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CHINA: POLITICS AND CURRENT AFFAIRS:

POLITICS AND CURRENT AFFAIRS:

Natural gas in Iran — U.S. sanctions open the pipes to China 
China gets another shot at Mideast energy after Total leaves Iran / Bloomberg (porous paywall)
“Total SA’s withdrawal from Iran’s giant South Pars gas field has given China another chance to secure a stake in the world’s most coveted energy assets: abundant and low-cost Middle Eastern oil and gas… The resumption of sanctions by the U.S. on Iran has presented new opportunities, starting with the option to take control of South Pars after Total failed to secure an exemption from the U.S. penalties”New Zealand
The China Council surveys New Zealanders / Croaking Cassandra
A caustic analysis of the results of a survey on “perceptions of China” among New Zealanders.Xinjiang re-education camps
China is treating Islam like a mental illness / The Atlantic
This is not the first time China has used medical analogies to suppress a religious minority. “Historically, it’s comparable to the strategy toward Falun Gong,” said Adrian Zenz, a researcher at the European School of Culture and Theology in Berlin.Chinese Americans falsely accused of spying
The spy who wasn't / CBS
“Innocent Chinese Americans are being accused as spies, and the impact on them and their families lasts far beyond the legal fees and dropped charges”Taiwan
Opinion: The inconvenient truth behind Tsai Ing-wen’s diplomatic troubles / China-US Focus 
Dennis V. Hickey, a political science professor at Missouri State University, argues that the real reason for El Salvador’s recent switch in diplomatic recognition is that Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen “refused to endorse ‘the 1992 consensus’” and instead “signaled her termination of the diplomatic truce” between Taipei and Beijing.
But he makes no attempt to argue that the reason for the switch was not either of the two main things actually cited by Taipei — an “astronomical sum” of money requested by El Salvador for a port project, and alleged requests for campaign finance money for the ruling party in El Salvador.
Ikea under fire for listing Taiwan as a country on its packaging / SCMPSuppression of dissent in Hong Kong 
No evidence pair from Joshua Wong’s Demosisto party were detained by Chinese security services, Hong Kong leader says / SCMP
Hong Kong gov’t should handle pro-independence party in accordance with law, state leader says / HKFPAfrica and the debt trap debate
China says projects not to blame for majority of Africa debt / Reuters
“Chinese development projects do not account for a majority of the debt on African countries, a senior Chinese official said on Tuesday ahead of a summit with African leaders in Beijing next week.”Aviation accidents
Wheels missing on plane after another emergency landing for Chinese budget carrier Capital Airlines / SCMP

SOCIETY AND CULTURE:

Secondhand books
New app for old books finds frugal following / Sixth Tone
“Secondhand books are perhaps an unlikely commodity for a 21st-century tech startup. But Déjà Vu — which buys, cleans, and sells used books — is thriving.”Toilet graffiti and misogyny 
What men’s bathroom graffiti says about Chinese masculinity / Sixth Tone
“We found little graffiti in the women's restrooms — mostly requests for exam stand-ins. In the men's restrooms, on the other hand, a staggering 54 percent of the graffiti we identified was sexually explicit… Of the pieces of graffiti pertaining to female university students, every one — without exception — characterized them in an insulting or derogatory fashion. Women were generally portrayed in one of two ways: either as purely physical objects valued only for their beauty or sex appeal; or as vulgar, even petulant figures, concerned only with money and sex.”Anime
Chinese fans of hit Japanese anime Chibi Maruko-chan grieve creator Momoko Sakura’s death / SCMP
“The untimely death of the Japanese artist behind the much-loved manga and anime series Chibi Maruko-chan (ちびまる子ちゃん or 樱桃小丸子 yīngtáo xiǎowánzi) has unleashed a flood of remembrances on Chinese social media.”Strange scams and crimes
Hong Kong woman marries stranger in mainland China after being duped in job offer scam / SCMP
“A 21-year-old Hong Kong woman who was hoping to land her first job in the beauty industry ended up with a complete stranger for a husband in mainland China, falling victim to an apparent scam that left her with an unwanted marital status.”
Court CCTV footage shows man with 12-inch meat cleaver before he threatened to kill Hong Kong judge / SCMP
University of Hong Kong professor arrested over murder of wife after body found in suitcase in his office / SCMPMisbehaving tourists 
Chinese tourists caught brawling at makeup counter in South Korean duty-free store/ SCMP

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