legislators and policy advisors who attended the meetings.

In this issue, we continue with a summary of the annual meetings of the National People’s Congress and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference.

Concurrent meetings received more than 13,000 proposals and suggestions focused on the steady, quality growth of the Chinese economy

Proposals ranged from real economy development and pollution control to accessibility to high-quality medical resources; after being elected, Xi Jinping emphasized that the country needs to implement a people-centered development philosophy, improve the income distribution system, improve the social security system, and basic public services

Xinhua, 13.03.2023

CGTN, 13.03.2023

New National Data Office will be charged with regulating the digital economy and implementing a national big data strategy, including infrastructure

New regulator to oversee key aspects of data governance and will also monitor data operations of big internet companies to prevent recent breaches like DiDi’s; new body will be under the National Development and Reform Commission, China’s top economic planning authority

South China Morning Post, 07.03.2023

South China Morning Post, 08.03.2023

Congress approved the creation of the National Financial Regulatory Administration, aiming to ensure the safety and efficiency of the financial services sector

The body will take over all day-to-day supervision of the central bank’s financial holdings and financial services, except for the securities sector, and will also unify supervision of consumer rights protection; reformulation aims to allow the central bank to focus on the administration of two pillars: formulation and implementation of monetary policy, and macroprudential management

Caixin Global, 13.03.2023

The Ministry of Science and Technology will be restructured with the goal of technological self-sufficiency as the main challenge

The agency will manage less research funds to focus on policy formulation, which was a demand of the sector; a Central Commission for Science and Technology will be created, directly under the CCP and with greater authority than the ministry, which will be its executive body

Nikkei Asia, 15.03.2023


China’s mediation in historic deal between Iran and Saudi Arabia is welcomed by Persian Gulf countries and the UN

After seven years, countries will resume diplomatic relations in negotiations that Beijing had been secretly articulating; China’s non-hegemonic policy of non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries has been well received in the region; in the tripartite declaration, the countries expressed their willingness to make every effort to improve regional and international peace and security

Global Times, 11.03.2023

China Daily, 15.03.2023


Weak foreign demand leads to a drop in China’s exports in January and February, which are down 6.8% year on year

High inflation in the US and Europe – to where exports fell 21.8% and 12.2%, respectively – is one of the causes; however, in February, China’s automakers exported 329,000 vehicles, representing an 82.8% increase compared to the same month in 2022

Nikkei Asia, 07.03.2023

CGTN, 10.03.2023

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Agriculture and Environment

In 2022, China planted 3.83 million hectares of trees and treated 3.21 million hectares of degraded grasslands

China has only 6.6% of the world’s vegetated area, but it accounts for a quarter of the world’s net increase in green areas and its forest cover rate is around 24%, or about 231 million hectares; this year, the government plans to increase forested areas by 3.2 million hectares, and plant and/or restore 3.46 million hectares of grass

China Daily, 13.03.2023

US beef exports to China exceeded Australia’s for the first time, with 192,000 over 185,000 tons in 2022

Annual US wine and cotton exports to China also surpassed Australia’s; Australia’s sales to China have plummeted in recent years amid rising tensions between the two nations and closer political ties between the Oceania country and the United States

South China Morning Post, 10.03.2023

People’s Life and Culture

China’s modern feminism is considered an integral part of the country’s construction and modernization

In the early 20th century, women demonstrated against the archaic practice of footbinding, and women’s armies were part of the 1911 revolution and the 1949 communist revolution, which encouraged women to enter the workforce in factories and agriculture; today, their concerns include gender-based violence, family, or maintaining their rights to land after marriage in rural areas

The World of Chinese, 11.03.2023

Maternity hotels modernize the zuoyuezi tradition, where new mothers must follow a set of rules for a month after giving birth

This is an old tradition whereby the mother is not allowed to leave the house, read, watch TV, or wash her hair or eat certain foods; maternity hotels do not abandon the tradition but offer an alternative to ease tensions with relatives who have stricter views

Sixth Tone, 13.03.2023

A maternity hotel in Wuhan, Hubei province, 2018 [Cheng Ying/VCG]

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No. 138 | 11.03.2023



Foreign Minister Qin Gang says if US continues to speed down the wrong path “there will surely be conflict and confrontation”

In his first annual press conference, Qin argued that developing countries should have greater representation in international affairs, as they have more than 80% of the population and more than 70% of global economic growth; on the sidelines of the Two Sessions, President Xi accused US of leading campaign to contain and suppress China’s development

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China, 07.03.2023

China Daily, 07.03.2023

Ethiopia turns to China for debt restructuring after getting no breakthrough via G20 initiative since 2021

A high-level Ethiopian delegation met with key Chinese financial institutions and creditors, including China Exim Bank, which from 2000 to 2021 lent much of the US$13.7 billion Ethiopia owes China; Ghana is also making progress in negotiations with the country to restructure a US$1.9 billion debt

