The Sinocism China Newsletter 11.16.14

Today’s Links:

THE ESSENTIAL EIGHT *

1. China v America: brinkmanship and statemanship–The Age There are many in China who have lost faith in the prospects of the legal, market and political reforms they believe to be necessary to support sustainable economic growth, reduce the insecurities of the Chinese political elite and enable the country to deal with nations as equals in a pluralistic world order. Optimists, however, can point to economic and legal reforms flagged but as yet unimplemented in recent party plenums. Where will Australia choose to sit in 20 years time? “It’s very difficult to predict,” says Jia, the international relations dean at Peking University. “It has a lot to do with how much success China has made in implementing the reforms outlined in third plenum and the fourth plenum of the 18th party congress,” he says. “The extent to which China can implement these reforms will probably have a very huge impact on what the Asia Pacific will look like. If China is successful, the future will be much brighter. If not, there will be much more conflict, I think.” On the evidence so far, the China choice is not for Australia to make alone, it seems, but also China.

2. Visa, MasterCard Confront China’s Stacked Deck – Caixin Visa and MasterCard executives eager to expand in China were thrilled recently when Premier Li Keqiang seemed to suggest that a door would open to them for bank card yuan business in the country. But they had read Li wrong: The premier’s statement in late October did not signal an opening to overseas bank card firms. Instead, it signaled tougher times. Despite a World Trade Organization directive putting China on notice to open its bank card market by August 2015, the central government has no immediate plans for letting Visa or any other company substantially challenge UnionPay…On November 3, UnionPay’s grip tightened with a central bank announcement that “new financial integrated cards issued by all banks must conform to the PBOC 3.0 standards.”  //  the classic standards gambit, and now China has a real shot of pushing this standard globally

3. Xi Jinping’s Culture Wars | ChinaFile Conversation President Xi Jinping’s recent lengthy statements on culture—and even the apparently tightening restrictions in some areas of arts and entertainment—are not evidence of a culture war.  Instead, they are manifestations of a long-term goal—the PRC’s quest to become a global cultural power—and a long-term policy pattern, song yi duan, jin yi duan ( 松一段,紧一段), loose for a time, tight for a time…Most importantly, much of what Xi has said is the standard Party line on culture, political rhetoric that is regularly recycled and embellished with a flourish or two. // the “Back to Mao” punditry seems a bit overdone…

4. College teachers must be more “positive” – China Media Project Now one of the hottest discussions on social media, the following article, printed in the November 13 edition of Liaoning Daily, the official Party newspaper of Liaoning province, is framed as an “open letter” to university teachers across China, and accuses them of being too “negative” about the country. The Liaoning Daily claims that it dispatched reporters across the country for an “investigation” of Chinese classrooms, visiting “20 schools in five cities.” The paper found that many instructors in university settings were politically insensitive and overly critical, it said, of Chinese society and the “theoretical innovations” of the Chinese Communist Party. They were sometimes (tisk, tisk) over-complimentary of Western ideas such as “separation of powers,” or sanquan fenli (三权分立).

Related: 辽宁党报:高校老师勿抹黑中国_网易新闻中心 Liaoning Daily says the impetus was an October opinion from Party Central on strengthening propaganda and thought work in institutions of higher education. 

Related: 关于进一步加强和改进学校思想政治工作的意见 have not seen a version of the October opinion, but here is a opinion from the same subject from 2007…guess history repeats itself…

Related: 教育部:有些高校偏西方法学理论 缺乏鉴别批判_网易新闻中心 新京报快讯 今天,教育部官网公布教育部部长袁贵仁署名文章《创新法治人才培养机制》透露,有些地区、高校在教材编写和教学实施过程中,还存在偏重于西方法学理论、缺乏鉴别批判等问题。 袁贵仁撰文表示,当前,我国已形成多层次高等法学教育体系,具有中国特色、中国风格、中国气派的法学学科体系和课程体系日臻完善,但同时也要看到,法学教育在充分体现马克思主义法学思想和中国特色社会主义法治理论指导研究和阐释方面,还有不少薄弱环节,“有些地方、高校在教材编写和教学实施过程中,还存在着偏重于西方法学理论、缺乏鉴别批判等问题。”

5. China’s graft inspection to target state-owned groups – Xinhua Companies and public service groups supervised by the Communist Party of China (CPC) and government departments will face a new round of top-level disciplinary inspections amid China’s anti-corruption drive. “Over the past two years, central inspection teams have covered Party and government departments at the provincial level. Next, we will focus on organizations supervised by central authorities,” Wang Ying, a senior official with the central inspection team, said Friday in an online interview.

