The Sinocism China Newsletter For 02.01.13

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Chinese Hackers Infiltrate New York Times Computers reported the New York Times Thursday:

Based on a forensic analysis going back months, it appears the hackers broke into The Times computers on Sept. 13, when the reporting for the Wen articles was nearing completion. They set up at least three back doors into users’ machines that they used as a digital base camp. From there they snooped around The Times’s systems for at least two weeks before they identified the domain controller that contains user names and hashed, or scrambled, passwords for every Times employee…

Investigators found evidence that the attackers cracked the passwords and used them to gain access to a number of computers. They created custom software that allowed them to search for and grab Mr. Barboza’s and Mr. Yardley’s e-mails and documents from a Times e-mail server.

The Wall Street Journal also reported Thursday that Chinese Hackers Targeted Wall Street Journal Computers:

Evidence shows that infiltration efforts target the monitoring of the Journal’s coverage of China, and are not an attempt to gain commercial advantage or to misappropriate customer information,” Paula Keve, chief spokeswoman for the Journal’s parent company, Dow Jones & Co., said in a written statement Thursday. Dow Jones is a unit of News Corp.

The infiltration of networks related to coverage of China is an “ongoing issue,” Ms. Keve said. “We continue to work closely with the authorities and outside security specialists, taking extensive measures to protect our customers, employees, journalists and sources.”

She said the Journal on Thursday completed a network overhaul to bolster security. “We fully intend to continue the aggressive and independent journalism for which we are known,” she said.

One of the ways the hackers penetrated the paper’s computer system was through its Beijing bureau, people familiar with The Wall Street Journal incident said.

In the New York Times story about its hacking, the paper writes that Bloomberg was also a target:

Last year, Bloomberg News was targeted by Chinese hackers, and some employees’ computers were infected, according to a person with knowledge of the company’s internal investigation, after Bloomberg published an article on June 29 about the wealth accumulated by relatives of Xi Jinping, China’s vice president at the time. Mr. Xi became general secretary of the Communist Party in November and is expected to become president in March. Ty Trippet, a spokesman for Bloomberg, confirmed that hackers had made attempts but said that “no computer systems or computers were compromised.”…

In addition to political and security goals, hackers with access to journalists’ email traffic at news services like Bloomberg, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times could also make a lot of money front-running stocks that are the subject of eventual market-moving stories.

China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Hong Lei was not pleased by the claims (AFP):

“To arbitrarily assert and to conclude without hard evidence that China participated in such hacking attacks is totally irresponsible,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei told reporters in Beijing.

In The People’s Republic of Hacking (Foreign Policy) Adam Segal looks at the possible goals of the hacks and what can be done to counter them:

Beijing is pushing its Internet power outside of China into the rest of the world. At home, it controls the flow of information on the Web domestically through censoring and filtering technologies as well as attempts to steer conversations or drown out opposition on social media sites by government-paid commentators, known in China as the 50 Cent Party for the going rate per posting. What the New York Times and other hacks demonstrate is the desire to shape international political narratives as well as gather information from those who might influence the debates on topic of importance to Beijing. The Times’ worry that the hackers might take the paper offline on election night also reveals an attempt at intimidation as well as influence.

So what can be done? Private security experts and U.S government officials say they are getting better at attributing attacks to groups and individuals. If that is the case, then the United States may begin to think about targeted financial sanctions or visa restrictions on identified hackers. What might cause the most difficulty for Beijing, however, are private and government efforts to ensure that reporting of the caliber of New York Times and Bloomberg is made widely available within China through translation and efforts to circumvent the Great Firewall of China.

Should we expect future efforts to hack and breach China’s Great Firewall, by state and non-state actors?

Today’s links:

THE ESSENTIAL EIGHT

Manila deals a clever hand with desire for arbitration – The China Post- An ASEAN diplomat who requested not to be named agreed. “If they don’t fight the tribunal’s jurisdiction, it might embolden other claimants in the South China Sea dispute. If they do fight and win, they could lose in the court of international opinion,” the diplomat said. Analysts also noted that the Philippines has prepared its case well by recruiting top American lawyer Paul Reichler. He is a giantslayer in the realm of public international law, and became famous in 1984 when he won Nicaragua’s case against the U.S. over its paramilitary activities in Central America.

