The Sinocism China Newsletter 10.24.14

Today’s Links:

THE ESSENTIAL EIGHT

Official Central Committee Communiqué on 4th Plenum | China Copyright and Media Yeoman’s work from this blog. On Twitter the China Copyright and Media author summarized the communique: “Main points: much structural adjustment and supervision, more internal review of legislative documents, including reference to Constitution. Also: maintenance of Party leadership, better talent recruitment mechanisms, more public involvement in legal processes.”…lots to digest here, not sure what to make of it yet. You can read the original Chinese here or watch it being read aloud in the first 20 minutes of the Thursday CCTV Evening News here. Xinhua has prepared a handy infographic to help readers understand the communique 一图读懂

Related: Party’s leadership “most fundamental guarantee” for rule of law in China: communique – Xinhua The Communist Party of China (CPC) leadership is “the most fundamental guarantee” for comprehensively advancing the rule of law and building a country under the socialist rule of law, leaders said at a key meeting Thursday. The effectiveness of implementing rule of law will be a significant index in judging the work of officials at various levels and will be added to their performance appraisal system, the Party said, according to a communique of the fourth plenary session of the 18th CPC Central Committee held from Monday to Thursday. The communique called for governing by law, and all cadres taking the lead to abide by law, warning against illegally exercising powers, allow replacement of law with words, pressing law with powers, and bending law for personal gains.

Related: CPC sets new blueprint for rule of law – Xinhua According to the communique, the four-day meeting adopted a decision from the CPC Central Committee on “major issues concerning comprehensively advancing rule of law,” and heard a work report of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee. It also saw the endorsement of the CPC’s prior decisions to revoke the Party membership of five high-ranking officials — including Li Dongsheng, Jiang Jiemin, Wang Yongchun, Li Chuncheng and Wan Qingliang — and a People’s Liberation Army general Yang Jinshan. Three of the above six, namely Li Dongsheng, Jiang and Yang, had previously been members of the 18th CPC Central Committee. Their vacancies were filled by chief of the National Bureau of Statistics Ma Jiantang, State Administration of Religious Affairs head Wang Zuo’an and Mao Wanchun, a member of the Standing Committee of the CPC Shaanxi Provincial Committee.

Related: Highlights of communique of 4th plenary session of CPC Central Committee – Xinhua The fourth plenary session of the 18th Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee announced a communique after its closing on Thursday. Following are the highlights of the document, which focuses on “comprehensively advancing the rule of law” in China.

Related: CPC leadership guarantees China’s rule of law: People’s Daily – Xinhua  The Communist Party of China (CPC) leadership is “the most fundamental guarantee” for comprehensively advancing rule of law, said a People’s Daily editorial to be published on Friday.// the editorial 实现依法治国的历史跨越(社论)

Related: China Moves To Reinforce Rule of Law, With Caveats – NYTimes.com “This is something that has to be done if the party wants to maintain legitimacy, because legitimacy is not just made by abstract concepts and buzzwords,” said Flora Sapio, an assistant professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong who studies China’s legal system. “You have to deliver something to the people.” Continue reading the main story But she and other legal experts noted that Mr. Xi had no interest in creating a judiciary that could rule against the party’s policies and interests, particularly in cases that are politically delicate or that could lead to social unrest.

Related: Chinese Law Prof Blog–China’s Fourth Plenum Communiqué: Little Sizzle, Less Steak The official term for the plenum’s topic was “yi fa zhi guo”, variously translatable as “governing according to law,” “rule of law,” and “rule by law.” Few observers expected radical proposals – for example, institutional changes that would make the Party itself more accountable to legal norms – and the communiqué confirms these low expectations. For the most part, the communiqué is long on platitudes and short on specifics. (To be fair, that’s common in documents like this; specifics may be in the Fourth Plenum’s official resolution, which has not yet been released.)

Related: 4th Plenum and the Supreme People’s Court | Supreme People’s Court Monitor According to the Wechat postings of one of its members, the judicial reform office of the Supreme People’s Court has been working overtime for months to prepare for the 4th Plenum.  It appears, at least from the initial 4th Plenum communiqué, that the hard work has paid off.  We will know more about the leadership’s plans for legal reforms when the full decision is released.  Four quick questions about the communique are set out below (to be supplemented as time permits).

