China Braces for Searing Summer, 3rd Youth Forum, Week 23 Update

China braces for another searing summer – The China Project

Temperatures are already rising to unprecedented levels across China — and they're expected to get worse. Livestock, crops, and power grids are all expected to be affected. Will local governments be ready for the impact of these heat waves?


A brief note on the 3rd ABCF-ZISU Youth Forum

The third online forum was convened on Friday June 9, Barbados time, on the topic “Challenges and opportunities in the process of modernization”.

For our Caribbean audience, the most insightful contributions were those by Chinese presenters. 

QIAO Guiqiang recounted some of his research on traditional Chinese tea culture, which has been recognised by UNESCO as a living cultural heritage. He has been interviewing three masters of traditional tea culture, about their techniques of growing and processing tea, and the social practices associated with tea drinking. The challenge is to attract young people to carry on the tradition, which is very labour intensive. There is some interest, but the rewards from a career in traditional tea culture are not attractive.

LUO Yunzhi told us about three projects in Chendu, the city made famous by the nearby Giant Panda sanctuary. The first was a revitalisation of what used to be a major commercial street, where people used to do most of their regular shopping many years ago. The city government has revived the street, after many years of neglect, and it is now thriving with tourist activity. 

A second project was the conversion of a former shoe factory into a mall with chic boutiques, cafes and exhibitions. The third project she mentioned was a mansion where senior citizens used to play mahjong, which has been converted to house workshops and markets, and which now attracts thousands of visitors.

SHEN Zhengyan told us about the many online educational programmes now widely used in China, including courses from Harvard and other US universities.

Other presentations were made by LIU Chuqi on Chinese experience, and by Caleb Brathwaite, Joshua Johnson, Jahdae Parris and Ivanna Odle on modernisation in Barbados.


China joins big jet club as homebuilt C919 put into service – The China Project

The C919, China’s first domestically made large passenger plane, was celebrated as an object of national pride on Chinese social media after making its maiden commercial flight on Sunday. But critics say the jet still relies heavily on Western components, and faces a lengthy journey to mass production.

The star of the show was unquestionably the plane. Built by the state-owned Commercial Aviation Corp of China (COMAC), the 164-seat C919 jet is the product of a decades-long project fraught with political and technical difficulties. Designed to challenge foreign models like Boeing’s 737 Max and Airbus’s A320, the single-aisle, narrow-body aircraft is also a key symbol of Beijing’s ambitions in the global aviation industry, which is estimated to be worth $2 trillion over the next 20 years. 

Boasting a maximum range of about 3,500 miles (5,630 kilometers), the C919 is capable of carrying up to 192 passengers in a two-class cabin configuration consisting of business and economy seats. According to COMAC, its interior, passenger seats, and in-flight entertainment systems are all custom-designed. The C919 is considerably larger than China’s first domestic jet, the ARJ21, which was also developed by COMAC and went into service in 2016. The standard model of the ARJ21 has 95 seats in an all-economy-class cabin, and a range of 2,300 miles (3,700 kilometers).


Chinese universities raise tuition fees – The China Project

Paying for a university education is getting a little more expensive in China, but it’s still a lot cheaper than many places in the rest of the world.


Mining the heart of Africa: China and the Democratic Republic of Congo – The China Project

The impasse finally ended in April. For over 10 months, Gécamines, the state-owned mining company of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (D.R.C.), was at loggerheads with Chinese mining company CMOC 洛阳钼业 — a cobalt mining juggernaut that owns 80% of one of the D.R.C.’s largest cobalt mines. Gécamines said CMOC had “lied about its mineral reserves,” and owed it $7.6 billion in interest and royalties for mining this gray-blue metal, integral to producing batteries for electric vehicles (EVs). But no dice. So the D.R.C. put an estimated 16 karats (kt) (worth around $4.7 billion) of cobalt under an export ban — an astounding backlog that will now take at least a year to shift.

The D.R.C. supplies 73% of the world’s cobalt. But it goes almost exclusively to China, which has locked down both mining and refining of the metal in the country. …

Corruption and corporate greed were the root causes for these bad deals; Kabila’s administration was open to bribes from Chinese and Western companies in return for wildly unfair contracts.


U.S. drug shortages highlight dependence on China, gray supply chains – The China Project

The FDA’s emergency import of medicine from China shows just how reliant America has become on Chinese manufacturers of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) for a range of products from cancer therapeutics and antibiotics, to the ingredients in the Adderall used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).


Creating and Connecting US and China Science: Chinese Diaspora and Returnee Researchers by Qingnan Xie, Richard B. Freeman :: SSRN

The close connection between US and China in scientific research and education in the 2000s produced a large group of China-born researchers who work in the US (“diaspora”) and a larger group of China-born researchers who gained US-research experience and returned to do their research in China (“returnee”). Analyzing 2018 Scopus data on research papers, we estimate that diaspora researchers contributed to 27% of US addressed papers, and that returnee researchers contributed to 38% of China addressed papers. Both the number of papers with diaspora authors and the number of papers with returnee authors far exceeded the usual measure of US-China collaborative work, papers with both US and China addresses. In terms of quality or impact, papers with diaspora or returnee authors averaged more citations and had higher proportions of publication in high CiteScore journals than other US-addressed or China-addressed papers. Finally, papers with diaspora and/or returnee authors were at the center of the US-China coauthor network and major conduits of research findings between the countries in the network of scientific citations. The benefits of the US-China research connection notwithstanding, the link between the countries’ research began to fray from 2018 through the early 2020s, with potential deleterious effects on each country’s future research output and on global science writ large to which US and China are the two biggest contributors.


Chinese companies: subservient CCP tools or autonomous commercial businesses? (

The Chinese Corporate Ecosystem (Cambridge University Press, 2022) by Dr Colin Hawes, Associate Professor in the Law Faculty at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) and a Research Associate at the Australia-China Relations Institute at UTS (UTS: ACRI) makes the case that the influence of the CCP over Chinese business corporations is surprisingly limited, due to the complex and fragmentary structure of the political ecosystem in the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Rather than viewing Chinese corporations as subservient tools of a CCP-led authoritarian hierarchy, the book argues, their capacity to act as autonomous agents within this fractured corporate-political ecosystem – that is, pursuing their own commercial interests in the PRC and overseas in ways that regularly subvert Communist Party policies – should be recognized. 


Youthology, "My Therapeutic Journey" - Reading the China Dream

I started therapy in April of 2019, so it’s been four years now. "Did therapy work for me and did I change as a result? Does therapy work in general? What exactly does it do?" I have been asked this question many, many times, and I believe that the answer to all of those questions is “yes.” So I decided to write this article, both to provide answers to those questions from the perspective of how I am feeling today, and also to produce a sort of “journal of self-investigation” following this long period of in-depth focus on myself.


Beijing vs Shenzhen: Which city is China's No.1 tech hub? (

Beijing, the capital and a northern city of China, and Shenzhen, in south China's Guangdong province, are set in a race for the country's most innovative city - yet on very different tracks. Numerous universities and research institutions in Beijing are the cradle of technological breakthroughs, whereas big private enterprises in Shenzhen are wielding their investment powers.

Now perhaps is the time to showcase who's got the upper hand, as the contest heats up with technological wonders such as ChatGPT and Starship. Beijing and Shenzhen will be put on a close justaposition in terms of national strategy, R&D expenditure, and innovation patterns. The author of today's piece, for a start, seems to side with Shenzhen, commending it for being the "the most diverse region in China in terms of new technologies and business models".


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This compilation is put together by DeLisle Worrell, President of the ABCF. Previous updates may be found at commentary | Association for Barbados China Friendship (