Defining the Chinese Dream – Caixin - this week’s Hu Shuli editorial// Amid growing rivalry with the United States, Beijing’s diplomats must clearly explain their country’s values to ease the concerns of neighbors

习视察武警剑指政法委 准备打“大老虎”_多维新闻网 - Duowei on Xi’s visit with the People’s Armed Police and implications for Politics and Law Committee system and as possible sign of preparing to take down a “tiger” in the corruption crackdown// 习近平此番强调党对武警部队的绝对领导,意在剥夺政法委的兵权,还原和建设中国法治社会。另一方面,考虑到中国反腐运动的不断高涨和习近平既打“苍蝇”又打“老虎”的表态,习近平此举也有为下一步打“大老虎”蓄势和做万全准备的目的..观察人士认为,习近平与王岐山在经历早期顺利的反腐过程后,逐渐啃到了硬骨头,反腐遇到了实实在在的困难。不仅是各地方占据要位的领导贪腐、违法、乱纪,中央高层同样不能幸免,而且情况可能更严重。有部分人士担心,习王反腐继续深化,必然会遇到地位更高、权力更重、影响更大的党内高层人士,那才是真正的“老虎”。到时不排除对方会挟权自重、孤注一掷、起而对抗。出于这种考虑,习近平借春节即将来临的机会视察武警部队,强化党中央及其总书记习近平的绝对领导,应当也是在为未来反腐打更大的“老虎”做准备。而这只或这些“大老虎”究竟会是谁,或都是什么,中国民众都在期待着。

Exclusive: Huawei CFO linked to firm that offered HP gear to Iran - No wonder powerful people want hk corporate records access blocked..when will the foreign PR/lobbying firms that work for Huawei decide they have had enough, or will they just raise their fees?// LONDON (Reuters) – A Hong Kong-based firm that attempted to sell embargoed Hewlett-Packard computer equipment to Iran’s largest mobile-phone operator has much closer ties to China’s Huawei Technologies than was previously known, corporate records show. Cathy Meng, Huawei’s chief financial officer and the daughter of company founder Ren Zhengfei, served on the board of Hong Kong-based Skycom Tech Co Ltd between February 2008 and April 2009, according to Skycom records filed with Hong Kong’s Companies Registry.

No. 1 central document focuses on rural issues – Xinhua | English.news.cn- China on Thursday issued its first policy document for 2013, pledging to accelerate agricultural modernization and rural development. The policy document is issued by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the State Council every year and has been dubbed the “No. 1 central document.” The country has pledged to ensure grain supplies, increase farmers’ income, improve their livelihood and push forward reforms in rural areas, according to this year’s document. This is the 10th consecutive year in which the document focuses on rural issues.

Chen Guangcheng Tonight - James Fallows – The Atlantic–”Our fate is in our own hands. People are overcoming their fears and when this number reaches a critical mass change will become inevitable. Nothing could scare the Chinese government more than the fact that the people are losing their fear.  In the past, threats and violence were effective.  But when people are no longer afraid, violence and threats lose their power.  Instead of silencing people, it motivates them “. I don’t think anyone filling the recesses of the Cathedral regretted the effort of getting there on a difficult night. Jerome Cohen also pointed out the the very act of gathering a large crowd for Chen in America offset one of the standard fears of the exile civil-liberties crusader: that once he is sent away from the homeland, people will stop paying attention. Chen deserves close attention, and respect.

“房姐”龚爱爱背后的神木金钱游戏|房姐|龚爱爱|神木金钱游戏_21世纪网 - housing elder sister gong aiai running underground banking scheme that collapsed, then turned in by investors who could not get their money back? this sotyr has almost everything..corruption, hukou, real estate speculation, underground banking, mining money// 知情人透露说因为借贷无法追回,愤懑的“下线”们选择了举报龚爱爱。

中国军网_牢记坚决听党指挥是强军之魂 总政治部 - Page 1 of PLA Daily–Remembering to resolutely obey the Party’s commands is the soul of a strong military–reprinted from the latest issue of seeking truth, out today//习近平主席强调,要牢记坚决听党指挥是强军之魂,任何时候任何情况下都坚决听党的话、跟党走。这一重要指示,充分体现了军队学习贯彻党的十八大精神的根本政治要求,深刻揭示了坚持党对军队绝对领导对实现强国强军伟大梦想的极端重要性,为建设一支听党指挥、能打胜仗、作风优良的人民军队进一步指明了方向。

 

BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

No. 1 central document focuses on rural issues – Xinhua | English.news.cn- China on Thursday issued its first policy document for 2013, pledging to accelerate agricultural modernization and rural development. The policy document is issued by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the State Council every year and has been dubbed the “No. 1 central document.” The country has pledged to ensure grain supplies, increase farmers’ income, improve their livelihood and push forward reforms in rural areas, according to this year’s document. This is the 10th consecutive year in which the document focuses on rural issues.

