WA and China in Headlines

(A round-up from January 2017)

Aug. 19: Dean Yuanchun Shi calls GIX “Tsinghua Gone Out”

XinhuaXinhua News reported that on Aug. 18, Yuanchun Shi (史元春), dean of Global Innovation Exchange (GIX) Institute of Tsinghua University, talked about how GIX was new type education. As a professor of Computer Science, Prof. Shi told Xinhua that GIX was a new kind of international education and research platform, very different from the old model where Chinese students were sent abroad. GIX was the first effort of Tsinghua opening and running a new type of school in a U.S. city, kind of like “Tsinghua gone out.” GIX is also different, she said, in programs it offers, which puts emphasis on frontier technology and interdisciplinary studies. As for teaching staff, Shi said they would come from Tsinghua and UW as well as business companies. She also called GIX a new milestone in international education for Tsinghua. --WA China Watch Digest 08/20/17

Aug. 19: Ofo of China launching in Seattle with 1,000 “little yellow bikes”

Sina News Sina reported that on Aug. 17, Ofo, the leading bike sharing service from China and the world's first and largest "station-free" bike-sharing platform, officially launched its service in Seattle with 1,000 of its signature yellow bikes. It was said to be the first Chinese bike sharing service that received a permit from local authorities, the Seattle Department of Transportation. Ofo offers smart locking and Adyen payments platform. Started in 2014, Ofo is now in seven countries, including the UK and the U.S. In Seattle, Ofo joins Spin, with orange bikes, and Limebike, with green ones, as the third bike sharing service, all part of the SDOT pilot program. --WA China Watch Digest 08/20/17

Aug. 8: China’s JD.com is bettering Amazon in combing with brick-and-mortar

CNBCCNBC reported that JD.com, China’s No. 2 ecommerce giant after Alibaba, was having a successful partnership with American retail giant Wal-Mart. Since entering a partnership in 2016, both companies have been working to integrate their platforms, inventories and customer resources in China. Chinese shoppers are now able to purchase U.S.-made products from Wal-Mart stores from JD's online platform directly, and the JD is able to offer 30-minute delivery services. CNBC quoted JD.com International President Winston Cheng, “We bring, clearly, the online traffic to Wal-Mart," which is “offering space in their stores for our inventory…” “We're integrating with Wal-Mart in a much tighter partnership, which ... potentially, Amazon might do with Whole Foods.” --WA China Watch Digest 08/13/17

Aug. 3-4: Chris Gregoire wants to merge China Council, and Mercy Kuo says no thanks

PSBJPuget Sound Business Journal reported in two stories over two days, here and here, that former Governor Chris Gregoire, as CEO of Challenge Seattle, is trying to create one regional economic development organization by merging and consolidating various individual economic development groups. Such a new organization will market the region, promote international investment and trade with China for the broader Puget Sound Region or the tri-county region. The consolidation could include Trade & Development Alliance of Greater Seattle and the Washington State China Relations Council. But the China Council President Mercy Kuo, after a meeting with the former governor, told the PSBJ that her organization will remain independent, but will support any new economic development organization. Kuo also said in an email to the Digest that the Council would hold a board meeting on the issue on Thursday, Aug. 10. Stay tuned. –WA China Watch Digest 08/08/17

Aug. 1: Amazon’s cloud service in China bows to government censorship

NYTThe New York Times reported that days after Apple removed anti-censorship tools off its app store in China, Amazon’s cloud computing service operator there, Beijing Sinnet Technology, also began implementing the country’s new tougher restrictions on online content. The company told its customers in emails to cease using any software that would allow them to circumvent the country’s extensive system of internet blocks, also known as the Great Firewall. To tighten controls on China’s internet, NYT said, the government recently shut down a number of Chinese-run VPNs, Virtual Private Networks. In addition, in cloud computing, China requires foreign companies have a local partner and restricts them from owning a controlling stake in any cloud company. –WA China Watch Digest 08/04/17

July 27: Starbucks out of joint venture to own all Starbucks in China, with pressure or confidence

