The Sinocism China Newsletter For 01.06.13

I need to apologize for not responding to a lot of reader emails over the last couple of months. I thought I had forwarding turned on for admin at sinocism.com. I am really sorry if you sent me something and I did not respond. It is fixed now.

New York Times columnist Nick Kristof has been on a vist to China and was impressed by what he hears about Xi Jinping. So impressed in fact that in today’s column he predicts that:

The new paramount leader, Xi Jinping, will spearhead a resurgence of economic reform, and probably some political easing as well. Mao’s body will be hauled out of Tiananmen Square on his watch, and Liu Xiaobo, the Nobel Peace Prize-winning writer, will be released from prison.

These won’t happen immediately — Xi won’t even be named president until March — and I may be wrong entirely. But my hunch on this return to China, my old home, is that change is coming….

Granted, there is evidence to counter my optimistic take. Most troubling, the authorities are cracking down on the Internet. That’s a great leap backward, but I am skeptical that it will be sustained. Right now a fascinating test case is unfolding: a senior propaganda official censored a New Year’s message in a major Guangdong newspaper, and now journalists are publicly demanding that he be fired. Stay tuned.

The news over the last couple of days does not support Kristof’s optimism about possible political reform. Xi reiterates adherence to socialism with Chinese characteristics (Xinhua), 人民日报-习近平在新进中央委员会的委员、候补委员学习贯彻 党的十八大精神研讨班开班式上发表重要讲话强调 毫不动摇坚持和发展中国特色社会主义 (Page One People’s Daily today), Xi Jinping endorses Deng Xiaoping’s party mantra (South China Morning Post) and Unhappy Guangdong Journalists Protest New Year Meddling (China Digital Times) all do not bode well for any sort of political Spring.

This week’s Economist has a good look at reform prospects in Political reform: Defining boundaries:

Mr Xi is unlikely to respond as aggressively to the petition as his predecessor, Hu Jintao, did to another high-profile appeal for political change, known as Charter 08, which was signed by several thousand people four years ago. Its drafter, Liu Xiaobo, was given an 11-year prison sentence for his pains (and, to Mr Hu’s chagrin, a Nobel peace prize). As a veteran dissident, Mr Liu was vulnerable. It would be harder for the party to arrest the signatories of the recent petition given their more conformist backgrounds. In its new-year edition, a reformist journal, Yanhuang Chunqiu, echoed the petition’s sentiments in an editorial calling for a movement to “protect the constitution” and ensure its guarantees are carried out. But Mr Xi, whose call for political courage inspired the headlines on January 2nd, made clear his bottom line. “Stability is the prerequisite for reform”, he told fellow members of the Politburo. China’s liberals, however, see this as the party’s age-old excuse for dithering.

China is having its coldest winter in 28 years (Reuters). Beijing has not been above freezing in weeks. Spring feels very far away.

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Today’s Links:

THE ESSENTIAL EIGHT

What Worker Shortage? – Xin Meng on the Real Story of China’s Migrants – China Real Time Report – WSJ- In recent years, surging wages and fears the stock of rural workers is drying up have raised red flags about China’s future growth.But detailed survey work on the migrant work force by Xin Meng, an economics professor at Australian National University, shows it isn’t that simple.

Kleine-Ahlbrandt: A Dangerous Escalation in the East China Sea – WSJ.com - At the root of this new flare-up is a changing economic and power balance in East Asia. Seeing Japan on a downward slide while its own star is rising, China feels the time is right to stake its ground in the dispute. International law favors the country that has occupied or taken measures to exercise sovereignty. These include submitting claims to the United Nations, naming islands, making maps, conducting law-enforcement patrols, and eventually building structures and inhabiting islands. China believes that it has lost out while Japan administered the islands for decades.

The Great Flourishing | An “Ocean China” New Year Concert - When the Communist Party of China held its annual plenum in the fall of 2011, it released a communiqué in which it announced its intention to become a major cultural power.  This autumn, it held its five-yearly congress – the 18th since it was founded in 1921 – and pledged to become a maritime power.  So, to ring in the New Year at the Great Hall of the People – the same august venue in which these annual political gatherings were held – the Party combined both goals and held “The First Annual ‘Ocean China’ New Year’s Concert.”