Related: 反腐三人谈:用好巡视这把利剑 the video chat on the CCDI site

Related: 中央巡视全覆盖后迎来拐点 中纪委将杀“回马枪”–时政–人民网 巡视“回马枪”,并不像小说里那样,先诈败而走,然后趁人不备猛刺一枪,而是在旗开得胜之后继续乘胜出击、剿除余孽。在当前反腐败高压态势下,腐败分子难获喘息之机,无论明躲暗藏,无论如何根深蒂固,都将原形毕露、自食恶果。“宜将剩勇追穷寇”。党中央和中央纪委“打虎拍蝇”不留后患的决心,谁敢低估谁必将付出沉重代价,哪里出现腐败问题或不良作风回潮反弹,哪里就是剑锋所向。

Related: Xinhua Insight: Swat the “flies” dead – Xinhua President Xi Jinping, who launched the nation’s unprecedented antigraft battle, vowed to go after both “tigers” (corrupt high-ranking officials) and “flies,” and constrain political power within a “cage of regulations.” Indeed the pubic is witnessing the caging of more big “tigers”, including former senior CPC leader Zhou Yongkang and former senior army general Xu Caihou. However, Gao Bo, politics researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said the numerous “flies” had still not been given enough attention and were being underestimated. Grassroots officials are close to the people, and their malpractice is seen by the people and seriously impairs the government’s image, according to Gao.

6. Morgan Stanley pushed murky China stock to market-AP Tianhe’s stock has since lost much of its luster. A mysterious group, allied with speculators betting against Tianhe’s stock, alleged that the company had exaggerated the value of its business. Then Hong Kong regulators froze the $7.9 billion company’s stock for more than a month. Since the allegations were made, Tianhe has lost 39 percent of its value. Morgan Stanley’s private equity team and its stock analysts have reaffirmed their confidence in Tianhe’s management since the company’s reputation came under attack. But a two-month investigation by The Associated Press identified significant discrepancies in publicly accessible financial records and statements Tianhe made to investors, including questions about whether its chairman sold himself Tianhe’s main assets while he was running a predecessor company owned by the Chinese government. // Morgan Stanley’s investment arm no stranger to China fraud. How much did it lose on ITAT, whose IPO was pulled in 2008 after fraud allegations?

Related: 鼎联控股VIE内讧是与非_金融频道_财新网 long Caixin on the VIE disaster and related China court case at Tri-Tech Holding Inc. , a Chinese firm that listed on NASDAQ and was delisted earlier this year // 昔日捏合在一起赴美上市的伙伴,近日对簿公堂,小股东力求自保,以当年一纸上市合作协议欲推翻VIE结构,已是一地鸡毛

7. China October lending down sharply, signals deeper fourth-quarter slowdown | Reuters Broad M2 money supply rose 12.6 percent in October from a year earlier, the People’s Bank of China said in a statement on its website, trailing market expectations of 12.9 percent and the second weakest pace in 2-1/2 years. Outstanding yuan loans grew 13.2 percent from a year earlier, also undershooting forecasts of 13.3 percent. China’s total social financing aggregate, a broad measure of liquidity in the economy, was 662.7 billion yuan in October, versus 1.05 trillion yuan in September.

Related: China Slowdown Deepens as Targeted Stimulus Fails – Bloomberg The evidence underscores concern that, outside the U.S., the global economic outlook is deteriorating. For Premier Li Keqiang, the question is whether to stick with targeted liquidity injections or embrace nationwide monetary or fiscal easing that reignites the risk of a jump in debt. “The key is not to further expand credit, given the weak credit demand, but to lower funding costs,” said Wang Tao, chief China economist at UBS AG in Hong Kong. A benchmark interest rate cut “is more urgent.”

