The Sinocism China Newsletter For 09.03.12

Thanks for reading. The best way to see this daily post is to subscribe by email, especially if you are in China, as Sinocism is still blocked here. You can also follow me on Twitter @niubi or Sina Weibo @billbishop. Feel free to donate through the button on the top right, and if there is a story you think I should include please send it to me. 

Today is the first day of first grade for our twins. Apologies for any tear stains in the email. And they didn’t even look back…

The entire China archive of the New York Review of Books is now available free on ChinaFile. This is just awesome. I am an advisor and eventual contributor to ChinaFile.

Just links today, Happy Labor Day to my American readers!

BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

China Economy’s Deterioration Raises Risk of Wen Missing Target – Bloomberg - not how he wanted to go out//

Manufacturing; value added (% of GDP) in China - PMI important but more to China’s economy than just that// The Manufacturing; value added (% of GDP) in China was last reported at 29.64 in 2010, according to a World Bank report released in 2011.

China manufacturing survey signals growth to stay soft | Reuters -  But unabated gloomy data has already led some economists, like Li-Gang Liu and Zhou Hao of ANZ Bank, to instead forecast slower growth in the third quarter than the second. “We believe that China’s two interest rate cuts and liquidity injections into the market via large-scale reverse repos have not had substantial effect as many data show China’s economic growth momentum is clearly decelerating,” they wrote in a report on Saturday.//ahead of the curve as usual

54城市8月新房成交量下滑 开发商捂盘惜售_宏观经济_新浪财经_新浪网 - august new home sales across 54 cities down 5.7% from july, still second highest month of the year. september/october crucial, usually known as “golden september, silver october” for the surge in home sales. we’ll see this year//

China’s Railway Ministry Posts $1.4 Billion Loss – WSJ.com - in one small bright spot, this week’s caixin reports that the new beijing-shanghai high speed line is actually operating ahead of budget, should return investment faster than expected// China’s Ministry of Railways reported an after-tax loss of 8.8 billion yuan ($1.4 billion) in the first half due to rising operating costs, highlighting the financial difficulties faced by the already debt-saddled ministry. The financial report posted on Chinabond, an official website for bond issuers, didn’t give a comparative figure as the ministry in past years has only released annual data. It reported an after-tax profit of 31 million yuan for all of 2011.

Insight: China’s steel traders expose banks’ bad debts | Reuters - latest issue of Caixin has a longer piece on this topic. these steel traders a bit parasitic, no?// (Reuters) – China’s banks are coming after the country’s steel traders, hauling executives into court to chase down loans that some traders said they didn’t initially need and can’t now repay…The heavy push to recover the loans is another sign of strain on China’s financial system at a time when the country’s leaders are contemplating another round of stimulus to boost the economy, and when banks are worried about bad debts piling up.

人民日报-北京奥运场馆闲置了吗?(求证·探寻喧哗背后的真相) 调查发现,除了临时建筑,各场馆都用起来了 -People’s Daily conducts an investigation, says reports earlier this summer about all the abandoned/neglected 2008 Olympic facilities we inaccurate and exaggerated//

人民日报评论员:进一步加强形势分析和政策储备–观点–人民网 - 4 people’s daily commentaries on dealing with the economic situation. it’s not that they don’t know., but..//

《新世纪》周刊第517期_杂志频道_财新网 - more happy news, new issue of caixin cover story on the massive pension deficits in china. clearly china did not learn its pension accounting gimmicks well enough from the us//

China Auto Dealer Stockpiles Fell in July, Association Says – Bloomberg - “maintenance”//Average stockpiles at China’s automobile dealerships fell to a four-month low in July as carmakers shut their factories for summer maintenance, according to the state-backed industry association.