[视频]中共中央国务院印发《关于加快发展现代农业 进一步增强农村发展活力的若干意见》_新闻频道_央视网- 央视网消息(新闻联播):中共中央、国务院近日印发了《关于加快发展现代农业 进一步增强农村发展活力的若干意见》。意见说,全面贯彻落实党的十八大精神,坚定不移沿着中国特色社会主义道路前进,为全面建成小康社会而奋斗,必须固本强基,始终把解决好农业农村农民问题作为全党工作重中之重,把城乡发展一体化作为解决“三农”问题的根本途径;必须统筹协调,促进工业化、信息化、城镇化、农业现代化同步发展,着力强化现代农业基础支撑,深入推进社会主义新农村建设。

[视频]解读中央一号文件热词:培育新型生产经营主体_新闻频道_央视网 - 过去,在我们的农业生产经营中,小户、散户占的比重比较大,这就导致生产效率不高。今后,前面提到的那三种生产经营主体,将成为我们国家农业生产的主力军,换句话说,将来我们的农产品大部分要靠这几类经营主体来提供,而这也正是现代农业发展的必由之路。

Beijing’s Housing Market Surges in January – Caixin - hard to conclude that price jump a sign of panic selling by officials…// (Beijing) – Some 11,156 homes were sold in the capital from the beginning of the year to January 28, a 570 percent increase compared to the same period in 2012, a property agency says. Nearly 400 units were sold on average every day from January 22 to 28, HomeLink said, despite the fact that the beginning of the year was usually slow. The average housing price was 23,259 yuan per square meter on January 28. In December, the latter figure was 20,627 yuan, data from the Beijing Real Estate Association shows. However, supply could become a problem. Only 1,114 units were put on the market from January 1 to 27, HomeLink data shows.

北上广深释放严厉信号 一线楼市调控料加码 新华社——经济参考网 - Signs that real estate repression policies will be tightened in tier one cities Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen//岁末年初,北京等一线城市房地产市场量价齐升,推涨房价预期。与此同时,地方两会相继召开,一些地方政府试图通过表态稳定市场预期。其中,京沪深三地在针对楼市调控政策基调的表态中,均使用了“严格”字眼,广州则强调“坚决”。业内人士认为,2013年一线城市的楼市调控政策可能在去年基础上有所加码。其中,除加大土地供应以缓解供需压力外,在坚持限购政策的同时,税费和信贷政策可能针对不同区域、不同购房人群体现“差别化”。今年一线城市楼市或迎来更加严厉的政策环境,但由于市场运行的惯性作用和供求不平衡的因素存在,上半年房地产市场仍可能出现温和上行走势。

人民日报-有媒体称“北京将征房产税,起征面积人均24平方米” 北京回应:报道不实(回应) - People’s Daily says recent media reports about possible Beijing property tax are not true..Again, which bureaucrat wants to commit career suicide by forcing all the officials from around China who own property in Beijing they can not legally afford to now have to pay tax on them?

China’s Narrowing Policy Horizons by Yu Yongding – Project Syndicate - The Chinese economy’s performance has thus maintained the cyclical pattern familiar from the past two decades: rapid investment growth, supported by expansionary policy, drives up the economic-growth rate. Inflation follows, so policy is tightened and growth slows. But inflation remains high or rising, so more tightening is imposed. Inflation falls at last, but growth slows more than desired, owing to the overcapacity that resulted from excessive investment in the earlier phase of the cycle. At this point, policy becomes expansionary again, and the cycle begins anew: led by investment growth, the economy rebounds. Thus, the acceleration of economic growth since the third quarter of 2012 should come as no surprise. With the government still having room to wield expansionary monetary and/or fiscal policy, the economic revival was only a matter of time.

IMF Economists Warn of Labor Shortage in China – China Real Time Report – WSJ- Two International Monetary Fund economists say China will become a labor-shortage country sometime between 2020 and 2025—and there isn’t much China can do about it. In economist jargon, that’s when China will reach the “Lewis Turning Point,” named for British and St. Lucian Nobel laureate Arthur Lewis. That’s the point when labor becomes scarce enough that wages rise sharply, industrial profits are squeezed, investment falls—and developing countries hopefully have figured out a way to grow without relying on cheap labor.

U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission staff report entitled “The Reliability of China’s Economic Data: An Analysis of National Output” PDF - examines the quality of China’s national output statistics. The report was written by Iacob N. Koch-Weser, an Economic and Trade Policy Analyst for the USCC.

China Economy: Growth, GDP and China’s Other Economic Data–Heritage Foundation–Derek Scissors - It is past time for the U.S. to generate its own estimates of important Chinese economic statistics, to guide policy in the bilateral relationship and make clear the economic balance. This would both raise the quality of American policy and offer friends and allies a more accurate picture of the global economy. Specifically, the Departments of Treasury and Commerce and the Central Intelligence Agency should compile independent economic series for the PRC for wealth, unemployment, and other vital information and publish these data on an annual basis.