Related: Excess Capacity Makes for Buyer’s Market; No Need for Loans –  - WSJ China’s industrial sector is still struggling with excess capacity and razor-thin profits, according to a survey of 2,015 industrial firms by Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business in Beijing, released on Friday. Nearly half of firms said supply exceeds demand in their industry, and most cited lack of orders as their biggest problem.

8. China’s tests malaria drug Artequick in experiment on entire population of Comoros – CBS News Malaria kills more than half a million people every year, and in the Comoros, a tiny island nation off Africa’s east coast, it’s been a constant fear. In some villages here, 90 percent of people carried the disease. But a team of Chinese scientists, partnered with the Comoran government, say they’ve wiped malaria off the islands with a new, Chinese-made drug given to everyone in the country in a massive, controversial medical experiment. More than 700,000 people were given three doses of Artequick — a new combination of anti-malaria drugs which has not been approved for use in humans by any international health body.

 

BUSINESS, ECONOMY AND TRADE *

Beijing police bust huge “underground banks” – Xinhua A man surnamed Yao initially came under the police’s radar in February. Every transaction involved the exchange of yuan equal to 50,000 U.S. dollars, the maximum limit an individual can purchase within the country annually. He had used various bank accounts to send the money abroad. Over the past year, he transferred more than five million U.S. dollars overseas. The police dug out “underground banks” hidden in the districts of Chaoyang, Dongcheng and Xicheng in Beijing. Through this breakthrough, illegal trading procedures, capital flow, business networks and other shady activities were uncovered.

China’s power consumption accelerates in Oct. – Xinhua Power use rose 3.1 percent year on year to 450.8 billion kilowatt hours (KWh) in October, accelerating from the 2.7-percent rise seen a month earlier, the National Energy Administration (NEA) said on Saturday. In the first ten months, power use went up 3.8 percent. Earlier, the China Electricity Council forecast power consumption to rise by 3.5 to 4 percent for the whole year, basing its estimate on the slowdown in economic growth as well as efforts to save energy, cut emissions and protect the environment.

The New China – Barron’s $$ Interesting article, if you do not have a Barron’s subscription you can read it via the Google backdoor // As the growth of China’s exports has slowed sharply in recent years, four nearby nations are benefiting handsomely. Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, and Myanmar have increased their exports by an impressive average of nearly 20% annually over the past four years, while China’s yearly export growth has been sliced by almost three-quarters, from 31% to just under 8%. For residents of these four upstart nations, surging exports mean more jobs, more factories, and more money to spend. Little wonder that the average rate of economic expansion in these nations is rising, reaching 7.3% in 2013, versus 5.9% five years ago. At the same time, China’s growth has slipped from 9.6% to 7.7%.

住建部官员:房价肯定是要涨的 楼市崩盘纯属天方夜谭 ——凤凰房产北京 Ministry of Housing and Urban‑Rural Development official says housing prices will definitely increase, idea of a housing market collapse is a “fantasy”

China to maintain growth, contribute to global economy: Xi – Xinhua China will keep the momentum of economic growth and make greater contribution to the global economy, Chinese President Xi Jinping told a Group of Twenty (G20) summit here Saturday. He urged the world’s major economies to jointly promote reforms, implement comprehensive growth strategies and advance the transition of the world economy from cyclical recovery to sustainable growth.

Shanghai Rush Has Traders Preparing for Stock Link Rally – Bloomberg While the link will improve foreign access to mainland shares, aggregate net purchases through the program are limited to 300 billion yuan ($49 billion). That’s equivalent to about 2 percent of the combined market value of shares in the SSE 380 and the SSE 180 Index, which is also eligible under the connect. China will waive a capital-gains tax for foreign investors buying mainland stocks, bringing clarity to its tax laws before opening its markets through the link. Tax policy was one of several market-structure shortcomings, including capital controls and rules against same-day trading, cited by investors when MSCI Inc. kept mainland shares out of its global indexes in June.

