Also in this week’s issue

News roundup

  • Record rainstorms that have swamped central China's Henan province since last weekend have left at least 33 people dead and at least eight missing, Xinhua reported on Thursday. Twelve of the victims were passengers trapped in rising water within underground railway tunnels in the city of Zhengzhou (see this week's "Environment").
  • The local government in Nanjing has launched a mandatory Covid-19 testing campaign for more than 9.3 million locals after 17 airport workers tested positive for the virus during a routine inspection. Any resident leaving the city must also have tested negative within 48 hours of departure.
  • After much speculation it has been confirmed that US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman will visit the Chinese city of Tianjin from July 25 to 26, Xinhua reports. Xie Feng, China's vice foreign minister with special responsibility for China-US relations, will hold talks with the US diplomat, who will also meet Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi. The Chinese representatives will demand that “the US stops interfering in China's internal affairs and harming its interests”, a spokesperson for the ministry said.
  • A US military C-130 transport aircraft, chartered by the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), landed in Taiwan on Monday and took off after an hour, the United Daily News reported. It followed a similar landing by an American air force plane last week. Such “salami-slicing” provocation must be stopped as it sends the wrong signal to Taiwan secessionists, the Global Times fumed.
  • Morris Chang, founder of semiconductor heavyweight TSMC and Taiwan’s representative at an APEC virtual summit, has warned that recent efforts by China and the US to become self-sufficient at chipmaking would drive up costs and limit technological advances in the industry as a whole.
  • Chery Automobile has been forced to shelve a plan to enter the US market after its American partner HAAH Automotive filed for bankruptcy, CBN newspaper claims. A decision by the US government not to cut import duties on auto parts from China, together with the appreciation of the Chinese currency, contributed to HAAH’s liquidity problems, the newspaper said.
  • 42 Number of top-end EUV (extreme ultraviolet lithography) machines, vital for making advanced semiconductors, that Dutch leader ASML will manufacture this year. Washington has pressured the Dutch government to prevent ASML selling any of these high-tech EUVs to China.
  • 600km/h Top speed of China’s first high-speed Maglev train, the first of which rolled off a production line in Qingdao on Tuesday to undergo several years of tests. It was solely developed by Chinese engineers and when operational will zip between Beijing and Shanghai in two and a half hours.
  • 100 Number of stores that 52Toys, a collectible toy retailer, plans to open across China by the end of 2022. Doubling its revenue growth every year since 2018, the six year-old company runs just a few outlets but collaborates with over 10,000 stores.
  • 72 minutes The time a 66-qubit quantum computer (developed by physicist Pan Jianwei) needs to complete a task that would otherwise require rival supercomputers at least eight years to solve, the South China Morning Post reports. The experiment is 100 times harder than the one carried out by Google’s Sycamore quantum processor two years ago.

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