China Readings for January 13th

  • China in Africa: The Real Story: "The Zambezi Valley: China’s First Agricultural Colony?" Fiction or Fact? – I read that commentary, as did many other people. It is regularly cited as a key example of Chinese interest in "land grabbing". It appears in an oft-cited review of land-grabbing published by the International Food Policy Research Institute (3) and was cited by an authoritative study of land-grabbing in Africa by a joint FAO-IFAD-IIED (4) team and a new study by two Standard Bank researchers (5). It is a major contributor to the belief that "China" wants to grow food in Africa to ship back home.

    The problem: very little of what was written in this sensational commentary appears to be real.

  • Maritime Security in the South China Sea | M. Taylor Fravel – despite the recent escalation of tensions between 2009 and 2011, armed conflict in the South China Sea is far from inevitable:
  • 要研究应战美军的新样式 – 新华国际 – 新华网
  • The Useless Tree: Confucius as Contemporary Art – Not sure what to make of Zhang Huan's new exhiibtion at the Rockbund Art Museum in Shanghai, entitled, "Q Confucius."   All I know is what I can see on the intertubes.  From that limited perspective, however, it does not appear that the artist in engaging in a facile revival of tradition.  The big animatronic Confucius bust ("Q Confucius no. 2") is speechless: the Sage is not offering us his wise words.  Rather, he just looms there, quietly inhaling and exhaling, in a shallow pool of water, a hulking presence:
  • Central Asia expert to head PLA intelligence | China News Watch | Latest Hong Kong, China & World News | SCMP.com – A highly-educated expert in Russian, eastern European and Central Asian affairs has been named the head of China's military intelligence, state media reported.

    Major General Chen Youyi's first job in his new capacity as the People's Liberation Army's intelligence chief was accompanying General Ma Xiaotian, the PLA's deputy chief of general staff, in a meeting with visiting United States Undersecretary of Defence for Policy Michele Flournoy early last month, Xinhua reported.

    Chen, 58, studied international politics, gaining a masters degree at National Defence University followed by a doctorate at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences' Institute of East European, Russian and Central Asian Studies in 1995.

  • M. Taylor Fravel | International Security, China, and East Asia
  • Dr. M. Taylor Fravel, MIT, Establishes New China Research Blog | Andrew S. Erickson – No serious survey of strategic analysis on China is complete without reading Taylor’s detailed scholarly publications. His new website makes this easier to do than ever. I recommend that everyone take a look today! You might especially enjoy some of his research concerning the South China Sea.

    For anyone who hasn’t met Taylor at his frequent academic and policy presentations, here’s his latest bio:

    M. Taylor Fravel is an Associate Professor of Political Science and member of the Security Studies Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  Taylor studies international relations, with a focus on international security, China, and East Asia. He is the author of Strong Borders, Secure Nation: Cooperation and Conflict in China’s Territorial Disputes (Princeton University Press, 2008), while his edited volumes include Rethinking China’s Rise: A Reader (Oxford University Press, 2010) and China and East Asian Order: A Reader (Oxford University Press, 2011).  He is currently completing a book-length study of major change in China’s military doctrine since 1949, entitled Active Defense: Explaining the Evolution of China’s Military Strategy (under contract with Princeton University Press).  His other publications have appeared in International Security, Foreign Affairs, Security Studies, International Studies Review, The China Quarterly, The Washington Quarterly, Journal of Strategic Studies, Armed Forces & Society, Current History, Asian Survey, Asian Security, the China Leadership Monitor and edited volumes. His research has been supported by various organizations, including the National Science Foundation, the United States Institute of Peace, and the Smith Richardson Foundation.

  • China’s Latest Reforms: Green Energy, Land Grabs, and Housing Booms – Damien Ma – International – The Atlantic
  • China investigating dairy firm after baby’s death: Xinhua | Reuters – synutra a repeat offender, should be shut//

    (Reuters) – China's commerce regulators are investigating dairy company Synutra International, after a baby died from allegedly drinking its milk formula, the official Xinhua news agency reported on Thursday.