Google Bows Down To Chinese Government On Censorship | GreatFire.org - Google blinked, better to have some accessibility in China..and perhaps worried that multi-hundred million dollar ad business selling to chinese firms targeting users on the global Internet at risk?// Sometime between December 5 and December 8 last year, Google made a surprising decision that hasn’t yet been reported. They decided to remove a feature which had previously informed users from China of censored keywords (screenshot below). At the same time, they deleted the help article which explained how to use the feature.

China surveillance targets crime – and dissent- At the head of the surveillance effort is Skynet, a secretive security network that will establish closed-circuit television surveillance nationwide.In recent years, Skynet has expanded in Tibetan areas and Xinjiang, says Qian Hao, public security department manager at Hikvision Digital Technology, one of China’s largest CCTV specialists. Police use Hikvision’s “raindrop-style grid” management system to follow suspects and trace back their movements for the previous two hours, he says.”We can help preserve stability by seeing which family someone comes from, then persuading their relatives to stop them from harmful behavior, like with Falun Gong,” a banned spiritual group, Qian says. The equipment, built to survive the tough climate and disguised so people cannot tell the direction the lens is facing, is installed in Sichuan province by the people’s armed police, he says.

北京近期连续报告两起甲流致死病例_资讯频道_凤凰网 - 2 recent reported H1N1 deaths in Beijing

朱学勤谈《旧制度与大革命》:出家、思凡、大还俗-财经网 - 编者按:2012年末,《旧制度与大革命》一书经由中央领导推荐而再次为国人所熟知。朱学勤教授曾在共识网“共识书会”上谈到《旧制度与大革命》,演讲稿后经《南方周末》整理后刊发,本文为朱学勤教授授权发布的未删减版讲稿。

庆元旦斗狗比赛_史云平_博联社 - crazy pics of new year’s dogfight in shanxi..some serious organization it looks like

 

BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

Gov’t Financing through Shadow Banking System Restricted - - (Beijing) — Four central government ministries have issued rules intended to regulate local governments’ financing of infrastructure projects, mainly targeting fund-raising in the growing shadow banking system. According to a notice published by the Ministry of Finance, the National Development and Reform Commission, the central bank and the China Banking Regulatory Commission, local governments are banned from raising funds from the public and through buy-back contracts.

中投将驾驭奔驰 或购4%-10%股份成为大股东_财经频道_一财网 - CIC buying 4-10% of Mercedes Benz? 近日,有知情人爆料已确认中国投资公司C IC即将购买奔驰4%-10%的股份。记者就此采访了奔驰中国的相关人员,该负责人对此事不置可否。

一线楼市几近被地产大佬瓜分 任志强抱怨融资难_财经频道_一财网 - first financial on the concentration in the real estate industry..so in spite of the short term pain from the real estate controls will they ultimately benefit the big, entrenched players, including the SOEs w serious real estate arms?// 行业集中度在迅速提高,而金融因素加快了集中的进度。有更多的地产公司会在买不起生产资料的过程,很自然地被淘汰出局。

楼市调控应当建立问责机制-中国金融新闻网- 在近期举行的全国住房和城乡建设工作会上,住建部部长姜伟新表示,如果因为放松调控而导致房价快速上涨,住建部将会同监察部对这些城市进行约谈,直至问责。 在房价又现反弹、市场预期开始逆转之际,住建部的这一表态无疑将捍卫来之不易的调控成果,保证楼市稳步回调,给众多购房者吃上定心丸。从长远来看,问责机制也应当是楼市调控的中长期制度设计,如此才能保证各项政策在实际执行中不打折扣。

城镇化十年规划布局“城市群” – 经济观察网 - 专业财经新闻网站 - Urbanization plan coming before the NPC meeting in March?// 本报获悉,由国家发改委牵头,财政部、国土资源部、住建部等十多个部委参与编制的《全国促进城镇化健康发展规划(2011-2020年)》(以下简称《规划》)将于今年全国两会前后对外颁布。该规划将涉及全国20多个城市群、180多个地级以上城市和1万多个城镇的建设,为新型城镇化提供了发展思路,提出了具体要求。

Rich coastal townships hope to profit from urbanisation push | South China Morning Post- Affluent coastal townships are scrambling to get themselves classified as cities amid reports that the central government is thrashing out new policies to foster its urbanisation goals. The Beijing-based Economic Observer reported yesterday that a new national plan to promote greater urbanisation this decade would be published around March, coinciding with the annual meetings of the national legislature and political advisory conference.