Seattle TimesBloombergJanet Tu at the Seattle Times reported that Starbucks agreed to purchase the remaining 50% of its joint venture business in China for $1.3 billion and to assume 100% ownership of about 1,300 stores in east China, including Shanghai. According to Tu, Starbucks currently has 2,800 stores in China and already owns 1,500 of them. She quoted Kevin Johnson, Starbucks’ president and CEO, as saying that unifying the Starbucks business under a full company-operated structure in China reinforces its commitment to the market and demonstrates its confidence in the local leadership team as Starbucks aims to grow from 2,800 to more than 5,000 stores by 2021. Bloomberg reported, however, it was Starbucks’ biggest stock decline in almost two years, its slowing growth in the U.S. and its defeat in running Teavana stores that pressured it to accelerate growth in China. --WA China Watch Digest 07/28/17

July 22: A first: Chinese Provinces–Washington State Trade and Investment Forum

People's DailyPeople’s Daily reported that the “Chinese Provinces–Washington State Trade and Investment Forum” was held in Seattle on July 20th. Attendees were Lieutenant Governor Cyrus Habib, State Commerce Director Brian Bolender, China’s Department of Commerce’ Director for Foreign Trade Sun Chenghai, China’s Commercial Consul Yihang Yang in San Francisco, along with 200 government and business representatives from both the U.S. and China. The Chinese cities and provinces represented were Shanghai, Guangdong, Liaoning, Shaanxi, Hunan, and Beijing. Industries represented were Advanced Manufacturing, Aviation, Information Technology, Agriculture, Medical Care, Pharmaceutical, Photovoltaic and Food Processing. Mercy Kuo, president of the Washington State China Relations Council, a collaborated on the event, wrote about it in Diplomat. –WA China Watch Digest 07/24/17

July 16: Chongqing Party Chief Sun Zhengcai removed, suddenly

BloombergBloomberg, along with many news outlets, reported that Sun Zhengcai, Communist Party Secretary of Chongqing, Seattle’s sister city, was removed last Saturday, July 15, and put under investigation for violating party regulations and severely damaging the party’s interests. In 2012, it was Bo Xilai, the previous Party chief of Chongqing, that was ousted in another Party reshuffle. Sun, a rising star, was not only Chongqing’s Party chief, but also the youngest member of the Politburo, that, Bloomberg said, could have set up him for a top leadership post after 2022. The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection did issue a statement in February saying the Chongqing municipality fell short of “clearing toxic residue” from Bo’s era. This is all ahead of the 19th Party Congress to be held later this year. – WA China Watch Digest 07/18/17

July 12: Global Innovation Exchange ran into “Mandarin” problems

PSBJNuoya Zhou at the Puget Sound Business Journal reported that in preparing to launch this fall the first master program of GIX, Global Innovation Exchange, jointly with Tsinghua University of China, UW ran into some snags. “There is a whole set of politics going on in Mandarin, in Beijing, all the time,” the article quoted David Maddox, GIX Chief Operating Director. One example Maddox gave was how the anti-corruption campaign launched by China’s President Xi Jinping limited the ability to move money out of China. More than 40 students, according to Zhou, most of them from the U.S. and China, but also from other countries, will join the first class this fall at the new campus in the Spring District in Bellevue. Enrollment will double next fall. –WA China Watch Digest 07/17/17

July 5, 6: China moving away from coal, Chinese businessman behind methanol project in Washington

Seattle TimesHal Bernton at the Seattle Times had two stories from Shenzhen, China in two days. In his first story, Bernton talked about electric cars and buses built by BYD of Shenzhen, the world’s largest manufacturer of electric cars and buses, China’s 7.3% drop of coal consumption since 2013, and China now as the biggest producer of renewable energy. Burnton also pointed out, however, coal still generates 64% of China’s energy, compared with 17% in the U.S. In his second story, Burnton talked about Wu Lebin, chairman of the multibillion-dollar CAS Holdings and man behind the joint venture NW Innovation Works to build at the Columbia River Port of Kalama a $1.8 billion plant that would make methanol from North American natural gas rather than the coal that is the feedstock in his nation. Again, as Burnton also mentioned, Pacific Northwest environmentalists have campaigned to keep the region from becoming a hub for exporting fossil fuels to Asia. --WA China Watch Digest 07/07/17

