The Sinocism China Newsletter For 12.13.12

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During his Guangdong inspection tour Xi Jinping visited troops in the “Guangzhou military theater of operations” (Xinhua). He checked out some equipment, watched a live-fire exercise, ate with soldiers and gave a talk, as shown in the top item on Wednesday’s CCTV Evening News. His PLA meetings are the lead story in today’s People’s Daily–人民日报-习近平在广州战区考察时强调 坚持富国和强军相统一 努力建设巩固国防和强大军队.

The South China Morning Post notes that Xi Jinping ordered PLA to step up its ‘real combat’ awareness:

Xi visited military bases, facilities and camps in Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Zhuhai, including the PLA Navy’s South China Sea fleet, where he boarded the destroyer Haikou…

Xi also held separate meetings with senior PLA officers in Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Zhuhai, Xinhua reported. Sources also said Xi visited the 124th division of the 42nd Group Army in Luofushan, Huizhou, on Monday.

Xi’s late father, Xi Zhongxun, served as a political commissar of the Guangzhou military district in the late ’70s….

Analysts said that Xi’s military visits and the high-profile Xinhua report suggested the new leader’s eagerness to consolidate his power in the military.

Do not fear Chinese growing military power, says Xinhua in Special Report: China sticks to peaceful development despite squabbles, military advancement:

Experts have also pointed out that the advancement of China’s weaponry can contribute to regional peace and stability as China has played an active role in United Nations peace-keeping missions and joined international efforts to fight pirates off the coast of Somali.

When China has a more balanced and powerful army, the regional situation would be more stable, as various forces threatening regional peace would not dare to act rashly, Ding, the researcher said.

Isn’t that the rationale that mostly kept the peace during the Cold War?

The Financial Times quotes a Chinese defense expert echoing a similar theme in Military machine: Learning to use new equipment :

Chinese analysts say China need not worry about concerns over its military prowess. “Nobody calls the US and Russia a threat because their military is so powerful that people fear they will come after you if you say something,” says Yang Yi, a former professor at the national defense university, the Chinese military’s main academic training institution.

“When China’s military power has increased to a certain level, things will change for us as well. Don’t be afraid of people talking.”

Mr Yang argues that China should become more open about its military modernisation. “We should tell people how many aircraft carriers we are going to build – four or five,” he says.

“That will put the great powers at ease and crush the small countries’ hopes [that they could provoke us].”

North Korea launched a rocket (New York Times), US officials were surprised, China “regrets”it (Xinhua).

What are the best investment ideas to capitalize on the quickening Asian arms race?

The Financial Times has a terrific yearend package in China 2012.

Today’s links:

BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

中央经济工作会议前瞻:“持续健康”取代“平稳较快” 调结构重心何在?_财经频道_一财网 - will “sustainable and healthy growth” replaced “steady, relative fast growth” as goal at upcoming central economic work conference (reports say to be held this weekend)// 已经延续多年的经济结构调整,随着今年经济增速的下滑而进入了关键阶段:通过宏观政策的放松,而让所有行业同时爆发性增长的模式已成过去。

明年宏观政策基调不变重点将变 新华社——经济参考网 - 中央经济工作会议前夕,明年宏观调控政策将会是什么取向?中国社科院财经战略研究院院长高培勇做出了自己的判断。他12日表示,2013年宏观调控政策仍将是积极的财政政策加稳健的货币政策,但是政策工具将会出现新的组合和特点

Chinese Banks’ Battle for Deposits Spurs Concerns – WSJ.com “Banks want to make sure that they have enough deposits at hand to meet regulatory requirements, and the most common practice to compete for deposits is through selling WMPs,” said Zhu Chaoping, head of research at ChinaScope Financial, a research and data firm partly owned by Moody’s Corp. Funds put into WMPs don’t count as bank deposits immediately. But at maturity they are moved into traditional savings accounts, beefing up the deposit base. Many of these products are timed to mature when banks need higher deposit levels, such as at the end of each quarter.