Chinese steel mills face tax pressure – FT.com - Cash-strapped local governments in China have started demanding taxes from the country’s steel mills up to two years in advance, an unusual practice that highlights how desperate some cities have become for funds. Chinese mills, which produce nearly half the world’s steel, have traditionally been cash cows for local governments because of the tax revenues they create.

China’s steel industry in trouble: association – Xinhua | English.news.cn- China’s steel industry was confronted with its greatest difficulties in decades last year, as the global economic slowdown curtailed demand, an industry association said Thursday. China’s crude steel output grew 3.1 percent to 716.54 million tonnes in 2012, down 5.8 percentage points from a year earlier, the China Iron and Steel Association (CISA) said in a press release. CISA said its member companies saw profits plummet 98.22 percent to 1.58 billion yuan (about 252 million U.S. dollars) year on year.

Dow Chemical shares plunge as results disappoint | Reuters- Among its markets, China was particularly a weak spot in “the second half of 2012,” Dow Chemical Chief Executive Andrew Liveris said. In an interview on the CNBC cable news channel early Thursday, Liveris said he expected sales in China to improve in 2013.

China’s two paths to urbanisation | FT Alphaville- Instead, the government must reform the social security system, remove obstacles to labour mobility and help urban job creation. Reform of the Hukou system is at the top of Wei’s list. Currently, only one in three city-dwellers have a Hukou, a local household registration, which allows them various welfare benefits. Migrants are mostly prevented from getting one. They also have to accept much lower pay than those with a Hukou, meaning that their disposable incomes are far smaller, lowering demand in the economy. One of the consequences of all this, is that the coastal cities have seen labour shortages, given the relatively high cost of living, and the low wages for migrants. Allowing more workers to get a Hukou would help alleviate these, and boost demand, but it would be a large fiscal commitment by the government, as Wei says:

 

POLITICS AND LAW

人民日报-中共中央国务院关于加快发展现代农业 进一步增强农村发展活力的若干意见 (2012年12月31日) - People’s Daily has the full text of 2013 Central Document Number 1

Why the Corrupt Love an Extra Hukou – Economic Observer - For someone to have multiple hukou is a much bigger deal than simply owning multiple properties. If someone is found to own many houses, they can defend themselves by claiming that the properties were bought using legal income. But there’s nothing they can say when they’ve been shown to hold multiple hukou…If the Central Commission Discipline Inspection wants to push ahead with plans to have officials declare their assets or if the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development wants to establish a property database, it doesn’t matter, corrupt officials can simply get a second hukou in order to avoid being detected. This is just another countermeasure in addition to other moves that corrupt officials have taken to protect their ill-gotten gains like sending their spouse and children abroad.

陕西神木称房姐未立案 不能用技侦手段确定其位置_新闻_腾讯网 - housing older sister gong aiai seems to have disappeared…// 综合新华社“房姐”事件的发展越来越令人瞠目结舌。北京警方1月31日称,“房姐”龚爱爱在北京有41套房产共计9666.6平方米。令人蹊跷的是,其本人至今仍杳无音讯。 新华社昨日评论称,房姐牵扯出来的黑洞越来越大,越来越让围观者愕然。但主角本人至今杳无音讯,她的神秘消失让事情更加扑朔迷离。难道房姐从此蒸发?还是有人在隐瞒什么、藏匿什么?

Chinese Police Officers Detained in ‘House Sister’ Hukou Scandal – China Real Time Report – WSJ- State-run CCTV reported Thursday that Beijing police had found Ms. Gong was the owner of 41 properties in the capital, covering a floor area of 9,666.6 square meters, as well as an Audi. The police has confiscated 10 of the properties, which include commercial and residential units, and the car, CCTV said. Ms. Gong purchased properties going by the names of Gong Ai’ai and Gong Xianxia, the Procuratorial Daily said, adding that on top of her first registration in Shenmu county, she had another three identities registered in neighbouring Shanxi province and Beijing between 2004 and 2008. Her fake identity was first uncovered in January 2012, the paper said, citing other local media reports and preliminary results from the investigation.

Disciplinary body vows thorough investigation for sex video scandal – Xinhua | English.news.cn- Disciplinary authorities in southwest China’s Chongqing municipality on Thursday vowed to thoroughly investigate officials who are believed to have been involved in a recent sex video scandal. “The investigation results will withstand the challenges of history and society,” said an official from the city’s Discipline Inspection Commission of the Communist Party of China (CPC). Since November, 11 county- and district-level officials in local government departments or state-owned enterprises have been removed from their posts for allegedly appearing in sex videos.