Related: Communist Party pledges greater role for constitution, rights in fourth plenum | South China Morning Post Steve Tsang, chair of the University of Nottingham’s School of Contemporary Chinese Studies, said Xi was using the constitution and the law to support and strengthen party rule. Under this approach, Tsang said, “human rights as a whole will improve, but the rights of dissidents or ‘enemies of the state’ will suffer much more”. Tong Zhiwei , a law professor at Shanghai’s East China University of Political Science and Law, said: “The decision showed the ambition of the Communist Party to push for rule by law … But in reality it will be a long process to instigate real change

Related: 李永忠:四中全会法治体系旨在恢复宪法至高无上地位_热评_评论频道首页_财经网 – CAIJING 据新华网消息,十八届四中全会提出,全面推进依法治国,总目标是建设中国特色社会主义法治体系,建设社会主义法治国家。围绕这一总目标,公报提出依法决策、司法独立、司法分权等具体机制。法律是治国之重器,良法是善治之前提。腾讯新闻独家连线中国纪检监察学院副院长、制度反腐专家李永忠,解读此次四中全会所释放出的信号。 对于此次四中全会所提出的法治体系,李永忠认为,根本意义在于恢复了宪法这一根本大法至高无上的法律地位。

Related: 五大看点独家解读全会公报 ThePaper looks at 5 key points from the 4th Plenum Communique

中纪委四次全会明日召开 或讨论设立顶层反腐机构–时政–人民网 The 4th Plenum of The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) meets this weekend in Beijing, expect some significant moves towards greater institutionalism of the corruption crackdown. There was surprise in some quarters that the Party’s 4th Plenum made no mention of the Zhou Yongkang case. Perhaps it will be mentioned at end of the CCDI meeting but I doubt it. Expect lots of speculation that there is resistance to pushing the Zhou case, though the lack of any mention may be that as Zhou is retired the Central Committee does not need to approve his expulsion, and/or as with the Bo Xilai, Chen Liangyu and Chen Xitong cases, it is very complicated to prosecute such a senior leader and the process takes time. Reuters reported 9 days ago that China likely to expel disgraced security chief from party: sources“, so there were some in Beijing expecting it //十八届四中全会已于昨日闭幕。10月25日,第十八届中央纪律检查委员会第四次全体会议就将召开。昨日上午,中纪委官网公布了中纪委四次全会的会期。与十八届中纪委三次全会相比,即将召开的中纪委四次全会,会期提前了近3个月。国家行政学院教授许耀桐等受访专家表示,党的四中全会之后立即举行中纪委全会,此系“惯例”安排。

Related: China vows better rule of law, but no word of disgraced security chief | Reuters The party’s anti-graft watchdog, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, will hold its fourth plenary session on Saturday, state news agency Xinhua said. Cheng Li, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, expected the party to give details about Zhou’s case at that meeting, and said the party would not want his case to overshadow the main gathering, called the fourth plenum. However, the plenum did formalize previously approved expulsions of several officials and executives linked to Zhou and investigated for graft.

Related: Plenum’s lack of action on Zhou Yongkang suggests party divisions, analysts say | South China Morning Post Zhang Ming , a political science professor at Renmin University, was not surprised that no announcement was made. “Zhou is no longer a member of the Central Committee, so according to convention a decision regarding his expulsion from the party should not be made during the plenum,” which discusses affairs among members of the Central Committee, Zhang said.

Related: Where people say giving bribes gets you ahead in life | Pew Research Center The countries where people are most likely to say bribes are important are China (with a 5.5 average rating on the 10-point scale), Jordan (5.0) and Russia (4.5); and those least likely to do so are Brazil (0.8), El Salvador (1.4) and Colombia (1.5). (The U.S. is near the low end of the scale with a 2.5 rating.)

Rhodium Group » Avoiding the Blind Alley: China’s Economic Overhaul and Its Global Implications To resolve uncertainties, this study assesses the content of China’s economic reform program and indications of its progress during its first year. We find that the program’s redefined mission statement for government and nine major clusters of regulatory overhaul are convergent with advanced-economy notions of economic governance. Moreover, we conclude that – on balance – China’s leadership is moving ahead across all economic dimensions with purpose and urgency, though at varying speeds, and is simultaneously addressing the obstacles that have hampered systemic reform in the past and continue to complicate implementation today. That said, the consolidation of power, key to overcoming those impediments to reform today, creates its own problems for the future.

Related: Are China’s Economic Reforms Coming Fast Enough? | ChinaFile Economic data show a slowdown in China. At least two opposing views of what’s next for the world’s largest economy have just been published: one skeptical, from David Hoffman at The Conference Board, and one cautiously optimistic, from Dan Rosen and the Asia Society Policy Institute. Orville Schell, the Arthur Ross Director of the Asia Society Center on U.S.-China Relations, of which ChinaFile is a part, asked Rosen to explain the gist of his new paper. Rosen’s answers, Hoffman’s view below, and the views that follow offer plenty of perspective from which to draw one’s own conclusions about this week’s question: Are China’s economic reforms coming fast enough?

