March 29,

No. 93

AMS Weekly Newsletter
Dedicated to the development of the future stewards of U.S.-China relations
In this week's newsletter we are combining two weeks' worth of content as we focus on the social credit system, the future of Xi Jinping, the Kushner family, and China in the WTO.   

Weekly Readings


Premier Li Keqiang's Government Work Report delivered at the last National People's Congress session contained a short line in the governance section: "Accelerate the establishment of a social credit system." The social credit system is only in its initial stages with pilot programs in several cities, but it eventually will be a critical element of social management. Modernization and preserving stability go hand-in-hand, according to party analysts, m aking new tools -- potentially like the social credit system -- beyond ideology and violence especially desirable.

"FICO with Chinese Characteristics: Nice Rewards, but Punishing Penalties," CNBC, March 16, 2017


"Opinions concerning Accelerating the Construction of Credit Supervision, Warning and Punishment Mechanisms for Persons Subject to Enforcement for Trust-Breaking," China Copyright and Media, October 7, 2016

"诚信文化与社会信用体系相倚互济," Guangming Daily, February 15, 2017



Xi Jinping's consolidation of power and his future beyond 202 2 are going to be the flavor of the week through the 19th Party Congress in November. This week's articles address two aspects of Xi's future: his ideological contribution and the backing of the People's Liberation Army (PLA). They are not the full story, but they are important. For example, if party politics are becoming more i nstitutionalized, then the PLA's 20 percent of the Central Commit tee is a significant voice. The contributions to party canon, such as Jiang Zemin's "Three Represents" and the decision to bring business leaders into the party, can have profound effects. Analytic drudgery and too much propaganda reading ahead, but the Chinese political season is upon us.

俗语 in Xi Jinping's Speeches

qīn lì qīn wéi

Meaning: to do something oneself

On March 24 Xi Jinping chaired the 33rd meeting of the Comprehensive Deepening Reform LSG. According to Xinhua he used the the chengyu 亲力亲为, which means to take part in something or do something oneself-in this case to personally get involved with the reform efforts. The article includes some examples of this, as follows:


Original: 他强调,各级主要负责同志要自觉从全局高度谋划推进改革,做到实事求是、求真务实,善始善终、善作善成,把准方向、敢于担当,亲力亲为、抓实工作。

Videos of the Week 


The current U.S. administration and first family have accepted a great deal more ethical risk by retaining their business holdings. In this week's video, New York Times reporter Mike Forsythe takes an interview in Chinese on Anbang, its CEO Wu Xiaohui, and their potential dealing with the Kushner family. Forsythe has developed a reputation for researching the nitty-gritty.

直播:安邦吴小晖和川普女婿的曼哈頓房地產生意 (《明鏡編輯部》第86期)


"Kushners, Trump In-Laws, Weigh $400 Million Deal With Chinese Firm," New York Times, March 14, 2017

"A curious timeline of trademarks granted to Donald Trump by an increasingly helpful China," Quartz, March 13, 2017



Two weeks ago, the U.S. Senate Finance Committee heard Robert Lig hthizer, the nominee for U.S. Trade Representative. Lighthizer is a veteran trade lawyer, but a skeptic of free trade and of China's entry into the World Trade Organization. Internal fights within the current U.S. administration already leaking to the press suggest trade will be one of the key policy issues debated throughout the next four years. Pending his likely confirmation, Lighthizer will pl ay a key role as the lead U.S. trade negotiator, especially as the concerns of U.S. firms in China grow.  

Schwarzman Scholars Application

The Schwarzman Scholars application opens on April 17, 2017 and will remain open until September 28, 2017. Interested readers can learn more here.
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