Xi Jinping has decided Shenzhen will be the venue for his first inspection trip as the party’s new general secretary.
It is a move political observers say pays tribute to the famous southern tour of Deng Xiaoping in 1992 and sends a signal of commitment to deepening reform.
A Shenzhen propaganda official said Xi, who will succeed Hu Jintao as president in March, would follow in the footsteps of Deng’s tour to “express his determination to further deepen China’s reform”…
Former National People’s Congress deputy Ng Hong-man said Xi chose Shenzhen for his first tour to pay tribute to Deng and his reformist father Xi Zhongxun’s commitment to reform and opening up.
Deng gave Xi’s father the task of setting up experimental zones for economic reforms in 1979.
This is a big deal and a very strong signal that Xi is hitching himself to Deng Xiaoping’s legacy and style and is serious about reinvigorating reforms. The new leadership is clearly trying to shift perceptions and rebuild public confidence (Caijing):
“How about giving China, and its future, a little more confidence?” China’s national broadcasters CCTV asked in a prime-time program on late Wednesday.
The new leadership has set a target for the Chinese, the Chinese dream, only half month after top officials’ first public debut, and Wednesday’s “Eight Measures” have delivered “commitment to all the ordinary people” and “restrains to officials”, it contended, “With such a clear direction, measures… in such a short time…[we should be] more confident about China, and China’s future.”
Reuters looks at Xi’s language and its nationalist implications in China’s new boss Xi hits nationalist note with talk of revival:
Diplomats and some analysts acknowledged that even if Xi’s recent rhetoric is aimed at a domestic audience, there is always potential risk in using nationalism as a political strategy – “particularly now, at this point in China’s history, when it’s more confident, and some of its neighbors are wary”, the Western diplomat said.
Analysts in Beijing believe Xi’s domestic political strategy is clear enough. “He’s using (these words) to move away from ideology,” added Chen Ziming, an independent scholar of politics in Beijing. “He knows that Communist slogans don’t really have much status anymore among Chinese people, so he thinks playing the ‘national rejuvenation’ card is a better way to go.”
Regular Sinocism readers know this blog has discussed this several times since Xi met the media on November 16. Xi Jinping is a reformer, but likely a hardline nationalist one.
I should probably add a corruption section to this newsletter. China has been rocked by five sex scandals in six days (Telegraph) and there are more every day, as noted in the Politics and Law section below. The Internet is playing a key role:
“The ability of the internet [to uncover scandals] is greater than ever before and the new government cares more about corruption and is acting very quickly,” said Mao Shoulong, a professor of Chinese politics at Renmin university.
On Thursday Luo Changping (Sina Weibo account), the deputy editor of Caijing Magazine, took to Sina Weibo to publicly accuse (Economic Observer) Liu Tienan (刘铁男), Director of the National Energy Administration and Deputy Director of the NDRC, of fudging his resume and engaging in corruption. Luo made the accusations while Liu was travelling in Russia, with Wang Qishan, the new anti-corruption czar.
Luo’s move is remarkable, and appears to be the first non-anonymous accusation on Weibo about a ministerial-level official. Luo’s three weibos about Liu Tienan are still available.
So is a real corruption crackdown underway, or is this mostly political score-settling and window-dressing? Clearly the propaganda authorities are allowing, and in fact may be encouraging, more reporting on corruption exposes. So far only one senior official–Li Chuncheng–has been detained while several expendable, local peons have also gotten into trouble. My guess is that the crackdown is more real and will last longer than most assume but will not address the structural sources of graft. Significant political reform and and a free press are needed, and those steps seem unlikely.
Your support is still welcome…
BUSINESS AND ECONOMY
China’s Xi underscores economic growth, market-oriented reforms – Xinhua | English.news.cn- China must maintain economic growth and persevere with market-oriented reforms in the face of multiple risks in the economy, the new helmsman of China’s ruling party has said.The government should continue its proactive fiscal and prudent monetary policies next year and improve the economy’s internal vigor and dynamic, said Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, at a symposium held with non-Party figures here last week.”The growth that we achieve must be tangible, not exaggerated growth, and should be efficient, of good quality and sustainable,” Xi said.