Related: China Economy on Track for Sweeping Reform, Report Finds – China Real Time Report – WSJ In coming up with a 6% forecast for what Mr. Rosen describes as “potential growth” — that is, if all reforms are fully implemented — his report focuses on nine “clusters” of economic and political reform aimed broadly at reducing centralized control over the Chinese economy and opening it up to more market influence. In all, Mr. Rosen’s analysis finds that quiet progress is being made in some politically sensitive areas of reform, a view that contrasts with critics who say that a lack of key developments such as the creation of a deposit insurance scheme are stymying vital liberalization of the financial system.

Related: Is the Chinese Economy About to Fall Off a Cliff?–New Yorker The Conference Board analysts aren’t reassured. They argue that, as the rate of economic growth falls and bad debts pile up, there may well be too many stricken lenders for the state to rescue. And, even if the government does step in, the economic consequences will be severe. “While it is difficult to determine with precision when the breakpoint will be reached … a major deleveraging must occur at some point—it cannot be forestalled forever,” the report says. “Nor can China grow out of the problem. Anticipated nominal GDP growth comes nowhere close to being able to service the debt that has been accumulated since 2009. Something’s got to give.”

Zhou Xiaoping, Director of History – China Digital Times (CDT) Zhou’s blog post is titled “His and Their National Dream,” where “he” is Mao Zedong and “they” are his companion founders of the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Zhou counters internal criticism of China’s status quo by explaining the glorious military history that reinforces his love for the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and the nation. The netizen’s annotations, which stand out from the original text in bold, draw attention to Zhou Xiaoping’s tendency to blatantly disregard historical accuracy.

Related: China’s Scientific & Academic Integrity Watch: Fang Zhouzi Erased from China’s Social Media Fang Zhouzi found the essay full of factual errors. He wrote a detailed rebuttal, accusing Zhou Xiaoping had “sleepwalked” America instead. Fang Zhouzi’s article cites each of the “facts” from Zhou Xiaoping and debunks them with detailed references. After Fang Zhouzi published his article, it started to circulate in the social media quickly. But almost as quickly, they started to disappear. Then, Fang Zhouzi found himself being denied access to his own social media accounts. Within half an hour or so, the accounts have been removed from across at least three major social media sites. Quite literally, Fang Zhouzi has been erased.

Related: 方舟子博客 Fang Zhouzi dismembers another of Zhou Xiaoping’s essays, this time on Fang’s new Tumblr blog

Related: 必须坚持我们自己的文化价值观–时政–人民网 People’s Daily interviews Zhou Xiaoping, on page 6 of Friday newspaper  //  80后网络作家周小平最近火了。在10月15日召开的文艺工作座谈会上,他作为参会代表受到习近平总书记的勉励。总书记希望他“创作更多具有正能量的作品”。从《请不要辜负这个时代》到《我待祖国如暖男》,周小平表达了对自己、对时代、对中国的一种思考,在互联网上引起广泛关注。本报记者就相关问题专访周小平。

A Chinese Rival to the World Bank – Room for Debate – NYTimes.com the United States is opposed to this Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank because it would rival existing institutions like the World Bank and Asian Development Bank, which are dominated by the U.S. and Japan. Is this a reasonable stance? Should China, and its partners, build an alternative development bank?

Related: China’s Plans for Development Bank Fall Short – WSJ China plans to launch a $50 billion infrastructure lender Friday, a move aimed at challenging the hegemony of the U.S.-backed World Bank and Asian Development Bank in channeling capital to poorer nations in Asia. But many of the countries that China’s government hoped would join the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank won’t be present at the signing of a preliminary agreement in Beijing.

Related: Ely Ratner-Why China’s new infrastructure bank represents a challenge to the global order.–Foreign Policy In part, Washington’s problem is that this is a power play by Beijing. Western and Chinese observers agree that providing an alternative lending institution to the World Bank and the ADB will “strengthen China’s position and influence in Asia” and “diminish U.S. regional leadership.” And more than just another multilateral initiative, the AIIB is shaping up to be distinctly China-led. China’s 50 percent share will likely make it far more dominant in the AIIB than Japan and the United States in the ADB — combined those two countries hold just over 25 percent voting power. By Beijing’s design, this means that China will have outsized control, if not de facto veto power, over decisions at the AIIB.