China Banks’ Bad Loans Rise Most Since 2008 – Bloomberg Bad loans are “likely to rise for the next few quarters as a result of the slowdown in the Chinese economy, but I think the systemic risk should be contained,” Tommy Xie, a Singapore-based economist at Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp., said before the statement. Banks’ bad-loan coverage ratio, a measure of reserves for soured credit, fell to 247.2 percent as of Sept. 30 from 262.9 percent in June. Their capital adequacy ratio, a measure of financial strength, increased to 12.93 percent from 12.4 percent three months earlier.

 

POLITICS AND LAW *

Puzzle Surrounds a Chinese Official’s Suspect Fortune – NYTimes.com “Like a rat that fell into a rice bin, he swallowed as much ill-gotten wealth as his appetite allowed,” one commentary said. President Xi Jinping of China famously warned that in his campaign against graft, he would go after both flies and tigers: lower-ranking officials as well as the most powerful. But this was a very, very fat fly, and on Thursday, Chinese newspapers picked up the case, trying to figure out how a single, section-level cadre could accumulate so much wealth.

河北“亿元贪官”家中被查现场_图片频道_财新网 slideshow of the haul from the Hebei official caught with 120m cash and 37KG of gold bars in his house

能源局规划司司长俞燕山被检方带走_政经频道_财新网 another National Energy Adninistration official under investigation  //  俞燕山是十八大以来国家能源局落马的第5位副司局级以上干部,所涉问题可能包括利用职权揽取课题

Beijing denies blocking G20 graft initiative on shell companies and hidden assets | South China Morning Post What we understand is that one country is blocking the final adoption of these principles at G20 leader level,” Transparency International senior programme coordinator Maggie Murphy told The Australian newspaper earlier this month. “We understand that this country is China.” An official in Beijing yesterday denied that the government had sought to impede progress on the talks and said China did not have the power to do so even if it wanted to. “China is not obstructing relevant discussions,” said Zhang Jun, the director general of the foreign ministry’s department of international economic affairs.

高崗侄孫:貪官高嚴是高崗兒子為謠言 – 快訊-文匯網 the wanted ex-official Gao Yan, reportedly in Australia, is not the son of Gao Gang as many Chinese media reported last month, say Gao Gang relatives  //  劉凝哲 北京報道)內地多家媒體稱外逃貪官、原雲南省委書記高嚴是原國家副主席高崗之子。高崗侄孫、高崗研究會會長高有富21日接受本網記者訪問時表示,高家人看到了多家官媒與官方微博報稱「高崗之子、原雲南書記高嚴被通緝追逃」的消息,非常氣憤,「高嚴是高崗之子完全是謠言」。高有富說,將對公開誹謗造謠的媒體提起訴訟。

西安市委常委杨殿钟等3人涉嫌严重违纪违法接受调查-时政频道-新华网 3 Xian officials under investigation  //  陕西省纪委秦风网15日发布消息,西安市委常委、市直机关工委书记杨殿钟等因涉嫌严重违纪违法,目前正接受组织调查。     这三名官员分别是西安市委常委、市直机关工委书记杨殿钟,西安市雁塔区副区长张晓琪,陕西省外经贸集团有限责任公司资产开发管理部部长曾游海。

China’s supreme court launches case-tracking website – Xinhua The Supreme People’s Court (SPC) on Thursday officially launched a website for parties to track the progress of their court cases in an effort to boost judicial transparency. Using their ID numbers, involved parties and lawyers can check the status of a case handled by the SPC or local courts in 20 provincial-level regions, including Beijing, as well as electronic documents and in-court video recordings at www.court.gov.cn/zgsplcxxgkw, according to an SPC statement. The general public has access to basic information on courts and their court officials, as well as manuals on litigation and judicial procedures.

A Deeper Dive Into the Jurisdiction and Role of Specialized IP Courts | China IPR – Intellectual Property Developments in China On November 3, 2014, the Supreme Court issued a decision and held a news conference outlining the jurisdiction of the Specialized IP Courts of Shanghai, Beijing, and Guangzhou. The court detailed the Specialized IP Courts’ jurisdiction over cases of first instance, over different types of IP cases, and over IP right authorization and verification.