  • Synutra Chairman Issues Statement on Product Safety – NASDAQ.com – QINGDAO, China and ROCKVILLE, Md., Jan. 12, 2012 /PRNewswire-Asia/ — Synutra International, Inc. (NASDAQ: SYUT), ("Synutra" or the "Company"), which owns subsidiaries in China that produce, market and sell nutritional products for infants, children and adults, today issued a statement in response to local Chinese media reports of a pair of 4-month old twins in Jiangxi province who became ill with severe intestinal symptoms. One passed away from dehydration on January 7, 2012. The other has recovered following hospitalization. Both children were reported to have been consuming Synutra powdered milk
  • What is inside Spring Festival passengers’ bags? | ChinaHush
  • Shanghai police to begin hunting down Canadian scammer Ryan Fedoruk: Shanghaiist
  • The Lords of Dharmaraja Faked Indian Gov’t Memo on Phone Surveillance | Digital Dao
  • Wine smuggler sentenced to life by Beijing court — Shanghai Daily | 上海日报 — English Window to China New – A man was sentenced to life imprisonment for smuggling about 70,000 bottles of high-end foreign wines and evading import duties of 20.27 million yuan (US$3.21 million).
  • 薄熙来解释“红歌”寓意 称不介意被说三道四_新闻_腾讯网
  • Chinese firms raise $2 billion in US in 2011 – People’s Daily Online – A total of 11 Chinese companies launched IPOs in the United States in 2011. These companies raised more than 2 billion U.S. dollars through IPOs on U.S. exchanges last year.
  • Beijing to build more subways, roads in 2012|Society|chinadaily.com.cn – BEIJING – Beijing will speed up construction of subway lines and regional branch road networks to ease traffic pressure, according to the municipality's government report released on Thursday.
  • In a Retailer’s Crisis, Hunting for the Real Knockoff – Caixin Online – davinci vs cctv.//

    A furniture retailer accused of cheating clients with fake Italian goods has turned the tables on accusers at China's state-run TV station

  • Cybersecurity And The PLA Officer’s Mistress | Sinocism
  • 2012年北京两会_腾讯新闻_腾讯网
  • Sino-Forest Short-Seller Block May Go Long on U.S.-Listed Chinese Stocks – Bloomberg – Carson Block, the short seller who last year alleged fraud at Sino-Forest Corp. (TRE), said he’s considering investing in Chinese companies that trade on U.S. stock exchanges.
    “We are very much looking for U.S.-listed Chinese companies with which we can go long,” Block said yesterday in an interview with Bloomberg Television’s Erik Schatzker. “I really hope they turn out to be companies that we feel have done things right.”
  • Zayd Dohrn, Rachel DeWoskin Cross Cultural Divides In Life And Work – All themes the playwright, Zayd Dohrn, understands all too well. As the son of onetime Weather Underground leaders Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, he spent some of his earliest years watching his parents hide from law enforcement, strangers in their own country. He watched his mother go to jail. And in 2008, he watched as Barack Obama struggled to define his own tenuous connection to Ayers, now an esteemed, retired education professor who was being attacked by Republicans as a "terrorist."

    Over the past decade, Dohrn himself has shared a few experiences with the Malcolm character in "Outside People," balancing his years between the U.S. and China along with his wife, the writer Rachel DeWoskin.

  • UPDATE: China Bans Sale Of Commercial Paper-Backed Trust Products – WSJ.com
  • Taiwan Vote Lures Back Expatriates in China – NYTimes.com – The growing political heft of the Taishang, the name given to the million or so Taiwanese in China who have staked their livelihoods on its expansive economy, has become a point of contention in a race that has raised existential questions about a Taiwan increasingly ensconced in Beijing’s embrace.

    Because Taiwan does not allow absentee balloting, Taishang executives have been urging their compatriots to return home to vote, warning that a victory for Ms. Tsai could anger Beijing and prompt it to yank back the welcome mat. But Taishang business leaders have done more than exhort. They have arranged for discounted plane tickets, pressed Chinese airlines and those from Taiwan to add 200 flights and have offered their employees paid holidays that coincide with Election Day, which falls just more than a week before the start of the Chinese New Year.

  • The China Beat · Letter from the Editor: China Beat Changes – Happy 2012! We’re now back from a short winter break, but things will look a bit different at the site as we move into a new year. As many of you know, the four editorial board members—Jeff Wasserstrom, Ken Pomeranz, Kate Merkel-Hess, and myself—work on China Beat in addition to our day jobs (Jeff, Ken, and Kate all teach full-time; I’m researching my dissertation and also helping to develop a very cool new site at the Asia Society). What we’ve found, in recent months, is that we’re all being pulled in many different directions. After a lot of discussion, the four of us decided that we need to scale back the China Beat project for the time being.
  • Japan Subculture Research Center – This is the story of Naoto Matsumura, Tomioka City, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan–the last man standing in  Fukushima’s Forbidden Zone. He will not leave;  he risks an early death because his defiance of Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) and the government is his life now. He is not crazy and he is not going. He remains there to remind people of the human costs of nuclear accidents. He is the King of The Forbidden Zone; its protector. He is the caretaker or empty houses, a point of contact for those citizen who can’t return. He takes care of the animals, “the sentient beings”, that remain behind because no one else will.  He is the Buddha of the forbidden zone.
  • China’s Internet users breach half billion mark | Reuters – (Reuters) – The number of Internet users in China have crossed the half billion mark, reaching 505 million users at the end of November last year, the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) reported.
  • Critical report pulled from China’s web – China Media Project – On January 9, the Social Development Task Group of the Sociology Department at Tsinghua University released its 2011 “Research Report Series on Social Progress,” in which it warned that “powerful vested interests” in China were now “holding reforms hostage.” The report, authored by sociology professor Sun Liping (孙立平), the former doctoral adviser to now vice-president and successor apparent Xi Jinping (习近平), argued that China was in the midst of a “transformation snare” (转型陷阱) in which the energy and impetus to push ahead with necessary reforms was being lost.

