China Readings for February 9th

  • Where Wukan has led, Beijing will not follow – FT.com
  • 甘孜书记:达赖集团称要战略决战 已是强弩之末-新闻中心-奥一网,看见了一切
  • Asia Unbound » Is China a Paper Tiger in Cyberspace? – Two recent studies of national cyber power have placed China near the bottom of the table. China is number 13 on the EUI-Booz Allen Hamilton Cyber Power Index, behind Argentina, Mexico, and Brazil but better off than Russia, Turkey, South Africa, and India (the United Kingdom, United States, and Australia are the top three). The Brussels-based Security & Defence Agenda groups China with Italy, Russia, and Poland in the fifth tier (the U.S. and the UK are in the third tier, below Finland, Sweden, and Israel; the top group is empty).

    These are very subjective studies based on interviews, surveys, and vague metrics. Still, they cut against the grain of popular perceptions.

  • The Himalayas and nearby peaks have lost no ice in past 10 years, study shows | Environment | The Guardian – Meltwater from Asia's peaks is much less then previously estimated, but lead scientist says the loss of ice caps and glaciers around the world remains a serious concern
  • Is This the End of Wall Street As They Knew It? — New York Magazine – After surprisingly successful financial reform, public vilification, and politics that have turned against them, the Masters of the Universe are masters no longer.
  • Why Wall Street Should Stop Whining | Matt Taibbi | Rolling Stone – Everybody on Wall Street is talking about the new piece by New York magazine’s Gabriel Sherman, entitled "The End of Wall Street as They Knew It."

    The article argues that Barack Obama killed everything that was joyful about the banking industry through his suffocating Dodd-Frank reform bill, which forced banks to strip themselves of "the pistons that powered their profits: leverage and proprietary trading."

    Having to say goodbye to excess borrowing and casino gambling, the argument goes, has cut into banking profits, leading to lower bonuses and more extreme decisions like Morgan Stanley’s recent dictum capping cash bonuses at $125,000.

  • 浙江高院否认官员联名上书要求判吴英死刑_新闻_腾讯网
  • 潘石屹:买地机会来了 – 房产·汽车 – 21世纪网
  • China’s Li Says Affordable Housing Tests Government Credibility – Businessweek – Vice Premier Li Keqiang said the government’s ability to distribute affordable housing fairly will be an important test of its credibility.
  • Business and Politics in China: The Oil Executive Reshuffle of 2011 – Brookings Institution – The oil executive reshuffle was a blatant reminder of the CCP’s control over China’s flagship firms. Unlike the CEOs of companies like ExxonMobil and Shell, the leaders of China’s NOCs are not selected by their boards of directors, outgoing CEOs and other senior managers. Instead, they are nominated by the Organization Department, the secretive human resources division of the CCP, and ultimately approved by the Politburo.
  • Beijing to Complete Microblog Real Name System by March | Marbridge Consulting – China Internet News – Chinese internet company Sina (Nasdaq: SINA) launched a real name verification function to its user registration form as of January 1, 2012. The new function compares user-submitted data, such as name and national ID card number, and if a user's information does not match comparison records the user can only browse existing posts. In order to be able to post content, users must resubmit correct information. To date, 3 mln new users have submitted real name information, and single day registration volume continues to grow. For existing users, Sina will offer additional functionality and privileges to users that submit real name credentials, implement a user trust ratings system, and this week will launch a verified real name ID badge. Sohu (Nasdaq: SOHU) previously launched a promotional campaign, offering 20 mln Sohu Video monthly subscription cards and RMB 1 mln worth of mobile phone recharge cards to users who submit real name data early. Online real estate site Soufun (NYSE: SFUN) offered prizes, including free vacation housing in 13 popular tourist destination cities. Users who do not register by March 16 will lose their posting and reposting privileges.
  • Canadian PM names Dashan as Canada’s Goodwill Ambassador to China – Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper named on Tuesday Mark Rowswell, a famous Canadian comedian in China whose stage name is Dashan, as Canada's Goodwill Ambassador to China.
  • Wukan 2.0? Evidence Mounts Panhe Uprising Is Real | Tea Leaf Nation
  • Asia real-estate bull turns bearish – Asia Stocks to Watch – MarketWatch – Asia’s gradually cooling property markets aren’t the great buys they once were, according to one expert in the region, who says better bargains can be found in the depressed markets in the West.