Party mouthpiece compares Xi with Deng as the ‘new architect of reform’ | South China Morning Post In a commentary published through the mobile phone app of People’s Daily, Xi was described as being “in position to answer the call” as the new architect of reform to “take a good path, a new path and make new achievements”. “His courage, accountability and hard-working spirit have made Xi’s image as top architect of overall, deepening reform increasingly clear,” the article said. Observers said the article was the latest sign that Xi had consolidated his authority since becoming the party’s general secretary in 2012, and the country’s president last year

胡乔木女儿:极少数红二代破坏革命后代形象 The Beijing News chats with Hu Qiaomu’s daughter, she expresses support for Xi and the corruption crackdown, says a tiny minority of “Red Second generations” have damaged the image of the revolutionary descendants

河南黑龙江取消农业与非农户籍划分_政经频道_财新网 Henan and Heilongjiang end rural / non-rural Hukou distinction, now almost half of China’s provinces have done so  //  目前,中国取消农业与非农户籍性质划分的省份已接近半数。专家则表示,消除城乡之间与户籍捆绑的公共服务的落差更显重要

Court Backs Woman Who Sued Cooking School over Employment Bias – Caixin A court in the eastern province of Zhejiang has ruled that a cooking school must pay compensation to a woman it refused to hire because of her gender – a verdict that her lawyer says is the first of its kind in China. The Hangzhou East Cuisine School could not prove its rejection of Huang Rong accorded with the country’s laws and regulations, the West Lake People’s Court said on November 12. It added that she met all the requirements for a copywriter job it advertised and ordered the school to pay Huang 2,000 yuan.

 

FOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS *

Senior PLA Navy officer leaps to his death from Beijing block, source says | South China Morning Post The deputy commissar of the PLA Navy, Vice Admiral Ma Faxiang, is believed to have committed suicide less than three months after another senior naval officer fell to his death, people close to the armed forces branch said. Ma leapt from a building at a naval complex in Beijing on Thursday, a source told the Sunday Morning Post yesterday. // PLA corruption crackdown intensifying

PLA fighter jet on possible test flight crashes into building in Chengdu | South China Morning Post The jet, operated by the Chengdu military command and said to be a prototype of an advanced Jian 10-B fighter, may have been on a test flight. 

党报头版刊文正告安倍:要为恶化的后果担责_新闻_腾讯网 日本还要考虑耍手段的成本。当前,日本已经不满足经济大国的身份,正极力谋求成为政治大国。政治大国不能仅靠实力和盟友支持,更需要国际信誉和影响力。此次中日之间达成四点共识的是双方高级别官员。日方的谷内正太郎更是安倍重要的智囊。即使是岸田文雄在日参院外交防卫委员会接受质询时,也承认共识是两国经过磋商发表的内容,应该受到两国尊重。随意否认共识,将失信于国际社会。

Fresh Scandal at China’s Most Notorious Technical School–Foreign Policy Now, Lanxiang is back in the headlines, and not for cyber-spying. Rong, the school’s founder, is under fire for alleged domestic abuse, tax evasion, use of fake IDs, and flouting the country’s strict family planning rules. His wife has also accused him of sending thugs from his school to attack his father-in-law

North Korea to send special envoy to Russia–AP For North Korea, better ties with Russia could provide a much-needed economic boost because its ties with China — its longtime ally and main aid provider — are not as strong as they once were. China was angered when North Korea ramped up tensions last year with its third nuclear test and threats of nuclear strikes against Seoul and Washington. China has supported a tightening of U.N. sanctions and cracked down on North Korean banking activities. Russia, for its part, has been seeking to bolster ties with North Korea amid a longtime effort to strengthen its role in Asia

Xi and Obama have shown leadership on emissions – FT.com – Kevin Rudd The obstacles are formidable. Everyone will criticise “the process”. But the Beijing announcement has demonstrated what a cocktail of political imagination and global leadership can produce – particularly if we all put our minds to it. Presidents Obama and Xi have not only raised the stakes for themselves on the road to Paris, they have done so for us all.

