1 big thing: China foresees new Cold War with U.S.
A senior official from the State Council's Development Research Center is arguing that President Trump's trade war is part of a broader plan to contain China.
Driving the news: The U.S. is expected to impose tariffs on another $200 billion of Chinese imports as soon as next week, Bloomberg reported yesterday, with no denial from Trump.
The South China Morning Post summarized the commentary by Long Guoqiang:
The bottom line: Both sides look to be preparing for a much more contentious relationship.
Go deeper: The coming yearlong U.S. trade war with China.
2. Congress has "broken the mold" on China
Robert Sutter, a long-time government official who is now a professor at George Washington University, says the 115th Congress has "broken the mold" for dealing with China, showing "widespread support" for a harder line from President Trump.
Why it matters: The Chinese are not wrong — there really has been a structural shift across the U.S. government in policies towards China. The Chinese have been slow to grasp this change.
Go deeper: Read Sutter's full post.
3. America's youth is warming to China
Among 18-29-year-olds, 49% view China favorably and 36% unfavorably (+13), compared to a 38%/47% (-9) split in the country for all adults, according to a new Pew survey.
Why it matters: Competition with China for supremacy in the economic, military and technological fields is ramping up, and could well define the decades to come. It’s therefore noteworthy, and a bit surprising, that young people are more likely to have positive views of the country.
4. Recalibrating the Belt and Road Initiative
The Chinese leadership held a symposium earlier this week to mark the fifth anniversary of the launch of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
- The BRI has come under much criticism recently for saddling target countries with significant debt for too many economically wasteful projects.
Between the lines: The message from Xi at the symposium will make some adjustments at the margins, but overall the BRI will continue full steam ahead, even as the propaganda around it is tweaked to make it seem less threatening,
- The BRI was written into the revised Constitutions, got heavy billing at the recent Foreign Affairs Work Conference, and is clearly a signature initiative of Xi that, like Made in China 2025, is not going away.
The bottom line: The official Chinese report 习近平：推动共建“一带一路”走深走实造福人民 on the Monday meeting makes clear that the scope of the broader geopolitical ambitions remains essentially unchanged. It also places the BRI within the context of the major changes and adjustments underway in the international order — plus the resulting historical opportunity for China.
5. China's hottest show is an imperial concubine drama
"The Story of Yanxi Palace", a Qing Dynasty era costume drama set in the Forbidden City, has broken records for online viewership in China.
By the numbers: iQiyi announced in a press release today that the 70 episode series has been streamed over 15 billion times. It was streamed an average of 300 million times a day, with more than 700 million views on its peak day.
The show is driving fashion trends, as Jing Daily explains:
I am up to episode 5, only 65 more to go...
Watch it: All the episodes are on YouTube here.
Go deeper: Pandaily writes Yanxi Palace Puts Feminist Spin on Chinese Historical Drama.
6. Worthy of your time
China Leadership Monitor — Alice Miller's Valedictory: Analyzing the Chinese Leadership in an Era of Sex, Money, and Power
South China Morning Post — After Communist Party summer retreat, Xi Jinping is sticking to his policies
The New York Times — Bloomberg Moves New Forum for Elites From China Amid Fallout of Trade War
Xinhua — Top leaders attend congress of returned overseas Chinese
Bloomberg — Muslim Governments Silent as China Cracks Down on Uighurs
Sixth Tone — Elite School Literally Divided Over Incoming Migrant Students
The New York Times — Too Many Chinese Children Need Glasses. Beijing Blames Video Games
ChinAI Newsletter #25: Tencent — A Complete Takedown and Rethinking of China's so-called AI giant
The Washington Post — It’s time to end the ‘China hustle’ on U.S. stock exchanges
South China Morning Post — China to genetically screen its athletes to ensure the best compete in 2022 Winter Olympics
Elephant Room — The Story of Chinese Chives
Guernica — Chengdu Cool: The Rise of Sichuan’s Homegrown Hip Hop
This week's issues of my Sinocism China Newsletter