Ministry Spends More than 500 Bln Yuan on Railway Fixed-asset Investment – Caixin - can’t spend it fast enough in last few weeks of 2012// The ministry had planned to invest 630 billion yuan this year, and it was unclear whether it would reach that target. “It is unlikely China will accomplish its objective for railway infrastructure investment this year,” said Li Changjin, chairman of China Railway Group Ltd., one of the largest railway construction companies in the country.

Beijing home sales grow 50 pct in first 11 months – Xinhua | English.news.cn- According to a survey jointly conducted by the Beijing Bureau of Statistics and the National Bureau of Statistics, more than 11.79 million sq meters of residential housing were sold in Beijing in the first 11 months of 2012, up 52.7 percent year on year. The figure does not cover subsidized housing, which is offered to low-income families to help them buffer the impact of high-flying home prices.

黄牛党再次盯紧北京房产市场 倒房号5万元1个|倒房号|黄牛党|房地产_新浪新闻 - Beijing property market heating up, some scalpers get 50,000 rmb for selling right (“number”) to allow buyer to purchase in hot developments//

一天提价70万 北京陷年底恐慌式抢房|房价|抢房|提价_21世纪网 - surge in year home buying in beijing, intraday price jumps in some developments..there is real demand in beijing, but today’s appearance of several news items about the sure in near panic year end buying may be coordinated pr effort by developers designed to instill fear and greed in potential home buyers…//核心提示:北京已经连续8周保持在3000套以上,从12月初成交情况来看,目前需求仍处于释放当中,预计12月成交量仍会处于高点。

上海今年拍地收入已超800亿 一天进账54亿_国内财经_新浪财经_新浪网 - land sales in shanghai heating up..80b rmb so far this year//昨日(12月12日),万科、绿地、玖致酒店管理、广州港捷企业管理4家企业联合以54.3亿元摘得徐汇区漕河泾社区278a-05、278b-02、278b-04南站商务区地块。这不仅刷新了今年上海土地总价最高纪录,也使土地出让总收入达到838亿元。值得一提的是,仅在最近的41天内,上海土地出让收入达235亿元,占前10月的四成。

铁路渠道媒体首招标 动车组一年2450万|铁路|动车组|招标_21世纪网 - bidding for rights to place your magazine on high speed chinese trains in 2013 starts at 24.5M RMB..railway media a big business…//核心提示:负责此次招标的中国广告协会铁路分会负责人称,一个摆放权须签三年,则每个媒体至少付出3900万元才可能获得上火车的机会。

失踪的银行行长_深度_新京报网 - 11月24日,谷城中银富登村镇银行。潜逃十天后落网的厉明忠,事发前担任该行行长。..湖北谷城一村镇银行行长涉嫌诈骗上亿元,用银行名义违规担保,曝监管漏洞//hubei local bank chief caught after stealing 100m rmb

Chinese luxury: top of the shoppers | beyondbrics - China’s big spenders have finally made it to the top of the league table: according to reports published on Wednesday by McKinsey and Bain, mainlanders are now the world’s biggest luxury buyers – even if they choose to do more and more of their shopping away from home.

How A Handful Of Unsupervised MIT Economists Run The World | ZeroHedge - China can not be happy about this..do they have a rep at the meetings now?// The punchline: a handful of people from MIT, deeply steeped in economic theory (not practice), the same people whose actions incidentally were responsible for the first great financial crisis, and who yield more power than any potenate in the history of the world – people who, as the ECB showed in the case of Berlusconi, can take down presidents and PMs with the flick of a switch, meet in private. No transcripts or buttlers are allowed

Tiger Asia Admits Guilt in $60 Million Court Settlement – Bloomberg - no jail time? // Tiger Asia Management, Hwang, Tiger Asia Partners LLC and former head trader Raymond Y.H. Park also will pay $44 million to settle a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission lawsuit filed yesterday. Tiger Asia used inside information received through private placement offerings to engage in short selling of the two banks, the agency said. “Hwang today learned the painful lesson that illegal offshore trading is not off limits from U.S. law enforcement,” Robert Khuzami, the SEC enforcement director, said in a statement yesterday.

