Archive for November 15th, 2012
The 18th Party Congress has concluded (Xinhua) and today at 11 we will meet the new Politburo Standing Committee. My guess now is that the seven members will be Xi Jinping, Yu Zhengsheng, Li Keqiang, Wang Qishan, Zhang Gaoli, Liu Yunshan, and Zhang Dejiang.
The winner of the “most-quoted by Western media” prize during 18th Party Congress Western media coverage goes to Bo Zhiyue, a scholar of Chinese politics in Singapore. Bo is smart and gives good quote.
“Li Keqiang will be more effective than Wen Jiabao,” said Bo Zhiyue, an expert on Chinese politics at the National University of Singapore. “Wen Jiabao tried to promote too many things – political reform, social reform as well as economic reform. Li Keqiang will be more focused.
“I think the emphasis is on continuity over change this time around,” said Bo Zhiyue, a scholar of Chinese politics at the National University of Singapore.
“The bad news is that we are going to lose one of the most capable economic affairs managers in the country,” said Bo Zhiyue, a Chinese politics expert at the National University of Singapore.
“The good news is that the new Chinese leadership is really interested in doing something about corruption,” he added. “With the nickname ‘firefighter’, I think he would be one of the most capable leaders of the Politburo Standing Committee.”
That signals that Wang will take the top discipline post on the party’s Politburo Standing Committee, which will be unveiled tomorrow, said Bo Zhiyue, senior research fellow at the National University of Singapore’s East Asia Institute.
“This is going to be a huge waste of his strength in dealing with economic, financial matters and foreign affairs,” Bo said in an interview. “He’s a banker who’s going to be in charge of disciplinary affairs. It’s a mismatch between his true talent and his assignment.”
Predicting Chinese politics is hard, as this newsletter has often noted. The Internet never forgets, and Bo Zhiyue would probably like to retract this quote he gave to the Guardian in February when Wang Lijun was shifted out of his Chongqing police chief job:
Bo Zhiyue, an expert on Chinese politics at the National University of Singapore, suggested the move was designed to prepare Wang – who became vice-mayor last spring – for higher office. “I think this is actually career enhancement … To be promoted along the political path, to a mayor or provincial governor, he has to learn to deal with different issues,” he said.
Bo has an interesting perspective, but are there no other quotable scholars in the Asia time zones?
BUSINESS AND ECONOMY
Zhou Seen Exiting PBOC as China Installs New Economic Leadership – Bloomberg - I’d bet Guo Shuqing// Possible replacements for Zhou include Shang Fulin, head of China’s banking regulator; Guo Shuqing, chief securities regulator; Industrial & Commercial Bank of China (601398) Ltd. Chairman Jiang Jianqing; and Bank of China Ltd. (3988) Chairman Xiao Gang, according to David Loevinger, former senior coordinator for China affairs at the U.S. Treasury Department.
China’s rapid change and missed chances – FT.com - Under reasonable assumptions, China’s economy should double in size during Mr Xi’s tenure. That would make it bigger than the US in purchasing power parity terms. If it avoids a crisis, the economy should also be on a more sustainable footing. McKinsey reckons that, by 2020, private consumption, at 45 per cent of GDP, will have surpassed investment, which should have fallen to 36 per cent. Mr Hu has more than quadrupled the size of the economy and is judged by some to have been a failure. Mr Xi must hope to double it and be judged a success.
Why Rich Chinese Are Investing Overseas (It’s Not What You Think) – China Real Time Report – WSJ- Most surprising, though, were the reasons China’s wealthy choose to invest overseas, which were not unlike their counterparts in the rest of the world. While governments around the globe are raffling off residency perks to attract Chinese money, immigration was cited as a reason for investing overseas by only 23% of respondents. And children’s education was a reason for only 16%. Instead, diversification of risk was a major reason for 86% of respondents, and 76% cited having access to a wider range of investment products. Under no illusions about the relatively dire state of the global economy, only 15% said they were hoping for a higher return overseas than what’s available in China.