浙商收购俄罗斯森林突遭没收 百亿资产蒸发-财经网 - Chinese investor has forestry project in Russia confiscated// 当森林资产估值从当初的70亿元飙升至150亿元时,林场公司却突然被俄方以涉嫌违法为由查封,公司资产被强制拍卖,森林经营权被提前收回。2.5亿元的投资,价值上百亿的资产,短短数月间被席卷一空。

Beijing seniors give $240 yearly to children |Society |chinadaily.com.cn- The 2012 Beijing Senior Industry Research Report shows that senior people in Beijing give their children and grandchildren 4,142.7 yuan each year and get 2,607.7 yuan from them. Therefore, they give away 1,500 yuan. In urban districts of Beijing, senior people give children and grandchildren 4,625.4 yuan yearly, more than any other expenditure item such as medical care, clothing or transportation.

Rhodium Group » Foreign Investment in China: A Tale of Two Statistics - One of the indicators China bears followed in 2012 to gauge falling confidence in the Chinese economy was the apparent decline in foreign direct investment (FDI). Statistics published by China’s Ministry of Commerce showed that FDI was falling throughout the year, the first such drop since the financial crisis in 2009. Last week China’s central bank published detailed Balance of Payments figures for Q3, which provide an alternative perspective on the inflow of foreign capital into the Chinese economy. They paint a very different picture of FDI flows in 2012.

Paulson Prescription for China’s Debt Problem – China Real Time Report – WSJ- According to Ms. Wong, what’s needed is a broader tax base for local governments, with local authorities having more say over how they raise revenue.“The central government could give municipalities greater tax autonomy by giving them some discretion on tax rates for a few selected taxes, such as the vehicle tax and license fees,” she said in the note. “They could also be permitted to piggyback or levy surcharges on central or shared taxes. The corporate income tax and personal income tax could be good candidates.”

 

POLITICS AND LAW

Curbing dissent: Muzzling the media | The Economist - The appeals for the party to respect the constitution’s provisions are part of what appears to be a new tactic by Chinese liberals to push for faster political change. On November 16th, a day after the party’s new leadership was installed, Yanhuang Chunqiu and academics from Peking University jointly organised a meeting in Beijing of around 100 intellectuals as well as a sprinkling of retired officials to discuss the constitution and the importance of upholding it (see this account on Yanhuang Chunqiu’s website, in Chinese, as stored on Google’s cache). At the meeting a draft was circulated of what was called a “Proposal for a Consensus on Reform”. The thrust of its message was that if only the constitution were to be respected, China would become far more democratic. The document was made public on December 25th, with the names of 72 academics and lawyers attached.

炎黄春秋网:已着手办理网站恢复事宜_政经频道_财新网 - Yanhuang Chunqiu actually shut for a legitimate licensing reason? or too coincidental with the latest issue? // 网站主编张晓鸥向财新记者表示,将尽快拿到被收回的炎黄春秋网的备案号,争取网站早日恢复运营。预计备案审核需要十个工作日左右

自由派遭挫败 贺卫方叹希望灭春梦破_多维新闻网 - 【多维新闻】分别代表自由派知识分子以及中共党内改革派声音的《南方周末》和《炎黄春秋》相继“遭难”,令自由派人士如同“折翼”。包括法律界人士贺卫方、何兵、陈有西以及独立评论人章立凡等不断在网络或发声感喟,或表达关注,其中贺卫方1月4日更悲观看淡未来政改之路,直言“北春秋,南周末,希望不存,春梦已破。”

Central China official investigated for owning 29 houses – Xinhua | English.news.cn- The procuratorate of Zhengzhou, capital of Henan, decided on Friday to investigate Zhai Zhenfeng, the former director of the housing administration bureau in Erqi district of the city. A preliminary probe by the district government confirmed that Zhai’s family owns 29 houses. The whistle-blower said on his microblog account last week that Zhai’s daughter owns 11 affordable houses and two ID cards. This sparked outrage online.