June 24: 120 in Sichuan buried in mountain village landslide

Seattle TimesThe Seattle Times posted AP report that more than 120 people, 62 homes, a hotel and a mile of road were buried by a landslide in Xinmo village of Mao County in Sichuan, Washington’s sister province, early Saturday, with huge rocks coming from a mountain, and a mass of earth, crashing down. A rescue team official said this was the biggest landslide to hit this area since the Wenchuan earthquake, which had happened as China’s deadliest earthquake this century in May 2008, killing nearly 90,000 people. AP report also said, according to Sichuan provincial government website, an estimated 8 million cubic meters of earth and rock — equivalent to more than 3,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools — had slid down the mountain. --WA China Watch Digest 06/25/17

June 22: China contributed half of Boeing’s 571 orders won at Paris Air Show

Xinhua NewsXinhua News reported that during the recent Paris Air Show, American aviation giant and Washington’s own Boeing broke the record in the history of the show by landing 571 orders and commitments, with a total value of $74.8 billion, compared with Airbus’ 326 orders at $18.5 billion. Boeing’s newly launched 737 Max 10 won 361 of those orders from 16 global customers. Of the total 571 orders, Xinhua said, Chinese companies contributed about half, as Xiamen Airlines, Ruili Airlines, China Development Bank Financial Leasing Co. and others ordered 275 planes, including 737 Max and 787-9. Other Chinese companies that ordered Boeing aircraft in Paris included China Aircraft Leasing Group and Tibet Financial Leasing. --WA China Watch Digest 06/23/17

June 9: Northwest Innovation Works got approval for methanol plant in Cowlitz County

Seattle TimesHal Bernton at the Seattle Times reported that the China backed joint venture Northwest Innovation Works received a key shoreline permit this week by the state Department of Ecology for their $1.8 billion Cowlitz County methanol plant. The plant in Kalama will produce methanol from Western natural gas and ship the chemical to China to be used as a feedstock in the plastics industry. The project was lauded by Gov. Inslee as one of the most innovative clean-energy efforts in the nation but opposed by environmental groups for safety risks and other concerns. The permit is conditional, according to Bernton, that the plant would have to offset — or find ways to reduce — carbon emissions. --WA China Watch Digest 06/11/17

June 4: California and Sichuan form new friendship state/province ties

Sina NewsSichuan OnlineWhile Washington and Sichuan have been friendship state and province since 1982, Sina News reported that California had just formed the same relationship with Sichuan this past Sunday. Governor Jerry Brown, on his visit to Chengdu, signed the agreement with Governor Yi Li of Sichuan. Brown had first met Sichuan Communist Party chief Wang Dongming in 2015 in Seattle at the U.S.-China Governors Forum during President Xi Jinping’s visit, and the two signed a MOU on the relationship. At their Chengdu ceremony, Wang and Brown said CA and Sichuan would cooperate in IT, AI, biology, medicine, clean energy, new energy vehicles, environment, climate, education, and culture. Sichuan Online reported that Intel, HP, Apple and other California companies were already in Sichuan while 25 Sichuan companies had invested in California. --WA China Watch Digest 06/04/17

May 31: 2017 SyScan360 Information Security Conference held in Seattle

Guangming OnlineGuangming Online reported that the 2017 SyScan360 Information Security Conference, hosted by Qihoo 360, China's largest Internet security company, was held in Seattle from May 30 to 31. Representatives from global tech giants like Microsoft, Google, Intel, McAfee and Pangoo participated in the conference and delivered speeches covering several fields of security including vulnerabilities research. SyScan (The Symposium on Security for Asia Networks) has been one of the most prestigious Internet information security events since first inaugurated in 2004. This was the first time the event was held in the U.S. --WA China Watch Digest 05/31/17

May 23: Microsoft offers Chinese government version of Windows 10

Seattle TimesMatt Day at the Seattle Times reported that Microsoft has built a version of Windows 10 tailored for China’s government and state-owned corporations, baking into the operating system greater control for administrators and a pledge to not send any system usage data outside of the country, as announced by Terry Myerson, executive vice president of Microsoft’s Windows and Devices unit, in Shanghai. The new version was jointly developed by Microsoft and state-owned China Electronics Technology Group. One reader with the handle “user1047648” commented, “Wow, congratulations Mr. Gates. This, one day after we learn that China killed all our CIA operatives.” --WA China Watch Digest 05/24/17

