Situational awareness: The most important dinner this weekend will be the one at the G-20 between President Trump and General Secretary Xi Jinping.
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Both the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg have stories suggesting that the U.S. and China may reach a ceasefire deal over the dinner between President Trump, General Secretary Xi and their respective teams.
Driving the news: Outlines of this supposed deal have been discussed for weeks, mainly because it is perhaps the only possible arrangement the two sides can agree to right now.
According to the WSJ:
Bloomberg reported that:
The big picture: A tariff ceasefire in exchange for some big PRC purchases of U.S. goods and a framework for months of talks would probably make the financial markets and Beijing quite happy.
The bottom line: But all of the reports in the run-up to the dinner are really just speculation at this point. It will come down how Trump and Xi are feeling during the meeting.
A group of leading China specialists and students of one-party systems under the auspices of the Hoover Institution and the Center on U.S.-China Relations of the Asia Society have issued a long report titled Chinese Influence & American Interests: Promoting Constructive Vigilance.
The big picture: It comes at a time when many Western governments, led by Australia, are waking up to the activities of the CCP inside their countries.
Between the lines: The report is interesting, balanced, timely and has some good ideas about how to deal with the threats. But I do not like the title.
I reached out to John Garnaut, a participant in today's report and one of the leading forces behind Australia's awakening. He told me:
Why it matters: The threats from Chinese Communist Party influence interference are real, but it is important the U.S. take a measured, targeted approach against "“covert, coercive or corrupting”" methods while avoiding channeling Base Commander Jack Ripper's classic quote in Dr. Strangelove:
I can no longer sit back and allow Communist infiltration, Communist indoctrination, Communist subversion, and the international Communist conspiracy to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids.
Ryan Gallagher of The Intercept has owned the story of Google's secret plans to relaunch a search engine in China. Yesterday he published the latest in his series of scoops about Project Dragonfly — Google Shut Out Privacy and Security Teams From Secret China Project:
Why it matters: The official Google story keeps unravelling as more current and former employees with knowledge of the project start talking, giving the impression at least that Google management was trying to hide something.
China is temporarily suspending the work of scientists who claimed twins were born after being genetically edited as embryos.
Why it matters: The scientific consensus is that gene editing embryos at this stage of science is "irresponsible." But, while this particular experiment has not been verified, the fact is the technology is available to researchers, so there's a growing call for international limitations on its use.
ICYMI: Chinese scientist He Jiankui announced earlier this week that twins were born after he used the gene-editing tool CRISPR-Cas9 to cut the CCR5 gene that's known to play a role in HIV infection, Axios' Eileen Drage O'Reilly notes.
Between the lines: Not everyone viewed it as a complete disaster. For instance, Harvard Medical School's George Daley suggested that it may be time to reconsider the massive amounts of research done over the past several years and look for plausible methods of moving forward.
What to watch: Scientists are cautious about predicting what the impact will be, in part because the details of this claim are thin. However, the debate is heating up and one concern is it will dampen important research.
The bottom line: The alarm over what could be next is real. But scientists hope the current debate will promote consensus on firm limits and promote transparency.
Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images
Earlier this week the U.S.-China Economic and Security Commission issued an updated report on "Fentanyl Flows from China", an increasingly contentious issue in U.S.-China relations.
The big picture: "China remains the largest source of illicit fentanyl and fentanyl-like substances in the United States... In large part, these flows persist due to weak regulations governing pharmaceutical and chemical production in China."
Between the lines:
Go deeper: Fentanyl is hugely profitable for criminals, and some of the profits have flowed into the Vancouver real estate, according to a secret police study obtained by Canada's Global News:
Teslas and other electric vehicles in China constantly send information about the precise location of cars to the government, AP's Erika Kinetz reports.
Why it matters: The data adds "to the rich kit of surveillance tools available to the Chinese government as President Xi Jinping steps up the use of technology to track Chinese citizens."
The responses: "The automakers say they are merely complying with local laws, which apply only to alternative energy vehicles."
Go deeper: The race for the next billion cars
The Economist - Chip wars: China, America and silicon supremacy
The Washington Post- Bloomberg is still reporting on challenged story regarding China hardware hack
South China Morning Post- Xi Jinping targets grass roots in push to extend Communist Party control
Global Times - Concerns over Alibaba founder Jack Ma’s Party membership reflect lack of knowledge of CPC grass-roots functions: experts
The New York Times - The Road to Confrontation
Reuters - Tracking China’s Muslim Gulag
NBC News - Lu Guang, winner of World Press Photo awards, vanishes in Xinjiang
Caixin - How Deadly African Swine Fever Spread Across China
Taiwan Sentinel- Assessing The Impact of the 11/24 Elections in Three Questions
NüVoices Podcast - Long-Form Magazine Writing With The New Yorker's Jiayang Fan
Sixth Tone - China’s Aging Migrant Workers Are Facing a Return to Poverty
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