Archive for December 15th, 2012
Friday was a terrible day for children in the US and China. The always articulate James Fallows says it well:
Insane rampages are, sadly, not confined to the United States. One happened this very day in China, where a cruel madman attacked a group of children at school…
Twenty-two children injured. Versus, at current count, 18 little children and nine other people shot dead. That’s the difference between a knife and a gun.
Guns don’t attack children; psychopaths and sadists do. But guns uniquely allow a psychopath to wreak death and devastation on such a large scale so quickly and easily. America is the only country in which this happens again — and again and again.
There are a lot of things America has that China needs. The NRA is not one of them.
Hug your kids.
BUSINESS AND ECONOMY
China Scraps QFII Limit on Sovereign Funds, Central Banks – Bloomberg - The Shanghai Composite Index (SHCOMP) jumped the most since October 2009 yesterday after the head of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority said Dec. 13 that China may relax or abolish a rule that requires Renminbi Qualified Foreign Institutional Investors to keep most of their funds in bonds. The China Securities Regulatory Commission has cut trading fees, pushed companies to increase dividends and allowed trust companies to buy equities since Guo Shuqing took over as chairman last year.
China Power Consumption Grows at Fastest Pace in 9 Months – Bloomberg - Electricity use rose 7.6 percent last month from a year earlier to 413.9 billion kilowatt-hours, the National Energy Administration said on its website today. That’s the biggest gain since February, the data show.
Economic Imbalance Worsening, Think Tank Warns - - In a report published on December 12, the China Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) said the structural imbalance in the country’s growth model, measured by its self-devised index, has significantly worsened over the past decade and more.
FMG Will Continue to Count on China, Chairman Says – Caixin - Australian miner FMG will focus on iron ore in the hopes that China’s urbanization continues to create huge demand
MNCs and the SEC crisis | China Accounting Blog | Paul Gillis - Another interesting finding in the PCAOB list of registered firms is that KPMG Huazhen reports that it issued no audit reports but played a substantial role in the audit of at least one issuer. KPMG Hong Kong is registered with the PCAOB as issuing reports on issuers. A check of the audit reports of KPMG clients in China should this to be accurate. KPMG Hong Kong signs all the audit reports. That raises two questions. First, why was KPMG Huazhen charged by the SEC, if KPMG in Hong Kong actually issues the reports? The answer to that question may be that KPMG Huazhen does all the work and has the working papers that the SEC wants to see. That leads to the second question, how does KPMG in Hong Kong sign the audit report if it does not do the audit?
China Is Said to Consider Plan to Deal With Failed Banks – NYTimes.com- But China’s current practice of paying off all deposits at failed institutions anyway, for fear of social instability from street protests by any depositors who are not reimbursed, means that deposit insurance might actually reduce moral hazard at Chinese banks, many experts contend. The introduction of deposit insurance would cap reimbursements for each account at some fixed amount
Wenzhou Rail Project Taps Private Investors -Caijing The railway ministry in Wenzhou is seeking to raise 1.5 billion yuan from corporate and individual investors for a 16 billion yuan worth of railway project, the Chinanews.com reported, in its first attempt to channel private investments into public projects
POLITICS AND LAW
The Death of a Petitioner – Caixin - How one man was beaten to death in Beijing just before the Communist Party’s 18th National Congress
China to amend law to curb land expropriation – Xinhua | English.news.cn - Rural stability and grain supply security face a number of challenges due to excessive land expropriation, the State Council said, vowing stricter regulation on farmland expropriation. Protests by farmers over land seizures have erupted in villages across the country in recent years, prompting calls for better protection of farmers’ property rights. In a report to the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China last month, Hu Jintao pressed for reforms for the land expropriation system and increasing farmers’ share of gains in land value.
Seagull Reference: The Director And His Women- author then went on Weibo to apologize, say she was depressed and that is was a work of fiction…//A 210 page story (PDF-GoogleDocs) had been quietly circulating on Twitter, Weibo, and Douban. The piece was written by a postdoc of the Chinese Communists Party’s Central Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin Translation and Compilation Bureau, accusing the chief of the Bureau of extramarital affairs with the postdoc herself.. It is interleaved with corruption, bribery, lust, and boring politics. However, it actually started as a love story, and ended with two broken hearts.
What Really Happened in Chongqing – Economic Observer - Given the almost daily stories about the mess in Chongqing, and the anti-corruption campaign. I am now making bets that Bo Xilai will get the death penalty and it will be carried out. Yes, I know why it would be extraordinary…// The following article was written by Li Zhuang, a Beijing lawyer who spent 18 months in prison after being found guilty by a Chongqing court of falsifying evidence and inciting others to bear false witness.