China may lower 2013 economic growth target |Economy |chinadaily.com.cn- China is likely to set a lower economic growth target for 2013 to achieve a smooth change in its growth pattern and minimize future risks amid uncertainties in global economy, according to a newspaper column by a senior economist published on Wednesday.The Chinese government will make self-motivated efforts to slow down the rapidly expanding economy in the coming year, wrote Yi Xianrong, a finance researcher with government think tank the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, in Shanghai Securities News.
China to stick with 7.5 percent economic growth target in 2013 Reuters–Policymakers believe keeping the 7.5 percent target in 2013 will help balance the need to keep growth humming with the need for economic wiggle room to deepen reforms, said government economists involved in the discussions about the plans. The government also intends to maintain a 4 percent inflation target and 14 percent limit on M2 money supply, the sources said. They declined to be identified because of the sensitivity of the issue.
China “Big Four” Lend Cautiously in Nov; New Loans at CNY168Bln-Caijing - New loans extended by the four biggest banks in China were 168 billion yuan in November, down from the previous month’s 220 billion
Sorting Out a Chinese Puzzle in Auditing – NYTimes.com- The volume of new Chinese frauds seems to have declined, and there are few new listings of such companies — either because American investors have grown wary or because Chinese companies don’t want to deal with regulators who think investor protection is important.One can only imagine the conversations of Chinese corporate officials as they discuss just how gullible the Americans turned out to be.
China State-Driven Rebound at Risk as Small Firms Suffer – Bloomberg - China’s rebound from a seven-quarter slowdown is being driven by state-funded transport projects, boosting the shares of railcar makers such as China CNR Corp. even as the benchmark stock index dropped. The focus on infrastructure and the lack of a more widespread pickup may threaten the sustainability of the economic recovery.
A Wealth Management Product Fails in China. So Who Pays? -Caixin - He originally planned to buy another wealth product with an expected annual interest rate of 5.8 percent, he said. ”I had filled out the purchase form for that product,” he said. “The bank’s lobby manager saw I was about to invest 1.1 million yuan and told me, ‘Why don’t you go inside (to the VIP room)? We have a better product with a 12 percent annual interest. It’s 100 percent risk free. All you need to do is pick up your money when the time comes.’” Without even reading the contract, the man said, he signed up to buy a piece of a plan called Zhongding Wealth Investment Center. The factory owner’s portion was to mature in January//don’t underestimate the greed..investors do bear some responsbility
Fear and Loathing in China’s Banking System – China Real Time Report – WSJ - Initially, Beijing-based Huaxia Bank said it had never approved the product, but in a meeting with about a dozen investors on Monday night, Huaxia officials said there was “some management oversight” of the product and said the bank will offer a “reasonable solution,” according to a person with direct knowledge of the bank.
China’s Shadow Banking Revisited: Size, Implications, Risks, and Reforms-Caijing - We estimate that the shadow banking system has a size of around RMB15-17trn, about 12-13% of the formal banking assets, and one third of China’s GDP.
Japanese Dealerships in China Retrench in Wake of Dispute – Bloomberg - More distributors than ever are considering quitting Japanese car brands, even as showroom traffic and orders begin to rebound, according to the China Automobile Dealers Association. Failing to sign up enough new dealers will hurt Japanese automakers, benefiting General Motors Co. (GM), Volkswagen AG (VOW) and Hyundai Motor Co. (005380) as they compete to expand in smaller Chinese cities where the bulk of future demand lies.
China to flatten 700 mountains for new metropolis in the desert | World news | guardian.co.uk- In what is being billed as the largest “mountain-moving project” in Chinese history, oneof China’s biggest construction firms will spend £2.2bn to flatten 700 mountains levelling the area Lanzhou, allowing developers to build a new metropolis on the outskirts of the north-western city.The Lanzhou New Area, 500 square miles (130,000 hectares) of land 50 miles from the city, which is the provincial capital of arid Gansu province, could increase the region’s gross domestic product to £27bn by 2030, according to the state-run China Daily. It has already attracted almost £7bn of corporate investment.
Luxury housing sales rise in Beijing – Xinhua | English.news.cn- Sales of upscale housing in Beijing reversed a previous downward trend to record a sharp increase in November, driven by appetite from foreign buyers and relatively cheap loans, local real estate consulting agencies have said.Luxury housing, mainly villas priced about 50,000 yuan (7,948 U.S. dollars) per square meter, saw hefty sales of 412 units in November, up 52 percent year on year and 84.8 percent month on month, according to Beijing-based Yahao Real Estate.