    Tim Murphy, the Hong Kong-based chief executive officer of property advisory group IP Global, says he’s telling his clients to look more towards New York and San Francisco for deals, although London also ranks well in terms of rental yield in some projects.

  • China’s anti-corruption official arrested|Politics|News|WantChinaTimes.com – Internet media outlet Boxun said Wang was under investigation by the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the Communist Party for torturing corruption suspects. The investigation is the real reason for his resignation, according to Boxun.

    Wang tried to seek assistance from Bo, but Bo would not publicly support Wang in order to protect his own political future. Wang responded by saying that he would reveal Bo's corruption history and asked for an assignment transfer, saying his life would be in danger if he stayed in Chongqing.

  • Chinese Communists Influence U.S. Policy Through Ex-Military Officials | Washington Free Beacon
  • Petraeus to Vist Myanmar | Via Meadia – The American diplomatic push in Asia continues as word spreads that the director of the CIA may soon visit Myanmar, the former Chinese ally that has been moving rapidly toward deep cooperation with the Pacific entente. On a recent visit to longtime US ally Thailand, General Petraeus is reported (by the New York Times) to have discussed plans for the Myanmar visit with the Thai foreign minister.
  • Watch: China’s CCTV Now Broadcasting in North America – China Real Time Report – WSJ
  • iPad Trademark Dispute Update: Why Haven’t the Apple Stores Been Shut Down? | China Hearsay – I can only speculate that it’s political. Look, Beijing AIC can certainly claim that since this case involves a pending civil suit, they feel obligated to step back and wait for a resolution from the court in Guangdong. Maybe.

    But AIC could act if it wanted to, and the court action is Guangdong is now an appeal that most folks expect Apple to lose. Proview is the owner of record of the trademark, and the infringement is crystal clear. No reason at all that AIC could not raid all the Apple stores and resellers in Xicheng District and effectively shut down all iPad sales there.

    No, really. They could do so tomorrow if the political will was there.

    So why are they sitting on this? My guess is that this one is just too high profile, Apple has too much clout (Proview who?), and AIC is worried about blowback. The pending court action is great cover behind which AIC can hide until, hopefully, a settlement is cobbled together by the parties.

    In other words, don’t expect to see AIC officials come crashing through the door at the Sanlitun Apple Store tomorrow. Just understand that they could if they wanted to.

  • China electricity data ring alarm bells | beyondbrics | News and views on emerging markets from the Financial Times – FT.com
  • 网曝50万包北京户口和工作 多针对应届生和海归_多维新闻网 – 500,000 rmb to buy a beijing residence permit?
  • Ge Xun: 21 Hours in Beijing – part 1 | Seeing Red in China – Yaxue’s note: Before I knew Ge Xun, I came to know his Free Chen Guangcheng website when it re-published the CGC profile I wrote and posted here on Seeing Red in China in November. Later we met on Twitter and he invited me to volunteer for the site. So I did as a dozen others had or would. On Twitter he re-tweets me a lot to “promote” me the newcomer. For that I call him “Brother Tweet’.” With his permission, I have edited his account in Chinese to make it compact enough for our posts. His ordeal appears here for the first time in English.
  • RAF helicopter death revelation leads to secret Iraq detention camp | World news | guardian.co.uk – Death in RAF helicopter and secret prison camp in Iraq desert raises questions about legality of British and US operations
  • Beijing orders developer to restore Lin’s heritage house — Shanghai Daily – A real estate developer that erased the courtyard residence of a famous Chinese architect in downtown Beijing is held legally liable for its action, authorities said.