王立军是如何炼成的？ – 专题 – 南都周刊 - 从辽宁到重庆的近二十八年从警时间里，凭借三套王氏刀法，
从一封检举信到贪官落马 – 京华时报·京华网 -an insider explains how the Party initiates and performs a corruption investigation..some of the more interesting details no doubt left out// 你冒着实名之险写下的举报信，要寄将何处？
网络反腐：喝彩背后的期许 – 新华时政 – 新华网 - 中国政法大学副校长马怀德表示，
山西国企高管家中被劫案宣判 被盗金额约千万元 认定违纪84万元_财经频道_一财网 -salacious accusations against an official in Mo Yan’s hometown of Gaomi
[独家]习近平福建十七年：铁腕治吏 滴水穿石_资讯频道_凤凰网 - a detailed look at Xi Jinping’s time in Fujian..from 11.12// “马上就办”四个字的原出处——“马尾的事，
The Jamestown Foundation: Xi Jinping’s “Southern Tour” Reignites Promises of Reform- Chinese scholars have given relatively affirmative appraisals to Xi’s nanxun. According to well-regarded historian Zhang Lifan, Xi has departed from the tradition of newly-appointed general secretaries making their first inspection trips to “red revolutionary meccas,” such as the Jinggangshan guerrilla base in inland Jiangxi Province. Zhang noted “Xi’s trip is a gesture of support for the line of reform and the open door.” Hu Xingdou, a scholar at the Beijing Institute of Technology and a noted social critic, said he viewed Xi’s future moves with “guarded optimism.” Professor Hu said “It seems that both Xi Jinping and [premier-in-waiting] Li Keqiang are firm supporters of reform…Yet reform is not that easy because of the constraints imposed by vested interest groups. Just look at the fate of the ambitious reforms introduced by Hu [Jintao] and Wen [Jiabao] in 2003” (Apple Daily, December 9; Hu Xingdou’s Microblog, December 7). It is also significant that Xi’s nanxun took place in the wake of at least three major post-18th Congress forums on reform that were organized by the Caijing news group, the Hong Kong-registered Bo Yuan Foundation and Beijing-based Reform Journal.
The Jamestown Foundation: Year-End Questions on Political-Legal Reform - Although the demotion of the Central Political-Legal Committee secretary to the Politburo is a definite sign of change, there are still a number of lingering questions about the extent to which the party may restructure the political-legal apparatus. Under now-CCP General Secretary Xi Jinping’s leadership, the Central Party School published a series of articles over the summer examining contradictions in the social management and internal security apparatus, signaling future changes to the political-legal system (“Portents of Change in China’s Social Management,” China Brief, August 3). One of the central contentions was that the dominance of the Central Political-Legal Committee meant that the police approach overrode the softer elements of social management (Study Times, June 18). If the Central Party School’s assessments hold true and the CCP sees the problem as more fundamental than just one personality, then observers should keep their eyes peeled for other signs of change.
同学眼里的李克强 – 评论 – FT中文网 - FT Chinese–Li Keqiang in the eyes of a former classmate//【编者按】近期闭幕的中共“十八大”上， 现任中国常务副总理的李克强再任中央政治局常委，排名第二，
China: Hung verdict | The Economist - Huang retweeted a Sinocism post in March to her followers…record raffic for hours, then sinocism.com blocked by GFW. and is still blocked// In a country of unelected officials, she occupies a new category of unelected power—a megaphone that can be muted, yes, but independent in a way that the courts and media are not. But Ms Hung too can be threatened: she has American citizenship, and she would like to continue living as she does in Beijing with her Chinese family. She will take care but she will not shut up, not now. Never before in history have commoners been able to speak up as they do at this moment, she says. “This is a beginning.”