China’s growth is still sustainable-Steven Grenville - anyone tracked Pettis’ predictions over the years? Curious about his record, though wont matter if he is right on his current big one re commodities// Pettis’ growth pessimism goes beyond simply arguing that the current high levels of investment will inevitably contain some white elephants. He thinks the policy instruments available to the authorities won’t work because they’re caught in a Catch-22: it is hard to alter the long-standing policies which restrain consumption, so the authorities maintain growth by retarding the rebalancing: artificially boosting investment, with the risk of bad debts from excessive credit expansion and unproductive investment projects.This seems to under-rate the policies available to a hands-on interventionist government which gives high priority to employment. It may also seriously underestimate the growth potential of an economy which still has many useful investment opportunities, achieving the necessary rebalancing over a longer period.

China hype is giving way to realism–Pettis- I think the current consensus of 5-7% average growth for the next ten years is still too high, and the historical precedents make it clear that we tend to underestimate sharply the cost of an adjustment of this nature (think for example of the USSR in the early the 1960s, Brazil in the late 1970s or Japan in the late 1980s, all of whom suffered far more difficult subsequent adjustments than even the sceptics had expected). Already this year Beijing has announced growth rates for China of 7-8%, but a large number of economists in China, based on alternative measures of economic activity, doubt the accuracy of the official numbers, with some arguing that real growth this year may be as low as half the posted rates.I am not smart enough to say if they are right or wrong, but one way or the other I expect growth forecasts among China bulls to continue declining over the next few years. If, as I expect, Beijing seriously begins to rebalance its economy in 2013, I believe as I always have that the average annual growth rate over the following ten years will not exceed 3-4%.

吴敬琏:中国经济社会矛盾几乎到了临界点-财经网 - wu jinglian in caijing on social contradictions at the critical point//

湖北允许经营困难企业缓缴社保费_经济频道_财新网 - bad sign, Hubei allowing struggling enterprises to delay social insurance payments

【舒立观察】政府错当经济发动机之后_杂志频道_财新网 - Hu Shuli’s latest Caixin editorial on the need for reform// 因此,在应对经济下行风险时,有必要根据科学发展观的要求,加快经济发展方式的转变,尽快消除可能导致经济大起大落的体制性、机制性障碍。关键是加快政府体制改革,促进政府职能转变,打下有效支持发展方式转变的制度基础。如果沉湎于旧体制创造的种种炫目“奇迹”,中国有可能在错失机遇后深陷危机,在未来付出难以承受的沉重代价。

 

POLITICS

《新世纪》周刊更正致歉 – 新华传媒 – 新华网 - Big deal for Caixin to get rebuked like this. Caixin issues apology for “problems” with its 8.13 cover story on Liu Zhijun, the one with the implied “arrested while in threesome” lede. Apology says Caixin did not get verify it with the relevant authorities, leading to serious inaccuracies and a negative social impact// 本刊8月13日出版(2012年第32期)的长篇封面报道《危险的关系》一文,因采编人员采访不深入,未向权威部门核实,致使部分报道内容严重失实,造成了不良社会影响。我们对此次报道中发生的错误,深为痛心,教训深重,今后必引以为戒。在此向读者诚恳致歉。

陆媒接连因“失实报道”被迫道歉 员工暗表不服_多维新闻网 - Duowei News on Caixin’s apology, employee reactions, Economic Observer News’ recent sanctions// 财新网上8月31日刊登的道歉声明称,“我们对此次报道中发生的错误,深为痛心,教训深重,今后必引以为戒。”财新网与《新世纪》同属财新传媒。《明报》引述该刊一名内部人士的话说﹕“失实?我们的稿子失实过嘛?但迫于某些部门压力,又不得不那么做。”另一内部人士透露,依据传统,若出现报道失误等情况,公司内部会通过邮件等方式通报和解释,但此次事件并未见内部通报,员工是在看到刊登在杂志上的声明才知道此事。

Ally of Next Chinese Leader Moves Into Key Role – WSJ.com - Sounds like Li Zhanshu, Ling’s replacement, may be as much or more Hu Jintao’s “guy” than he is Xi Jinping’s, at least for now// “Ideally, on one hand, the director must serve the entire top leadership and enjoy its confidence that their interests and needs are served evenhandedly,” wrote Alice Miller, an expert on Chinese politics at the Hoover Institution, in a recent paper. “On the other, the collaboration of the director is essential to the effectiveness of the party general secretary in managing (and potentially dominating) the policy-making processes and politics of the leadership, and so the general secretary has a first-order interest in placing his own lieutenant in that post.”