收入分配改革方案月内出台 专家称工薪收入不应收税_国内财经_新浪财经_新浪网 - ND
聚焦2012中央经济工作会议 - First Financial’s new microsite on the upcoming 2012 central economic work conference..
专访李铁 破解城镇化征地矛盾：平衡农民与市民利益_思想频道_一财网 -
一号文件或聚焦农业经营体制 新华社——经济参考网 - speculation that 2013 Central Government’s #1 Document will be about rural issues// 明年的经济政策令人关注，
城镇化将再次激发中国经济发展的巨大潜力 新华社——经济参考网 - 有序推进农业转移人口市民化、扩大内需消费投资双管齐下、
Rolls-Royce could face prosecution in bribery probe | Reuters - Aerospace and defense group Rolls-Royce may face prosecution after Britain’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) ordered it to hand over details of possible bribery and corruption in China and elsewhere, the company said on Thursday.
POLITICS AND LAW
AP Exclusive: Detained China Nobel wife speaks out – Yahoo! News - all the talk of rule of law and respect for the Constitution empty while her illegal detention continues// Breathless from disbelief at receiving unexpected visitors into her home and with a shaking voice, Liu spoke in her first interview in 26 months — a brief conversation with journalists from The Associated Press who managed to visit her apartment while the guards who watch it apparently stepped out for lunch.
Commentary: Law-abiding ruling party key to rule of law in China – Xinhua | English.news.cn- BEIJING, Dec. 6 (Xinhua) — A recent speech from the new helmsman of the Communist Party of China (CPC) notably urged Party members not to cross the lines set by the Constitution and laws.Xi Jinping, newly-elected general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, said the CPC should not only lead the people in adopting the Constitution and laws but also set an example by abiding by them. The speech was made on the occasion marking the 30th anniversary of the implementation of the country’s current version of the Constitution, a time of great historical significance.
Top Policy Experts Urge Legal Reforms – Caixin - The remarks were made at a November 30 forum hosted by the monthly magazine China Reform and Hu Yaobang Historical Materials, an online education portal. The session, titled Rule of Law and the Chongqing Lesson, included 30 experts and historians. China Reform is a sister publication of Caixin.
Report on propaganda chief Liu Qibao released | South China Morning Post- Xinhua reported last night that Liu had made visits to the office of foreign propaganda, which is more commonly known as the Information Office of the State Council, and the cultural ministry, recently. The report did not specify when the visits were made, but its release last night was apparently aimed at dismissing rumours about him.Meanwhile, another figure under close scrutiny by overseas media in recent days, Gu Liping, wife of the United Front minister Ling Jihua, also appeared in public recently. The website of Youth Business China carried a photo of Gu with her colleagues on Wednesday, saying she is leading the team to make plans for the non-governmental organisation for next year.
中石化干部“艳照门”调查_视听频道_财新网 - Sinope
曝人大代表澳门豪赌输七千万 回应称是购物度假_新闻_腾讯网 - local official in Shenzhen accused in an Internet post of spending 70m rmb gambling in Macau..investigation underway//
消息称郎酒掌门人被带走调查 当事人否认-财经网 - 有传闻称川酒巨头郎酒掌门人汪俊林已被带走调查，
人民日报的微博 新浪微博-随时随地分享身边的新鲜事儿 -
十八大后西方对习近平“谋静而后动”_多维新闻网 - 【多维新闻】中共十八大后，
访民离京疑遭黑保安殴打 信访干部证实有人随行_网易新闻中心 - 核心提示：12月6日，安徽颍上县迪沟镇村民爆料称，
From 10.26–A concerned dragon: China’s fresh overture to Tibetans – Analysis – DNA would be interesting and possibly encouraging if true// Xiao Wunan, a senior CCP cadre and executive vicepresident of APECF visitedIndia and was received in Dharamsala on August 16 by the Dalai Lama, Lobsang Sangay, then ‘Kalon Tripa’ (prime minister) of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) and Ugyen Thinley Dorjee, who is formally approved by the Dalai Lama and Beijing as the XVIIth Gyalwa Karmapa, or head of the Karma Kargyu sect. Xiao Wunan was accompanied byGong Tingyu, a Deputy Secretary General of APECF and Simon Kei Shek Ming, reportedly a journalist of the Hong Kong magazine Yazhou Zhoukan. During his meeting with the Dalai Lama, Xiao Wunan probably carried a personal message from a senior Chinese leader, possibly Xi Jinping. He could have informed the Dalai Lama that he was welcome to spend his last days in Beijing provided he gave up ‘anti-China’ activities and expressed support for the Communist regime.