Obama Offers Assurances of U.S. Shift Toward Asia – NYTimes.com Mr. Obama said the United States would rotate additional Marines through Darwin, in northern Australia, where it has established an outpost to project American military might in the Pacific. He described missile defense cooperation with South Korea, counterterrorism training with the Philippines, and defense alliances with Japan.

In veiled message to China, Obama renews commitment to Asia-Pacific pivot | Reuters Speaking in Australia on the final stop of a three-country regional tour, Obama insisted that Asia’s security order must not be based on “coercion or intimidation … where big nations bully the small, but on alliances for mutual security”. Although Obama did not explicitly point the finger at China, there was little doubt that he was alluding to Beijing’s maritime disputes with its neighbors and growing concern in the region about its military build-up.

许其亮:坚决反对妖魔化军队文艺工作,军事文艺要凤凰涅槃_中国政库_澎湃新闻-The Paper 中共中央政治局委员、中央军委副主席许其亮回顾80多年来我军文艺伴随人民军队南征北战和建设发展的光辉历史,指出对那些妖魔化军队文艺工作的言论必须坚决反对,同时要清醒认识军队文艺工作存在的突出问题。

China, Myanmar agree to deepen comprehensive strategic cooperation – Xinhua | China and Myanmar issued here Friday a joint statement on deepening bilateral comprehensive strategic cooperation. At the invitation of President U Thein Sein of Myanmar, which holds the rotating chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) this year, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang paid an official visit to Myanmar and attended a series of leaders’ meetings on East Asian cooperation from Nov. 12 to 14 in Nay Pyi Taw, exchanging views and reaching extensive consensuses with Myanmar leaders on bilateral ties as well as international and regional issues of common concern.

 

HONG KONG, MACAO AND TAIWAN *

Hong Kong Protest Leaders Are Prevented From Flying to Beijing – NYTimes the three members of the Hong Kong Federation of Students – Alex Chow, Nathan Law and Eason Chung – did not even leave Hong Kong. The airline Cathay Pacific, whose subsidiary Dragonair operates the flight to Beijing that they planned to board, told them that the Chinese authorities had rescinded their entry permits, which Hong Kong residents need to go to mainland China, according to Lester Shum, another student leader. Mr. Shum told reporters at Hong Kong International Airport that a fourth, previously unannounced member of the delegation was also stopped.

 

TECH AND MEDIA *

Media regulator bans lewd content – Global Times A circular by China’s top media and television watchdog requiring content providers to cut content related to one-night stands, sexual abuse and extramarital affairs from video streaming websites has sparked heated discussion. According to a report by entertainment news websiteent.qq.com, the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SAPPRFT) circular stipulated that programs depicting extramarital affairs, polyamorous relationship, one-night stands, sexual abuse, or containing pornographic content should be cut or deleted.

Cartoons help tell “red stories” in China – Xinhua The Ministry of Culture has launched a cartoon production initiative to give economic and promotional support to cartoons that reflect Chinese traditional culture and help bolster core socialist values, the ministry said on Saturday. The ministry said final winners will be selected from more than 200 cartoon productions, all of which have been recommended by local cultural authorities. It added the plan will first focus on cartoons that tell revolutionary stories.  //  not the first time

China’s Media Watchdog Reportedly Eyes Salary Cap for TV Stars The State General Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SAPPRFT) is concerned that actors’ salaries are out of control, reports say, at a time when austerity is the order of the day in China, as a clampdown on excess continues.