肖烨重庆生意:2年中标1.32亿_财经频道_一财网 - first financial on how blackmailing Chongqing officials with sex tapes was good for Xiao Hua’s business// 重庆永煌集团针对官员的“仙人跳”似乎获益颇多。5年间,其老板肖烨旗下公司资产由注册时的100万暴增至自称的10个亿。 《第一财经日报》的不完全统计显示,自2010年9月起,“重庆干部不雅视频敲诈勒索案”的主要犯罪嫌疑人——肖烨所控制的重庆永煌实业集团有限公司(下称“永煌实业”)在重庆至少中标32个工程项目,总中标金额达1.32亿元。其中,至少有10个项目与不雅视频涉及官员中3人的履历存在可能的交集。

邓聿文:我们的雾霾-财经网- 所以,诸如此类的事情和问题,都不是一时半会能解决的。每一项治理计划的出台都需要全面考虑、平衡各方面因素和压力,需要一个长期规划。在现有权力结构和利益分配模式下,我不知道路在何方。当我们期望有一个共同美好的环境和家园时,善于搭便车和走机会主义路线的我们,是否应该做好了放弃部分利益的心里准备? 不应嘲笑帝都,看帝都的笑话,我的雾霾也是你的。因为普天之下,皆是雾霾。现实已经成为一个命运共同体,我们不在雾霾中沉沦,就在雾霾中爆发。–邓聿文为资深媒体人、民革中央社会与法制委员会委员

China’s workers endure unhappy new year – FT.com - Some multinational companies say they are struggling to find any government officials willing to be wined and dined, as they scramble to respond to a fresh call for frugality from Beijing, part of the leadership’s anti-corruption drive. Even private companies are getting in on the austerity act, with some opting to hold their lunar new year parties at fast food restaurants, prompting a backlash from employees on social networking sites. Everyone from caterers to florists, purveyors of fine Chinese wines to watches, report their revenues have been affected by the wave of asceticism.

人民日报-为“光盘行动”叫好(今日谈) 金 苍 - More praise for “operation empty/clean plate”, on page 1 of today’s People’s Daily

Hotels feel the pinch as banquet business slumps – Xinhua | English.news.cn- Banquet divisions in some luxury hotels are looking for new clients because of a sharp drop in bookings ahead of Spring Festival, the peak season for the industry. The fall in bookings follows moves announced by the central government last month to combat extravagance and corruption. “All banquet bookings at our hotel have been canceled,” said a staff member from the banquet division at the Beijing Friendship Hotel, a hotel designated for government conferences.

Nanyang outlaws “eating and drinking big” | Danwei - he city government of Nanyang has declared war on the inherent waste and extravagance of “tip of the tongue” enjoyment. As the newspaper explains in a somber fashion today, the disciplinary inspection committee in the city yesterday launched a special new operation to “strictly investigate the use of public funds for eating and drinking”.

China sentences two Tibetans for inciting self-immolations | Reuters- Lorang Konchok, 40, was sentenced to death with a two-year reprieve in the Aba prefecture in Sichuan province, while his nephew, Losang Tsering, 31, was sentenced to 10 years in prison, the Xinhua state news agency said. In practice, a death sentence with a two-year reprieve is commuted to life imprisonment or reduced to a fixed-term later. “The two incited and coerced eight people to self-immolate, resulting in three deaths,” Xinhua said, citing the Intermediate People’s Court in Aba prefecture.

China Says 14 Guilty of Pollution Protest Violence – ABC News- Fourteen people pleaded guilty to encouraging a riot in eastern China last year in which the local Communist Party chief was stripped half-naked in a mass protest that ultimately forced the local government to scrap a wastewater treatment project. The official Xinhua News Agency said the defendants were prosecuted Wednesday on charges of encouraging mass violence against government buildings and intentionally damaging property in the city of Qidong in Jiangsu province north of Shanghai. Scores of police were hurt in the melee.

China’s Media Divide – Economic ObserverZhan Jiang//That said, we should acknowledge that among these urban media outlets, there are some that don’t publish much real investigative journalism and, driven by the strictures of “market-driven journalism” (市场驱动新闻事业), are often accused of only “hyping social controversies” (炒作社会热点) and “catering to vulgar tastes” (媚俗跟风). But the principles of professional journalism are becoming more widely accepted within these metropolitan news outlets, with more and more papers establishing in-depth reporting or investigative reporting departments and hiring investigative journalists to staff them.