May 23: Hainan is buying $4.2 billion worth of Boeing jets

PSBJAndrew McIntosh at the Puget Sound Business Journal reported that Hainan Airlines, which offers direct flight from Seattle to Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen, announced in its filing with the Shanghai Stock Exchange that it would be buying 19 Boeing Co. passenger jetliners in a deal worth $4.2 billion, which will include 13 Boeing 787 Dreamliners and six Boeing 737 Max 8 jets. McIntosh also said to meet the surging demand of the rapid growth in China’s consumer travel market, China is building 74 new airports by 2020, increasing the country's total number of airports to around 260 and that China will become the world’s largest air travel market by 2024. --WA China Watch Digest 05/24/17

May 22: BGI founder Jian Wang attending 2017 Microsoft CEO Summit

China FOLChina Finance Online reported that Jian Wang (汪建), chairman and founder of BGI, the genomics research giant, visited the U.S. west coast from May 16-18 and joined 140 other global leaders in business and technology in attending the 2017 Microsoft CEO Summit. He met with Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Governor Jay Inslee, UW President Ana Mari Cauce, UW Medicine CEO Dr. Paul Ramsey, and Dr. Linda Buck, Nobel laureate and Fred Hutch researcher. Jian Wang was also here to launch the new BGI Global Innovation Center in Seattle and San Jose announced a few days ago. --WA China Watch Digest 05/22/17

May 18: T-Mobile victorious in law suit against Chinese smartphone maker Huawei

Seattle TimesSeattle Times reported that T-Mobile emerged victorious in its long-running lawsuit filed in 2014 against Chinese smartphone maker Huawei in federal court in Seattle this week. A jury decided that Huawei misappropriated trade secrets belonging to T-Mobile, especially of the robot, Tappy, developed to test smartphone functions. While the jury said T-Mobile should be awarded $4.8 million in damages, it also decided that Huawei’s misappropriation was not “willful and malicious” and did not award any damages from the trade-secret claim. The damages it did award under the breach of contract allegation was a small fraction of what T-Mobile had requested, according to Huawei spokesman. --WA China Watch Digest 05/19/17

May 17: BGI to co-locate new West Coast Innovation Center in Seattle, San Jose

GeekWireGeekWire reported that BGI, genomics research giant based in Shenzhen, China, announced its new Global Innovation Center co-located between Seattle and San Jose. With its new Seattle office officially opened last December, GeekWire said, BGI already works with the UW on precision medicine, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Allen Institute for Brain Science, as well as WSU in Pullman, with a focus on health and agricultural research. GeekWire quoted Dr. Jian Wang, BGI founder and chairman, “The idea is really to stimulate the innovative collaboration or partnership between BGI and research institutions, universities, and potentially biotech industries in the U.S.” --WA China Watch Digest 05/19/17

Apr. 28: Tencent to open new AI research center in Seattle

Tech CrunchTechCrunch reported that Tencent, Chinese tech conglomerate, owner of WeChat, the company behind China’s largest social network and the world’s biggest online games business, would be opening a new AI research center in Seattle. The company has long had a core office in Palo Alto, but this would be its first major machine intelligence R&D effort in the U.S. Earlier last week Tencent also announced that it would open its first data center in Silicon Valley. Yu Dong, formally of Microsoft Research, is said to be leading the U.S. effort. TechCrunch also said that Tencent, Baidu, Alibaba and other Chinese tech companies were competing for AI talent with Google, Microsoft and Facebook on their home turf. --WA China Watch Digest 04/30/17

Apr. 13: GIX announces Innovation Competition 2017

GIXGlobal Innovation Exchange, of University of Washington and the Tsinghua University, announced in both Beijing and Seattle the launch of its Innovation Competition 2017. The first GIX innovation competition was held in 2016 in Beijing. The theme will be “Connected Devices,” including IoT, wearable devices, intelligent hardware, virtual and augmented reality, etc. Candidates will be teams with up to three members who are either college degree students or have graduated within five years. Each team will work with an assigned a mentor, a technical expert. There will be three rounds of competition, June 21, July 12 and Sept. 15 when winners will be selected from final six teams in Seattle. –WA China Watch Digest 04/16/17