South China Morning Post, 04.03.2023

National Politics

Premier Li Keqiang announces 5% growth target for 2023 in a report at the National People’s Congress

In an exit speech, Li said the government aims to create 12 million urban jobs by 2023, keep unemployment at 5.5%, and promote income growth for urban and rural residents through different mechanisms; China will also double public investment in basic research in the next five years with the goal of building self-sufficiency in science and technology

South China Morning Post, 05.03.2023

Reuters, 06.03.2023

Nearly 100 representatives from US sanctions targeted companies attend Two Sessions, signaling China’s push to strengthen the semiconductor industry 

Seeking to make their supply chains more sanctions-resistant, the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference introduced a new sector for the environment and natural resources; of the 5,150 delegates, just over 80 are billionaires, while the top executives of Big Tech did not attend the meetings

Nikkei, 07.03.2023

Financial Times, 04.03.2023


By 2023, the government forecasts growth in fiscal revenue of 6.7%, totaling 21.7 trillion yuan (US$3.1 trillion)

In a report to the Two Sessions, the government presented an inflation target around 3%; in order to avoid risks, a broad reform of the financial regulatory system was announced, with the creation of a “super-organ” to supervise the 400 trillion yuan (US$57.7 trillion) in banking and insurance assets in the country

Yicai Global, 06.03.2023

South China Morning Post, 07.03.2023

With more than 700 million users in China, Douyin, the original version of TikTok, competes with Alibaba and Meituan in the e-commerce market

The app promotes online shopping to monetize traffic in China, while in the West, regulatory and logistical obstacles prevent the company from developing such a business model; outside China, the app has more than one billion users, but fights against attempts to ban it in the US, Europe, and Canada

Caixin Global, 06.03.2023

Caixin Global, 14.10.2022

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Agriculture and Environment

The Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference incorporated a new working group focused on environment and natural resources

The platform will facilitate dialogue and exchange of environmental proposals and policies among different sectors, which until now used to be scattered across several CPPCC groups; the group is composed of government officials, experts, academics, and workers from energy and chemical companies

China Daily, 04.03.2023

Less developed regions and provinces in the west of the country supply renewable energy to large cities such as Beijing

The region-to-region matching system, used in the poverty reduction campaign to get developed areas to cooperate with undeveloped areas, is invested in the energy transition, as western areas are very rich in renewable energy resources; Beijing shifted 18 billion kWh of green energy from other regions in 2021 (720 million in 2013)

China Daily, 06.03.2023

People’s Life and Culture

With consumption picking up, demand for labor and recruitment difficulties are increasing, especially in the manufacturing sector

China is experiencing a shift in the aspirations of workers with migrants preferring to work in their hometowns and young people avoiding low-wage, labor-intensive jobs; on the other hand, the new energy sector is also facing a shortage of skilled labor

Think China, 06.03.2023

Amid rising tension between China and the US, Chinese diplomats become social media celebrities

Online forums have thousands of posts related to one of the Foreign Ministry Spokesperson, Wang Wenbin; since 2019, both Wang and colleagues Mao Ning and Hua Chunying have increasingly used their personal accounts to express the government’s positions

What’s on Weibo, 27.02.2023

Hua Chunying, a spokesperson for China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has more than two million followers on Twitter

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No. 137 | 04.03.2023

He Jiaolong, vice director of the Culture and Tourism Bureau of Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture, Xinjiang Autonomous Region [Xinhua]


China presents a position paper for a political solution to the Ukraine crisis, involved parties welcome the initiative

Proposal containing 12 points, calls for an end to Cold War mentality and unilateral sanctions; Kremlin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the document is consistent with Russia’s approach and Ukrainian First Deputy Foreign Minister Emine Dzhaparova said they value any initiative that truly aims at peace

Xinhua, 24.02.2023

Sputnik Brasil, 27.02.2023

Al Jazeera, 24.02.2023

Iraq, world’s third largest oil exporter (US$ 115.7 billion in 2022) will accept yuan in energy trade with China

The Middle Eastern country faces dollar shortages and currency devaluation from US central bank sanctions against Iran; in 2022, China — which is expected to increase its influence on global oil prices — imported 55.5 million tons of oil from Iraq, which is its third largest source

Global Times, 23.02.2023

AL Monitor, 23.02.2023

Yicai Global, 23.02.2023

National Politics

China unveils plan to make strong breakthroughs in digital development by 2025 and be at the global forefront by 2035

The “Overall Design Plan for China’s Digital Construction” will seek to deepen the integration of digital technology and the real economy, and apply it in sectors such as agriculture, transportation, and energy, among others; China launched 887,000 5G bases last year, totaling 2.3 million, 60% of the global total

Global Times, 27.02.2023

China Daily, 28.02.2023

China upgrades international law studies seeking to cultivate a new generation of professionals by 2035 and to alleviate the severe shortage of experts in the field