    A lengthy summary of the Tsinghua University report was published in the January 9 edition of China Youth Daily, and was quickly posted to a number of major Chinese web portals, including People’s Daily Online. But within hours, links to the article were disabled.

  • Video: Rolls-Royce’s Million-Dollar Car for China – China Real Time Report – WSJ
  • Google Renews Push in China – WSJ.com – Google Inc., which pulled its Web-search engine out of mainland China two years ago after a confrontation with Chinese authorities over censorship, has renewed its push to expand there, in an acknowledgment that it can't afford to miss out on the world's biggest Internet market.

    The search giant is hiring more engineers, salespeople and product managers in China and working to introduce new services for Chinese consumers, according to Daniel Alegre, Google's top executive in Asia.

    In particular, Google is aiming to capitalize on its fast-growing Android operating system for mobile devices, online-advertising and product-search services to grow in China, Mr. Alegre said in an interview.

  • Tencent’s Pony Ma Challenges Real-Name Advocates By Talking About Prostitutes | Tech in Asia
  • China Enters The Danger Zone, SocGen Presents The Four Critical Themes | ZeroHedge – As both anecdotal, local and hard evidence of China's slowing (and potential hard landing) arrive day after day, it is clear that China's two main pillars of strength (drivers of growth), construction and exports, are weakening. As Societe Generale's Cross Asset Research group points out, China is entering the danger zone and warns that given China's local government debt burden and large ongoing deficits, a large-scale stimulus plan similar to 2008 is very unlikely, especially given a belief that Beijing has lost some control of monetary policy to the shadow banking system. In a comprehensive presentation, the French bank identifies four critical themes which provide significant stress (and opportunity): China's economic rebalancing efforts, a rapidly aging population and healthcare costs, wage inflation and concomitant automation, and pollution and energy efficiency.  Their trade preferences bias to the benefits and costs of these themes being short infrastructure/mining names and long automation/energy efficiency names.

    They detail their concerns about the Chinese economic outlook (weakening exports, housing bubble about to burst, local government's debt burden, and large shadow banking system), and show that China has no choice but to transition to a more consumption-driven economy leading to waning growth for infrastructure-related capital goods and greater demand for consumer-related manufacturing. Overall they see a hard-landing becoming more likely.

  • Chinese Artist $507 Million Ousts Picasso as Top Auction Earner – Businessweek – zhang daqian
  • Navy readies for Chinese power grab on shipping – Washington Times – The Navy’s top officer detailed Tuesday the strategy for making sure the South China Sea and Western Pacific remain open to international shipping, saying an emerging China might try to “limit access in the region.”

    The remarks by Adm. Jonathan Greenert, chief of naval operations, represented a frank assessment of China’s potential power grabs as it continues a military buildup that includes more ships and anti-ship weapons.

  • Audit Watchdog, Chinese Counterparts Restart Inspection Talks – WSJ.com – Negotiations between U.S. regulators and Chinese officials resumed Wednesday on allowing American inspections of U.S.-registered audit firms based in China, but no details were divulged.

    "A delegation of Chinese officials met today with SEC officials as part of our ongoing dialogue to address issues of mutual interest, including our efforts to enhance cooperation on enforcement and auditing oversight," Securities and Exchange Commission Spokesman John Nester said in a statement.