China Triumphs as Silicon Valley Primps | Sequoia’s Michael Moritz Western xenophobes will protest that this is due to the Chinese theft of intellectual property and protective regulation – an attitude sadly captured by Vice President Biden in a recent speech when he said to his audience, “I challenge you, name me one innovative project, one innovative change, one innovative product that has come out of China.” If the Vice President had spent more time in China he would realize the country teems with creative entrepreneurs and can also justly lay claim to housing not one, but four, Silicon Valleys. The best Chinese entrepreneurs – Jack Ma, Pony Ma, Hongyi Zhou, Robin Li, Richard Liu, Lei Jun, Eric Shen and Charles Cao (to name but a handful) – demonstrate the same flair for combining innovation, opportunism and intuition as the bold names of the Western technology universe. However, they, and their companies, are much better positioned for the next twenty-five years than their Western counterparts even though many in China still harbor an absurd inferiority complex for developments in the United States.

 

SOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY *

The rise of Christianity in China – FT.com Apart from the speed of growth, the party is very concerned about the type of person being converted. In the 1980s, as the government removed restrictions on religion and the country saw a revival in the wake of the Cultural Revolution, Chinese Christians were overwhelmingly poor, rural, uneducated, female and elderly. In the late 1980s, eight out of 10 Chinese Christians lived in poor rural areas. These days, most conversions happen in the burgeoning cities and new believers are increasingly well educated, influential and demanding when it comes to their personal freedom and individual rights

Gov’t Gives Academics Failing Grade for Fraud in Research Funding – Caixin Meanwhile, the Ministry of Education and the Communist Party’s Central Discipline Inspection Commission announced that an inquiry into how funds are spent will be launched at 30 major universities. Each college will undergo a one-week probe that focuses “on the legitimacy and facts of funds used for completed major research projects.”

As Chinese Adoptees Return Home, a New Genre Tells Their Tales – China Real Time Report – WSJ “Ricki’s Promise,” a documentary about a Seattle teen’s summer spent with her birth family in China, began showing on the U.S. film festival circuit this month. Next month, the U.S. cable network SundanceTV will premiere “One Child,” a fictional mini-series about a British-American adoptee’s involvement with her China family. “Touching Home” is an electronic book in production about two Massachusetts teenagers’ return to their rural China roots.

家长打完老师后放话“不许动我家少爷”,央媒:查查老爷背景_舆论场_澎湃新闻-The Paper 11月14日上午,吉林市船营区第二十五小学女老师在教室内遭到5名学生家长殴打。据相关部门介绍,事件起因是发生在11月13日的一次学生间的撕打,参与厮打的学生中齐某在班上被称为“少爷”。女老师郭鑫教育了“少爷”等人,随后其父亲便带人来到教室殴打她。打人其间,有人说“以后谁也不许动我家少爷”。 11月15日,新华社发表评论《“少爷”校园逞威,背后的“老爷”是谁?》,指出 “少爷”等带有封建等级色彩的称谓早已成为历史,没想到现在又还魂了。但是“少爷”还是个小学生,事情的关键,是“少爷”背后的“老爷”。 “少爷”“老爷”是什么背景、有谁撑腰,必要查查,以给被惊到的师生和公众一个交代。全文如下:

 

ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT, SCIENCE AND HEALTH *

The Power Politics Behind China’s Climate Pledge–Huffington Post once again using a foreign deal to help force domestic reforms?  //  Despite Xi’s public pledges, his political strength and the economic forces already slowing emissions growth, the project may very easily fail. Oil and coal interests could reassert themselves in twisting energy policy, or economic disruptions could scare leaders into once again splurging on an infrastructure stimulus program. But even with the possibility of retrenchment, the calculus on what’s possible in China’s climate policy appears to have shifted. “It’s a bit hard to imagine this happening even just two or three years ago -– things have come a long way,” said Li of Greenpeace. “My personal view is that we’re seeing more political stuff than environmental stuff, but if you engage in those forces, you know how difficult it is sometimes. I do have my sympathy, and I think this should really be the trigger of things.”