Tom Doctoroff: China in 2013: The Confidence Game - However, until Mr. Xi outlines specific, incremental steps of structural reform — intra-party checks and balances, independent commercial courts, urban residency reform, rural land-ownership reform, further strengthening of the welfare net and other institutional mechanism to safeguard the economic interests of individuals — consumer confidence will wane. If so, “rebalancing” will remain a long way off, and the China’s potential under-realized. China will certainly not flirt with Western-style democracy or laissez-faire capitalism. But the Chinese, supreme pragmatists that value stability above all else, know the status quo is unsustainable…This dichotomy results in stratospheric savings rates, in excess of 35 percent of GDP.//Prof Gan Li’srecent work may destroy this 35% assumption, even if Gan’s work may have some issues

Beijing, Shanghai Cost-of-Living Leaps – China Real Time Report – WSJ- Among 425 locations examined by ECA International, Beijing now ranks as the 22nd most expensive, immediately behind Adelaide in Australia, and Sweden’s Stockholm. That’s up from 35 in their global rankings the year prior. Meanwhile, Shanghai ranks as 26th most expensive, up from 41st the year prior. Both were among the top 10 most expensive cities in Asia, with Beijing finishing 5th and Shanghai in 7th. (The top four were all in Japan, including Tokyo as the perennial No. 1.)

Daimler names new board member for China to boost sales | Reuters - Germany’s Daimler (DAIGn.DE) said on Wednesday that Mercedes-Benz trucks chief Hubertus Troska will take over a newly-created portfolio for China to boost the car maker’s flagging business in the world’s largest auto market.

 

POLITICS AND LAW

人民日报-改革不停顿 开放不止步 ——习近平总书记在广东考察工作时的讲话在各地干部群众中引起强烈反 -

China Voice: China’s new leaders show will to change – Xinhua | English.news.cn- These gestures may seem technical, but have a lot to do with the broader issue of improving governance.People understand that if he had set the tone himself, others would be cautious about what they might say and try not to cross lines. Giving speeches by reciting scripts written beforehand is also a typical symbol of bureaucracy.

人民日报-依法治国首先要依宪治国 ——三论习近平在现行宪法公布施行三十周年大会上的讲话 本报评论员 -

For China to Rise, So Must Status of Its Constitution – Caixin Editorial - original chinese //China’s new leaders are giving every impression that they intend to govern the country in accordance with its constitution. At an event last week to mark the 30th anniversary of the 1982 constitution, the Communist Party’s new general secretary, Xi Jinping, said that without implementation, the constitution would be just a piece of paper – lifeless and without authority. His remarks hit home. Effective institutions and a system of checks and balances hold the key, so that – as the work report for the party’s 18th National Congress put it – no group or individual is above the law or the provisions set out in the constitution, and none may subvert them through words or actions.

China’s Supreme Court to improve work style – Xinhua | English.news.cn- The SPC’s plans are based on building closer ties with the public, promoting judicial transparency, giving voices to people from all social sectors in judicial affairs, curtailing its meetings, improving the style of its internal documents and circulars, and making fieldwork surveys more efficient. Specific plans include broadcasting trials live on the Internet, putting referee documents online, forbidding meeting in luxurious hotels, controlling the number of meetings, and receiving inspectors in simple ways.

Experts want transparency rule to be law |Politics |chinadaily.com.cn- Chinese and foreign experts have urged legislators to turn a regulation on government transparency into law as part of efforts to combat corruption. Experts, including former US president Jimmy Carter, spoke at a forum on government transparency organized by Peking University and The Carter Center on Wednesday. Many experts agreed that the range of government affairs that are publicly disclosed should be broadened, placing those in power under stricter public scrutiny.

Will China’s raging war of online anti-corruption become anther Culture Revolution? | Offbeat China Global Times, the most pro-government media voice of all in China, seemed to side with online anti-corruption: “Recent anti-corruption enforcements are fast and effective. The Party Discipline Commission interacts with netizens in almost real time. The war against corruption has never seen such scale, online or offline. This is utterly different from past movements or revolutions.”  But at the end of the day, no matter where China’s online anti-corruption is heading, the simple fact that a country needs to depend on the Internet to fight corruption is a big misfortune in itself, for both its government and its people.