China rails against protectionism at party congress | Reuters - The officials, speaking on the sidelines of a week-long Communist Party Congress, said protectionism was emerging across the world, not just in the West. It damaged global growth, frayed relations and could see China focus its investments in neighboring Asian nations, the officials said.
US calls for tighter controls on Chinese investment — Shanghai Daily - THE US Congress is being urged to tighten screening of investment by Chinese state-owned companies in the United States, with an advisory panel saying they present “unfair competition” to American firms.
POLITICS AND LAW
Xinhua Insight: CPC Constitution enshrines Scientific Outlook on Development as part of action guide – Xinhua | English.news.cn - Unanimously agreed by delegates to the 18th CPC National Congress, the amendment juxtaposes the Scientific Outlook on Development along with Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought, Deng Xiaoping Theory and the important thought of Three Represents, according to a resolution passed by the Party congress.
人民日报-人民网 - a red-letter day for people’s daily front page. a classic
List of alternate members of 18th CPC Central Committee – Xinhua | English.news.cn - Li Peng’s son Li Xiaopeng got the fewest votes of the Central Committee alternate members
China party enshrines tighter oversight after Bo Xilai scandal | Reuters - The closing session of the five-yearly party congress also changed the party constitution to explicitly endorse reform and opening as “the path to a stronger China” and made a nod towards growing environmental problems by promoting “ecological progress” as part of the party’s development strategy.
Little evidence new leader’s father a man of the people-Garnaut-Sydney Morning Herald - Liberals believe Xi Zhongxun criticised the Tiananmen massacres. But did he really?
Political Reform: the Way to Go – Caixin – Hu Shuli Editorial - Despite all the complexities, the main report continues along the basic principles of reform and opening up, brings out some significant reform measures and leaves room for further, top-level planning and design on political reform. Reform is always easier said than done. For anyone that cares about the country and stands on its soil, they should see opportunities in the fight for better political governance.
As 18th Congress Ends, a Peek into the Process - Caixin During the past 20 years, economist Zhang Zhouyuan has been a witness to and active participant in the formulation of the country’s economic policy. He participated in drafting the reports at the party’s three previous national congresses that set broad policy and reform agendas to be discussed at the subsequent meetings of each new party central committee.
Pot bellies embody China rigidity – FT.com - Yet, predicting the end of a Chinese dynasty is very difficult. After his diplomatic mission to the court of the Qing emperor Qianlong in 1793, British ambassador George Macartney described the Chinese empire as “an old, crazy, first-rate man-of-war”. that would, in the not-too-distant future, “be dashed to pieces on the shore.” He was proved right eventually, but not until 118 years later.
China takes firm steps toward powerful nation – People’s Daily Online - Chinese history in modern times fully proves that the road to great power status is not just a course of growth, but also a path of survival.
Public acclaim official media’s use of internet slang – Xinhua | English.news.cn - The People’s Daily, however, cited the term “Diaosi mentality” in an article in its Nov. 3 edition, referring to negative attitudes among young people who are pessimistic about their future and dispel brutality in life by cynical sneering.
China Pressures Businesses to Help Censor Web – NYTimes.com - Starting earlier this year, Web police units directed the companies, which included joint ventures involving American corporations, to buy and install hardware to log the traffic of hundreds or thousands of computers, block selected Web sites, and connect with local police servers, according to industry executives and official directives obtained by The New York Times.
FOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS
Why China won’t turn the other cheek over foreign policy – CNN.com - Yet Beijing is keen to prevent the world from concluding that China has discarded the notion of a peaceful rise. The result has been reactive assertiveness; a foreign policy tactic perfected during China’s ongoing maritime disputes. This approach allows Beijing to use perceived provocations as a chance to change the status-quo in its favor — all the while insisting the other party started the trouble. Those expecting China to turn the other cheek are mistaken.