The discipline was upgraded from second to first grade, which means it will have more resources, as well as more recognition and prestige for researchers and scholars in the field; the upgrade will also seek to bring legal education in line with the country’s political direction and away from Western views

South China Morning Post, 28.02.2023


China’s Central Bank transferred 1.13 trillion yuan (US$162 billion) in profits to the Ministry of Finance for the government to increase fiscal spending

The funds are mainly revenues generated by the country’s foreign exchange reserves in recent years; they have mainly been earmarked in tax refunds for companies and transfer payments from the central government to local governments

Caixin Global, 25.02.2023

Government initiates pilot program to boost private investment in the real estate sector and help developers reduce debt, leverage ratios, and recover liquidity

This aims to mobilize private funds to acquire real estate assets that are unlikely to be sold in the short term; the funds must raise at least 30 million yuan (US$4.5 million) in the first round of paid-in capital funding

Yicai Global, 21.03.2023

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Agriculture and Environment

China will expand pilot project areas for genetically modified soy and corn, a move seen as a significant step towards legalizing GM crops

There are concerns in China about the unverified health risks of genetic modification technology, as well as the fact that it would make China dependent on the US, which controls much of the technology and its intellectual property; tests will only involve animal feed and not grain for human consumption

Global Times, 21.02.2023

The Economist, 23.02.2023

Brazil suspends beef exports to China due to a case of “mad cow”

The South American country was responsible for 41% of Chinese beef imports in 2022, some 1.105 million tons; although it is not known when trade will resume, the suspension would be temporary, generating an increase in prices and imports from countries such as Australia, Argentina, Uruguay, and New Zealand

Global Times, 23.02.2023

People’s Life and Culture

Local public officials become online influencers to promote tourism in their regions

Some of them joined the trend of wearing ancient Chinese clothing in natural landscapes and others, in addition to tourism, promote local agricultural products; one of the most famous officials raised 100 million yuan (US$ 14.7 million) for local businesses in her live broadcasts

Beijing Review, 24.02.2023

Schools across the country strengthen the application of digital technologies in education, incorporating virtual reality and robotics

An online educational platform launched in 2022 received more than one billion visitors from 200 countries and provides access to quality educational resources for rural schools and universities in western China; all schools in the country have internet access and 99.9% of them have 100 Mbps bandwidth

People’s Daily, 27.02.2023

Students learn to program and assemble robots in Jinxi, Jiangxi province [People’s Daily/Deng Xingdong]

Dongsheng’s interventions and productions this week:

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No. 136 | 24.02.2023

Wang Yi meets with Vladimir Putin at the Kremlin, Moscow, Russia, 22.02.2023 [Xinhua/Cao Yang]

Dear readers,

Yesterday, we launched our new publication Dongsheng Explains. Each month, we will publish an original article that introduces core concepts, processes, and phenomena in China that we think are of interest to international readers. Each topic, chosen by the editorial team, aims to deepen our collective understanding of Chinese society, history, and contemporary reality. In addition, each publication will be accompanied by an explanatory video, uploaded on our YouTube channel.

We hope you like the first issue of Dongsheng Explains on the Two Sessions (Lianghui). Please read, watch, and share!

Dongsheng Editorial Collective


Top chinese diplomat Wang Yi says Sino-Russian relations are rock solid and won’t accept threats from third parties

In a meeting with Putin, Wang defended a political solution to Ukraine’s crisis. In response to US allegations that China is considering sending weapons to Russia, the Chinese foreign ministry said that it is the United States, not China, that is endlessly sending weapons to the battlefield

Sputnik, 20.02.2023

South China Morning Post, 20.02.2023

Chinese government publishes report denouncing US “unilateral, selfish, and regressive hegemonic” practices that threaten world peace and stability

The text US Hegemony and Its Perils analyzes the use of the dollar as a political weapon, the arbitrary use of force, looting, exploitation and false narratives, among other abusive practices; it also expresses that the US “extended the concept of national security too far, abused export controls and forced unilateral sanctions on others”

Global Times, 20.02.2023

Report “U.S. hegemony and its perils”, 20.02.2023

National Politics

To stimulate economic growth, provincial governments plan to increase annual hiring of civil servants by 16%, totaling 192,000 positions

The central government also announced that it plans to hire a record number of almost 40,000 civil servants this year, of which 25,000 (67.4%), will be university graduates; the measure seeks to stimulate economic growth and the labor market, especially among young people, as urban youth unemployment has reached an all-time high in 2022 (19.9% in July)

Caixin Global, 14.02.2023

The city of Guangzhou will create two US$29 billion investment funds to support the high-tech industry

They will focus on activities related to semiconductors, renewable energy, and advanced manufacturing and will also finance early-stage high-tech companies that can potentially revitalize the private sector; Anhui province and Xian municipality in Shaanxi announced similar plans last month

South China Morning Post, 21.01.2023


Local governments receive authorization to issue special bonds totaling 2.19 trillion yuan (US$321 billion), the highest in history