Apr. 11: Starbucks offering Parent Care Program to its China employees

StarbucksStarbucks Chairman Howard Schultz and Starbucks China CEO Belinda Wong announced in Beijing that the company established an unprecedented critical illness insurance plan for the parents of its eligible full-time employees in company-operated stores in Mainland China and would begin offering it June 1, 2017. Called “Starbucks China Parent Care Program,” the plan will benefit over 10,000 parents of its employees there. Wong said that culturally parents played an important role in the lives and career choices of its China employees. Schultz said that supporting critical illnesses for aging parents exemplified what Starbucks believed as its responsibility as a global public company and honored the family values deeply-rooted in the Chinese culture. The company has nearly 40,000 employees, called partners, at its 2,600 stores across 127 cities in China. --WA China Watch Digest 04/12/17

Mar. 31: Rights activist Chen Yunfei, of Chengdu, Sichuan, gets jail term

RFARadio Free Asia reported that a court in Chengdu, Sichuan, Washington state’s sister province, had handed down last Friday a four-year jail term to veteran rights activist Cheng Yunfei, who had been detained after visiting the grave of a 1989 Tiananmen massacre victim in 2015. He was convicted of "picking quarrels and stirring up trouble," a charge increasingly used on peaceful dissent and criticism of the Communist Party. On his one-day hearing, according to Radio Free Asia, Chen appeared in his pajamas and said it was easier that way to dream “the Chinese dream,” as in President Xi Jinping's slogan. Chen rejected the verdict and sentence, RFA quoted Chen’s lawyer. –WA China Watch Digest 04/04/17

Mar. 28: Chongqing citizens to be punished for using Virtual Private Networks

Channel NewsAsiaChannel NewsAsia reported that the government of Chongqing, Seattle’s sister city, announced earlier last week its updated internet security regulation. Under the new rules, anyone in the megacity skirting censorship controls by using VPNs would receive punishment. VPNs help users to jump over China’s “Great Firewall” that blocked websites such as Google, Facebook, and Twitter. Fines will range from a warning to disconnect from the internet. Those who make a profit of more than 5,000 yuan while using VPNs will be fined 5,000-15,000 yuan. Channel NewsAsia said the national VPN crackdown and the Chongqing campaign were part of a “China solution” to global cyber governance. –WA China Watch Digest 03/31/17

Mar: 24: Bill Gates to Beida students: Glad China stepping up to fill leadership vacuum

GatesnotesBill Gates, an honorary trustee at Beida, or Peking University, gave a speech to students there: “My Advice for China’s students.” Gates praised China’s achievement in reducing poverty at home and helping other countries with similar challenges, China’s potential and its greater role. He then talked about four areas he thought there were exciting opportunities for Chinese students to use their education and passion to unlock more amazing progress for both China and the world: health, agriculture, energy, and technology. Gates also mentioned how Microsoft’s Beijing lab was the biggest outside the U.S. and how he was a big fan of table tennis. Full text of his speech in English is available on his Gatesnotes blog as well as in Chinese on his WeChat account. --WA China Watch Digest 03/25/17

Mar. 22: Mark Calhoon: Governor Inslee will stop in Chengdu, Sichuan in August

WCWDIt was first revealed by Brian Bonlender, Director of the Washington State Dept. of Commerce, on March 15 at the Washington State China Relations Council banquet that Governor Inslee was planning to visit China this August. Mark Calhoon, Senior Managing Director at the Commerce, confirmed the news with WCWD. “Tentatively the mission is being planned for early to mid-August,” Calhoon said in an email. Would Governor go to Sichuan, our sister province? “The itinerary would likely include a stop in Chengdu, as part of the sister relationship with Sichuan.” Would there be another 100-member strong delegation like in 2013 the last time Governor went to China? “Not sure this time, since August would be prime vacation season for a lot of people.” Stay tuned. –WA China Watch Digest 03/23/17