Ministry Said to Propose Local Gov’ts Issuing Bonds to Cover Debts – Caixin The Ministry of Finance has proposed that local governments be allowed to issue bonds to repay their existing debts. The proposal came in a document the ministry has circulated. A Caixin reporter read the document on October 21. The debts would cover the money that local governments raised for projects as of December 31, and involve both direct debts and contingent liabilities. Provincial finance officials were told to add up not only their debt amounts as of December 31 but also those of governments under them and report the figure to the ministry by January 5, a source with the knowledge of the matter said.

Related: 施政文:地方债“后门”能否真正堵住_观点频道_财新网 作为三中全会深化财税体制改革中的重要一环,对地方债“开前门、堵后门”的管理方式,是否能够真正解决地方政府的融资问题?中国政法大学财税金融法研究所教授施政文指出,新预算法赋予地方政府举债权、对地方债存量采取新老划断,此番对地方债管理采取“开前门、堵后门”的办法从思路上是合理的。但目前新预算法赋予地方政府的举债权十分有限,且仍缺乏配套执行措施,短期内恐难满足地方政府的融资需求。

Related: 43号文正在重置“市长经济” 作者:柳叶刀 来源:21世纪明天日报–43号文或将改变中国,并非夸大之词。 不仅仅因为它要解决沉珂已久、但是历史价值亦不可低估的地方债堰塞湖问题,还因为,这或将是塑成中央、省部、市县、镇、村五级行政体制的一个关键节点;或将成为由经济体制改革,而促成“政制”改革的一个扳手;或将很大程度上改变影响中国数十年的“市长经济”。

Net closes on Ling Jihua, one-time top aide to ex-president Hu Jintao | South China Morning Post Graft-busters on the mainland are closing the net around a powerful family headed by Ling Jihua, for long the right-hand man of former president Hu Jintao. Ling Wancheng , the youngest of the five Ling siblings, recently left China for the United States via Hong Kong and Singapore but has since returned to the mainland, where he is under investigation, sources say. It is not clear if the businessman, better known as Wang Cheng, returned of his own volition or as a result of cooperation between China and the US.

Related: 令政策升官后曾请一位老同事吃饭并送其两瓶酱油_网易新闻中心 long piece from ThePaper on Ling Jihua’s detained brother Ling Zhengce, opens with a summary of the SCMP report that Ling Wancheng also detained

China’s coal use actually falling now (for the first time this century) | Greenpeace UK The latest 3rd quarter data reinforces a trend towards falling coal use which started in the second quarter of 2014 and suggests China’s annual coal use may end up down on the previous year.  Significantly the latest data showed that even as power consumption grew by 4% (based on government data) coal demand for power generation actually fell by 1%. The drop intensified in August and September, with slow power demand growth and large hydropower additions conspiring to reduce power sector coal consumption by 11%.

 

BUSINESS, ECONOMY AND TRADE

CICC Chairman Jin Follows Zhu in Exit Before Planned IPO – Bloomberg Jin Liqun, chairman of investment bank China International Capital Corp., resigned after less than two years in the job, the second top executive to exit the firm in two weeks. He’s been replaced by Ding Xuedong, the chairman and chief executive officer of the nation’s sovereign wealth fund, CICC said in a statement today. Levin Zhu, the son of former Premier Zhu Rongji, previously resigned as CICC’s CEO after 16 years with the company…Jin will join the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, the Chinese business publication Caixin reported earlier

Venezuela’s latest surprise default…China! – beyondbrics – Blogs – FT.com This de facto debt rescheduling tells us several important things. First, it is another confirmation of Venezuela’s economic and financial distress. To service its Chinese debts at lower oil prices, Venezuela would have had to export comparably more oil. But the country cannot increase oil output quickly. Nor does it have the financial wherewithal to service its Chinese debts in cash instead; foreign reserves are already under pressure. So something else had to be done. Second, China apparently agreed to the debt rescheduling perhaps because its banks believed in taking the long view. After all, Venezuela has the world’s largest oil reserves – so one day it will pay. But was the rescheduling China’s preferred choice?

J.P. Morgan Knew of China Hiring Concerns Before Probe – WSJ – WSJ A bank official in Asia alerted legal and compliance executives in New York in 2011 of anonymous accusations that the bank’s recruitment of a prominent son or daughter of a senior Chinese official helped it win an investment-banking assignment, according to company emails reviewed by the Journal. J.P. Morgan officials later discussed those accusations and dismissed them, while still proposing changes to the region’s hiring practices, according to the emails. Ultimately, those fixes were included as part of a broader set of anticorruption measures approved by board directors on the bank’s audit committee in late 2011, according to people familiar with the matter. J.P. Morgan Chairman and Chief Executive James Dimon was aware of the broader anticorruption measures as the new program rolled out, these people said.