China Voice: Officials should keep out of affordable housing supply – Xinhua | English.news.cnbeijing can not solve the affordable housing challenges when when the subsidized housing programs are so riddled with corruption and shoddy construction// Government-subsidized residential projects designed for low-income groups have become another battlefield for the fight against corruption in China. The latest case involves a former director of the housing administration bureau in a district of Zhengzhou, capital of Henan Province. He and his family own 29 apartments, and 11 are said to fall into the affordable housing category. Though most families in China’s major cities are struggling to buy a single modest apartment, officials have easily amassed dozens and some have taken away housing units specifically intended for disadvantaged groups.

中国省部级高官出现郭声琨李小鹏等前国企高管_网易新闻中心 -on the growing number of former SOE executives now in official positions// 核心提示:据媒体报道,近年来政企高官交流频繁,一批国企高管步入政坛,从而出现“政坛CEO”的新群体。其中,公安部部长郭声琨曾任中国有色金属、中国铝业高管,山西省代省长李小鹏曾任华能集团高管,福建省省长苏树林曾任中石化集团公司总经理。

Tuo Zhen, crusading journalist turned Guangdong propagandist | South China Morning Post- Guangdong’s propaganda chief, under fire for altering the New Year edition of the outspoken Southern Weekly, was once a crusading journalist known for his reports on the plight of the poor and deprived.However, as Tuo Zhen moved up to become a top media executive and propaganda official, he was increasingly seen as a hardline censor and attracted widespread criticism from journalists.

Open letter ups the ante in the Southern Weekly incident – China Media Project- Yesterday’s bust-up over the audacious intrusion of Guangdong propaganda leaders into the time-honored tradition of the “New Year’s Greeting” at Southern Weekly is now looking like the first major challenge to Xi Jinping’s politics of (apparent?) openness. In an open letter today, a group of prominent former Southern Weekly journalists, including CMP Director Qian Gang (钱钢), sharply criticize the actions of Guangdong’s propaganda chief, Tuo Zhen (庹震).The open letter, which describes Tuo Zhen as a bureaucratic tyrant with a long history of strangling the vitality out of Chinese media, ups the ante by publicly challenging the central leadership to show where it stands on the issue of greater openness.

CHINASCOPE – People’s Daily Says It Will “Work Hard” to Tell Truth in 2013- On December 31, the Communist Party newspaper, the People’s Daily, issued a posting on its official blog announcing its expansion from 8 pages to 12 pages on weekdays and 4 pages to 8 pages on weekends. In addition, it added the statement, “In the new year, we will work hard to tell the truth and write the truth … making [our paper] more readable and viewable to truly serve our readers.” Because of its insistence that it would “work hard to tell the truth,” the posting has drawn a large number of sarcastic comments from Chinese netizens.

Bo Xilai case is the biggest test for China’s legal progress since Gang of Four trial – U.S. – Asia Law Institute- Bo’s trial is by no means likely to be as lengthy, transparent or chaotic as that of the Gang of Four. Its procedures will probably resemble the nominally “open” but carefully restricted trial of Gu, if by that time the normally feisty accused has been reliably subdued, and can be counted on to confess and regret. That would mean a brief exercise in which no significant witnesses are summoned and subject to cross-examination, even if the defendant and his family are permitted to appoint lawyers of their choice, as required by law but often violated in practice. The script for the recitation of pre-trial statements in court would be drafted to reveal only what the party thinks useful to present. Thus, despite China’s significant advances in both information technology and criminal legislation during the past three decades, the people are likely to learn much less about Bo’s case than they did about that of the Gang of Four.

人民日报-打铁还需自身硬 ——中共中央政治局改进工作作风“八项规定”出台一月综述 -

In China’s Cyberspace, a Code for Criticism – WSJ.com - The rise of online platforms in China has given the Chinese people an unprecedented capacity for self-publishing and communication. Because they speak in a heavily monitored environment, however, these “netizens” must often voice their demands for greater freedom in coded language and metaphors that allow them to avoid outright censorship. Chinese cyberspace has given rise to a surprising number of new terms for exposing, criticizing and ridiculing the Communist Party. Largely invented by young gadflies, this lively discourse has begun to spread widely.