Scholars interpret “Chinese dream” after Xi’s speech – Xinhua | English.news.cn- “The Chinese dream is about solving China’s problems,” according to Zheng Bijian, former executive vice president of the Party School of the CPC Central Committee.The Chinese can neither afford to dream of consuming 25 barrels of oil per person each year like the Americans, nor they can pursue their dream of development by colonization, he said. ”Fundamentally, the Chinese dream is about using a peaceful, civilized way to realize national development and the modernization of a socialist country,” in Zheng’s view.
FOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS
US has no right to frequently disturb the world – People’s Daily Online - The U.S. Republican and Democratic parties have not made any substantive progress in the first round of fiscal cliff talks, arousing worries that the country may fall off the fiscal cliff.
中国女兵实战演练视频集-新闻中心 - Video of china’s first female j-10 pilots
Asia Unbound » South China Sea: Going to Get Worse Before It (Might) Gets Better- Although there have been several brief cooling-off periods in the past two years, including some initiated by senior Chinese leaders traveling to Southeast Asia, they have not stuck, and the situation continues to deteriorate and get more dangerous.In the new year, it will likely get even worse. Here’s why:
China tells Vietnam to halt oil exploration in disputed waters | Reuters - China told Vietnam on Thursday to stop unilateral oil exploration in disputed areas of the South China Sea and not harass Chinese fishing boats, again raising tensions in a protracted maritime territorial dispute with its neighbor.Vietnam had already expelled Chinese fishing vessels from waters near China’s southern Hainan province, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei told a daily news briefing.Hong’s description of the confrontation last Friday was in contrast to the account by Vietnam, which said a Vietnamese ship had a seismic cable it was pulling cut by two Chinese fishing ships.
Battery maker that received stimulus money could be sold to Chinese company – The Washington Post A bankrupt battery manufacturer that was a cornerstone of President Obama’s effort to make the United States a global leader in clean-energy technology could end up in the hands of a Chinese company when it goes on the auction block Thursday. Congressional Republicans call the company, A123 Systems, which received $133 million in federal stimulus grants, a textbook case of how the Obama administration wasted taxpayer money trying to nurture new industries. Administration officials say the stimulus money was used to build a new manufacturing facility in Michigan that could remain open under new owners, even if they turn out to be foreign.
Mongolia finds China can be too close for comfort – Businessweek This story is part of “China’s Reach,” a project tracking China’s influence on its trading partners over three decades and exploring how that is changing business, politics and daily life.
Hackers Target Former Joint Chiefs Chairman Mullen – WSJ.com - One official said that evidence gathered by the FBI points to China as the origin of the hacking, and that it appeared the perpetrators were able to access a personal email account of Mr. Mullen. The official declined to be more specific.
HONG KONG AND TAIWAN
Hong Kong’s Leader Seeks to Ease Concerns About China – NYTimes.com - In a rare speech specifically addressing relations with Beijing, Mr. Leung said on Thursday that he hoped to improve relations by emphasizing better communications between Hong Kong and the mainland. “It is without doubt our most important bilateral relationship, and one we must treat with the utmost respect,” Mr. Leung said.
TECH AND MEDIA
Apple to Resume U.S. Manufacturing – NYTimes.com - For the first time in years, Apple will manufacture computers in the United States, the chief executive of Apple, Timothy D. Cook, said in interviews with NBC and Bloomberg Businessweek.
Foxconn Plans American Expansion as Clients Seek Made in U.S.A. – Bloomberg - “We are looking at doing more manufacturing in the U.S. because, in general, customers want more to be done there,” Louis Woo, a Foxconn spokesman, said in a phone interview. He declined to comment on individual clients or specific plans.