Mar. 17: Boeing to help CAAC of China in airspace management

ATWATW, Air Transport World, reported that Boeing signed a MOU with Civil Aviation Administration of China’s (CAAC) Air Traffic Management Bureau in an effort to alleviate increasing air traffic congestion in China. Boeing will provide professional expertise to CAAC in the key fields of airspace management, flow management, aviation data, communication, navigation, surveillance, meteorology, general aviation and training. ATW quoted Boeing China president John Bruns that “This MOU reaffirms our longstanding relationship with the CAAC’s Air Traffic Management Bureau and highlights Boeing’s expertise in the aviation services industry with airspace and air traffic management solutions.” –WA China Watch Digest 03/18/17

Mar. 14: Ford to make Lincolns in Seattle’s sister city Chongqing

Daily CallerDaily Caller reported that Lincoln Motor Company, a division of Ford, would start producing cars in Chongqing, China, Seattle’s sister city, in 2019. The company is aiming to compete against GM, seize a larger share of the world’s largest auto market, especially for luxury cars, with 30% growth per year, and avoid China’s 25% import tariffs. The U.S., in comparison, has an import tax of only 2.5%. However, Daily Caller said, foreign car companies cannot construct factories on Chinese soil without a joint-venture partner. In this case, Ford will produce Lincolns in cooperation with state-owned Changan Automobile. Daily Caller called this “unfair trade practices.” --WA China Watch Digest 03/18/17

Mar. 12: Boeing Zhoushan China plant to make first delivery by end of 2018

NetEaseNetEase News reported that Boeing’s new 737 completion plant in Zhoushan, Zhejiang province, China, would start construction by the end of March, be ready for use in May and make its first delivery by the end of 2018. On March 10, 75 aviation companies from China and abroad gathered in Zhoushan, all hoping to follow Boeing and get in on the fast development of aviation industry there. They visited the Putuoshan airport renovation site as well as the Zhoushan aviation industry park, where the Boeing-Comac joint-venture 737 completion plant to locate. The plant would do interior installation, painting, maintenance and delivery of 737Max. In full capacity, it would deliver 100 planes a year, creating 2,000 jobs. --WA China Watch Digest 03/12/17

Feb. 27: Alibaba now in “3A” race of cloud - AliCloud, AWS, Azure

FTFinancial Times in this story talked about how Alibaba was now in a cloud computing race of the 3As: AliCloud, AWS (Amazon Web Services), Azure (of Microsoft). Alibaba, based in Hangzhou, China, with an office in Bellevue, entered the cloud computing business in 2009, three years after Amazon launched its cloud division, AWS. Even though AliCloud’s revenues reached $254m in its latest quarterly reports, compared with AWS’s $11bn sales last year, it has got 41.5% of China’s rapidly growing market share. Total spending on public cloud services in China is forecast to rise from $11.2bn in 2016 to $14.2bn this year, FT quoted a research. “The potential for Alibaba on cloud is the same as AWS,” another researcher said. –WA China Watch Digest 03/12/17

Feb. 21: Juneyao Airlines of China ordering five 787-9 Dreamliners

PSBJAndrew McIntosh at the Puget Sound Business Journal reported that the Shanghai-based Juneyao Airlines had just ordered five Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners, valued at about $1.32 billion at list prices. Juneyao Airlines Chairman Wang Junjin said, according to the report, the airline would use its new Dreamliners to open new routes to North America, Europe and Australia by 2020. The private carrier Juneyao Airlines, started in 2006, is Boeing’s latest Chinese customer, after China Southern Airlines, China Eastern Airlines, and Air China and others. In China, Juneyao Airlines, according to its website, is called 吉祥, or Lucky Airlines. --WA China Watch Digest 02/23/17

Feb. 19: Microsoft Asia head says cloud opportunity in China huge

CNBCCNBC reported that Ralph Haupter, president of Asia at Microsoft, said that decision-makers in the region were looking for ways to digitally transform their businesses to tap into artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, mixed reality and wearable devices. Microsoft data centers in 13 regions across Asia Pacific, that support Microsoft's public cloud, Azure, grew revenue by 93% in 2016. In China, Microsoft partners with U.S.-listed 21Vianet, with data centers in Beijing and Shanghai. "China obviously is a huge opportunity that's defined by size (and) acceleration of innovation... high demand and digitization," CNBC quoted Haupter. --WA China Watch Digest 02/21/17