Online financing, rising costs squeeze profits at China’s midsize banks | Reuters The average net interest margin for China’s top five banks, has remained stable at around 2.6 percent over the last year. In contrast, the next seven banks saw this key indicator of profitability drop to 1.86 percent in the second quarter from levels previously comparable to the big banks. The margins are seen falling further in the third-quarter. To counter the profit squeeze, investors say second-tier lenders may look to innovate by embracing online finance.

Outspoken Real Estate Boss Says He Is Retiring – Caixin Ren Zhiqiang has been active on Sina Weibo since 2010, and his account now has more than 25 million followers. His blunt comments on the property market and harsh criticism of some of the government’s policies often spark public debate. He has long opposed government curbs on the property market and defended rising prices. In May, he predicted that home prices will continue increasing for another decade due to rapid economic growth and strong demand. In the interview with Caixin, Ren again predicted that home prices in the capital would continue rising because the market had shown signs of rebounding.

韩俊任中央财经领导小组办公室副主任(图/简历)-人事频道-新华网 Han Jun now deputy director of office of Central Finance and Economics Leading Small Group

Cheap China IPOs Turn Pricey After 181% Rally – Bloomberg The ChiNext index of small-cap equities, dominated by companies in emerging industries including alternative energy and technology, has risen 108 percent in the past two years, compared with an 8.9 percent advance by the Shanghai Composite.

China’s slowdown is secular, not cyclical | Gavyn Davies In assessing Chinese growth data, investors therefore need to juggle with two different forces. First, the long-term trend growth rate is probably slowing from about 7.5 per cent now to, at best, 6 per cent by 2020 (with a lot of uncertainty around that). Second, there will be cyclical fluctuations around that trend, which the authorities will seek to smooth through policy changes. Financial markets are likely to be sensitive not to the decline in the long-term trend, but to significant cyclical fluctuations below that trend (“hard landings”). The latest data are not indicative of a hard landing at present.

Foreign Companies Are Cooling on China – WSJ – WSJ The number of European companies doing business in China that cut staff in the past year rose to 16% this year from 10% in 2012, according to a survey by the European Chamber of Commerce in China. Likewise, the number planning to boost permanent staff fell to 48% this year from 61% in 2012. “The gold-rush stage is over,” said Kirsten Mao, a partner at ManGo Associates, a Chinese recruiting firm. “Many multinationals which have overexpanded in China are now in a restructuring mood.”

 

POLITICS AND LAW

China Tycoons’ Assets Up for Grabs – WSJ – WSJ When bidding opened last month near $150 million for an office plaza here, it became the most expensive item ever listed on the online auction service Taobao Marketplace. The blocky 15- and 25-floor buildings were built to house the offices for multiple business ventures run by Gong Dongsheng, including an ambitious electric-car charging venture with a U.S. company. Now, the for-sale sign represents how tycoons like Mr. Gong are being drained by their links to politicians the government accuses of taking bribes.

成都军区副司令杨金山被开除党籍 长期在14军服役_新闻_腾讯网 more on the Gen Yang Jinshan case

China Focus: “Long way to go to achieve rule of law”: public arrest and sentencing sparks controversy – Xinhua The trial, held last Friday in Huarong county, Yueyang city, saw 15 warrants for arrest announced and eight sentences delivered in the presence of nearly 1,000 “ordinary people”, local authorities said. Photos online also showed suspects and convicts were taken to the scene by a truck. Standing on the truck, they each had a plate hung on their necks to tell their names and the crimes they had allegedly committed. An official with the committee of political and legislative affairs in Huarong, who declined to be named, told Xinhua “the move was aimed to reduce crime, encourage people to abide by law and create a safe and stable social environment”. This is not the first time public arrests and sentencing were made in Huarong. Before this event, at least four public sentencing meetings had been held since 2009.

Fears new Guangzhou registration law will stifle NGOs | South China Morning Post Guangzhou’s non-government sector fears an imminent clampdown after city authorities said they were considering new measures against “illegal” social organisations. The city government launched an unusually brief 10-day public consultation on a controversial regulation that would close down and confiscate the property of “influential NGOs without legal status” that were raising funds, organising events in the name of the social organisations or that had continued operating after their registration had been revoked.