The share of special bonds issued before the Two Sessions — where the year’s economic targets are established — is already 50% higher than last year’s, but the expectation of an increase in issuances for the entire year is from 4 to 9.5% (up to 4 trillion yuan/US$586 billion); government seeks to advance investments in infrastructure to increase economic growth

Yicai Global, 14.02.2022

Profits of industrial private enterprises with core revenues of at least 20 million yuan (US$2.9 million) fell 7.2% in 2022

State companies, on the other hand, had an increase in profits for the second consecutive year, of 3%; at the end of the year, a record 18.5% of private companies were losing money — almost double compared to 8.8% in 2017 — while state-owned companies accounted for 44.8% of the capitalization of the top 100 listed companies in China

Nikkei, 14.02.2023

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Agriculture and Environment

Rising CO2 in the atmosphere may affect phosphorus levels in rice paddies, threatening food security

Researchers at the Chinese Academy of Sciences found that available phosphorus in the soil decreased by 27% between 2004 and 2018, on par with the increase in CO2 emissions; scientists from the same institution, together with peers from the US and Germany, proposed a method to achieve carbon neutrality in grain production

South China Morning Post, 19.02.2023

Xinhua, 20.02.2023

China’s solar industry output increased by 95% in 2022, reaching 1.4 trillion yuan (US$200 billion)

China’s PV power plants increased their production capacity from 87.41 to 392.61 GW in 2022; export of PV products increased by 80% to US$51.3 billion, and of that total, about 46% went to Europe, a year-on-year increase of 115%

Yicai Global, 17.02.2023

People’s Life and Culture

The tradition of giving money as a gift on special occasions is a central element of China’s rural culture and acts as a basis for social relations

This deeply rooted custom among the population can sometimes account for 50% of household expenses; in recent years, its increase has even outpaced that of per capita income, which in 2022 reached 20,133 yuan (US$2,955) for Chinese farmers, rising 67% in six years

Xinhua, 15.02.2023

Think China, 16.02.2023

China’s permanent medical team in Uganda celebrated its 40th anniversary and held a medical camp offering free medical care

Founded in 1983 – with more than 229 doctors and experts throughout its history – the team works alongside Ugandan doctors at the China-Uganda Friendship Hospital (funded by the Asian country in 2012), conducting joint research and training, and also providing health services in camps and hospitals in rural areas of the country

Xinhua, 19.02.2023

A Chinese doctor speaks with locals at a medical camp at Katosi in the Central Region district of Mukono, Uganda, 16.02.2023 [Hajarah Nalwadda/Xinhua]

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No. 135 | 18.02.2023



Despite increased tension between China and the US, bilateral trade hits a record in 2022, totaling US$690.6 billion

Exports to China increased by US$2.4 billion and imports from the country increased by US$31.8 billion, despite the steady imposition of export controls and the continuation of the Trump-era tariffs; China increased imports of soybeans and other foodstuffs, and the US imported more toys and other consumer products

Nikkei, 07.02.2023

The central banks of China and Brazil set up yuan clearing agreements in the South American country

The measure will allow companies and financial institutions in both countries to use the yuan for bilateral transactions; China has been Brazil’s largest trading partner for 13 consecutive years, and Brazil is China’s largest trading partner in Latin America, with bilateral trade exceeding US$100 billion for four consecutive years

CGTN, 07.02.2022

Russia’s National Wealth Fund (NWF) will scrap the euro, leaving it only with the Chinese yuan, rubles, and gold

In 2021, the country removed the dollar from the NWF currencies and the euro now occupies most of the reserves (39.7%), while in 2022, about half of Russia’s international reserves were blocked due to sanctions; the maximum proportion of the yuan in the US$148 billion fund will increase from 30% to 60%

Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation, 09.02.2022

National Politics

Representatives of the Kuomintang (KMT), the opposition party to Taiwan’s separatist government, visited Mainland China

Andrew Hsia, vice-chairman of the KMT, met with the CPC and both sides rejected “Taiwan independence”, defended the “one China” principle, and expressed their willingness to promote exchange and cooperation; tension in the strait worsened and communications were interrupted under the Democratic Progressive Party government

Global Times, 10.02.2023


Household savings reach record 17.8 trillion yuan (US$2.6 trillions) in 2022, nearly double 2021 levels

Chinese bank deposits increased 33%, about 26.3 trillion yuan (US$3.9 trillion) last year, a year-on-year increase of 6.59 trillion yuan (US$96 billion); excess savings from the domestic sector came mainly from lower consumer spending and reduced investment spending in areas such as housing and wealth management

China Daily, 14.02.2022

Caixin Global, 14.02.2022

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Agriculture and Environment

Researchers created a map of soybean nutrients distribution in China and propose a scheme of regionalization of the seeds quality

1,792 soybean samples from 29 provincial-level regions of China were collected between 2010 and 2017; through the quantification and analysis of crude oil, scientists identified areas with advantages for edible soybeans, other suitable for high-oil, high-yield soybeans, and regions where the grain has a high protein content