    Fuheng Real Estate, a subsidiary of China Resources, has been ordered to restore the heritage courtyard, Kong Fanzhi, director of Beijing Administration of Cultural Heritage, told a meeting.

  • Kidnapped Chinese workers freed in Sudan oil state | Reuters
  • SOHO中国今年销售目标230亿 潘石屹称两会后银根放松-《财经网》
  • Song Ke on the declining state of China’s music industry | China Music Radar
  • Why Beijing Votes With Moscow – NYTimes.com – In the eyes of the pragmatic Chinese, the Assad regime is not worth a veto. But the Russians, motivated by their economic and security interests in Syria, opposed the resolution, and China apparently decided it was better not to jeopardize relations with the Russians and risk losing Russian support when Beijing might need it in the future.

    The Russia-China axis of obstruction at the Security Council has now become a critical variable in the council’s decision-making process. The two countries seem to have reached a strategic understanding: they will act to defy the West together, so that neither might look isolated. China will defer to Russia on matters more critical to Moscow (such as Syria) while Russia will do the same on issues China cares about (such as Zimbabwe or Burma).

  • Letter from China: How Did Hoekstra Get So Much Wrong? : The New Yorker – I’ll leave it to others to point out why Hoekstra is a hypocrite on spending, who is already driving away Republican supporters.

    But since I’m a Michigan taxpayer—Berrien County, currently resident in Beijing—I’ll close by pointing out that Hoekstra will be responsible if Asian-Americans end up subjected to the kind of discrimination in Michigan that took the life of Vincent Chin. He was the Chinese-American man beaten to death in 1982 by two unemployed autoworkers frenzied about the threat from Japan.

  • Bomb-Iran Drumbeat Watch: An Ongoing Series – James Fallows – International – The Atlantic
  • CIA digs in as Americans withdraw from Iraq, Afghanistan – The Washington Post – wonder what relative resource allocations are between there and China.
  • Yunnan Denies Knowledge Of Influx Of Kachin Refugees | China Bystander – Thousands of Kachin refugees, mostly women and children fleeing the fighting in northern Myanmar, have reportedly spilled across the border into Yunnan, a situation Chinese authorities have for months being trying to prevent. The reports come via the Kachin Women’s Association in Thailand, which puts the numbers at between 6,000 and 10,000 refugees, and ChinaAid, a U.S.-based Christian organization, which puts the numbers as high at 25,000 and says they are sheltering in several camps in Yunnan.
  • Land Transfer Fees Shrink 67% in Jan – Economic Observer News- China business, politics, law, and social issues – According to the data from the Beijing Finance Bureau, the city is expecting 90 billion yuan in 2012 from the sale of land transfer right, a reduction of 30 percent from 2011. Shanghai Finance Bureau is expecting 125 billion yuan, 16 percent less than in 2011.
  • China Sets Target of Average 13 Percent Annual Minimum Wage Rise – NYTimes.com
  • Beijing office rents outstrip New York – FT.com – It now costs $130 a year for a square foot of a top-grade office in Beijing, compared with $239 in London’s West End and $120 in midtown Manhattan.
    The boom was not confined to Beijing. Prime office rents in Shanghai also jumped last year, rising 24 per cent, according to Cushman & Wakefield.
  • 薄熙来致信勉励宣传工作者:要旗帜鲜明坚持真理_新闻_腾讯网 – 华龙网讯 (记者 肖竹)全市宣传文化工作会议召开后,市委书记薄熙来亲笔手书一封,充分肯定市委宣传部的工作,勉励全市宣传工作者坚持真理,扶正祛邪,引导社会正气。
  • 王立军_资讯频道_凤凰网 – phoenix's micro site on wang lijun's "medical leave"
  • Entrepreneur pushes Chinese role in global credit – Yahoo! News – Guan Jianzhong is waging a one-man crusade to change the global credit rating industry.
    His argument: China and other cash-rich developing nations shouldn't have to rely on ratings agencies in the deeply indebted United States — especially after they helped fuel the global crisis that plunged the U.S. and then Europe into economic turmoil.
    The credit rating company that Guan leads, Dagong Global Credit Rating Co., is little known abroad and only issued its first ratings of government debt in 2010, declaring the United States a worse risk than China. Its announcement caused barely a ripple. Months later Standard & Poor's cut America's prized AAA rating in the first such downgrade of U.S. government debt in history.
  • China’s gang-busting police chief switched to new duties | World news | The Guardian – Looks like Bo Zhiyue completely misread Wang Lijun's demotion out of head of PSB role. Whoops//