Chinese civil servants in the eyes of ordinary Chinese | Ministry of Tofu 豆腐部  Stability and security are probably the two words that are most often associated with the job of a civil servant. Besides, it is tacit understanding that despite their meager income relative to their foreign counterparts, Chinese civil servants are entitled to great benefits, including 13-month salary, all types of festival bonuses, the best health insurance (almost full coverage), the best medical services, affordable housing and subsidies. In addition, many of them can have their palms greased, by people who turn to them for ‘help’. Earlier last month, China Central Television, China’s state broadcaster, interviewed a bunch of people in the street for their impressions of civil servants. Below are answers that really go home.

明鏡新聞網: 舉報中共中央編譯局長衣俊卿婚外情 A post doctoral student has apparently written a 200 page document about her affair with the head of the Central Translation Bureau

北京车牌摇号制度利益链条曝光 20万可买京A车牌_网易新闻中心 - More investigation into Beijing’s corrupt license plate lottery process. 200k rmb can buy you a plate…was 140-150k in q2. Inflation

杭州被指拥20多套房房管局副局长被立案调查|谋取私利|立案调查_新浪新闻 - Hangzhou housing official under investigation for owning more than 20 properties, not clear if this one taken down by online expose

Chengdu official reveals details of disgraced cadre Li Chuncheng’s graft | South China Morning Post - A senior district official in Chengdu has alleged that recently disgraced former Sichuan deputy party secretary Li Chuncheng offered bribes for promotion, sold official positions to incompetent candidates and made his wife head of Chengdu’s Red Cross after it received huge sums following the 2008 Sichuan earthquake.

Study: China’s Corruption Doesn’t Match Gilded-Age America – China Real Time Report – WSJ - methodology sounds weak, but US was very corrupt then..going to continue with Boardwalk Empire with Chinese characteristics quip, hoping to see season 3 soon// There’s another reason Mr. Xi may want to take a look at Teddy Roosevelt for inspiration. The U.S. in Mr. Roosevelt’s time was a wildly corrupt place, which straightened later as incomes rose and citizens demanded cleaner government. According to George Mason University economist Carlos Ramirez, China may be on a similar path – and in fact may be roughly as corrupt now as the U.S. was at an equivalent state of development

重庆涉案民企争议财产有待核查|重庆|民企|争议财产_21世纪网 - another chinese media report about trying to clean up the mess bo xilai left behind in chongqing…boardwalk empire on the yangtze under boss bo//核心提示:由于过去数年多家大型民企因涉案判处财产刑后,至今未完结执行程序。下一步如何走向,令人期待。

文强之子讲述“失踪”之后的生活-财经网 - Wen Qiang’s son takes an interview. Still eating well in spite of the family downfall..pics

商人宣布竞选郑州市长 公司被税务罚款数千万元_网易新闻中心 - Businessman announces he will run for mayor in Zhengzhou, companies gets fined tens of millions of rmb by tax bureau…seems like boardwalk empire with Chinese characteristics in a lot of places here// 核心提示:去年6月,房产商曹天宣布,自己愿出资一亿元人民币参选郑州市市长。并承诺:参选成功后任期内不拿一分钱工资,官员腐败定严惩。随后,曹天失踪数月,公司也被税务部门罚款三四千万元。曹天称,只要严格按税法来查,所有企业都有问题,起码不规范。

Tibet self-immolations: Why people set themselves on fire to protest China – CBS News- Barnett says the Tibetan protests, on the other hand, “are about ideas.” “They’re about a nation or a national identity that people perceive as being under threat — not from local officials, but from the nature of the Chinese state or the Chinese Communist Party,” he explains. “That means all of the Tibetan protests are linked by a single idea, and they have the capacity to spread very fast.”