云南晋宁富有村村委会主任因征地案涉嫌受贿被捕_网易新闻中心-网易新闻客户端 village committee head in Kunming village that saw a violent clash last week has been detained

Beijing Formally Charges Writer Who Published Memoirs of Victims of Mao Era – NYTimes.com The police in Beijing have formally charged an 81-year-old writer, Tie Liu, for privately publishing the testimony of aged or dead victims of Mao Zedong’s wrath and for writing scathing essays about Mao and present-day Communist Party leaders, Mr. Tie’s wife and his lawyer said on Thursday.

 

FOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS

Former Leader of Australia to Study Asia in a New Way – NYTimes.com The Asia Society announced Tuesday that Kevin Rudd, a former prime minister of Australia, would lead a new research institute it has created that specializes in Asian issues and policy making, a reflection of Asia’s increasing global influence. Mr. Rudd, 57, a longtime statesman, Asia scholar and fluent Mandarin speaker, will become the first president of the Asia Society Policy Institute in January.

China’s new Senkakus tactic? Fleets of fishermen- Nikkei Asian Review Something funny is going on in the waters around the Senkaku Islands, and it’s making Japan nervous. There has been a precipitous decline in the presence of Chinese government surveillance vessels around the group of islets in the East China sea, which are controlled by Japan but claimed by China. At the same time, the number of Chinese fishing vessels operating in the area has surged, a development some see Beijing’s new approach in pursuing its territorial claims.

China says wants closer military ties with Iran | Reuters Chinese Defense Minister Chang Wanquan told Iranian Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari that the two armed forces have seen “good cooperation on mutual visits, personnel training and other fields in recent years”, China’s official Xinhua news agency reported.

Asia Times Online :: The rising cult of China experts Last, we have legions of lesser, disposable China watchers. Few of them enjoy fat expat packages, bigwig relatives in the media, or peddling political influence. Unable to find proper jobs and secure a future in China – apart from becoming activists, bloggers, or English teachers- they are recruited easily and radicalize quickly. Everyone has met those frustrated Westerners who once believed in their entitlement, got disillusioned, and found a way to spend their days: to patronize and correct the Chinese.–Thorsten J Pattberg is a German writer and cultural critic.

When the Chinese look at the US X-37B, they see the future of space-based attack The Chinese appear to be concerned that the X-37B is the first stage towards developing that space-to-ground attack capability. It is unlikely that the Chinese, with their own robust space development effort, sees the X-37B itself as a space-bomber. The craft itself weighs about 11,000 pounds, while its payload bay is typically compared to that of a van or a pickup truck. Nonetheless, one Chinese article opined that, while the X-37B’s payload was limited, it could nonetheless carry smaller munitions, or even nuclear weapons.

Confucius Institutes: Academic Malware: Marshall Sahlins: Amazon Drawing on reports in the media and conversations with those involved, Sahlins shows that the Confucius Institutes are a threat to the principles of academic freedom and integrity at the foundation of our system of higher education. Incidents of academic malpractice are disturbingly common, Sahlins shows.

China criticizes U.S. missile defense radar in Japan | Reuters Japan’s defense ministry has said an X-Band radar system was delivered on Tuesday to the U.S. military’s communication facility in Kyoto in the western part of the country. It is scheduled to be fully operational by the end of the year. “Neighboring countries pushing forward the deployment of anti-missile systems in the Asia-Pacific and seeking unilateral security is not beneficial to strategic stability and mutual trust in the region,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a regular briefing.

 

HONG KONG, MACAO AND TAIWAN

How Hong Kong’s Umbrella Movement protesters are using their native language to push back against Beijing – Quartz “This is why the battle for true autonomy in Hong Kong is so important,” says Victor Mair, a sinologist at the University of Pennsylvania, and one of the foremost experts on the history of Chinese languages. “It is not just a matter of politics; without guarantees of relative freedom, Cantonese language and culture will quickly wither.” But for the moment, Cantonese is actually flourishing—thanks in no small part to social media, says Mair. In the past, Hongkongers had few opportunities to write in Cantonese, says Mair. Now they use it all the time on Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites.

U.N. Human Rights Panel Urges China To Allow Free Elections in Hong Kong – NYTimes The United Nations Human Rights Committee urged China on Thursday to allow elections in Hong Kong without restrictions on who can run as a candidate. The move appeared likely to draw strong criticism from Beijing, where officials decided in August to set strict guidelines for the 2017 election of the city’s next leader, prompting mass sit-in protests.

