The Sinocism China Newsletter For 11.21.12

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BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

Analysis: China banks turn blind eye as corporate debt piles up | Reuters - A Reuters News analysis on 40 of China’s most indebted companies – most of them from sectors already reeling with overcapacity such as wind-turbine maker Xinjiang Goldwind Science & Technology Co Ltd (002202.SZ) and COSCO Shipping Co Ltd (600428.SS) – showed debt levels rising as profits decline across industries that Beijing has said it wants to promote….”If lenders stopped rolling over debt, everyone would have trouble. Then, there would be a chain reaction and there will be a systemic risk,” said Zhang Zhiming, head of China research at HSBC.//extend and pretend. ugly and expensive for economy, question is how long can China keep this up? bears say not for long, others say for years

Regulator Allows Bank Subsidiary to Sell Special Bonds – Caixin - The securities regulator has allowed a subsidiary of the nation’s largest bank to launch a specific asset management plan, a type of debt-financing tool called asset-backed securities (ABS). ICBC Financial Leasing Co. Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, obtained the approval of the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) to sell two types of bonds worth a combined 1.6 billion yuan, an executive from the leasing company said on November 19.

Why Are Some Chinese Provinces Pre-Collecting 2013 Taxes? | Tea Leaf Nation - As China’s economic growth loses steam, its government has started to place more burdens on the shoulders of its citizens. According to the the Xiaoxiang Morning Post (@潇湘晨报), at the end of October, the Treasury Bureau of Zhejiang province asked companies to pay business taxes which were not due until 2013. Ye Tan (@叶檀), an economics and finance commentator, wrote on Sina Weibo, China’s Twitter, that the phenomenon was not confined to Zhejiang. “I just received a call from a friend who is an entrepreneur in northeastern China. He said that local officials were collecting taxes for 2013. If companies refused to pay, officials would look up account books [and find an excuse to fine them].” @猪肉脯lora adds that Jiangsu province also follows this practice.

 

POLITICS AND LAW

Inside Wukan: the Chinese village that fought back – Telegraph - the story that won the UK Foreign Press Associations 2012 news story of the year: print and web. congrats to malcolm moore

Xi repeats anti-graft message to top leaders|Politics|chinadaily.com.cn - The disciplinary watchdog has suggested that Party leaders at all levels “face up to public scrutiny and media supervision and open themselves to being under supervision”, according to the full-text of the report published by Xinhua News Agency on Monday evening. The report also urged Party leaders to respond in a timely manner to hot issues revealed by the media or being discussed online.

整党纪抓腐败 “红二代”联手肃贪保家国_多维新闻网 - 此外有分析认为,虽作为“红二代”,但王岐山性格却非左右逢源、不愿得罪各方势力之人,其上任或将强势反腐,开辟中共反腐的新格局,成为斩断“盘根错节”式贪腐的一柄利器。

Curbing corruption needs more than a crackdown – Globaltimes.cn - Some officials have undeclared “gray” income. This expanding proportion of gray income is what defines corruption. We must root out gray income and make transparent officials’ legal income.  This would be a fundamental adjustment to China’s system of administration, and cannot be solely achieved through the efforts of the policymakers. Society also needs to change its culture and perceptions.

人民日报-接过历史的接力棒(人民论坛·新征程 新使命) ——凝聚未来中国的力量之一 - 【编者按】当历史的重任落在新一代人肩上,中国正站在新征程的起点。我们的国家将如何穿越转型的阵痛,抵达现代化的更高境界?我们的党将如何战胜重重挑战,团结带领人民迈向伟大的民族复兴?历史期待我们新的回答。在全党深入学习宣传贯彻党的十八大精神之际,《人民论坛》栏目推出系列评论——“凝聚未来中国的力量”,聚焦中国道路的新使命,汇聚奋勇前行的新动力。

十八大报告诞生记:李克强刘云山任起草组副组长_资讯频道_凤凰网 -

Formation process of 18th CPC National Congress report revealed – Xinhua | English.news.cn -

More superministries on the way in Beijing | South China Morning Post - Efforts to cut bureaucracy and graft are likely to see more mergers between big government agencies, as flagged by Hu, observers say

Han Zheng appointed Shanghai’s Party chief – Xinhua | English.news.cn -

Deepened Reforms Test China’s New Leaders -Caijing - summary of caijing cover piece//The purpose of political reform is to eliminate situations which allow for unfettered power and establish a system of checks and balances. The first step in the path of political reform involves establishing rule of law, implementing the constitution and laws, and safeguarding the independence of judicial judgment. Only in a society governed by rule of law can China realize the smooth integration of its political and economic system. The second step would be to promote inner-Party democracy while at the same time expanding popular democracy. Power being used for the benefit of the public is people’s fundamental great trust.