Apple’s ranking in China smartphone market falls to No.6: IDC | Reuters- Apple saw its third-quarter ranking by market share fall two notches from its position in the second quarter, IDC said. Its market share by shipments was under 10 percent in the third quarter, when China’s smartphone shipments hit a record high, at more than 60 million units, the research firm added.However, IDC analysts expect a rebound with the launch of the iPhone 5 in China in December. Apple last week received approval from regulators for the sale of the iPhone 5 in the country.
Baidu and Lenovo Announce New $150 LePhone Handset–TechInAsia - Baidu has teamed up with Lenovo to announce the new LePhone A586. Priced at 999 RMB ($158) when purchased through Lenovo’s official site, the handset looks set to compete with the many other internet-company-branded phones that have flooded into the market over the last six months. Sales of the phone will begin on December 12.
Chinese Studio Boss Yu Dong Calls For Censorship Reform – Hollywood Reporter SINGAPORE—Yu Dong, CEO and Founder of Bona Film Group, China’s largest private film company, called upon Chinese government regulators Wednesday to loosen censorship restrictions on the country’s domestic film industry. The remarks were part of an opening keynote speech Yu gave at ScreenSingapore’s new “Focus on China” panel discussion series.
In China, Tycoons’ Divorces Hurt Stocks – Businessweek Now divorce rumors are swirling around Robin Li, chief executive officer of Internet search giant Baidu (BIDU). Li and his wife own 20.8 percent of the stock. The gossip has no apparent basis in fact, but no matter. “People are worried about what the dissolution of their marriage might do to the ownership of Baidu and how this might negatively affect the stock, presumably because some believe the wife would flood the market with her shares to get liquidity,” wrote TheStreet.com’s (TST) Eric Jackson on Nov. 14, just after Baidu shares hit their lowest price since January 2011. A Baidu spokesperson said the company does not comment on Li’s private life. ..The most vivid case of a divorce torpedoing corporate ambitions concerns the video-sharing site Tudou, once a contender to become the YouTube (GOOG) of China.
SOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY
Left-behind American children in China | Offbeat China Among China’s vast troops of left-behind children, an even more special segment is left-behind foreign children. Their parents are oftentimes illegal immigrants to other countries (primarily the US) who work low-paid jobs on foreign lands. Below is a story done by Netease on the lives of about 10,000 such left-behind American children in Fuzhou, Fujian province, which is the home town of many early Chinese immigrants.
ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT AND HEALTH
China sacks three officials for GMO rice test: Xinhua | Reuters- The officials from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the Zhejiang Academy of Medical Sciences were sacked for violatingregulations, scientific ethics and academic integrity, Xinhua news agency said.The controversial test first came to light when environmental group Greenpeace said a U.S. Department of Agriculture-backed study used 24 Chinese children aged between six and eight to test genetically modified “golden rice”.
In China, HIV & HCV Transmission through Blood Continues | Seeing Red in China- Dr. Wang Shuping writes on World Aids Day. I’m please to translate, and publish, her piece here. — YaxueI am Wang Shuping, and, as a doctor and epidemics researcher, I was the one who first discovered Hepatitis C virus and HIV contamination in plasma collection stations mushroomed in China in the 1990s. Hundreds of thousands of innocent people became infected as a result. Twenty years have passed since those frightful discoveries, the current state of blood safety in China, to my dismay, still presents an alarming picture of continuing transmission of HIV and HCV through blood. On World AIDS Day today, I would like to call attention to the matter to raise the public’s awareness and warn the policy makers.
BOOKS AND LITERATURE
Chinese Nobel literature winner: censorship a must – News – Boston.com - He also suggested he won’t join an appeal calling for the release of the jailed 2010 Peace Prize laureate, Liu Xiaobo, a fellow writer and compatriot…Mo said he doesn’t feel that censorship should stand in the way of truth but that any defamation, or rumors, ‘‘should be censored.’’ ‘‘But I also hope that censorship, per se, should have the highest principle,’’ he said in comments translated by an interpreter from Chinese into English.
AmCham China–Podcast: The Banking Global Powerhouse You’ve Never Heard Of China Development Bank is not only financing China., Inc.’s overseas expansion, but it’s also doling out billions of dollars in loans to cement ties with China’s new allies in Africa and South America, according to a new book by Henry Sanderson and Michael Forsythe.