Xinhua, 02.02.2023 

Science and Technology

An unprecedented stealth drone design features functions that could be applied to the next generation of Chinese fighter aircraft

The new drone eliminates mechanical components such as ailerons, rudders, and elevators, and uses bursts of compressed air to maneuver; according to the research team that developed it, it could help drones evade radars more effectively

South China Morning Post, 08.02.2023

People’s Life and Culture

65 years ago, pinyin was introduced as a Chinese translation method on February 11, 1958

After coming to power in 1949, the Mao government sought to increase literacy and promote education, and after a long process of discussion, the pinyin system was created using the Latin alphabet; it was adopted by the UN in 1986 and today has become the global standard for translating Chinese

The China Project, 08.02.2023

Retirees in some provinces challenge health insurance cuts amid a nationwide restructuring that began in 2020

A crowd of retirees gathered outside Wuhan municipality to demonstrate against the reform under which they will receive almost 2,000 yuan (US$294) less per year; China is also discussing the gradual increase of the retirement age to 65 in 2055 for both men (today it is 60) and women (currently 50)

Caixin Global, 10.02.2023

Caixin Global, 10.02.2023

Viewed over 300 million times in a single day and broadcasted to 65% of Chinese cities, The Knockout becomes the most popular series in January

The show reflects the hard life of Chinese self-employed workers at the turn of the century; self-employment, including street vending, shot up in the reform period and the sector had to deal with organized crime and, at times, excessive regulations

Caixin Global, 11.02.2023

Scene from ‘The Knockout’, the most acclaimed Chinese drama of 2023 so far

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No. 134 | 11.02.2023

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mao Ning [Ministry of Foreign Affairs]


After 30 years, the US will once again have a major military presence in the Philippines, with a new agreement that will allow the installation of four military bases

Washington could go as far as sending troops and military equipment 800 km off the coast of Taiwan; a Chinese spokesperson said that the decision increases tension, endangers peace and stability in the region, and that Indo-Pacific countries need to avoid being coerced or used by the US

Global Times, 02.02.2023

South China Morning Post, 05.02.2023

China informed the US that the balloon entered its airspace completely accidentally and expressed strong dissatisfaction over its downing

The Pentagon confirmed that the weather research balloon posed no military or physical threat; Chinese Foreign Ministry said diplomatic teams should prudently manage unexpected situations and asked the US to handle the matter in a calm, professional, and restrained manner

Global Times, 06.07.2022

National Politics

Chinese outbound group travel is back, while Hong Kong and Macau will launch major tourism campaigns starting in March

As of 2019, China was the world’s largest outbound tourism market, with 155 million tourists and US$245 billion overseas; Hong Kong plans to give away 500,000 free airline tickets and Macau 120,000, and China will no longer require a negative COVID-19 result for travelers from those regions

CGTN, 06.02.2023

CGTN, 06.02.2023

Coastal industrial centers take measures to resume production after Chinese New Year holiday amid labor shortage

Guangdong will organize 14 trains and 380 buses to bring back 25,000 migrant workers; the pandemic has caused many people to prefer to work in their hometowns rather than in large cities due to lower costs and proximity to their families

Caixin Global, 03.02.2022


Shanghai residents had the highest purchasing power in China in 2022, averaging 79,610 yuan (US$11,809) per person

The figure for Beijing residents was 77,415 yuan (US$11,483), while the Tibet Autonomous Region recorded a growth of 6.9% – the fastest in the country – reaching 26,675 yuan (US$3,955); China’s per capita disposable income grew 5% in 2022, reaching 36,883 yuan (US$5,468)

Yicai Global, 03.02.2023

Foreign capital inflow in stocks on the Shenzhen and Shanghai exchanges in January reaches 131 billion yuan (US$19.4 billion) surpassing the entire year of 2022

Only in the first half of January, the net investment abroad in bonds and shares in China reached US$12.6 billion; the strengthening of the yuan, which has consolidated around 3% since the beginning of this year, is among the causes of greater investments

Xinhua, 03.02.2023

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Agriculture and Environment

Chinese scientists have successfully cloned three “super cows” and plan to build a herd of more than 1,000 in the next three years

Considered “highly productive”, Holstein breed’s clones are capable of producing 18 tons of milk per year and more than 100 tons in their lifetime; China imports 70% of its dairy cows, with an increasing demand as the middle class grows

Global Times, 31.01.2023

Ocean power facilities capacity can reach 350 GW by 2050 but construction costs remain the main obstacle

In 2022, the country’s first megawatt-scale tidal stream station was connected to Zhejiang’s network and is expected to generate at least 1 GWh per year; for experts, ocean energy is a triple win for China’s strategic goals of carbon neutrality, renewable energy, and high-end manufacturing

China Dialogue, 26.01.2023

Science and Technology

China becomes the third country – after Canada and the US – able to provide a complete computer system with quantum technology