Xi Jinping does his own Southern Tour | Danwei China’s newspapers today are in a festive mood because China is forging ahead with reform, and there’s no better way to ram the message home than with an inspection tour to Guangdong province in the south by Xi Jinping, China’s newly anointed leader, in imitation of the celebrated 1992 pro-reform Southern Tour of then-leader Deng Xiaoping

儿慈会回应洗钱质疑:今日晒68页银行账单_新闻_腾讯网 -

 

FOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS

Xi stokes economic reform hopes in China – FT.com On foreign policy, Mr Xi, who is due to replace Mr Hu as president in March, has adopted more nationalist rhetoric than his predecessors.  While Deng and other leaders stressed that China should keep its head down and “bide its time” in international affairs, Mr Xi has spoken emphatically of the “great revival of the Chinese nation”. The phrase has unnerved neighbours from Vietnam to Japan who have territorial disputes with China.

Peterson Perspectives Interview: North Korea’s Immunity to Outside Pressure: Part I - Marcus Noland, assessing North Korea’s missile launch, says it likely strengthens Kim Jong Un’s hand and proves Pyongyang’s ability to withstand political, economic, and military pressure. Part II: What can be done?

China Woos Overseas Companies, Looking for Deals – NYTimes.com  “I think many Chinese companies in particular have not taken into account the need to be in touch with Washington policy makers about their needs,” said Nancy L. McLernon, the chief executive of the Organization for International Investment, a group that represents domestic subsidiaries of foreign companies. “Those who do, fare best.”

Quartz-Japan’s investment in the US is 50 times greater than China’s. But Chinese companies can change that - Clearly, Chinese companies need to recalibrate, and approach entering the market differently than they have in the past, whether they are working behind-the-scenes through lobbying or going directly to the American public. Here are five recommendations for greater success://William Brent is an executive vice president at Weber Shandwick where he leads the Emergent China team assisting Chinese brands expand globally.

China Revokes New Shanghai Catholic Bishop’s Title | TIME.com In a fresh challenge to Vatican authority, China has revoked the title of a new Catholic bishop in Shanghai who outraged Chinese officials by immediately dropping out of the government agency that oversees the country’s officially sanctioned church, religious officials said Thursday. Ma Daqin, who was jointly named for the post in a rare consensus between Beijing and the Vatican, has been confined to a seminary since he announced his intention to drop out of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association in front of a congregation during his July 7 ordination as auxiliary bishop.

 

HONG KONG AND TAIWAN

不滿港人罵領導 成龍:要限制遊行 | 主場報道 | 主場新聞 - Jackie Chan calls for limits to protests in Hong Kong?

 

TECH AND MEDIA

Formidable Duo Team Up to Create Chinese Superheroes – China Real Time Report – WSJ - where is the money coming from? just cause the presser says wu is funding it…reporter verify this “Seven Stars and Tianjin’s government have invested more than a $1 billion.” claim? // Chinese entrepreneur Bruno Wu’s film company, Seven Stars Entertainment, is launching a joint venture with Arad Productions, led by Marvel Studios founder Avi Arad, to develop a franchise of blockbuster films, animated television series and retail products that feature heroes based on Chinese culture, according to a statement from the companies.

China listening in on Skype – Microsoft assumes you approve | GreatFire.org  By redirecting Chinese users to Tom Skype without notice, Microsoft is actively misleading users to think that they are downloading the real Skype client. By blocking Chinese users from downloading the real Skype, Microsoft is actively making it more difficult for Chinese users to circumvent surveillance. By offering two versions of the Skype client that look almost identical but have vastly different implications on privacy, Microsoft is misleading users to trust their product. By not notifying users that the user at the other end is using the Tom Online version of Skype, Microsoft is making Skype conversations from around the world available to Chinese authorities, assuming that their users agree.

Will Regulation Kill China’s App Market or Save It?–Tech In Asia   Yesterday, I wrote about MIIT’s plans to regulate China’s app markets and the mobile application industry at large (MITT is China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology). Since then, the story has garnered a lot of attention, and provoked some interesting debate.

360Buy Follows Rivals into Internet Finance Business – Caixin - 360Buy launched a financial service platform on November 27 to help suppliers get loans from partnered banks. 360Buy says it has signed a strategic partnership agreement with the Beijing branch of the Bank of China, which will provide financial support to the new platform.