Correspondent calling – Globaltimes.cn- “Tibetan rioters really did a lot of bad things,” Demick said, referring to the 2008 incident in Lhasa, capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region. “But when the riots started, we weren’t allowed to go to Tibet, and [the government] wasn’t giving us any information,” she said. “At the beginning, much of the information [reported by the Western media] came from Tibetan exile groups in Dharamsala.” Demick based her stories on the incident on conversations she had with a colleague in Tibet, although this was hindered when communications were cut. She also visited an ethnic Tibetan township in Qinghai Province to seek deeper perspective. “If [the government] had let the story be told, it would have been more critical of the rioters,” she said.//true in many instances
Red Cross does not own villa complex: Olympic Park officials – Globaltimes.cn- The clarification followed online allegations that the Red Cross had bought the luxury homes using public funds. Zhou Shuo, media officer of the Beijing Olympic Forest Park in Chaoyang district, said that the villas were there long before the park was constructed in 2006, which has nothing to do with the Red Cross. A Web user named Mengzi Mencius, who identified himself as the CEO of a search engine 7SOYO, claimed Wednesday on his Sina microblog that the dozens of empty villas near the Olympic Forest Park were illegally owned by the Red Cross.
Chinese Authorities Drop Subversion Case Against Laid-off Teacher | TIME.com - “Right now, more and more people are waking up,” Chen told TIME in a telephone interview after the charge was withdrawn Friday. “Public opinion is more and more in favor of people like me. I am not surprised they dropped the charge. That matches reality. If they didn’t, they would only cause more and more trouble for themselves. I do think public opinion and the media have contributed a lot to the result in my case. Without it, the story would have been different.”
China cracks down on slay red dragon doomsday cult | Reuters In recent weeks, hundreds of members of the “Almighty God” group have clashed with police, sometimes outside government buildings, in central Henan, northern Shaanxi and southwestern Gansu provinces, according to photos on popular microblogs. (The group) has “incited followers to launch a decisive battle with the ‘Big Red Dragon’, to make the ‘Red Dragon’ extinct and to establish the reign of the kingdom of the ‘Almighty God’”, the provincial Shaanxi Daily said on its website.
Regime Change in China? by Minxin Pei – Project Syndicate The puzzle is why neither the compelling self-destructive logic of autocratic rule nor the mounting evidence of deteriorating regime performance in China has persuaded even some of the most knowledgeable observers that the end of CCP rule is now a distinct possibility.//is it? or is Pei engaging in wishful thinking? He increasingly sounds like Gordon Chang, with a PhD. Then again, he may be right, eventually. but he has been saying this for a long time and his prolific commentary is getting to be a bit much//
FOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS
China protests Japanese military aircraft trespass to airspace – Xinhua | English.news.cn - China has lodged solemn representation and protest to Japan over its military aircraft trespassing to China’s airspace over the Diaoyu Islands, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said on Friday.
Diaoyu Islands dispute enters new stage – Globaltimes.cn - Japan needs to be clear that China will not retreat in the face of its provocations. The Chinese public will not allow such a retreat. A new reality has been formed surrounding the Diaoyu conflict. It is impossible to turn back. Japan has to accept it with rationality.
华首次海空立体巡航 登岛成必然之举_多维新闻网 -Duowei says a Chinese landing on the Diaoyu Islands is the inevitable next step in Beijing’s moves to assert control..hope they are just speculating…// 多维新闻认为，
Japan’s Abe would try to keep China ties calm-lawmakers | Reuters - Despite tough talk on the campaign trail, former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will try to avoid a serious clash with China if his Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) wins Sunday’s general election, as expected, senior party officials said.
China’s Communist Leader Acts to Bolster Military – NYTimes.com - Mr. Xi “understands the military and what China’s military needs right now,” said Shi Yinhong, a professor of international relations at Renmin University of China in Beijing. “He wants real combat capabilities.”..“Whether you’ve got the stuff to be a sailor,” the newspaper said he told some sailors, “doesn’t depend on whether you throw up or not, but on whether you can eat after you’ve thrown up.”
Former U.S. Official: Don’t Mistake Support on South China Sea – WSJ-does this disqualify her from possible SecDef appointment? not a smart thing to say publicly right now// Michèle Flournoy, who served as undersecretary for defense policy until February 2012, said last month while the U.S. needed to send clear signals of support for its allies in the region, it also needed to ensure that support didn’t lead allies to act provocatively. Naming the Philippines specifically, she said there was a risk of Manila “mistaking U.S. support for an opportunity to be much more assertive in staking their claims. I think we have to be careful that we don’t feed that dynamic.”
Xi Jinping: a hardline nationalist in control of China? « southseaconversations 讨论南海 - time will tell..aggression is not necessarily the same as nationalism or hardline approach to foreign affairs// This idea that Xi’s “great revival” talk indicates he will run a hardline foreign policy is hasty to say the least. What evidence is there linking the great revival discourse with foreign policy aggression?