Origin Quantum Computing’s Wuyuan features superconducting chip technology and uses elementary particles called quantum bits that replace the 0’s and 1’s used in traditional computing; founder of the company says the technology will produce visible benefits in everyday life in the next three to five years

South China Morning Post, 31.01.2023

People’s Life and Culture

The hospital ship of the People’s Liberation Army Navy “Ark of Peace” is back in operation after the pandemic

It is China’s first hospital ship and has 16 departments, eight operating rooms and more than 300 beds; it entered service in 2008, has treated more than 230,000 people from 43 countries and last November treated more than 13,000 patients from Indonesia on a seven-day mission

China Daily, 06.02.2023

China Daily, 20.11.2022

Peace Ark setting off for home after offering diagnosis and treatment to more than 13,000 patients in Indonesia, 18.11.2022 [Photo/Xinhua] 

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No. 133 | 04.02.2023

Bolivian President Luis Arce at the signing of the agreement with the Chinese business consortium, 20 January 2023 [Plurinational State of Bolivia]

Dear readers, 

Marco Fernandes participated in an RT interview, where he talked about the meeting between Scholz and Lula, Brazil’s refusal to send arms to Ukraine, the historic agreement between China and Bolivia for the manufacture of lithium batteries in the Andean country and Lula’s foreign policy priorities.

Gisela Cernadas shared data on the massive migration for the Chinese New Year in Barricada TV from Argentina (in Spanish).

Amadeus and Mika talked to Zambian economist Grieve Chelwa for The Crane: An Africa-China Podcast in the latest episode.

Dongsheng Editorial Collective


US reaches agreement with Japan and the Netherlands to restrict exports of advanced chip-making machines to China

Implementation will take months and Japanese semiconductor equipment market could be affected with possible retaliatory measures from China, which accounts for ⅓ of Japan’s sales in that sector; the Biden administration also stopped providing US companies with licenses to export to Huawei, heading toward a total ban on US technology sales to the Chinese giant

Nikkei, 29.01.2023

FT, 31.01.2023

Bolivia signs historic agreement with Chinese consortium led by CATL to manufacture lithium batteries

The Andean country has the largest lithium reserves in the world, with 21 million tons (23.6% of the total) and estimates that as of 2025 it will be able to produce 40,000 tons of lithium carbonate per year; CATL is the world’s largest producer of electric batteries and will invest more than US$1 billion in the project

Caixin Global, 26.01.2023

National Politics

Provinces will seek to boost growth by betting on domestic consumption, foreign investment and production incentives

Guangdong aims to develop 1,530 major construction projects with annual investment of 1 trillion yuan (US$ 148 billion) and Zhejiang will move forward with more than 1,000 major investment projects including advanced manufacturing, technological innovation, transportation and clean energy

Caixin Global, 30.01.2023

China announces expanded access to public services for rural migrants seeking to boost economic activity

The urban population is estimated at 65.22% but only 45.4% have an urban hukou, the registration China uses to ensure access to services such as public health and other entitlements for the population; the government also announced labor improvements in small and medium-sized cities to incentivize relocation

South China Morning Post, 30.01.2023


Foreign Direct Investment in China maintains steady growth of 6.3% in 2022, reaching 1.23 trillion yuan (US$ 18 billion)

The actual use of foreign capital in manufacturing increased 46.1% in 2022, reaching 323.7 billion yuan (US$ 47.72 billion), and high-tech industries increased 28.3%, accounting for 36.1% of all foreign capital used. Investment from the European Union had a significant growth of 92.2% by 2022

China Briefing, 20.01.2023

For the first time since records began in 1999, real estate investment is down in China

In 2022, the total drop was 10% (13.29 trillion yuan/US$ 1.98 tri), that of residential property investment was 9.5% (10 trillion yuan/US$ 1.5 tri), and that of land sales by area, 53.4% (100 million m²); survey shows housing prices will continue to fall in 2023

Caixin Global, 18.01.2023

Category Icons

Agriculture and Environment

China’s oil and gas consumption fell for the first time in decades in 2022

Oil demand fell by 3% (390,000 barrels per day) and natural gas demand by 0.7%, the first decline since 1990 and 1982 respectively. The International Energy Agency forecasts an increase of two million barrels per day in global oil demand by 2023, half of which will come from the Asian giant.

