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Inkstone

Rare pink dolphin makes comeback as Covid-19 quiets Hong Kong waters
Border restrictions during the coronavirus pandemic have apparently paved the way for a comeback of a rare creature in Hong Kong waters, the Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin, also known as Chinese white dolphin or pink dolphin. Seas off southern Lantau Island have been quieter than usual with fewer high-speed ferries crossing the marine mammals’ natural habitat. Researchers say that sightings of the dolphins are up by as much as 30% and the animals they see appear to be less “stressed”
Did China just acknowledge the scale of its Xinjiang camps?
China released a white paper on Thursday claiming that its far-western region of Xinjiang has provided “vocational training” to nearly 1.3 million workers every year on average from 2014 to 2019. It comes as Beijing is facing mounting criticism from Western countries and human rights groups over its policies in the region, where it is believed to have detained at least 1 million Uygurs and other ethnic Muslim minorities in internment camps. China has been accused of subjecting detainees to political indoctrination and forced labor in the camps, but it has denied the allegations and insisted they are “vocational training centers” where people learn language and job skills. Observers said the
Trump and Biden both vow to reduce reliance on China, but methods will be ‘night and day’
In his Mexico City office, while the coronavirus pandemic has raged, Samuel Campos’s phone has been ringing off the hook with firms looking to move their manufacturing to Mexico. “Since the trade deal this year, I think our volume is up around 30% to 40%,” said Campos, managing director at commercial real estate advisory firm Newmark Knight Frank, pointing to the revamped US-Mexico-Canada Agreement that went into effect in July. The callers used to be mainly European and American, looking to escape China to avoid trade war tariffs or to be closer to their consumer markets. But in recent months, Chinese firms have been calling too – all keen on managing the costs and volatility that come with
China’s leader seeks to rally private business to the Communist Party’s cause
President Xi Jinping has told China’s private entrepreneurs they are a key part of the nation’s “socialist market economy” as the Communist Party seeks to rally the private sector amid the ongoing tensions with the United States.  Xi’s message was delivered on Wednesday, a day after the party released a policy that ordered the private sector to help meet the nation’s strategic goals as it faces an increasingly hostile external environment. “It is critically important to promote the healthy development of the non-public economy and the healthy growth of people in the non-public sector,” Xi said, according to the official news agency Xinhua. The president urged the United Front Work Departmen
China Trends: lawyer accused of rape to be deported, and students protest campus lockdowns
Every Tuesday and Thursday, China Trends takes the pulse of the Chinese social media to keep you in the loop of what the world’s biggest internet population is talking about. American citizen accused of rape to be deported A Chinese-American lawyer will be deported from China after rape accusations against him prompted public outrage. In one of the most talked-about sexual assault cases this year, a Chinese woman told reporters in May that lawyer Bao Yuming, who was her “fostered father,” started to sexually assault her when she was 14 years old.  Her allegations led to a wave of condemnations of Bao and calls to raise the age of consent in China.   In an investigation report released on Thu
Mongolians fear loss of languages as China pushes Mandarin
China’s new language policy for schools in Inner Mongolia sparked rare protests and class boycotts in the region as locals fear the rules will suffocate their culture. Some parents have been threatened with layoffs, fines, and their children’s expulsion from school if they refuse to send their kids back to school. 
China-India border dispute: Beijing raised combat readiness to the highest level since 1987
Chinese troops on the country’s disputed border with India raised their combat readiness to the second-highest possible last week after an exchange of gunfire, but the alert was lowered after a meeting of the nations’ foreign ministers, military sources said. The increase, to second level, meant more weapons and troops were deployed to the front line, and training exercises were ramped up for commanders, officers and soldiers, a military source told the South China Morning Post. The last time such a high level was employed by troops in the restive region was in 1987, when a skirmish in the Sumdorong Chu valley pushed the two sides to the brink of war, said the person, who asked not to be nam
US sanctions Chinese firm for ‘seizure’ of Cambodian land
The US Treasury Department issued sanctions on Tuesday against a Chinese company developing a sprawling tourism zone in Cambodia. It is the latest sign that Washington’s increasingly heated competition with Beijing has now spread to Southeast Asia. The Treasury Department accused Union Development Group (UDG) of “seizure and demolition of local Cambodians’ land” for the construction of Dara Sakor, a coastal resort area that is planned to include golf courses, casinos, luxury housing, an airport, and a port large enough for cruise ships. In announcing the sanctions, the US cited reports that Dara Sakor could be converted to host Chinese military assets, which could “threaten regional stabilit
Covid-19: There won’t be enough vaccines for a return to normal life until 2022, WHO scientist says
Do not expect there to be enough Covid-19 vaccines for life to return to normal until 2022, World Health Organization chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan predicted on Tuesday. Swaminathan said the WHO’s Covax initiative, the resource-pooling mechanism to provide equitable vaccine access to countries with different income levels, would only be able to garner around hundreds of millions of doses by the middle of next year, meaning each of the some 170 countries or economies that have joined “will have something.” But the number of doses will be too small to change the need for social distancing and mask wearing until production is increased and reaches the goal of 2 billion by the end of 2021.
China’s super-sized mobile app market
Every Tuesday and Thursday, Inkstone Index features a single, illuminating number that helps you make sense of China. 3.67 million: how many mobile apps are available in the Chinese market. Chinese app stores featured 3.67 million mobile apps as of December 2019, according to the state-run China Internet Network Information Center.  Games accounted for a quarter of the products, while apps that served as everyday tools made up 14% and e-commerce apps comprised 10% of the market, the data shows. This massive app economy is supported by the world’s biggest internet population – 904 million people in China regularly access the internet, mostly using their phones. But China’s internet is a walle