Scandal over Hu’s aide Ling Jihua and cover-up of son’s death in car crash | South China Morning Post - versions of this story been circulating in Beijing for months, much worse is said about LJH and his family “interests”, all of which would have been known to any opponents who wanted to use this tragic story of his 败家子 to their advantage. Whatever happened, clearly people were trying to smear him as I discussed June 3, without mentioning him by name// How scandal over death of playboy son in a wrecked Ferrari is threatening to scupper career of president’s ally ahead of congress

Fei Chang Dao: Baidu Restricts “Bo Xilai” Web (But Not News) Search Results to Government/Party White List (Again) -

Chinese Dissident in Yahoo Case Is Freed After 10 Years – NYTimes.com - SHANGHAI — The Chinese dissident who served 10 years after being convicted of state subversion on evidence provided by the American Internet giant Yahoo is under sharp restrictions, his wife said Friday, after he was released and returned home….The dissident, Wang Xiaoning, 62, was released from the Beijing No. 2 prison.

 

FOREIGN AFFAIRS

Japan’s islands survey ‘illegal and invalid’ |Politics |chinadaily.com.cn - China’s Foreign Ministry said it had already made “solemn representations” as a survey group from Tokyo wrapped up an illegal survey at the waters off China’s Diaoyu Islands on Sunday…”The Chinese side reiterates that any unilateral action by the Japanese side on the Diaoyu Islands is illegal, invalid and will not change the reality that the Diaoyu Islands and its affiliated islands belong to Chinese territory,” it said in a statement.

China urges U.S. politicians to stop making groundless accusation against China – Xinhua | English.news.cn - considering they make groundless accusations against each other all the time, China needs to get used to this// A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Saturday urged U.S. politicians to view China’s development in an objective and rational way, stop making groundless accusation against China and contribute more to China-U.S. mutual trust and cooperation.

How world opinion kidnapped by West’s ‘int’l community’ rhetoric – People’s Daily Online - Now, the Western media dominates the international opinion, so the phenomenon of deceiving and misleading the world public opinion in the name of “international community” may have to continue for some time and is difficult to be corrected. Therefore, we must keep a clear mind about the “international community” quoted by Western media and distinguish the true “international community” from the false one.

PLA delegation leaves for Asian tour – Xinhua | English.news.cn - who gives better gifts, US or PRC?// A delegation of the People’s Liberation Army left Beijing on Sunday afternoon for visits to Vietnam, Myanmar, Malaysia and Singapore.The delegation, led by Deputy Chief of General Staff Ma Xiaotian, was invited to make the trips by defense ministries of the four countries.

Chinese premier calls for open Eurasian markets – Xinhua | English.news.cn - Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao addresses the second China-Eurasia Economic Development and Cooperation Forum and the opening ceremony of the second China-Eurasia Expo in Urumqi, northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Sept. 2, 2012

Report: Iran suspends $2.6B gas project with Chinese consortium – The Washington Post - Iran’s media says the country has suspended a $2.6 billion gas project with a Chinese consortium over a funding dispute.

‘China expanding Mischief structures’ – The Philippine Star » News » Headlines - MANILA, Philippines – China continues to tighten its grip in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea), building new structures on Mischief Reef, one of the areas being claimed by the Philippines…Rommel Banlaoi, executive director of think tank Philippine Institute for Peace, Violence and Terrorism Research, said the latest structures to be spotted in the area were a windmill, solar panels, a concrete platform suitable for use as a helipad and a basketball court.

