The best news of the week was that three Chinese astronauts made it to the new fledging space station orbiting the Earth, but there was lots of stuff on the other side of the ledger, which we inevitably need to mention. Top of the heap is the G7 meeting which took place in England and resulted in several statements that related to China, referencing human rights, cross-strait tensions and the origins of the pandemic. It was the West’s first serious effort at considering its relationship with China since the Trump era ended, and the response from Beijing was swift: “Stop slandering China, stop interfering in China’s internal affairs, and stop harming China’s interests.” There is indeed a sense of heightened uncertainty over the island on the other side of the strait. But then again, there was also talk this week of a Biden-Xi direct conversation, which would be useful.
The economy continues to do pretty well, and Bytedance (owner of TikTok) announced that its profits more than doubled in 2020. But the US FCC moved to ban telecoms equipment from Huawei and a number of other Chinese companies, and Beijing issued new regulations severely limiting extra-school training and teaching for primary and high school students. This could have huge implications for many education and tutoring-related companies and individuals, but also how will parents view it? The One Voice must not be contradicted out of class, appears to be the key motivation.
Have a good weekend.
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