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Gill on China – G7 takes on Beijing
US President Joe Biden and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson gesture as they pose for a family photo with G-7 leaders; European Council President Charles Michel, back left with Japan's PM Yoshihide Suga, Italy's Prime Minister Mario Draghi and French President Emmanuel Macron at the G-7 summit in Cornwall on June 11, 2021. Photo: Patrick Semansky/ Reuters.

Veteran China writer and researcher Chris Gill with the latest news:

G7 rolls out new strategy

In its first communique in three years that mentions China, the Group of Seven rich nations (G7) laid out a plan to combat the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) at their meeting in southern England over the weekend.

The Belt and Road scheme has been losing ground since the onset of the epidemic and US President Joe Biden announced to reporters on the weekend that the world’s seven major democracies now plan to finance initiatives in poor countries in four areas – the environment, healthcare, women’s empowerment and infrastructure. Transparency and anti-corruption activities will also be key issues, as well as promoting western values.

The BRI, which mostly targets authoritarian regimes, could see two networks emerge – one democratic, one authoritarian. Other issues mentioned in the G7 communique point to a more aggressive stance towards China.

G7 nations scolded China over human rights in Xinjiang, called for Hong Kong to keep a high degree of autonomy and demanded further investigation into the origin of the coronavirus.

Chinese media focused on the Dragon boat festival on the weekend, with some sidebar articles on sunglasses, the Queen and Boris Johnson’s swim in the sea.

Later, China’s embassy in London said it opposed the G7 mentions of Xinjiang, Hong Kong and Taiwan that “distorted the facts” and exposed the “sinister intentions of a few countries such as the United States”.

“China’s reputation must not be slandered,” it said on Monday.

More flooding ahead

As China prepares for what is likely to be another historic flood season, the level of water in the Three Gorges Dam has been lowered to 145 metres. But that is expected to rise over 40 metres once seasonal rains hit the catchment basin in the southwest.

Numerous cities in China are already flooded.

Top banks adopt HarmonyOS2

The  Bank of China, China CITIC Bank (credit cards only), and China Guangfa Bank (credit cards only) have announced the adoption of HarmonyOS2 (Hongmeng or ‘Red dream’ in Mandarin) for the first time to support the localisation of operating systems.

The Bank of China and China CITIC Bank stated that they will cooperate with Huawei to launch automatic services and lay out a new ecosystem of open banking scenarios.

863 Project

China’s leading science and innovation project has put local development of microchips on a par with developing atomic weapons. Leaders of the project were awarded the prestigious ‘two bombs and a star’ medal.

Oz-China ties – another breakup

A scientific research project between the Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO and one of the country’s leading research bodies) and China’s Qingdao Marine Science and Technology Pilot National Laboratory will be terminated next year.

Internet celebrity robot restaurant opening in Harbin

In what must be a world first, Harbin Institute of Technology Robot Group Discoverer Robot Industry Project plans to open a restaurant that will make Madame Tussauds a thing of the past. Patrons will be served by robots of celebrities, bringing tourists to the area.

Top 5 boss surnames

After extensive research it was found that the top five surnames for bosses in China are “Wang”, “Li”, “Zhang”, “Liu” and “Chen” in that order. The five surnames also account for 30.8% of the national household registered population.

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Chris Gill

With over 30 years reporting on China, Gill offers a daily digest of what is happening in the PRC.

AF China Bond