Asian giants seek better ties; China’s defense minister in India | Reuters - A rare visit to India by China’s defense minister should help avoid flare-ups along the border between the nuclear-armed Asian giants at a time when Beijing is grappling with a change of leadership and friction in the South China Sea. But General Liang Guanglie’s trip — the first by a Chinese defense minister in eight years — also highlights growing competition between the two emerging powers as they jostle for influence and resources across Asia.

Fei Chang Dao: Sina Weibo Censors “Boycott Japanese Goods” - This screenshot, taken on August 30, 2012, shows that a search for “Boycott Japanese Goods” (抵制日货) on Sina Weibo returns no results, just a notice saying “In accordance with relevant laws, regulations, and policies, search results for “Boycott Japanese Goods” have not been displayed”

 

TECH AND MEDIA

王小川透露政府部门已介入3B搜索大战_互联网_科技时代_新浪网 - Sohu CTO says government now involved in Baidu-Qihoo search war

Fei Chang Dao: Baidu Revises Censorship Notice, Recommends Users Try Alternate Search Terms - “Search results may not comply with relevant laws, regulations, and policies, and have not been displayed. It is suggested you try other related terms.” (搜索结果可能不符合相关法律法规和政策,未予显示。建议尝试其他相关词。

 

SOCIETY AND CULTURE

Authority demands qualified medicine ingredients – Xinhua | English.news.cn - yes, gutter oil may be in your antibiotics. what doesn’t kill you…?// In a Friday statement, the administration announced an investigation into the truth of a media exposure alleging that certain pharmaceutical firms have been manufacturing an antibiotic intermediate using “gutter oil.”

3,684 freshmen enrolled in Peking University as new semester kicks off – People’s Daily Online -

北京规定市民买部分感冒药需登记身份证_网易新闻中心 - US has similar rules. to control sales of ephedrine Beijing will require ID at time of purchase of certain cold medicines, and purchase will be recorded. what would a Chinese “Breaking Bad” look like?//

Chinese Military Official Shamed After Attack on Flight Attendant – China Real Time Report – WSJ - China’s state-run Xinhua news agency on Saturday issued a report largely confirming the account, originally published on Sina Corp.’s Weibo microblogging service, of an Air China flight attendant who said she was bullied by a Chinese official and his wife in a conflict over carry-on luggage during a flight on Aug. 29.

目击者称广州越秀区常委捏住空姐手臂_网易新闻中心 - an African student who was on the plane with fang daguo disputes his account, says they smelled of alcohol 核心提示:8月31日,广州越秀区委宣传部通报称,区委常委、武装部政委方大国就行李放置与空姐发生冲突,其家属与空姐发生拉扯,方大国未打空姐。搭乘同一航班的中非共和国留学生称,方大国夫妇酒气很大,方大国参与了“拉扯”,且先动手,其妻事后故意弄伤自己,空姐未动手。

 

ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT

北京什刹海现大量死鱼续:官方称放生违规_网易新闻中心 - large fish kill in beijing’s shichahai. authorities say due to people releasing fish into the lake

Unsafe Practices Blamed in Deadly China Mine Blast – ABC News - An initial investigation into China’s worst mine accident in nearly three years blames “chaotic” management for sending too many workers underground and disregarding safety measures, state media said Sunday. The blast killed 43 people.

Acupuncture as ‘essential’ health care? California weighs the question. - States are in the middle of answering one of the health law’s most important unknowns: What health benefits should every insurance plan be required cover? In California, the answer is coming together quickly  — and, if all goes as planned, acupuncture will be on the list.

Thanks for reading. The best way to see this daily post is to subscribe by email, especially if you are in China, as Sinocism is still blocked here. You can also follow me on Twitter @niubi or Sina Weibo @billbishop. Feel free to donate through the button on the top right, and if there is a story you think I should include please send it to me.