  • Venture Capital Firm Says Nouriz Not a "Fake Foreign Brand" – Caixin Online – (Beijing) – A major venture capital firm defended its investment in Nouriz, a Chinese-owned dairy company.
    Recent scandals involving dairy companies have placed a greater scrutiny not only over domestic producers, but also foreign producers amid rumors of "fake foreign milk" products sold in China.
    "Legend Capital doesn't invest in domestic dairy producers since we are not confident about them," said Li Jiaqing, managing director of Legend Capital, during a press conference held by Nouriz Investment Holdings Ltd. on January 9.
  • Sept. 11 Bracelets Come From China Amid Loopholes – Bloomberg – For last year’s 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terror attacks, U.S. Transportation Security Administration officials wanted their workers to remember the thousands who died. So the agency bought 70,000 commemorative bracelets — made in China.
    The wristbands were among as much as $84 billion in U.S. contracts (USBOTOTA) awarded for foreign goods and services in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, mostly through exemptions from legislation designed to restrict such deals. Foreign purchases by federal agencies also included rocket launchers and machine guns from Bulgaria, as well as generic cholesterol medication for U.S. veterans that came from plants in India.
  • Analysis – China must reform to beat shadow lending, loan sharks | Reuters – One thing Wen said at the once-in-five-year weekend meeting was that he wanted a "standardised and unified" bond market during the 12th Five Year plan period, which runs to the end of 2015.

    "It is very rare for the government to explicitly say that it will establish a unified bond market, although Beijing has actually been trying to move towards that direction for many years," said Shi Lei, a fixed-income analyst at Ping An Securities in Shanghai.

    Rivalry among ministerial bodies means China's corporate bond market is separated into three parts: debt instruments in the interbank market overseen by the central bank; enterprise bonds approved by China's economic planning agency; and a small listed corporate bond market overseen by China Securities Regulatory Commission.

  • China denounces ‘Hong Konger’ trend – The Washington Post – HONG KONG — Fifteen years after taking back Hong Kong amid a blaze of fireworks and patriotic fervor, China is battling what it sees as a subversive challenge: an academic survey showing that many in this former British colony identify little with China.

    The survey, conducted last month by the University of Hong Kong, found that the number of respondents who view themselves as Hong Kongers is more than double the number who see themselves as Chinese and that bonds of shared identity with the mainland have grown weaker since Britain relinquished control in 1997.

    Infuriated by the results, Chinese officials have orchestrated a campaign of denunciation — the latest blast in a barrage of verbal and written broadsides against alleged disloyalty in Hong Kong.

  • 马化腾公开驳QQ实名:有人电话卖淫运营商负责吗_互联网_科技时代_新浪网 – 南都讯 记者刘勇 “现在有人通过电话卖淫嫖娼,那么是不是电话运营商也要对该行为负责呢?”昨日在市人大五届三次会议南山讨论组现场,有人大代表对腾讯公司董事局主席马化腾“发难”,认为QQ应该实名制,而且对使用者年龄做出限制,马化腾现场澄清说,QQ不是犯罪工具。
  • A conversation with Shaun Rein on China | Hidden Harmonies China Blog
  • 汪洋:广东要成民族复兴动力而非导火点_网易新闻中心
  • And by Their Friends Ye Shall Know Them | Ballots & Bullets – As the Taiwan presidential campaign enters its final week, one striking development has been an outpouring of support for President Ma Ying-jeou by some of Taiwan’s leading businesspeople, including Evergreen Group President Chang Yung-fa 張榮發 and Far Eastern Group Chairman and CEO Douglas Hsu (徐旭東).
  • Mate Availability and Women’s Sexual Experiences in China – Trent – 2012 – Journal of Marriage and Family – Wiley Online Library – Data from the 1999–2000 Chinese Health and Family Life Survey were merged with community-level data from the 1982, 1990, and 2000 Chinese censuses to examine the relationship between the local sex ratio (number of men per 100 women) and sexual outcomes among women (N = 1,369). Consistent with hypotheses derived from demographic-opportunity theory, multilevel logistic regression analyses showed that women are more likely to be sexually active, to have had premarital sexual intercourse, to have been forced to have sex, and to test positive for a sexually transmitted infection when there is a relative abundance of age-matched men in their local community. Education, birth cohort, and geographic location also emerged as significant predictors of women's sexual experiences.
  • EastSouthWestNorth: "Public Enemy" Han Han – han han on cover of southern metropolis weekly, as "public enemy" han han
  • China COO & General Manager for a start-up at Dermasensa Limited in Shenzhen – Job | LinkedIn – Dermasensa Limited is a start-up founded by a London media star dermatologist and USA plastic surgeon. Our investors and advisory board include 10 co-founding MDs.
    We will import a full line of true, MD formulated, Cosmeceutical Skin Care products from the USA and sell in China via our own Pharmacy Kiosks manned by sales staff we train as wellas via the Internet and select retailers.
    Our China operation is the company's priority, will be Shenzhen based, and begin March 1, 2012.

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