China is celebrating its first major national holiday since the country emerged from the coronavirus. Hundreds of millions of people typically travel for vacation for the 8-day Mid-Autumn Festival holiday, and this year's holiday is also expected to be busy as China attempts to return to a state of normalcy. China's Ministry of Tourism predicts close to 550 million trips to be made within the country for this year's week-long break, with last year seeing a total of 782 million domestic trips made. With any holiday, travel and tourism often signals China's economic health; this year's holiday will offer clearer insight into how China has fared the past 9 months.
China was a hot topic in the US Presidential debates this Tuesday, with President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden both taking strong anti-China stances amid increasing tensions between the two countries. Days later, President Trump and first lady Melania Trump tested positive for coronavirus this Thursday; Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying wished President Trump and the first lady a "speedy recovery". Over at the House of Representatives, House Intelligence Committee Democrats released a report this Wednesday warning of the consequences if the US does not prioritize developing intelligence against the Chinese government. The report, which is the result of a two year study completed by the American intelligence community, calls for a "significant realignment of resources" that expands the scope of counter-intelligence, including in areas of climate change, public health, and other "domains of interaction". For more, read "China in the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election", from David Shambaugh, Gaston Sigur Professor of Asian Studies, Political Science & International Affairs at George Washington University.
As US-China tensions increase, Washington seems to be contemplating a pivot towards Latin America, which would challenge China's growing commercial footprint in the region. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's recent tour of Latin America criticized China's state-owned operations and offered US private companies as a secure alternative. "We've watched the Chinese communist party invest in countries, and it all seems great at the front end and then it all comes falling down when the political costs connected to that becomes clear," said Pompeo. Read more in "China's Shift in Latin America" from Fernando Menéndez, writer and policy analyst.
About China This Week
Prepared by China-US Focus editorial teams in Hong Kong and New York, this weekly newsletter offers you snap shots of latest trends and developments emerging from China every week, while adding a dose of historical perspective.