谁是中共“改革派”? – 纽约时报中文网 国际纵览 - 综上所述,中共高级干部之间并无明显的政见分别,他们仅仅是出于上位和扩大政治权力的目的,通过站队与裙带关系聚集在不同的派别大旗下;目前党内两大主要派别江派和胡派,都只是基于共同权力来源和未来权力同盟的政治精英联合,绝非一般所言的思想或左或右、或更信奉自由市场或更青睐国家威权的政治派别;党的政治精英大多信奉实利主义,鲜有政治伦理和是非主张所导向的言行决策;在党现有的政治话语系统和顶层设计下,无需任何制度突破和理论创新准备,就有足够大的体制和机制改善空间,“非不能也,是不为也”。青史垂铭的机会,留给那些在多年官场磨琢下仍遗有少年时为生民立命宏愿的人物,无论他来自何方,带有怎样的权力烙印。

China Cops, Data Privacy, and the Latest Crackdown Campaign | China Hearsay - But the big news is that this arrest was part of an overall government program to stamp out such data theft by government employees. The usual caveats apply regarding how widespread the enforcement will be, how long it will last, etc., but the campaign does show that someone in the government seems to think this is a significant problem that should be solved.

 

FOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS

China and Cambodia Stall Move to Quell Disputes in Southeast Asia – NYTimes.com- At a private meeting between China’s prime minister, Wen Jiabao, and the 10 member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Hun Sen, Cambodia’s leader and the host of the meeting here, read a statement that it was the consensus of the group that the issue of the South China Sea would not be “internationalized.” But representatives of other countries in the organization disputed the Cambodian statement, which was disclosed by participants and later confirmed by Chinese officials. It was the second time in four months that China appears to have influenced Cambodia, a beneficiary of Chinese development and military aid, to put forward its case

人民日报-用合作正能量打造中美关系新局面(专家对谈) -

China’s Communist Paper Calls for Closer U.S. Ties Under Xi – Bloomberg - “Given the complex changes in the international situation, Sino-U.S. cooperation and coordination are more urgent and important than ever before,” the article said, before printing the experts’ opinions in question-and-answer format. It said the U.S. and China must “ceaselessly use cooperation to deepen mutual interdependence and create a win-win situation for China- U.S. relations and for the world.”

Obama urges restraint in tense Asian disputes | Reuters - President Barack Obama urged Asian leaders on Tuesday to rein in tensions in the South China Sea and other disputed territory, but stopped short of firmly backing allies Japan, the Philippines and Vietnam in their disputes with China.

China, ASEAN have enough wisdom to properly handle territorial disputes: Premier Wen – Xinhua | English.news.cn - Speaking at the 15th China-ASEAN summit, Wen said seeking consensus through consultation and accommodating each other’s concerns are the core principles of the ASEAN way, which demonstrates the unique concept of the Oriental Civilization, and have proven effective.

Philip Bowring: The League of South China Sea Nations – WSJ.com - After another dismal summit, maritime states should form a new group to counter China’s incursions.

Re-thinking U.S.-China relations | The Great Debate - For this concept to work, China will have to improve on its record of rule-following. The United States has its own work to do– starting perhaps with ratifying the Law of the Sea Treaty.  New rules are needed in many areas and the U.S. will have to include China in developing them.  The case for shaping and then abiding by shared international standards, rather than abridging them as great powers can, will require convincing domestic critics in both nations, but a second-term US president and firmly installed Chinese leaders should have the leeway they need to chart a new course.

This Week in Defense News with Vago Muradian - Xi “first and foremost a nationalist”// Peter Mattis, editor of the China Brief at the Jamestown Foundation, on what China’s new leaders mean for the regional and global security.

Report: French officials accuse US of hacking Sarkozy’s computers – The Hill’s Global Affairs  china will love this// The United States used U.S.-Israeli spy software to hack into the French presidential office earlier this year, the French cyberwarfare agency has concluded, according to the newsmagazine l’Express.

China Challenges West for Arms Trade | Defense News | defensenews.com - Russian imitations of aircraft, radar, missiles and other equipment are being supplanted by high-quality made-in-China replacements. Granted, much of the equipment has Russian or Ukrainian roots, but Chinese engineers and manufacturers have learned just about as much as can be learned from them. China’s military industrial revolution has come of age.

Into Africa: Ex-navy SEAL sets trail for investors–South China Morning Post- After Erik Prince sold his firm to investors about two years ago, the former officer in the Navy SEALs – the special US military force that killed Osama bin Laden last year – set up a new company called Frontier Resource Group (FRG) early this year. FRG is an Africa-dedicated investment firm partnered with major Chinese enterprises, including at least one state-owned resource giant that is keen to pour money into the resource-rich continent

 

TECH AND MEDIA

China: Digital Evolution | Media Policy - Since Xi Jinping was anointed as China’s top leader last week, a close reading of the freshly-brewed political tea leaves favors gradual, messy evolution over any sudden Internet-led revolution. Those who prefer to read research reports instead of tea leaves will draw similar conclusions after reading OSF’s recently-published Mapping Digital Media China report - even though it was completed well before the leadership transition. According to the report’s authors, the emergence over the past decade of a “vibrant online civil society” in China provides grounds for optimism in the long run. Yet this vibrant online world will continue to coexist with a “sophisticated party-state propaganda and control system” whose grip on broadcast media, licensing of digital services, spectrum allocation, and professional news content production shows few signs of loosening.