“APEC blue” prompts pollution control pledge – Xinhua Officials in north China say the success of cutting emissions for the duration of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meetings will prompt more measures to curb air pollution. The promises were made as most polluting factories resumed production, which had been suspended or ordered to cut production to ensure clean air during the APEC meetings in Beijing.  //  back to Beijing grey today

Water Supply and New Development Path Are Priorities in U.S.-China Climate Agreement | Circle of Blue WaterNews The agreement includes two provisions to secure freshwater supplies in energy production — the so-called “energy-water nexus” that Circle of Blue has reported on globally since 2010. The two nations are 1) investing in research to improve efficiency and conservation in water supply for energy generation, and 2) developing a carbon sequestration demonstration project in China to put produced water from deep beneath the surface and displaced by CO2 storage to good use. Circle of Blue and the Wilson Center played a big, big role in elevating the contest between rising demand for energy (second largest water consumer in both countries) and diminishing freshwater supplies in our 2010 Choke Point: U.S. project, and our 2011 and 2012 Choke Point: China projects. The Wilson Center and Circle of Blue collaborated to bring our findings to civic, academic, government, and NGO audiences in both countries, including speaking tours in China in 2011, 2012, and 2013.

China Reforms National Parks to Improve Environmental Protection | ChinaFile China’s central government is reforming the way major tourist attractions are run. It plans to create a unified national parks management system in a bid to halt environmental damage within its protected areas. The new, unified system will cut across the local and departmental interests of existing operators in an attempt to ensure that these parks are run for the public benefit.

China Hunger for Clean Energy to Leave No Rooftop Behind – Bloomberg China, the world’s biggest solar market for two years running, is pushing to install more panels at factories, schools and even greenhouses as it seeks to meet its goals under a historic climate agreement with the U.S. China expects to install as much as 8 gigawatts of small solar systems this year, more than 10 times what was built last year. The country had almost 20 gigawatts of solar capacity at the end of 2013, a figure comparable to about 20 nuclear reactors. Most of that came from massive solar farms in remote locations and policy makers are now promoting smaller systems closer to where they’re needed. The push to promote wider use of rooftop solar comes amid growing health concerns tied to smog within its own population and from foreign companies. It also adds to the nation’s push to be a leader within the global climate community.

Top U.S. Drug Official to Push for More Inspectors in China – Bloomberg The Chinese government has stalled granting visas to Food and Drug Administration inspectors since at least 2012. The FDA first pushed to expand its presence there after a tainted blood-thinning drug was linked to 246 deaths in the U.S. FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg said she hopes to make progress on the visas while in China from Nov. 17-21, when she will meet with international regulators. Despite a commitment between U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and the Chinese government last year to allow more FDA workers, the visas haven’t materialized.

 

AGRICULTURE *

Dim Sums: Rural China Economics and Policy: China’s Bulgarian Corn Connection On November 11, China received its first cargo of imported Bulgarian corn. This corn represents China’s new approach to agricultural trade in which Chinese entities control the commodity from its source. This corn was grown by a Chinese company on soil that happens to be in Bulgaria.

Dim Sums: Rural China Economics and Policy: China Corn Support Price Unchanged Futures Daily learned from sources that the support price for corn will be the same as last year. This is a break from the practice of raising the support price annually over the last six years. Current prices are 100-200 yuan below the support levels. Traders will be inclined to sell the corn they buy to the state reserves, thus boosting market prices.

 

FOOD AND TRAVEL *

New Cookbook Brings Yunnan’s Varied Cuisine to the Table – WSJ “The Yunnan Cookbook: Recipes from China’s Land of Ethnic Diversity,” [the book on Amazon] by Annabel Jackson and Linda Chia, mixes recipes with colorful descriptions of the many ethnic minorities and styles of cooking that make up China’s most diverse region. It’s one of the few Yunnan cookbooks available in English, says Ms. Jackson, an England-based food anthropologist who lived for many years in Vietnam and Hong Kong, and spent a year in Yunnan. Her co-author, Australian Linda Chia, is a chef and food consultant who has lived in Jinghong, Yunnan, for about 10 years.

 

BEIJING *

北京拟每个街道设养老中心 引资超20亿_政经频道_财新网 Beijing looking to attract 2B RMB investment for neighborhood “retirement care centers”  //  目前北京市政府对“养老照料中心”的建设约已投入2.4个亿,并吸引社会资本投入至少20亿元;但学者认为,将“长期护理保险”纳入社保体系,才是保障机构服务质量的长久之计

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