我差一点成了另一个“钱云会”-陈宝成-财新博客-新世纪的常识传播者-财新网 -

人民日报-扭曲的民主结不出好果子 ——西方政治体制困境透视–国纪平page 3 people’s daily on how “distorted democracy can not bear good fruit”//席卷全球的国际金融危机已步入第六个年头。这场危机不仅是对世界经济的严峻挑战,也是对各国政治制度的一次大考。在这场大考中,西方国家的窘迫、焦躁、困惑和无助有增无减。

Xi stresses loyalty, stability of armed police – Globaltimes.cn- Xi reiterated that the armed police should be aware of its role in maintaining stability and improve its fighting capacity in order to achieve multiple tasks, including routine duties as well as handling emergencies. He also told the country’s armed police forces to keep on high alert in maintaining the country’s stability, as the current situation is “complicated.”

Tibetan protests in India: Lonelier, in exile | The Economist - LOBSANG SANGAY, the elected political leader of Tibet’s exiled administration, is an optimist. On January 30th he addressed some 4,000 Tibetans, including MPs, who had gathered in a sports hall in Delhi as a part of four days’ of protest, prayers and debate. Mr Sangay dared to predict that the Dalai Lama, the Tibetans’ spiritual leader, would yet return to his homeland—once his countrymen had won greater freedom

 

FOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS

China reiterates opposition in taking sea disputes to UN – Xinhua | English.news.cn- China has reiterated its opposition to the Philippines’ request of taking South China Sea disputes to a UN tribunal, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said Thursday. Responding to a question at a daily news briefing, spokesman Hong Lei said, “China disagrees with the move that goes against the consensus (reached before).” China signed the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) with members of the Association of the Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in 2002. According to the declaration, relevant disputes should be solved through friendly talks and negotiations by sovereign states directly concerned.

Military recruiter turns down woman who refused to pay 100,000 yuan bribe | South China Morning Post- A woman in China’s central Henan province said she was asked to pay a 100,000 yuan (HK$123,000) bribe when volunteering to do military service in 2012, the Southern Metropolis Daily reported on Thursday. The military recruiters reversed their decision to accept her after Wang Qian, a resident in Shangqiu city, failed to pay them the money, the report said.

改装“大考”:冲击前所未有–——南海舰队某防空旅加快转变战斗力生成模式纪实–解放军报 -

The Role For The U.S. In The East China Sea Dispute : NPR - On a recent visit to China, Joseph Nye, former chair of the National Intelligence Council, heard officials there describe this dispute in the context of Cold War containment policy. In a piece in The New York Times, he explains that the U.S. efforts in the region are seen as part of a campaign by the United States and its allies to isolate China and restrict its navy’s access to the Pacific Ocean.

Investment from China rises amid concern – The Washington Post - Neither is China high on the list of sensitive deals, according to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, the Treasury-led group that reviews any investments with national security implications. In the most recent CFIUS report, which covers calendar year 2011, Chinese companies were involved in 10 deals that triggered a CFIUS review – placing the country third, behind France (14) and the United Kingdom (25). In a separate list of transactions involving only “critical technology companies,” however, China was ninth: Only four deals involving Chinese firms fit that more sensitive description, compared to 30 from the U.K., 13 from France, 8 from Japan, 7 each from Canada and the Netherlands, 6 from Germany, and 5 each from Israel and Switzerland

Chinese Firm Will Run Strategic Pakistani Port at Gwadar – NYTimes.com- The minister, Qamar Zaman Kaira, said that control of the port at Gwadar, near Pakistan’s border with Iran, would pass from the Port of Singapore Authority to a company he identified as China Overseas Port Holdings, in a move that had been anticipated for some time. Mr. Kaira said the Chinese company would inject funds into the Gwadar port, which has failed to meet the lofty goals set by the military ruler Gen. Pervez Musharraf on its completion in late 2006 and now lies largely unused.

Asia-Pacific Forecast 2013 | Center for Strategic and International Studies - What new challenges and opportunities will the United States face in the Asia-Pacific region in the year ahead? Will China embark on a new charm offensive in Southeast Asia to counter the pivot? How will Japan manage its relations with its neighbors? Can the Trans Pacific Partnership be completed within the year? How will U.S.-India relations change with the United States’ withdrawal from Afghanistan? Is North Korea on the path to nuclear tests, dialogue, or both? Three of the nation’s leading foreign affairs and economic correspondents join the CSIS Asia scholars to look at the year ahead with input from the audience through multimedia technology.