    Bo Zhiyue, an expert on Chinese politics at the National University of Singapore, suggested the move was designed to prepare Wang – who became vice-mayor last spring – for higher office. "I think this is actually career enhancement … To be promoted along the political path, to a mayor or provincial governor, he has to learn to deal with different issues," he said.

  • 北京邮电大学-方滨兴校长在王立军兼职教授聘任仪式暨学术报告会上的致辞
  • Deng’s socialist revival lives on in modern Chongqing – The article was compiled by Global Times reporter Wang Wenwen based on an interview with Cui Zhiyuan, professor from the School of Public Administration, Tsinghua University.
  • Chinese official takes "leave" in blow to ambitious Bo Xilai – Yahoo! News – BEIJING (Reuters) – A deputy mayor of Chongqing in southwest China went on leave, the city government said on Wednesday, in the wake of feverish talk on the Chinese Internet that he faced a corruption probe and might even have sought refuge at a U.S. consulate.
    That speculation could not be confirmed. Yet, even if unfounded, the lurid rumors surrounding deputy mayor Wang Lijun could embarrass the Communist Party secretary of Chongqing, Bo Xilai, who is widely seen as pushing for a spot in the party's next central leadership, to be settled by late 2012.
    "This will be a big blow to Bo Xilai, because Wang was instrumental in his anti-organized crime campaign, and that was instrumental in building Bo's appeal in public opinion and even among officials," said Chen Ziming, an independent scholar who studies party politics.
    "Now the hero of that campaign has turned into a scandal, so at the least that's a blow to Bo's public prestige," said Chen, a former political prisoner who lives in Beijing…
    A former Chongqing official told Reuters that Wang's abrupt and rumor-swathed departure could tarnish Bo's prospects.
    "Their ties were like fish and water. Wang has been a close follower of Bo, important in implementing his will," said the official, who spoke on condition that his name not be used to avoid possible censure.
    "It's hard to see what really lies behind all this," he added. "But it will be a serious problem for Bo Xilai. At the very least, it looks bad."
  • Yahoo Board Shaken Up in a Push for Revival – NYTimes.com – Mr. Bostock formally acknowledged that Yahoo was in “active discussions” to sell stakes back to Alibaba and Yahoo Japan’s main shareholder, Softbank. But he cautioned that such discussions were complex and might fall apart.

    People briefed on the matter but not authorized to speak publicly said that the negotiations were progressing, and that a deal might be announced as soon as next month. But many details need to be addressed, including the final selection of operating assets that would be swapped for Yahoo’s Asian holdings.

    It is unclear what those assets may be, though one of the people suggested that they might be businesses in which Alibaba or Softbank already own a piece, including the Chinese social network operator Renren or the online marketplace company Taobao.

    Another person said Yahoo had received an informal indication from the Internal Revenue Service that the transaction would be tax-free, an important hurdle.