Feb. 15: China Council announces Mercy Kuo its new president

WSCRCThe Washington State China Relations Council announced, finally, its new president, Mercy Kuo, and its new chairman, Andrew Wilson, whose appointment was revealed earlier on Council website. According to media release, Kuo has a Ph.D. in Modern History from Oxford University, authored Contending with Contradictions: China’s Policy towards Soviet Eastern Europe and the Origins of the Sino-Soviet Split, 1953-1960; a columnist on U.S.-Asia policy at The Diplomat, a former director of research at the Committee of 100, and a former director of the Southeast Asia Studies and Strategic Asia Programs at the Seattle-based National Bureau of Asian Research. Kuo would be the second female in this position after Kristi Heim and second Chinese American after Eden Woon. --WA China Watch Digest 02/17/17

Feb. 15: Aerospace analyst says trade war with China would hurt Boeing

PSBJAndrew McIntosh at the Puget Sound Business Journal reported that Richard Aboulafia, senior aerospace analyst with Teal Group in Washington, D.C., said Boeing would suffer in a trade war while Airbus would be the biggest beneficiary. Speaking at the Pacific Northwest Aerospace Alliance (PNAA) annual conference in Lynnwood, WA, Aboulafia also said the Chinese airplane maker Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC) just wasn’t ready for prime time. However, Abloulafia said the great boom was over for all passenger jet manufacturers. At the same time, there is an explosive market for spy planes and defense products. –WA China Watch Digest 02/17/17

Feb. 13: Bill Gates says hello and welcome in Chinese to his new WeChat fans

WSJWall Street Journal reported that Bill Gates had just launched over the weekend his new account on China's most popular social media WeChat, with the ID “gatesnotes.” In a 30-second opening video, Gates said “Hello and welcome to my WeChat account” in Chinese to his new WeChat followers. By late Monday, the report said, it had drawn more than 100,000 views and over 9,000 “likes.” Mr. Gates will use his WeChat blog to share his thoughts on people he meets, books he has read and lessons learned, with topics ranging from health to energy and resources. Earlier, in 2010, Gates opened an account on Weibo where he has 3.2 million followers. One thing Bill Gates regrets, however, the report said, is that he “was never becoming conversant in any foreign language.” --WA China Watch Digest 02/14/17

Feb. 7: Seattle the new Vancouver for mainland Chinese homebuyers

WSJWall Street Journal said in this story that the 15% tax the Canadian province of British Columbia imposed on foreign investment in the city last August made Seattle red hot among Chinese home seekers. While web searches in China for Vancouver properties dropped 37% in December compared with a year ago, searches for Seattle properties jumped 125% year-over-year in November. One Windermere Real Estate agent said, for an open house for a new $2.3 million listing in the Seattle metro area, all twenty groups of buyers visiting the property were Chinese. The report also said, Mike O’Brien, a Seattle City Council member, was exploring measures, including a vacancy tax, in this regard. --WA China Watch Digest 02/09/17

Jan. 30: Author says China’s dream C919 can’t compete with Boeing

WSJTrefor Moss at the Wall Street Journal posted a piece, “China’s Jetliner Dream Is Still on the Tarmac.” Moss started with an under the hood look of China’s prototype, single-aisle, 158-seat, jetliner C919 set to make its maiden flight early this year: it bristles with technology from elsewhere, such as General Electric Co., Honeywell International Inc. and other U.S. suppliers. Developed by the state-owned Commercial Aircraft Corp. of China, or Comac, C919 flight tests are expected by the end of March. Moss quoted Derek Levine, author of "The Dragon Takes Flight," a study of China's aerospace sector, "It's 15 years behind," “an antiquated plane that can't compete with Airbus and Boeing." --WA China Watch Digest 01/31/17