New York Times, 27.01.2023


After massive internal migration for Chinese New Year, no new COVID-19 variants emerged in China

The outbreak peaked in December and COVID-related deaths in hospitals peaked at 4,273 on January 4, dropping to 896 on January 23; separately, China approved two new domestically developed drugs for COVID-19 patients with mild to moderate symptoms

CGTN, 29.01.2023

Caixin Global, 31.01.2023

People’s Life and Culture

892 million trips were recorded in 23 days for the first Spring Festival with no post-pandemic domestic travel restrictions

This represents a 56% increase over last year but still remains 46.9% below 2019; in January, cinema saw a year-on-year increase in revenue of 270%, box office hit a record 10 billion yuan (US$ 1.48 billion) and the three most watched films were Chinese

China Daily, 30.01.2023

China Daily, 02.02.2023

Football is failing to develop in China and the government is trying to promote it with national programs similar to the incentive of Olympic disciplines

Between 2014 and 2022, specialized football schools increased sixfold to 30,000, thanks to public investment in infrastructure, but some of these schools do not have coaches or use the field for other purposes; families tend to prioritize university education and do not see soccer as a professional career

Caixin Global, 20.01.2023

Primary school students train in Jianhu county, Jiangsu province, 03 September 2022 [VCG]

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No. 132 | 21.01.2023


Dear readers,

This week, Tings Chak was again on Dispatches, Rania Khalek’s program on Breakthrough News. They talked about the current COVID-19 situation in China and the distortion of the Western media. You can watch it here.

Marco Fernandes talked to Radio Sputnik about rumors of an alleged attempt by China to set up a naval base in Argentina and what is at stake in China-Latin America relations now. Listen here (the interview starts at 1:36:08). 

A new episode of our podcast The Crane is on the air. In this episode, Mika Erskog and Amadeus Musumali talk about the latest visit of China’s new Foreign Minister Qing Gang to Africa. Listen here.

We invite you to follow us on our new Facebook page by clicking here.

News on China will take a break for the Chinese New Year holiday. Our next newsletter will be sent out on February 4.

Dongsheng Editorial Collective


US-Japan alliance for military expansion in the Indo-Pacific poses threat to peace in the region, experts warn

At a meeting between top diplomatic and defense officials from both countries, China was cited as the “biggest strategic challenge,” while the Japanese government will approve a record military budget of more than US$50 billion; the summit between Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida was reportedly “very productive” over semiconductor export restrictions to China

Global Times, 12.01.2023

Global Times, 14.01.2023

Reuters, 18.01.2023

National Politics

China records nearly 60,000 covid-related deaths between December 8 and January 12

The average age of the victims in this period was 80.3 years old, with 90.1% of them over the age of 65. The country reached a peak in the number of severe cases of covid (128,000) on January 5, and is now prioritizing strengthening technical exchanges and cooperation on pandemic prevention and control with the World Health Organization

Global Times, 14.01.2023

Global Times, 15.01.2023


China managed to avoid the inflationary shock that affected most Western economies in 2022, with the consumer price index rising 2%

State food stocks, reduction of tariffs on coal imports, control of speculation, and subsidies to vulnerable populations are among the measures that have prevented strong increases in inflation such as in the US (6.5%) or the UK (10.5%); economists believe that inflation will be high in China this year, but still below that of the largest economies

South China Morning Post, 12.01.2023

Xinhua, 17.01.2023

China’s Gross Domestic Product increases by 3% in 2022 and reaches  US$17.9 trillion

Industrial production grew 3.6% and the value of imports and exports increased 7.7%; the number of new jobs in urban areas exceeded 12 million, exceeding the target of 11 million, and the disposable income of urban families had a real growth of 1.9% and of rural families, 4.2%

National Bureau of Statistics of China, 17.01.2023

China Briefing, 17.01.2023

Science and Technology

China surpasses US in Artificial Intelligence (AI) research output and quality, with Tencent, Alibaba, and Huawei among the top 10 companies

Chinese articles on AI exploded from about 25,000 in 2012 to about 135,000 in 2021, with 7,401 articles from China among the most cited – surpassing the US by 70%; in another milestone, China became the first country to register more than 3 million patents in 2022

Nikkei, 16.01.2023

South China Morning Post, 17.01.2023

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Agriculture and Environment

China’s soybean imports peaked in 2020 and will continue to decline gradually through 2030

Imports saw an 8.1% year-on-year drop through November 2022, amid Beijing’s efforts to ensure food security; China, which is the world’s largest importer of soybeans accounting for more than 60% of global trade, seeks to increase its domestic production by 40% by 2025

South China Morning Post, 10.01.2023

Corn-based ethanol fuel production may affect agricultural demands and, consequently, food security

China faces a shortfall in corn supply, and experts posit that more ethanol could be sourced from sugarcane, cassava, and corn stalks as it seeks to eliminate reliance on grain imports; more than 60% of the corn China uses is for animal feed and 20-30% is allocated for industrial use

South China Morning Post, 16.01.2023

People’s Life and Culture

For the first time in 60 years, China’s population decreases and stands at 1.411 billion in 2022

With a drop of 9.98% in births and a growth rate of -0.6 per thousand people, the country has 850,000 fewer inhabitants due to cultural changes, high costs of raising children, and economic slowdown; with a shrinking labor force, economic growth will depend more on increasing productivity

South China Morning Post, 17.01.2023

TV adaptation of acclaimed author Liu Cixin’s The Three Body Problem premieres in China