Xi seeks ‘renewed impetus’ in Sino-US relationship | South China Morning Post - Jin Canrong, associate dean of Renmin University’s school of international relations, said: “Like any new leader, Xi Jinping might be keen to seek a fresh breakthrough in Sino-US relations. But basically, China’s foreign policy and US diplomacy will continue to go ahead along the same track.”
China, U.S. hold wide-ranging defense talks – Xinhua | English.news.cn - The talks, held Wednesday, were jointly hosted by Qi Jianguo, deputy chief of the General Staff of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, and Jim Miller, U.S. undersecretary of defense for policy. Officials from the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, U.S. Pacific Command, National Security Council and State Department also participated.
Opinion: Defending freedoms – Rep. Frank Wolf and Rep. James McGovern and Katrina Lantos Swett – POLITICO.com - Our efforts are part of a new Defending Freedoms Project launched last week by the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission of the U.S. House of Representatives, in conjunction with the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom and Amnesty International USA. Through this effort, members of Congress will stand in solidarity with imprisoned human rights defenders from across the world they have selected to support. Gao Zhisheng and Nabeel Rajab are the first prisoners to be selected and will be followed by others. We want these human rights defenders to know that they are not forgotten. We want to shine a light on the laws and policies that led to their imprisonment. And we want to hold their governments accountable.
Citing Internet Standoff, U.S. Rejects International Telecommunications Treaty – NYTimes.com - The United States announcement was seconded by Canada and several European countries after nearly two weeks of talks that had often pitted Western governments against Russia, China and developing countries. The East-West and North-South divisions harked back to the cold war, even though that conflict did not stop previous agreements to connect telephone calls across the Iron Curtain.
China’s continental shelf demarcation plan sound: official – Xinhua | English.news.cn - An official with the State Oceanic Administration (SOA) told Xinhua on Friday that China’s demarcation proposal of the outer limits of its continental shelf in the East China Sea is based on substantial scientific and legal grounds.
The China-Pakistan Alliance: Rhetoric and Limitations | Chatham House: Independent thinking on international affairs - This paper examines the image that China and Pakistan have tried to create through a combined approach of multi-dimensional cooperation bolstered by an effective media strategy for their alliance. It argues for a measured interpretation that recognizes the obvious strengths of the Sino-Pakistani relationship but also the less understood parameters of the alliance.
TECH AND MEDIA
GAPP: Amazon China’s Kindle Store Violates Regulations | Marbridge Consulting – China Internet News - The new Kindle Store launched by Amazon China on December 13 is operated by Chinese publishing organization ChineseAll.com – meaning, effectively, that Amazon China is using ChineseAll.com’s licenses to operate its own store. In an interview today, Wang Qiang, director of the General Administration of Press and Publication’s (GAPP) digital publishing department, said that the move was against regulations.
习近平考察腾讯公司 笑问马化腾微博粉丝多少-中新网 - Very interesting description of Xi Jinping’s visit to Tencent…and some of the uses of all the data Tencent collects…this kind of press may not help Tencent, or other Internet giants like Baidu, expand globally// 总书记不断询问一些相关问题，
Xi emphasizes new industries with visit to Tencent HQ｜WantChinaTimes.com Xi gave a speech at Tencent’s headquarters with the the company’s logo featured prominently in the background. As the speech was featired on state broadcaster CCTV, this made his visit a priceless ad for the Shenzhen-based company. The visit lasted for 40 minutes and Xi was introduced to Tencent’s new video interaction product, Q robot.
Baidu’s Li slams divorce rumors as trick as share price drops｜WantChinaTimes.com - i first heard the rumors in august, from a very well-connected local media entrepreneur who told the story to a dinner party..tried to track the source, best i could tell it came from someone short Baidu// ”Someone has spread rumors saying I got divorced. My wife was angry when she found out and asked how someone can play such a mean trick for commercial competition. I am mad too,” said Li. he couple have been together for 16 years.
iPhone 5 arrives in China, but market is moving on | Video | Reuters.com - Dec. 14 – Apple’s latest handset might be a powerhouse globally, fighting Samsung for top rank, but weak distribution and a high price tag are limiting its sales in what’s fast becoming the world’s largest smartphone market.