CPC leader calls for getting Party, public voices better heard – Xinhua | English.news.cn- Liu Yunshan, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, made the remarks at a national meeting attended by CPC publicity department heads from across the country. Efforts should be made to “consolidate and strengthen healthy and upbeat mainstream ideology and public opinion” and “get the messages of the Party and the government well delivered and the voice of the general public better heard,” he said.

China to crack down on unlicensed reporters – Xinhua | English.news.cn- Press regulators will step up efforts to weed out unlicensed reporters in order to preserve the reputation of the country’s news media. Irregular practices by news bureaus, the issuance of press cards to unqualified reporters and journalists’ attempts to blackmail others will also be targeted, said Liu Binjie, head of the General Administration of Press and Publication (GAPP), at a government meeting on the press industry held on Friday. Authorities will work to eliminate illegal and deceptive advertisements, as well as paid-for news in news publications, Liu said.

Official Credit Card Coming to Beijing – Economic Observer Online - From Jan 1, 2013, all municipal budget units in Beijing will have to begin using official credit cards for making business-related purchases. The policy is aimed at preventing corruption.

天安门广场LED屏 年维护费达1600万-财经网 - annual maintenance fees for the huge LED screen on Tiannamen Square are 16m RMB..wonder who has the contract

Weibo no showground for outsized egos – Globaltimes.cnvery true actually// Although there exists a certain degree of management of Weibo posts, the power in the hands of Weibo celebrities is less restricted than other aspects of social life.Some of these are humble and show self-restraint. But others are quite the opposite. They consider themselves to be opinion leaders, and believe their voices represent a broad spectrum of society. They ask the government to accept whatever request they care to make. If the request is ignored, the authorities are termed as being anti-democracy.Actually, Weibo is only a platform for a small part of the Chinese public to express their opinions. Views on Weibo often appear to be sharp and furious, but they do not necessarily reflect the common opinions of the general public.

 

FOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS

Japan scrambles jets to head off China plane | South China Morning Post- Japan scrambled fighter jets on Saturday to head off a Chinese state-owned plane that flew near islands at the centre of a dispute between Tokyo and Beijing, a Japanese Defence Ministry spokesman said. The Japanese jets were mobilised after a Chinese maritime aircraft ventured some 120 kilometres north of the Senkaku islands, which China calls the Diaoyus, at around 11am, the spokesman said.

中国海监飞机飞临钓鱼岛 日本多架战机拦截(图)_新闻_腾讯网 -

Eye on China: 10 Trends to Watch in the Year of the Snake – China Real Time Report – WSJ - 8. China will be the world’s single largest builder of warships. While the prospects for and sustainability of China’s recent economic growth rate may have been exaggerated by many of late, the pace and intensity of its military-technological development has been underestimated repeatedly in many quarters over the past several years. Programs and investments, increased significantly starting in the mid- and late-1990s, are now coming to fruition, and will continue to yield systems of growing capability for the foreseeable future. No other great power today enjoys China’s availability to dedicate such vast amounts of capital and personnel so dynamically to such a wide range of new programs. China’s defense industry wastes resources and still suffers from extreme forms of some of the inefficiencies that plague the larger economy, but it has already become world class in comprehensiveness and specific areas of capability.

China Says Times Reporter Was Not Expelled – NYTimes.com -face-saving way to getting the visa?//  “So far, we have neither received any notice of resignation (from Reuters), nor has the press card, which was issued by the information department (of the Foreign Ministry), been returned by Chris Buckley,” Ms. Hua said, according to the Xinhua news agency. “So, we do not know who his real boss is now.”

Is January Chinese ASAT Testing Month? – All Things Nuclear - China’s space program is still in the formative stages of its development. Both the United States and the former Soviet Union conducted equally high profile ASAT testing during comparable stages in the development of their space programs, and both eventually decided to stop destructive ASAT testing. Hopefully, China will eventually come to a similar conclusion. Beginning a meaningful bilateral dialog on space security between the United States and China could hasten the day.