Curtailed access to China’s diplomatic archives fuels Senkaku conjecture | News | The Japan Times- Access to diplomatic documents at the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s archives has been strictly limited since early January, possibly because a 1950 government paper found in them earlier describes the Senkaku Islands as part of Japanese territory, sources said. The facility is “in the process of upgrading its computer system for technical reasons,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said Wednesday.

China’s Future Bomber Requirements Murky | Defense News | defensenews.com- China’s future bomber aircraft requirements appear murky as Western analysts — stuck with reading tea leaves in an opaque pond — battle over what it all means. Specifically, there are unconfirmed reports that China and Russia are working on deals that include refurbished Tupolev Tu-22M3 Backfire long-range strategic bombers and Sukhoi Su-34 fighter-bombers. What analysts do know is that China’s military is upgrading its Xian H-6 medium-range bomber, a licensed variant of the Tu-16. The upgrade, known as the H-6K, includes a re-engineered Russian NPO Saturn D-30KP turbofan engine, larger air intakes, die-electric nose radome and a redesigned flight deck. The engines boost its range to 3,500 kilometers and allow it to carry both land-attack cruise missiles and anti-ship cruise missiles.

Is Asia on cusp of space race? – CNN.com - “In some sense we are already there,” says Daniel Pinkston, North East Asia Deputy Project Director for International Crisis Group in Seoul, South Korea. “The Chinese have been very active… (also) Japan, North and South Korea. It’s quite a competitive atmosphere.” The race will only ratchet up later this year. In the second half of 2013, China will shoot for the moon with the aim of landing a rover vehicle on its surface; building on exploration milestones in 2003 and 2012 with the first man, then woman, in space. India plans to send an unmanned probe into Mars orbit this November.

 

HONG KONG, MACAO AND TAIWAN

Chomsky says he was misled in Taiwan media monopoly row|Culture|News|WantChinaTimes.com- Renowned linguist Noam Chomsky has said he was “seriously misrepresented” when he was photographed earlier this month holding a sign in Chinese characters in support of the anti-media monopoly campaign in Taiwan, which opposes the prospect of Chinese influence encroaching on the country’s press freedom. Chomsky wrote a reply addressing our sister newspaper China Times, the main target of the campaign, saying he had no idea that the words on the sign had anything to do with China or Taiwan. The sign held by the 84-year-old MIT emeritus professor of Massachusetts Institution of Technology saying in Chinese “Oppose the media monopoly. Reject the black hand of China. Defend press freedom. I protected Taiwan at MIT” went viral on the internet in Taiwan and was reprinted by a number of local media outlets. Signs carrying the same wording have been posted online by Taiwanese students in different parts of the world to protest further media acquisitions by the Want Want China Times Group, of which Want China Times is a part.

Censorship blocks Chinese look at Taiwan’s democratization: report|Politics|News|WantChinaTimes.com- A Chinese magazine dedicated to history has been forced to halt the release of a February issue that was to chronicle Taiwan’s democratic transformation, a Shanghai-based newspaper reported Tuesday. “National History” magazine, published by the state-run Chengdu Xianfeng Culture Media based in Sichuan province, had compiled a series of articles authored by Taiwanese writers for a special February edition titled “Taiwan’s Foot,” the Oriental Daily News reported.

 

TECH AND MEDIA

CocoaChina Proved There’s Money to Be Made on Android in China--TheNextWeb- CocoaChina offers many of its games on a try-and-buy basis and brings in added revenue from in-app purchases. The low friction of its carrier billing solution has given it a significantly higher conversion rate, sometimes as high as 30%, than other payment schemes. The company has complete coverage of China’s more than 300 Android application stores, and it has partnerships with all three of China’s wireless carriers: China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom. The mobile gaming space in China isn’t all peachy though. CocoaChina says that Android fragmentation is an issue. In spite of its successes with Fishing Joy, the company thinks monetization is still a problem for many titles, and piracy continues to be quite common in the market.

Wechat ’s Monetization and Overseas Quest-Technode- After crossing the 300 million user mark within 2 years after launch, WeChat is going to launch the latest new version 4.5 with more features to offer. Interestingly, the team behind Wechat neither accepts interview requests nor reveals anything strategically about WeChat except for regular updates on user numbers and new functions. I guess they just don’t have to court media for public exposure as the service is hands down the darling of more than 70% of Chinese mobile Internet users (420 million by last year). With such a huge user pool, many kept tabs on the app’s every single new move to examine its quest to monetization, local portal Netease made some interesting assumptions on what WeChat could do to pull in some checks.