Pleasure Hacking — Makeshift Magazine - While political censorship and digital surveillance continue to cause suffering, most people in China don’t use the Internet to fight back directly; they use what brings them pleasure. And in spite of illegality, there’s a big gap between the government’s communication and its execution. Some citizens find freedom in exploiting this gap and others in closing it.

京东“不务正业” 砸40亿建云计算项目_财经频道_一财网 - 360Buy’s claim it will spend 4b rmb on cloud computing real or pr? asks First Financial// 昨日,京东商城官方披露,京东已与内蒙古自治区巴彦淖尔市和江苏省宿迁市相继签订了云计算中心项目的投资框架协议,投资总额高达40亿元人民币。

下一代互联网将于明年投入商用 新华社——经济参考网 - next generation internet to go into commercial use in 2013// 三大运营商、电信设备制造商悉数参与,投资规模可达2000亿元

 

 

SOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY

《中国最后枪手部落》系列图_项新平_博联社 - 八月,我追随两位摄影师到贵州省黔东南州一带采风,寻访到一个充满神秘气息的被称为“最后的枪手部落”的村寨——岜沙村。nice pics of china’s “last gunmen tribe” in guizhou

深圳民警杀人案背后警枪生态_深度_新京报网 - 该民警正在进行精神病鉴定;因治安乱深圳社区警察有配枪传统;对情绪不稳定民警或将取消配枪

China’s Middle-Class Parents Underwhelmed by Undergrad Degree – China Real Time Report – WSJ - Three-quarters of middle-class Chinese parents expect their child to earn a postgraduate degree, while only 32% said they would be happy if their child stopped at the undergraduate level, according to a report on the lifestyles of China’s so-called “little emperors” by Mintel, a global market research provide

 

ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT AND HEALTH

Vice-Premier pledges ‘ecological progress’ |Society |chinadaily.com.cn- China needs to strengthen efforts in five aspects to reach the goal of building a modernized country with ecological progress, Vice-Premier Li Keqiang said on Wednesday. The five aspects are green development, establishing people-centered policies, enlarging the market for renewable resources, deepening reform and enhancing international cooperation. Li was speaking at the opening ceremony of the 2012 annual general meeting of the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development.

WWF – China needs innovative solutions to reduce footprint – 2012 China Ecological Footprint Report - Produced in collaboration with the Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research (IGSNRR) and Institute of Zoology (IOZ) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Global Footprint Network (GFN) and Zoological Society of London (ZSL), the third edition of the report shows that although China’s per capita Ecological Footprint – or demand the country places on the natural environment – is lower than the global average, the nation is already consuming 2.5 times its biocapacity, the capacity to regenerate natural resources and absorb carbon emissions.

Huge Ivory Stash Is Seized in Malaysia – NYTimes.com  According to Malaysian authorities, the shipment took a circuitous route, originating in the small West African nation of Togo, then going north to Spain, then east to Malaysia’s port of Klang and eventually destined for China. It is not clear where in Africa the ivory was from; conservationists say Togo is an emerging hub in the underground ivory trade and therefore the ivory might have been drawn from elephants killed across the continent.

 

FOOD AND TRAVEL

Beijing: Colonial architecture, exhibitions and cuisine woo the inquisitive – FT.com - One last piece of advice for all visitors to the celestial capital: politely but firmly tell anyone who comes up to you and says they want to practice their English or show you an exhibition of their art or drink some tea with you in a nearby teahouse that you are not interested, unless you want to get caught in a traditional Beijing scam.

白酒行业协会负责人:每天喝两斤茅台酒塑化剂都不会超标-财经网 -

 

BOOKS AND LITERATURE 

What Mo Yan’s Detractors Get Wrong | ChinaFile All literature has political meanings. No literary accomplishments are purely aesthetic. It is not conceivable to me that a morally indefensible novel could be outstanding artistically. Mo Yan writes about political tensions in Chinese society and the tragic mistakes of the Chinese Communist Party with humanism and conscience, even if he does not write about them in a manner that gets him exiled or imprisoned. I disagree with Perry Link and many other of Mo Yan’s critics’ sense of how literature is political. They want all or nothing; to them, a Chinese writer redeems himself only by incurring the wrath and punishment of the government, otherwise his writing is too soft on socialism.