时政频道-新华网评:”杜汶泽”们,休想吃我们的饭,还砸我们的锅-新华网 Hong Kong celebrities who support the Occupy movement look to be getting blacklisted in the mainland

Kenny G Reiterates That He Loves China, Deletes Photo Taken at Hong Kong Protests  - WSJ After a visit with Hong Kong protesters sparked ire in Beijing on Wednesday, American saxophonist Kenny G beat a hasty and apologetic retreat, saying he was not showing any signs of support for the local pro-democracy movement. In a statement emailed to reporters and posted on Twitter and Facebook FB +2.12%, Mr. G assured audiences that he “was not trying to defy government orders” with his social media postings, which included a selfie of himself posing before protest posters in Hong Kong and flashing a peace sign.

 

TECH AND MEDIA

Language Log » Zuckerberg’s Mandarin Prof. Victor Mair weighs in sensibly on Facebook CEO and his 30 minute talk in Mandarin at Tsinghua. Good for Mr. Zuckerberg. There has been some lame commentary across the blogosphere about the quality of his Mandarin. People seem to have to much time on their hands. Regardless, he has raised the bar for other foreign CEOs

Alibaba seeks to boost mobile OS with new phone by Meizu Alibaba debuted its mobile OS in 2011, but it never seemed to take off. A major bust-up with Google in 2012 effectively excluded Alibaba’s mobile OS from running on hardware made by the search giant’s major Android parters, so that it was only running on phones made by brands nobody’s ever heard of. That’s when the OS seemed to be dead. But now Alibaba is taking a different course with the OS – now called YunOS; “yun” means cloud in Chinese – by effectively making it into an Android ROM that can be quite easily put onto existing phones. Yesterday Alibaba revealed that YunOS will shortly become available on a variant of the Meizu MX4 (pictured below), an attractive large-screen phone that goes head-to-head with the Xiaomi Mi4

Twitter’s Developer Tools Put Company Deeper Into China – Bloomberg and the CTO was in China at end of summer  //  While Twitter doesn’t currently have an office or employees in China, company leaders including CEO Dick Costolo have visited the country. Twitter has been boosting its effort to draw revenue from international sources. About 78 percent of Twitter’s active user base comes from outside the U.S., but only 33 percent of the company’s revenue was international as of June. Baidu and Alibaba use Twitter’s Crashlytics tool, which lets them analyze when an application goes down, Twitter said. MoPub, Twitter’s ad server, is also available to application developers in China, the company said. Jim Prosser, a Twitter spokesman, declined to say how many developers currently use Twitter’s tools in China.

Xiaomi Is Moving International Users’ Data Out Of China Ahead Of Further Global Expansions | TechCrunch Xiaomi got itself into hot water this summer when it was found be sharing a range of user information with a server in China. A report from security company F-Secure found that the device’s IMEI number, customer’s phone number, phone contacts and text messages received were all shared but — importantly — there was no way for customers to opt out. As with all things China and privacy-related, the revelation raised concerns that the information could be accessible by the Chinese government. Xiaomi quickly offered an opt out for users, but moving their data overseas — MIUI services will be housed in Amazon AWS data centers in Oregon, USA, and Singapore — is the best response to any claims of nefarious intentions.

Chen Tong, Sina Executive Who Ignored Mobile Internet Takes His Leave – Caixin online reports speculate he is headed to Xiaomi or Qihoo  //  As the portal website’s influence dwindled, so did Chen’s power. In 2012, weibo was spun off of Sina and moved outside his purview. The same year, Sina created a new tech department to support the website and put Vice President Ji Xu in charge, eroding Chen’s authority, a second Sina employee said. “That plus the shift of focus to weibo and the mobile Internet has made Chen increasingly marginalized at Sina,” he said. Fang Xingdong, an Internet entrepreneur and critic, said Chen should have left Sina five years ago because portal news has run its course. This is the era of mobile Internet, he said. Many other observers would agree.

Apple plans more stores in China | Dow Jones Apple Inc. plans to increase the number of its Apple-brand retail stores in Greater China to 40 from 15 within two years, Chief Executive Tim Cook said Thursday. In an interview with Chinese news portal Sina.com, Mr. Cook said the Cupertino, Calif., gadget maker will also increase investment in China by an unspecified amount. “In the future China will become Apple’s biggest revenue contributor,” he said, according to Sina.com. “It’s just a matter of time.”

Investors Kick Tires on Auction Websites for Second-Hand Cars – Caixin An auction website for used cars recently got US$ 260 million in its latest round of fundraising, something of a surprise for the second-hand auto industry. The company, Youxinpai.com, said on September 16 that it got the money from investors that included Warburg Pincus, a leading global private equity investment institution, and Tiger Global Management. “It is surprising that a used-car company can raise more than 1 billion yuan,” said Hu Dingcheng, general manager of ReallyCar, a firm in Beijing that sells second-hand autos.