  • 王立军逃亡:重庆市长黄奇帆带70辆警车越界堵截 – 王立军逃亡:重庆市长黄奇帆带70辆警车越界堵截
    (博讯北京时间2012年2月08日 首发 – 支持此文作者/记者)
        博讯刚获悉王立军6日逃亡美国驻成都领馆更多细节:
        薄熙来得知王立军逃亡消息后,派市长黄奇帆带70辆警车赶到美国领事馆,将其包围。王立军在领馆内和美方花了24小时谈话,交代了薄熙来的很多内幕以及一些国家机密。在王立军离开领馆时,黄奇帆想将王立军带回重庆,和国家安全部人员发生冲突,在中央干预下,王立军被国安带走。
         王立军在现场大叫:我是薄熙来的牺牲品,薄熙来是野心家,我要与他鱼死网破,材料已经转移海外准备好了。 (博讯 boxun.com)
        按目前的情势,对薄熙来的调查或许也会开始。
  • How do you catch and archive deleted posts on Sina Weibo? | The Rice Cooker 電飯煲
  • China Capital Outflows not Excessive: SAFE-Caijing – China’s foreign exchange inflow has slowed down but there is no sign of massive capital flight out of the country the State Administration of Foreign Exchange said
  • High-Level Defection or Convenient Vacation? | ChinaGeeks | analysis and translation of modern China – Assessing the likelihood that any of this (beyond the facts) is real is very difficult. On the one hand, the US generally doesn’t grant asylum from in-country embassies, precisely because those embassies are easy to surround with police. A year or so ago, I was asked by a Chinese friend to research this process, and found that generally speaking, it’s much easier to be granted political asylum if you’re outside the country you want asylum from. It strikes me that if Wang Lijun really did flee to the Chengdu embassy to request asylum, he must have been in a rather desperate situation. Otherwise, presumably, he could have waited for an opportunity to travel abroad and had a much greater chance of success.
  • China’s anti-gang police chief placed on ‘stress leave’ | World news | guardian.co.uk – News came hours after police surrounded the US consulate in Chengdu prompting rumours of an attempted defection by wang lijun 王立军
  • Piles of Ill-gotten Gain – China Media Project – The following veteran investigative reporter and CMP fellow Yang Haipeng (杨海鹏) was deleted from Sina Weibo sometime after 2pm Hong Kong time, Febuary 7, 2012. Yang currently has more than 161,000 followers on Weibo, according to Sina’s numbers. [More on deleted posts at the WeiboScope Search, by the Journalism and Media Studies Centre].

    Caijing magazine editor Ding Buzhi (丁补之) revealed today: [250 million in cash] In a villa located in Beijing’s Huilongguan (回龙观) area, investigators opened up a door and discovered that about half of the room, measuring about 40 square meters, was concealed with a sheet. As soon as they pulled it back, they found the whole thing was cash stacked up like a mountain. One source says the owner of the house is a certain district substation head of the Beijing Public Security Bureau who has already fallen for corruption, and who previously served in substations of the Beijing Public Security Bureau in many districts.

  • 重庆市人民政府新闻办公室的微博 新浪微博-随时随地分享身边的新鲜事儿 – chongqing press office weibo announcement about wang lijun and his medical leave
  • 重庆市副市长王立军正接受休假式治疗(图)-中新网
  • American society at crossroads – People’s Daily Online – The Occupy Wall Street movement that has spread to several hundred cities is probably more than a footnote to U.S. politics in 2011. The movement's slogan, "We are the 99 percent," has made most Americans rethink the country's developing direction. The U.S. President also noted in his recent State of the Union address that an unfair economic system is endangering the country's middle class and American values.

    Obama's speech showed the severe social divide and political polarization facing the United States.

  • Values are thin excuses to start new wars – People’s Daily Online – The US is apparently angered by the vetoes of China and Russia concerning the UN Security Council resolution on Syria. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called it "a neutered Security Council." The US and Europe are likely to move against Syria without UN backing.
  • China’s rich – World (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) – Europe and North America may be panicking about the floundering expectations of their economies but in China that's certainly not the case. In fact, China's mega wealthy they're growing like topsy.
  • 解救单身警察计划 | 新浪微博-随时随地分享身边的新鲜事儿 – valentine's day sina weibo campaign "rescue single police plan" in chengdu
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