The Sinocism China Newsletter For 12.09.12

Xi Jinping visited Shenzhen but so far mainland media have not directly reported on his trip. Netease has posted Phoenix TV video and pictures of Xi’s visit to Deng Xiaoping’s statue. Four cadres who participated in Deng’s 1993 Southern Tour were with Xi. After laying a wreath and bowing at Deng’s statue, Xi then went into the crowd and chatted with the onlookers. He really does have a different style.

The South China Morning Post reports that Xi Jinping adopts casual, open air on visit to Shenzhen:

“The party’s decision [to implement the] open-door policy and reform is correct and we have to continue unswervingly. … We also should take new ground,” he told his entourage.

The visit to Lotus Hill Park, which features a bronze statue of late paramount leader Deng Xiaoping, appeared intended to emphasise the new leader’s commitment to the economic “opening up” policies that helped make Shenzhen the booming metropolis it is today.

Duowei reports that Xi’s wife and daughter accompanied him, they visited Xi’s mother Qi Xin and that during the visit to Tencent the company gave the family a QQ account. So are we going to see @习近平 on Weibo and WeChat?

It is interesting that so far official media have not directly reported on this trip. Will we see a packaged propaganda rollout in the coming days, or will this stay low-key? If the latter then the idea that this “Southern Tour 2.0″ will help reinvigorate reforms may be exaggerated. I am betting on a packaged propaganda push in the near future.

If you have 30 minutes I highly recommend this Sinica Podcast in which Will Moss (aka @imagethief) talks about his decision to leave China for the pollen-filled air of Northern California.

Today’s links:

BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

Chinese Survey Shows a Higher Jobless Rate – WSJ.com - so the good news is unemployment is a much bigger problem than most thought and social order has still not collapsed?// A new survey shows that the real unemployment rate in China is double the official level, and layoffs rose sharply among migrant workers in the past year, underlining the challenge for China’s new leaders to maintain growth. The survey of 8,000 households shows the urban unemployment rate hit 8.05% in June, up slightly from 8% in August 2011 and nearly twice as high as the official 4.1% rate. The survey was run by Gan Li, an economics professor at South Western University of Finance and Economics in Chengdu.

China’s Wanxiang wins auction for U.S. government-backed A123 | Reuters - Timothy Pohl of Lazard Freres said Wanxiang Group Corp’s bid of about $260 million topped a joint bid from Johnson Controls Inc (JCI.N) of Milwaukee and NEC Corp (6701.T) of Japan for the maker of lithium-ion batteries.

IBM China Bribe Deal Awaits Court Approval After Months – Bloomberg - pat on the wrist..// In China, the IBM employees created “slush funds” at local travel agencies that were used to pay for overseas excursions by government officials, the SEC said. IBM employees also gave gifts, such as cameras and laptop computers, to Chinese officials, according to the complaint. The SEC didn’t say what IBM received in return from those officials. The misconduct in China “involved several key IBM-China employees and more than 100 IBM China employees overall,” the agency said.

我国5年投资4200亿建设支线机场 或大面积亏损_国内财经_新浪财经_新浪网 -most of the new airports are losing money..shocked…

What will the PCAOB do next? | China Accounting Blog | Paul Gillis - The PCAOB faces a December 31 deadline to complete inspections of foreign firms. It will miss that deadline, and I expect they will do something before that happens.  At that point, the PCAOB process is probably more important for investors than the SEC case.  In any event, I expect that the timetables for final resolution will converge for both the SEC and PCAOB actions.//if delisting to happen would probably take longer than a year. but any compromise by US short of getting Chinese regulators to respect existing US laws and regulations is unacceptable and a threat to the integrity of US capital markets

U.S.-China Audit Clash Could Have Broad Reach – NYTimes.com- “Audit papers are very important to maintain market integrity and the C.S.R.C. is ready to cooperate with other jurisdictions on this issue,” Tong Daochi, the director general of international affairs at the C.S.R.C., said last week at a conference in Hong Kong. Mr. Tong said his agency had talked with counterparts in the United States and Hong Kong regarding the issue of sharing Chinese audit working papers. “We are making progress and I think we should be able to work out a way to get them out,” he said.

Investment default highlights risks in wealth management market – Xinhua The investment default also showed that many savers lack awareness of the potential risks in wealth management products sold at banks, experts said.  Zhao Qingming, a senior researcher at the China Construction Bank, said that the case would lead to more formal information disclosures in the wealth management market and strengthened supervision of commercial banks.