The unintended consequence of the “China-as-meritocracy” debates » The Peking Duck - The estimable Kaiser Kuo, who needs no introduction here, put up a post on Facebook yesterday that caught my eye, and lots of other readers’ eyes as well. (It was perhaps written in a moment of pique, but that’s when all of my own best posts are written.) It discusses the unintended harm apologists like Daniel Bell and Jiang Qing (go here for background) do when their preposterous drum-beating for China’s allegedly “meritocratic system” drowns out a part of their message that may be valid
About the Governance Project – Governance Project - Eric Li is very smart, funding Francis Fukuyama’s project at Stanford through his Chunqiu Institute. Li is playing the game like anyone who wants to buy influence and intellectual legitimacy in the US// The Governance Project is funded with the generous support of the Chunqiu Institute.
Podcast – Economic Observer Online - - Podcast: China a Meritocracy? Over the past several months, Daniel Bell, professor of political theory at Tsinghua University, has raised eyebrows with some widely-circulated commentaries.
Board of Advisors | 85 Broads Beijing Chapter - Daniel Bell’s wife, poster child for meritocracy. Seriously, Goldman is one of the most meritocratic organizations in the world// Bing Song is the head of Federation for the China franchise and is the deputy general manager of Beijing Gao Hua Securities Company Limited. She serves on the China Operating Committee. Previously, Bing was the chief legal officer for the firm’s China franchise. She joined Goldman Sachs in 2005 and was named managing director in 2007.
PM – China’s Politburo revealed as mysterious Australian journalist asks the easy questions 14/11/2012 - thought she handled herself extremely well. Only been there a month. expects lots of stories about her.// Andrea Yu of CAMG–China’s Politburo revealed as mysterious Australian journalist asks the easy questions
TECH AND MEDIA
电视节目，“吸金时代”到来？_财经频道_一财网 - CCTV 2013 upfront sales coming soon, expectations for 15.3B in ad commitments// 央视2013年广告招标“大戏”
Baidu Shares Plunge on Worries over Mobile Monetization-Caijing - Baidu down again last night, near 90//The company is working hard to close the mobile monetizaiton gap but it will involve a period of transition.
Tencent Q3: Modest Growth With $1.8b in Revenue, $511m in Profit - Tencent, China’s largest Internet company in terms of revenue, steamed ahead in the third quarter of 2012 with steady growth to $1.82 billion (RMB 11.56 billion) in revenue, up 9.9 percent sequentially, and profit of $511 million (RMB 3.24 billion), up 4.7 percent since last quarter.
SOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY
James L. Stone, Medal of Honor Recipient, Dies at 89 – NYTimes.com - Col. James L. Stone, who as an Army platoon leader on a desolate hilltop facing overwhelming Chinese forces during the Korean War rallied his men, then stayed behind to cover their retreat despite being wounded three times, actions for which he earned the Medal of Honor, died on Friday at his home in Arlington, Tex. He was 89.
China’s Great Shame – NYTimes.com - by Yang Jisheng, author of Tombstone// The reason is political: a full exposure of the Great Famine could undermine the legitimacy of a ruling party that clings to the political legacy of Mao, even though that legacy, a totalitarian Communist system, was the root cause of the famine. As the economist Amartya Sen has observed, no major famine has ever occurred in a democracy.
Beijing’s 798 art district to get another makeover – The Art Newspaper - The Beijing Municipal Government signed an agreement with Melco International Development Company to establish and international cultural art centre on 29 September, the Macau Daily newspaper reported. Wang said that the Rmb50bn ($8bn) project will have around 1.2 million sq. m of space and be located within and near the current 798 boundaries. Designed by I.M. Pei’s son Li Chung Pei,
ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT AND HEALTH
失守抑郁症_专题频道_财新网 - Caixin has a big spread on depression in China
Care, Confusion and Depression’s Heavy Toll - - China’s health care system is failing to keep pace with a rising tide of depression, yet public awareness is rising as well