A 30-episode series has received praise online for being faithful to the original science-fiction novel that, because of its popularity, has generated offers for adaptation in various formats, including a Netflix version; critics claim that Chinese heroism differs from Western heroism by its focus on collective interests

Global Times, 15.01.2023

Sixth Tone, 16.01.2023

Chunwan, the television gala broadcast for the Chinese New Year, is the most watched program in the world and is a tradition for the Chinese people

Both at home and abroad, millions of families watch the program that began in 1983 and became a Guinness World Record; it is currently broadcast in more than 170 countries and regions and seeks to expand in digital media to reach new generations

Global Times, 16.01.2023

2022 Spring Festival Gala [CGTN]

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No. 131 | 14.01.2023

A Hong Kong boy arrives in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, 08.01.2023 [VCG]

Dear readers,

On January 12, Tings Chak participated in a livestream with CODEPINK co-founder Jodie Evans to talk about her experience in China over the past three years (watch here).

This week, journalist Li Jingjing published the cuts of interviews made at the end of the year with Mika Erskog on Africa’s foreign relations (here), Marco Fernandes on political shifts in Latin America (here), and Tings Chak on Western media and China (here). 

Dongsheng Editorial Collective


President Xi and Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos set out to resume cooperation in oil and gas exploration in the South China Sea

14 agreements were signed – including the creation of a diplomatic communication mechanism to resolve maritime issues – and according to Marcos’ office, there was US$22.8 billion in investment pledges from Chinese investors for renewable energy, electric vehicles, mineral processing and agriculture

Global Times, 05.01.2023

Nikkei, 05.01.2023

Global Times, 06.01.2023

China reopens its borders after three years of the pandemic, and countries like South Korea, the US, and Japan impose restrictions on Chinese travelers

More than 250,000 people entered the country on the first day of opening the borders; China has suspended short-term visas for South Korean and Japanese nationals in response to restrictions imposed by those countries

Xinhua, 09.01.2023

Global Times, 11.01.2023

National Politics

Change in health policy and reopening in China comes at a time when the population has higher levels of immunity

According to Liang Wannian, responsible for the Covid-19 response policy, this winter was the best time to implement the flexibilities, as vaccination rates among the elderly are at 80% and the virulence of Omicron has declined; by next summer, vaccines will have lost some of their protective capacity

Global Times, 09.01.2023

Jack Ma relinquishes control of Ant Group, which seeks to restructure after regulations on the tech sector

Ma had disappeared from public life after criticizing Chinese regulators in 2020; due to the changes, the company will have to wait up to three years to go public, while its consumer lending subsidiary received approval for a capital injection of 10.5 billion yuan (US$1.5 billion)

Caixin Global, 07.01.2023


After 20 years of being a key driver of China’s economic growth, the US$60 trillion estate sector has reached an inflection point

Demand for housing starts to reach a limit by the slowdown in urbanization and decline in population size; in two years, private sector participation in land purchases dropped from 70% to 28.3% (2022), due to government regulations to curb real estate speculation

Caixin Global, 11.01.2023

Yuan follows the appreciation trend of recent months, now supported by optimism regarding economic recovery in 2023

After a low exchange rate in early November (7.328), the People’s Bank of China has set the average exchange rate at 6.8912 per US dollar; in contrast to the downturns in the US and Europe, China could revive consumer and services activity in the second half of 2023

Global Times, 11.01.2023

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Agriculture and Environment

China steps up oil and gas exploration amid possible deepening energy crisis over Ukraine conflict

Oil production in 2022 may have reached 205 million tonnes, the highest since 2016, while imports (501 million tonnes), fell from 72% in 2021 to 70.9% last year; China is trying to bolster energy security by expanding energy partnerships with the Middle East and neighbors like Russia and Central Asian countries

South China Morning Post, 09.01.2023

With a strategy launched in 2022, China sets the goal of becoming a climate-adapted society by 2035

The plan emphasizes the importance of monitoring, early warning, and risk management, with a system that has already saved lives in extreme events in Guangdong being considered as a model for the rest of the country; for specialists, one of the challenges is raising the awareness of government employees and the population in general about the severity of climate risks

China Dialogue, 09.01.2023

People’s Life and Culture

Rural and grassroots physicians are the first line of defense and play a crucial role against COVID-19

More than 90% of patients in the countryside are treated at municipal hospitals, and the system of shared medicine cabinets ensures the supply of antipyretic and cough medicines; as of October, 19,400 outpatient clinics were built in hospitals and community centers across the country

China Daily, 03.01.2023

New archaeological discoveries may be evidence of a network for communication and exchange between different societies in Chinese civilization

Both jade and dragons were common to several belief systems and, for experts, these factors formed the basis for a united Chinese civilization in later history; new discoveries were announced last month, including a bow-shaped jade ornament known as a huang from the Neolithic period, which in China dates back 4,000 to 10,000 years

China Daily, 05.01.2023

An arch-shaped jade ornament known as huang, unearthed at the Lingjiatan site, Anhui province [China Daily]

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