 

POLITICS AND LAW

Slide from a recent talk I gave about Chinese politics in Internet age

China’s political reform should highlight consultative democracy: political advisors – Xinhua Socialist consultative democracy, largely embodied by the political advisory system, should be raised to one of the priorities in China’s political reform, political advisors said here.

刘锋:基层政治生态向钱看的忧患-财经网 - comment about money and local politics, ledes w a Beijing village secretary who has to pay party members 100 rmb each to show up to meetings// 北京某村党支部书记很苦恼,每次村里开会得给党员发100元钱,党员才会来;村级基层组织花钱请人开会已是普遍现象,选举的合法性也消失了。当一个担负着公共责任的基层组织变成一个纯粹的经济组织或既得利益集团时,生命也走到尽头

北京车牌摇号制度存利益链条 消息称有调整可能性_国内财经_新浪财经_新浪网 - may be change to Beijing’s license plate lottery system given continued corruption concerns

 

FOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS

Is Xi Jinping Changing Chinese Nuclear Weapons Policy? – All Things Nuclear - Traditionally, Chinese declaratory policy emphasizes that the sole purpose of China’s nuclear arsenal is to prevent “nuclear blackmail.” U.S. declaratory policy, which does not eschew first use, is seen by many Chinese analysts as an example of nuclear blackmail. This uniquely Chinese characterization was preferred over the concept of “deterrence,” which older Chinese nuclear policy hands generally interpreted as a threat to use nuclear weapons. Wang’s commentary on Xi’s remarks to the Second Artillery suggests China’s new leadership may now be more accepting of the traditional U.S. concept of deterrence.  As a result, they may also be beginning to broaden the purpose of China’s nuclear arsenal to include deterring conventional conflicts as well as achieving vague geopolitical objectives.

Senior CPC official pledges to strengthen China-U.S. cooperation – Xinhua  China and the United States faced broad prospects in enhancing concrete cooperation in various fields and carrying out closer local exchanges and cooperation, Wang, head of the International Department of the CPC Central Committee, said in a meeting with Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper in Denver.

Authoritarian regimes push for larger ITU role in DNS system | Ars Technica - China, Russia, and Saudi Arabia want expanded ITU authority online.

 

TECH AND MEDIA

Google’s Android Failure in China is Another Setback for the Search Company in the World’s Largest Internet Market | MIT Technology Review - Google closed its Chinese search service three years ago, just as the mobile market exploded. Now it may be realizing the price.

Meet the woman making China fashionable – Asia – World – The Independent - In just seven years since its launch, Vogue China has become a runaway success. Editor Angelica Cheung tells Clifford Coonan how she built a magazine for a new generation of women on the up

 

SOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY

The Real Reason China’s Super-Rich Are Packing Up And Moving Abroad - - From what Xi Jinping said in November’s Communist Party Congress, we can undoubtedly see that China’s new generation of leaders has started to take stock of the problem. Since Xi became China’s leader, “livelihood” and “anti-corruption” have become the most repeated expressions in his speeches. It’s easier to shout slogans than to act. If our country can improve public services, accelerate the process of the rule of the law and put an end to corruption as fast as possible, China will become a pleasant country to live in. And then, I’m convinced that the rush to exile by the rich will come to a halt.

 

ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT AND HEALTH

浙江两大工业园每天排数十吨污水入钱塘江(图)|钱塘江|绿色和平|环保_新浪新闻 -

Interview: Tufts University says probe under way on GM rice test in China – Xinhua  Tufts University is aware of the announcement made by Chinese public health authorities on a genetically modified (GM) rice research, and finds it inappropriate to make further comments at this time when its reviewing on the project is still ongoing, a spokeswoman said Thursday.

 

BOOKS AND LITERATURE

Mo Yan – Nobel Lecture: Storytellers - Through the mediums of television and the Internet, I imagine that everyone here has at least a nodding acquaintance with far-off Northeast Gaomi Township. You may have seen my ninety-year-old father, as well as my brothers, my sister, my wife and my daughter, even my granddaughter, now a year and four months old. But the person who is most on my mind at this moment, my mother, is someone you will never see. Many people have shared in the honor of winning this prize, everyone but her.

Nobel laureate Mo Yan takes swipe at critics in lecture | South China Morning Post- “The announcement of my Nobel Prize has led to controversy. At first I thought I was the target of the disputes, but over time I’ve come to realise that the real target was a person who had nothing to do with me,” he said on Friday. The best way for a writer to speak was through his work, he argued, adding that everything he needed to say could be found there. “Speech is carried off by the wind; the written word can never be oblitreated,” he told the audience.