Jan. 26: Sidney Rittenberg talks about solitary confinement in China, and more

SinicaSinica, now part of SupChina, a China news site, posted a podcast interview of Sidney Rittenberg, a Washingtonian and the most seasoned China watcher in America. Sinica said on its webpage: “Sidney Rittenberg is a labor activist from Charleston, South Carolina, who went to China as a translator for the U.S. Army in 1945 and stayed until 1980. In this episode, Sidney talks about the conditions he endured during his two periods of solitary confinement, Sino-American relations, and much more.” This is part two of a longer podcast. Sinica also published earlier a Q&A with Sidney Rittenberg, whose new book “Manage Your Mind: Set Yourself Free” came out last year. --WA China Watch Digest 01/30/17

Jan. 26: Chinese factories selling directly to Americans on Amazon, cutting middleman

USA TodayUSA Today reported in the story “Made in China — and straight to your Amazon box” how Amazon helped Chinese merchants sell on the site, opening a new way for Chinese factories and vendors to easily get their products to the U.S. Instead of shipping products to the U.S. and then finding warehouse space here to process, package and mail from, Chinese sellers can hand over much if not all of the processing and shipping to Amazon. Products are easily sent from Chinese producers to Amazon fulfillment centers in the U.S, where they become part of Amazon’s two-day Prime program. Teikametrics, a company that provides data analytics, said there are about 200,000 Chinese sellers on Amazon right now. --WA China Watch Digest 01/27/17

Jan. 24: WSCRC lists Andrew Wilson as new board chair, with new president coming soon?

WCWDIt appears that the Washington State China Relations Council is about to announce its next president. Along with its brand new website and new dark blue background of its home page is the name T. Andrew Wilson, listed as the new chairman of the board, replacing Michael Rawding. Andrew Wilson, former Senior Director of Corporate Development at Intellectual Ventures and a vice chair at the Council since 2013, drew attention last December when he was interviewed on Fox News in a piece titled “The First 100 Days: Trump vows big changes for trade with China.” When asked about a possible full-blown trade war with China, Wilson said, "The strength of what's happened over the past decades is we have interdependent economies, we trade both ways. The downside is there is pain that can be inflicted both ways.” So new website, new chairman, can a new president be far? --WA China Watch Digest 01/24/17

Jan. 11: Chinese immigrant Shilan Zhao of Newcastle guilty of EB-5 visa fraud

Seattle TimesMike Rosenberg of the Seattle Times reported that Shilan Zhao, who had lived in Newcastle, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles to EB-5 visa-fraud charges, which included her use of stolen money from China to purchase her house on the Eastside. She will forfeit her $900,000 house in Newcastle and give up properties worth tens of millions of dollars in California and New York, and will also spend up to five years in federal prison. Zhao was first arrested in Seattle in March 2015. She and her ex-husband Jianjun Qiao, a former Chinese government official, had lied about the source of their EB-5 investment and about their marital status. Qiao is still on the lam, the report said. --WA China Watch Digest 01/12/17

Jan. 6: Bloomberg Gadfly says Boeing could survive a China trade war

Bloomberg GadflyIt was bad enough, Bloomberg Gadfly columnist David Fickling wrote, that Boeing got into a fight with the president-elect over the cost of Air Force One, Donald Trump’s talk of punitive measures against Chinese exports was particularly bad news, as Boeing’s China business would be vulnerable to retaliation. However, Fickling pointed out that while Boeing earned more than $5 billion in annual revenue from China, the 292 undelivered aircraft ordered by Chinese airlines made up just 5.5% of Boeing's total outstanding orders. The Chinese carriers were holding fire until China starts producing its own C919 in competition with the 737. In that sense, Fickling said, the trade war has already begun for Boeing. --WA China Watch Digest 01/07/17

Jan. 3: Zhoushan to start construction of aviation industrial park for Boeing plant

CNR China’s Central National Radio reported that construction of a new aviation industrial park in Zhoushan would start in March where the Boeing 737 completion plant is to be located. Boeing announced the location of Zhoushan last October. In December, Zhoushan Aviation Investment Co. Ltd. was formed to manage the investment, development and construction of the new Zhoushan Aviation Industrial Park. The park will have two areas, aviation operation and aviation manufacturing. The Boeing Zhoushan center itself will be two parts, a joint venture 737 completion plant between Boeing and COMAC (Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China ), and a wholly-owned Boeing 737 delivery center. According to CNR, the plant and facilities would be ready for Boeing by the end of April, 2018. --WA China Watch Digest 01/03/2017