Foreign-run VPNs illegal in China: govt – Globaltimes.cn so rumors of Fang Binxing downfall in Bo Xilai case were unfounded…i am having big problems, investigating much more expensive private solutions//Three overseas VPN service providers, Astrill, Witopia and StrongVPN apologized Thursday that their service to residents in the Chinese mainland has been blocked due to a recent upgrade of the GWF. Astrill claimed that most VPN protocols have been blocked, and that many foreign companies have been influenced. Fang Binxing, designer of the GFW, told the Global Times Thursday he did not know of any upgrade to the firewall. ”As far as I know, companies running a VPN business in China must register with the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. I haven’t heard that any foreign companies have registered,” Fang said. Unregistered VPN service providers are not protected by Chinese laws, and any company running a VPN business should realize they have a responsibility to register, he said.
SOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY
China Daily’s African edition, ‘Black People Toothpaste’ and China’s race problem | FP Passport- While there’s plenty of anecdotal evidence out there, it’s hard to generalize about what Chinese think about Africans without being hypocritical, so I’ll just quote what a Chinese English teaching recruiter once told me in Beijing: “We try not to hire black people. They tend to scare the children.” One prominenet example of the gulf in racial understanding between Chinese and Africans is “Black People Toothpaste,” one of the most popular toothpaste brands in China, which I wrote a story about for Newsweek in 2010, and which a Colgate spokesman I spoke with on Friday confirmed is still 50 percent owned by his company.
ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT AND HEALTH
Beijing to renovate drains following fatal rain – Xinhua | English.news.cn - Underground reservoirs, sewage drains and pipelines for 20 overpasses will be built or renovated and more water pumps will be installed to absorb floodwater, according to a statement from the Beijing Water Authority.
China Exclusive: Scientists find new use for cells in human urine – Xinhua | English.news.cn- Scientists have long sought to treat and study neural disorders by obtaining and transplanting neural stem cells. However, the previous method of isolating and using cells from either fetal or adult human tissue remain challenging due to ethical concerns and immune system rejections, he said. Pei hopes the discovery will be used to generate NPCs from patients with neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease. “These NPCs from patients may help us discover new drugs for these diseases.”
FOOD AND TRAVEL
British young man’s vendor life in Beijing|chinadaily.com.cn -
The date is set: Guangzhou-Beijing high-speed rail to open December 26 | Nanfang Insider The train will speed along the 2,298-kilometre line at 300 km/hr, getting you to your destination in as little as 8 hours. By comparison, a flight takes roughly 3 hours.
BOOKS AND LITERATURE
Mo Yan, Passionately Individual, Likely to Remain Friendless | Tea Leaf Nation Mo Yan has repeatedly made clear throughout his career that he does not care much for rebels. He does, however, lionize individuals. In doing so, he presents a far less strident, but equally potent voice against the cynical collectivism promoted by the Communist Party. He uses seemingly innocuous Chinese folk storytelling to undercut the Party’s perversion of the traditional Chinese focus on the collective good for its own ends. Not the most comfortable public speaker, Mo Yan nevertheless mustered his most forceful tone during the lecture to assert that literature must “not just show concern for politics but be greater than politics.” He did not mean that he would never write about things that have political import. Rather, he meant he would never discuss them in political terms.
JOBS AND EVENTS
Cui Jian Show in Beijing Tonight - Cui Jian, a pioneer in Chinese rock music and labeled “The Father of Chinese Rock”. On December 15th, Cui’s hottest rock music is back, and set to perform in Beijing Wukesong Arena as part of his 2012 China tour.
Reuters–SENIOR CORRESPONDENT, COMPANY NEWS, BEIJING Job- Reuters is looking for an outstanding journalist and leader to drive our coverage of Chinese and foreign companies out of the Chinese capital, the home of the biggest state enterprises and host to the regional headquarters of many of the multinational companies that are seeking to tap the world’s second-biggest economy for their own growth. The senior correspondent will need to be a dogged reporter, digging up news and writing about shifts in the corporate landscape, based on a range of information – from their own sources inside companies to government policies to companies’ balance sheets. In addition to being ahead of the curve in reporting developments at the big companies in which our clients may have holdings, the ideal candidate will have a knack for spotting trends in the corporate world that shed light on what is happening with the broader economy, and for gleaning insight about how the broader conditions for doing business in China are changing based on the examples of specific companies.
Reuters–RESEARCHER, POLITICAL AND GENERAL NEWS, BEIJING Job - The researcher will need to be a dogged reporter, digging up news from close monitoring of the Chinese media and internet, able not only to assist in reporting of the major stories of the day but to develop their own story ideas and write about them. The ideal candidate will have a knack for spotting stories trending in Chinese media and in Chinese society, helping our clients to have a deeper understanding of life and politics in the world’s second largest economy.