Satellites Spot China’s Mysterious New Warplane | Danger Room | Wired.com- A week after the publication of blurry photographs depicting what appears to be China’s first long-range jet transport, Danger Room has obtained satellite imagery of the new plane at an airfield in central China.The images, acquired by the GeoEye 1 and IKONOS spacecraft — both belonging to commercial satellite operator GeoEye headquartered in Washington, D.C. — corroborate the general layout of the Xian Aircraft Corporation Y-20, the existence of which has been confirmed by Beijing. They also underscore the emerging consensus among Western experts that the Y-20, while outwardly impressive, could lack the performance of even much older American, Russian and European transports.

Taylor & Francis Online :: Whose China Model is it anyway? The contentious search for consensus – Review of International Political Economy - - Has a Beijing Consensus emerged to challenge the Washington Consensus? If so, what is the essence of this alternative consensus and why does it matter? This article argues that efforts at a definitive description of a Chinese model of state–economy relations, especially as it compares to the original policy recommendations of the Washington Consensus, have and will continue to prove unsatisfying.

Announcing the 2012 Albies!! | Daniel W. Drezner - 10)   Matt Ferchen, “Whose China Model is it anyway?  The contentious search for consensus.” Review of International Political Economy, April 2012.  This was a curious year for China-watching. On the one hand, the trend was for analysts to shift from bullish to bearish. On the other hand, some Chinese and a lot of Americans are now feeling pretty confident about the superiority of the Chinese system.  But what exactly is the China Model?  Ferchen does an excellent job dissecting what we’re talking about when we’re talking about the Beijing Consensus.  He further dives into the internal Chinese debate on the existing model, revealing serious qualms about the stats quo.  Ferchen shows that one of the interesting things about the “Beijing Consensus” is not its content per se, but how policymakers and pundits on both sides of the Pacific deploy the term.

习近平获军方力挺掌实权 或摆脱“胡温新政”命运_多维新闻网 - 习近平与李克强上台后,也被一度称为“习李体制”。坊间及媒体也经常把“习李体制”上台后带来的政治新风与“胡温新政”相比,并且发现二者在为人民服务、体制改革等方面有很多相似之处。不过,二者差异也十分明显。习近平上台之初便一步到位,掌握了中国军队的实权,成为真正的领导核心。习近平比胡锦涛更高调,提出更多大胆设想,正是因为他拥有了足够的力量来实现它们。如果习近平有意落实在上台初期提出的这些政治设想和规划,不仅能够走出“胡温新政”的阴影,而且有可能产生与胡锦涛不一样的结果。

破破“酒规矩”,丢开讲话稿 ——从领导干部吃喝讲话看作风建设-  “酒桌上张口大吃大喝,会场上脱稿哑口无言。”针对一些领导干部作风上的不良表现,有网友直言,干部作风怎样,看看他的一张嘴就知道。党的十八大报告提出坚持艰苦奋斗、勤俭节约,下决心改进文风会风,着力整治庸懒散奢等不良风气,坚决克服形式主义、官僚主义,以优良党风凝聚党心民心、带动政风民风。中央政治局会议提出改进工作作风、密切联系群众的八项规定。新一届中央领导集体率先垂范,以简朴务实作风开创新局面。

CHINASCOPE – China’s State Media Floats the Idea of Establishing the “Maritime Ministry” - China’s state media Huanqiu (Global Times) published an article titled, “Establishing a ‘Maritime Ministry’ is in Line with China’s Grand Strategy.” The article discussed the need to form a ‘Maritime Ministry’ as part of the overall planning of China’s maritime strategy. The background of the discussion developed because of two facts. Starting in 2012, China and its neighboring countries have consistently had maritime disputes and in the 18th Congress of the Chinese Communist Party, China set the goal of “building a powerful maritime nation.”

Foreign universities: Campus collaboration | The Economist - The collapse of a Beijing-based undergraduate programme jointly run by two elite institutions—Yale University in America and Peking University—has highlighted some of the difficulties that foreigners face. Yale’s administrators pulled the plug in July, citing high expenses, low enrolment and weaknesses in its Chinese-language programme.

 

TECH AND MEDIA

Rotating CEO: Huawei Revenue Expected to Exceed $35Bn in 2012-Caijing - China’s leading telecommunication equipments maker Huawei is expected to report strong growth in both revenue and income in 2012 amid a wavering global economy, said the group’s rotating CEO in a Happy-New-Year letter. Guo Ping, the rotating and acting CEO, said in Thursday’s letter that the company is expected to report a revenue of more than $35billion and a net income of $2.4billion in 2012, both growing over 10% from a year ago.