 

SOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY

Yan Lianke on Writing in China – NYTimes.com Today’s China is no longer the China of my childhood. It has become rich and powerful, and because it has solved the basic problem of providing 1.3 billion people with food, clothing and some spending money, it has come to resemble a bright ray of light that illuminates the East. But beneath this light lies a long shadow. When I look at contemporary China, I see a nation that is thriving yet distorted, developing yet mutated. I see corruption, absurdity, disorder and chaos. Every day, something occurs that lies outside ordinary reason and logic. A system of morality and a respect for humanity that was developed over several millenniums is unraveling.

Dim Sums: Rural China Economics and Policy: China Plans Massive Honesty Database According to the plan, the social credit system is necessary to implement the scientific development concept and form a foundation for a harmonious society and a socialist market economy. It’s an important measure for governance and for improving the nation’s competitiveness. The social credit system promises to increase honesty in government, business and courts. The system promises to broaden the public’s participation in government decision-making, but it also will “increase its policy-making, enforcement and supervision powers, and publicize policies.”

‘China Jockey Club’ apparently launched in Beijing last month exposed as hoax | South China Morning Post The mainland “China Jockey Club” – which was reportedly backed by a member of the British royal family – has been revealed as hoax. Communist Party mouthpiece the People’s Daily had reported on its overseas edition that the so-called China Jockey Club had been officially launched in Beijing last month and preparations for a horse racing lottery were underway. Money raised from the lottery was earmarked for government coffers, charities and the horse racing industry, the report said.

In China, a Drought Tests Nomadic Herders’ Culture of Survival – NYTimes.com Sheep that wholesalers bought last year for 1,000 renminbi, about $160, are commanding only 830 renminbi now, she said. The price drop has come as a big blow to the nomadic Kazakh herders whose families have for decades produced the most famous sheep in China. And the season for fattening up the sheep is at an end. Across this remote area of pristine grasslands and alpine forests, along the southern slopes of the Altai Mountains, nomads are in the middle of their annual multiweek autumn migration, as they bring their families, yurts and livestock down from the high pastures to lower altitudes for the winter. They are using horses, camels and flatbed trucks for transport, and horses and motorcycles to herd their animals. Clouds of dust rising from the steppes signal nomads on the move.

 

ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT, SCIENCE AND HEALTH

Chinese AIDS Activist Says She Was Kept From U.N. Conference – NYTimes.com Wang Qiuyun, 46, a member of the Women’s Network Against H.I.V./AIDS China, was to have consulted Thursday with experts reviewing China’s case before the Committee for the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women. In an interview on Wednesday, she said she was currently under close surveillance at her home in Hebi, Henan Province, after local officials took away her passport with her newly issued Swiss visa on Oct. 10. On that same day, she was driven to the Hebi City Infectious Disease Hospital by six officials, registered as a patient and told to notify the conference that she was “too sick to attend.”

发改委预警气荒 要求加快页岩气开发进度_财经频道_一财网 NDRC notice says expects natural gas shortage this winter, calls for speeding up shale gas development // 国家发改委10月22日发出通知,预计今冬明春我国天然气供需总体偏紧,华北、西北等部分地区高峰时段矛盾突出。如遇持续低温天气,形势将更趋严峻。 在要求现有气田保持满负荷生产的基础上,通知特别提到,要统筹利用非常规资源,包括煤层气的就近并网,以及加快页岩气的开发进度。

 

BOOKS AND LITERATURE

The Yellow Peril: Dr Fu Manchu and the Rise of Chinaphobia review – the factors that shaped our fear of China | Books | The Observer Books beget books and this engrossing, wide-ranging study of the deeply prejudicial mythology surrounding matters Chinese arose from a conversation between Christopher Frayling, polymathic emeritus professor of cultural history at the Royal College of Art and former rector of the RCA, and Edward Said, the Palestinian-American critic and historian // the book on Amazon

 

BEIJING

“村官巨贪”不断上演 北京一村官7年间索贿千万-中新网 report on another case of a corrupt Beijing grassroots official  //  数据显示,中国约60万的行政村里有数百万农村基层干部。由于缺乏有效监管,加上新型城镇化进程中土地开发带来的巨大利益诱惑,“小村官、大腐败”成为中国社会转型期一个值得关注的现象。 高立庄,北京西南四环的一个村。每天,南方进京的动车从这里呼啸而过。尽管没有支柱产业,但“生”在首都,土地就成了这个村最大的本钱。以“土”换“金”,城镇化飞速发展为村民带来巨额财富的同时,陈伟杰也因“村官”身份,成为了“土地爷”。身为村干部,在“金土”交易面前,他连连失守。

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