Verint: the American company helping governments spy on “billions” of communications. - With revenues of more than an estimated $840 million in 2012 according to public accounts, Verint has at least 16 offices in countries including Japan, China, Russia, Israel, Australia, Canada, Germany, France, the United Kingdom, and the Philippines. The company’s accounts reveal that its communications intelligence solutions have generated a significant proportion of revenue and have been selling better than ever in recent years. Between 2006 and 2011, for instance, Verint’s annual communications intelligence sales rocketed by almost 70 percent from $108 million to $182 million. And 2012 looks to be another good year, with a projected increase of about 13 percent looking likely based on the figures published for the first three quarters. Most of the company’s communications surveillance sales in 2012 were made in the Americas (53 percent). EMEA (Europe, the Middle East, and Africa) comprise approximately a 27 percent of its sales, and APAC (Asia-Pacific region) a further 20 percent.

中华人民共和国国家工商行政管理总局- 针对北京工商局的处理决定,奇虎360公开表示了不满,他们在发给媒体的声明称:“我们不了解为何工商部门会介入对互联网行业间的市场竞争,此前,互联网企业的管理由上级主管部门工信部牵头。” 市场规范管理司作为国家工商行政管理总局负责网络市场监管的职能部门,对北京奇虎360科技有限公司质疑工商行政管理机关网络市场监管权的是怎么看的?

 

SOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY

Is the end nigh for Li-Ning? | The Li-Ning Tower- The company was winning rave reviews back in 2009, just one year after founder Li Ning staged the ultimate in ambush marketing by lighting the Olympic flame in Beijing under the noses of official Olympic sponsor Adidas. By some accounts, it had even surpassed Adidas in China and was second only to Nike. But it was all too much too soon. Li-Ning (the company, as opposed to Li Ning the man) even expanded into the US, somehow thinking that American teenagers would find their sneakers cooler than the rest. A symbolic store in Portland – the heart of Nike territory – was forced to beat a hasty retreat, though the company does retain US links through its sponsored athletes, none more notable than nine-time All-Star Dwayne Wade, who left Nike for Li-Ning at the end of last year.

广州交警拔枪逼停酒驾保时捷司机(图)|交警|酒驾|保时捷_新浪新闻 - guangzhou cop pulls gun to stop a$$hole driving drunk in porsche cayenne..number 1 topic on Sina Weibo thursday evening

 

ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT AND HEALTH

Beijing Air Akin to Living in Smoking Lounge: Chart of the Day – Bloomberg - The CHART OF THE DAY shows Beijing’s daily peak and average concentrations of PM2.5, the airborne particulate matter that raises risks for lung and heart diseases, as measured by the U.S. Embassy. The 2013 daily average was 194 micrograms per cubic meter, with an intraday peak of 886 on Jan. 12, the data show. By contrast, PM2.5 levels averaged 166.6 in 16 airport smoking lounges in the U.S., said a 2012 study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. Levels exceeded 1,000 in Fairbanks, Alaska during a 2004 wildfire that engulfed 6.6 million acres, the state’s website says.

China’s Insatiable Demand For Timber Destroys Cambodia’s Forests : NPR - Cambodia’s forests are being destroyed at a dizzying pace, with much of the wood destined for China. Much of the logging is carried out illegally — and people who get in the way of the loggers face violence and in some cases death.

Beijing smog scarier than Sars, says medical expert | South China Morning Post - “There were many ways to get away from Sars… you could have avoided it by leaving [a room] or taking different methods of prevention, but air pollution, indoor pollution – you can’t run away from it,” said Zhong Nanshan, a Chinese Academy of Engineering professor and head of Guangzhou’s Institute of Respiratory Diseases, during a news segment on CCTV on Wednesday.

Smog affected more than 800m people: report |Society |chinadaily.com.cn - The Chinese Academy of Sciences estimated that the recent smog across China has affected more than 800 million people, China Central Television reported on Thursday.

中石化承认对雾霾天气负有责任_网易新闻中心 - Sinopec admits it bears some responsibility for China’s recent smogasm// 中石化董事长:非油企质量不达标 乃国家标准不够】中石化董事长傅成玉31日在京表示,炼油企业是雾霾天气直接责任者之一,但这并非因油企质量不达标,而是我国标准不够,只有北京推行含硫量在10ppm以下的欧Ⅴ,但全国普遍为150ppm的欧Ⅲ,标准不提高设备改造就上不去。

 

BOOKS AND LITERATURE

BBC News – Chinese translation of James Joyce becomes best-seller- The Shanghai News and Publishing Bureau said the novel’s sales in Shanghai last week were second only to a new biography of Deng Xiaoping in the category of “good books,” a term reserved for more serious reads. During the 1980s and 1990s the demand for translations of foreign-language novels exploded though it has since cooled. Joyce’s Ulysses was warmly received when it was first translated in the mid-1990s.