马云谈支付宝股权转移:央行拖一年不发证_互联网_DoNews-IT - Jack Ma’s latest comments about the Alipay expropriation inconsistent with claims at the time that PBOC had issue a notice requiring domestic investors only for payment licenses? // 新浪科技讯 1月5日晚间消息,阿里巴巴集团董事局主席马云近日在接受《时尚先生》采访时称,如果不把支付宝变成内资公司,央行拖了一年都不发支付牌照,但是股权结构刚刚改过来,央行马上发了牌照,这说明他的判断是正确的。

泰囧为何成了“喜剧之王”?_财经频道_一财网 - 与国产片常常陷入的高票房、低口碑泥沼不同,《泰囧》的高票房却伴随好口碑齐飞。

Tencent Hires Peter Cheng, Former COO Of AdChina, As It Seeks To Bolster Advertising Revenue | TechCrunch - adchina’s IPO ever going to happen?// Tencent, China’s largest Internet company by revenue, announced today that it has hired Peter Cheng, the former chief operating officer of AdChina, as the general manager of Tencent’s online media group advertising platform. Cheng will take charge of all Tencent’s advertising platform-related business and report to Liu Shengyi, the senior vice president of Tencent and president of the online media group. The move comes after Tencent warned of slowing advertising spending in the Chinese market.

 

SOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY

Orphans in govt custody after C China fire[1]|chinadaily.com.cn- The civil affairs bureau of Lankao county said the children had been living with a woman named Yuan Lihai, who is believed to have been operating an unregistered orphanage out of her home. Bureau official Li Meijiao said two of the children are in the care of the child welfare agency of the city of Kaifeng, while the other eight children have been given shelter at a county rescue center. ”Authorities are looking for other options to take care of the children, as the rescue station was designed as a shelter for the homeless, mainly adults. It lacks facilities and services to take care of children,” said Li. Li said there is no child welfare agency in Lankao county.

Seven die as fire sweeps orphanage[1]|chinadaily.com.cn- Six children and an adult died in a fire that broke out on Friday in a privately run orphanage in Central China’s Henan province. The blaze engulfed the house in Lankao, where Yuan Lihai, 48, a local villager, looked after abandoned children she had taken in over the years.

China Voice: Blind eyes are deadlier than blazes – Xinhua | English.news.cn- An unregistered, unlicensed “foster home” did not become a prominent issue until six children and one adult died in a fire in central China’s Henan Province on Friday. The selective blindness of the local government and media reports prior to the tragedy has turned out to be more dangerous than the fire itself. And until those with the power to rectify these issues open their eyes, similar tragedies are bound to happen. The government of Lankao County ignored the fact that the county with a population of nearly 800,000 has no official welfare home for children. Although it is “very necessary” to have such a place for orphaned or abandoned children, Feng Jie, a county government official, reportedly acknowledged, “It is not one of the government’s development priorities.”

 

ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT AND HEALTH

Australian, Canadian Deals Extend CNPC’s Reach – Caixin - China National Petroleum Corp. (CNPC) announced two major overseas acquisitions in mid-December as the oil giant continued its accelerated pace of global expansion. State-run CNPC said December 12 it would buy a 10.2 percent stake in the Browse liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in Australia for US$ 1.63 billion from the mining company BHP Billiton. Just two days later, CNPC announced that it had partnered with Canadian natural gas producer Encana Corp. to develop shale-gas fields in northern British Columbia. The Chinese company paid nearly US$ 2.2 billion for a 49.9 percent share in a joint venture with Encana. These agreements and deals earlier in the year brought total overseas oil and gas acquisitions by Chinese companies to US$ 34 billion in 2012, according to the CNPC Economics Technology Research Institute. CNPC plans to continue its shopping spree for at least two years. The company wants its foreign wells to produce 200 million tons of oil a year by 2015, or about twice its 2012 overseas production level.

Australia’s Exoma Energy regroups after CNOOC share subscription falters – Natural Gas | Platts News Article & Story - Exoma Energy has been forced into a rethink after a subsidiary of Chinese state-owned offshore company CNOOC failed to receive Beijing’s approval for a planned subscription to a parcel of shares in the Australian coalseam gas junior.