视频网站告别版权之争_杂志频道_财新网 - Caixin takes long look at online video industry. content costs have collapsed from 2011 peak, more consolidation to come than just Youku buying Tudou// 剧集单集报价从上百万元腰斩,版权市场泡沫破灭的背后,是视频网站停止盲目烧钱,深入洗牌

Fei Chang Dao: Baidu, Sina and Others Join Government Pilot Project to Control Online Publishing -

Amazon’s cloud service aborted in China, launch of Kindle delayed – MorningWhistle -

The Wall Street Journal’s China Real Time editor Josh Chin | Agenda – Beijing’s Premier Business Magazine

Qihoo 360 Technology Q3 Profit Tops Estimate-Nasdaq.com  Citron really blew this short call//

 

SOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY

Boys’ Deaths Stir Anger on China’s Web – WSJ.com - Their deaths struck a particular chord, not just because it came on the heels of a meeting in Beijing picking a new Communist Party leadership but because of the echoes of a tale many Chinese associate with the horrors of capitalism, Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Little Match Girl.” The story, about a poor Danish girl who dies from exposure on New Year’s Eve trying to sell matches on the street, was once included in Chinese primary school text books.

Five homeless children found dead in rubbish bin in south-west China | World news | guardian.co.uk - Boys thought to have died of carbon monoxide poisoning after burning charcoal inside bin

贵州毕节多名官员因5名男童闷死事件被处理_网易新闻中心 - 核心提示:11月16日,贵州毕节5名男童因在垃圾箱内生火取暖导致一氧化碳中毒死亡。日前,毕节七星关区副区长唐兴全、高守军被停职检查,另有多名官员被免职。据死者父亲介绍,5个孩子中有4个辍学,尽管老师屡次动员,但他们都以“成绩不好,不想读书”为由拒绝上学。

Rise in unmarried splits a headache |Society |chinadaily.com.cn - According to judicial interpretations, children of unmarried couples have the same rights as those from married ones: children younger than 2 usually stay with their mother unless there are health issues; for children aged 2 to 10, custody is decided based on the parents’ economic and work situations; children older than 10 can choose which parent they want to stay with.

The £3m Chinese vase that survived football and the family cat – Telegraph - has the buyer actually paid?// An antique Chinese vase that was valued at £20,000 after being found in a routine family house clearance has fetched £3 million – more than 100 times its asking price.

留学生出国材料造假追踪:中介之外的秘密_财经频道_一财网 - a look at the ways chinese students get fake materials (grades etc) to submit for their applications to study overseas//一名学生开具成绩单需要走的流程是——首先找到学校领导口头申请获得允许,然后由领导告知陈简,请他开出成绩单,接着由他拿到学校办公室盖学校的公章,再交给学生。

河南平坟运动:征地还是殡葬改革?|殡葬|平坟运动|征地_21世纪网 - 周口市的平坟运动已经刺痛了很多民众的情感,激起了声浪庞大的反对声。北京市委党校研究生冷星火正在组织观察团,“希望深入了解当地民众如何在情感和传统角度看待平坟”,他说。

My part in China’s war on corruption – FT.com - After a couple of sobering experiences of charity scams at Chinese schools, I have made up my mind to help Mr Wang by refusing to buy one more fake quilt, pay for one more fake building repair, or even fund one more fake hug for my darling daughter. I am going to do China the favour of not treating it like Zaire. I too am responsible.

Mystery (Fucheng mishi) – review | Film | Guardian Weekly - Lou Ye’s first release in his homeland for a decade is a beautiful and violent film echoing some of contemporary China’s problems

 

ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT AND HEALTH

As Fracking Takes Off, Environmentalists Fret – Caixin - from where will the water come?// A State Council paper and drilling rights auctions have started a shale gas rush some say imperils China’s environment

Cancer-Causing Substance Found in Chinese Liquor -Caijing - this latest scare seems to have caused a big selloff in Chinese liquor stocks// The Chinese Liquor Association later responded in a statement that plasticizer components widely exist in the country’s liquor products with an average amount of 0.537mg per kilo. However, the association noted that those plasticizer components are not created in the process of fermentation; instead, they come from plastic liquor manufacturing equipments and containers.

 

FOOD AND TRAVEL

Tests of trains that will do Beijing to Shenzhen in 9 hours | South China Morning Post- Trials began on the final section between the capital and Shijiazhuang , Hebei province, in mid- September. This meant tests for the entire 2,410 kilometre line could begin by December 20, the 21st Century Business Herald reported yesterday.

China wine maps: So, um, where is Ningxia? And where are its wineries? | Grape Wall of China - While quite a few people have heard about the up-and-coming wine region of Ningxia, some only vaguely know the location of this isolated place and its wineries, with “vaguely” including “somewhere in China”. Here is a look at the region via five maps.

 

BOOKS & LITERATURE

This Week in Fiction: Mo Yan in Translation : The New Yorker - A conversation with Mo Yan’s translator, Howard Goldblatt.