Work restarts on China’s biggest nuclear power plant: Xinhua | Reuters- Building of the Shidao Bay nuclear plant in coastal Shandong province, eastern China, resumed on December 21, Xinhua news agency reported. Beijing – in common with many governments worldwide – suspended work on nuclear projects after the Japanese earthquake and tsunami in March 2011 which triggered a radiation disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi reactor complex.

Mainland’s heavy metal and chemical pollution problem worsening | South China Morning Post- A senior environmental policy official has warned the mainland faces an “extremely grave” environmental crisis that will only worsen as pollution increases and the health problems its causes come to light. Wang Jinnan, a deputy director at the Chinese Academy of Environmental Planning, told a three-day conference at the Chinese University of Hong Kong that the country has not yet come to grips with the amount of toxins seeping into the ground, pollution that would linger for decades to come.

Seizures of Illegal Ivory Are Rising in Hong Kong – NYTimes.com - Customs officials in Hong Kong announced on Friday their third large seizure of smuggled ivory in less than three months, saying they had intercepted 779 elephant tusks weighing 2,900 pounds in a container originating from Kenya

 

FOOD AND TRAVEL

昆明长水机场近万人滞留 现场混乱_网易新闻 - pictures of the chaos over delays at the kunming airport..note all the smartphones held aloft to film it

Inside China’s High-Speed Rail Triumph – The Daily Beast - China’s new high-speed train isn’t just a technological marvel—it’s a PR breakthrough after years of scandal and criticism. Melinda Liu on Beijing’s bumpy ride, and the huge Lunar New Year challenge the rail line faces this month.

Start the new year with a trip to the US|Society|chinadaily.com.cn - United flights always full now// With the most important Chinese holiday approaching in February, many Chinese have begun signing up for travel to the United States, adding to a major source of US tourism. Chinese and US travel agents are monitoring the burgeoning market of middle-class Chinese families making trips during an otherwise slow winter season for US tourism. The California Travel and Tourism Commission, the state’s official travel promoter, and four Chinese tourism companies have launched a project to attract Spring Festival vacationers from China.

云南咖啡自立门户摆脱雀巢等制约 欲夺定价权 _产经动态_新浪财经_新浪网

 

BOOKS AND LITERATURE

Amazon.com: Awkward Embrace: The United States and China in the 21st Century: Daniel Blumenthal, Phillip Swagel - In Awkward Embrace, Phillip Swagel applies his experience at the Treasury Department to show the reader why America’s economic relationship with China has been a beneficial one and details what needs to happen for this trend to continue. Daniel Blumenthal, a former official specializing in Asia at the Department of Defense, is far less optimistic when examining the military, diplomatic, and security ties the United States has—or lacks—with China. China’s overall view of the West—and especially of America—is one of hostility and suspicion. Furthermore, China has engaged in military, diplomatic, and human rights actions that are objectionable to a nation such as the United States, which seeks to encourage the establishment of responsible government worldwide.

Asia Unbound » Two U.S. Policymakers Take on U.S.-China Policy - One of the most enjoyable aspects of Dan Blumenthal and Phillip Swagel’s new book on U.S.-China relations, An Awkward Embrace, is its lack of nuance. The authors—both of whom have served in the U.S. government and now share an affiliation with the American Enterprise Institute—clearly define U.S. interests with regard to China and address directly the opportunities (great) and challenges (greater) that China presents to those interests. They are equally no-nonsense in their prescriptions for U.S. policy, which they see as necessarily proceeding on two separate economic and security tracks (given the relative greater opportunity for successful cooperation on the economic than on the security front). Most important, Blumenthal and Swagel accomplish what many analysts attempt and most fail—to provide a road-map for U.S. policymakers in managing the relationship with China.

 

CORRECTIONS

In the January 4 newsletter I wrote that “Interestingly, CCTV ran a segment ([子午线]舆论场:南方周末新年献辞引热议 新闻频道_央视网) highlighting those factual errors, in what looks to be a criticism of Tuo Zhen , and the regional propaganda officials.” A reader pointed out that in fact the broadcast was on the CCTV website but actually by a local Shanghai TV station, not CCTV.