China Readings for April 1st

  • 上海规土现象:学者型官员落马迷途 – 宏观 – 21世纪网 – 核心提示:体制松动带来了市场的活跃,重要建设地块出现许多家外资争相批租的现象。
  • 拘留所条例等今日起施行 禁止侮辱体罚被拘留人_新闻_腾讯网
  • Indonesia’s shipwrecks mean riches and headaches – CBS News – So far, 463 wrecks have been discovered off Indonesia, according to the National Committee of Underwater Heritage, made up of representatives from 15 ministries and government bodies, but up to 10,000 more are believed to be on the ocean floor, according to documents from China and other countries about ships that headed here never to return.

    Almost all have been found in the waters between Indonesia and the Asian mainland.

  • 传实德老总涉经济案被控制 中纪委入驻大连多日_新闻_腾讯网 – more on detention of dalian shide's xu ming. nice pics of his private plane, may reopen some of the deeper corruption speculation around chinese football
  • 辅业救央企? – 产经快讯 – 21世纪网 – 与之形成鲜明对比的是,就在国企钢铁企业利润率全线下降的时候,民营钢铁企业利润率却超过了国企。
  • State Department fire caused by hackers? – In the Loop – The Washington Post – We jokingly speculated that maybe a Chinese listening device in the printer over-heated and set off the blaze. Turns out, that may not have been as far-fetched as we thought.

    A Loop fan alerted us to news stories four months ago that said Hewlett-Packard and other printers could be hacked and made to catch fire. (It’s unclear what brand was in use at the State Department office.)

  • Sea Clashes Loom Over Southeast Asia Summit – WSJ.com – Tiny Cambodia is emerging as a key pawn in the diplomatic struggle over one of the world's busiest stretches of water: the potentially energy-rich South China Sea.

    The country of 15 million people is this year hosting a series of regional summits in which China's claims to the waters could loom large. Its sea tussles with countries such as Vietnam and the Philippines has raised security fears in an already jittery region. The U.S. has further angered China by saying it wants to keep the South China Sea, which carries around half the world's total trade, free and open to navigation.

    Ahead of a summit by leaders of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations next week. China's President Hu Jintao is embarking on his own four-day state visit to Cambodia Friday in what some analysts interpret as a not-so-subtle reminder of where the host nation's sympathies should lie, and a ploy to encourage Cambodia to play down the South China Sea controversy wherever possible.

  • Flee China, jailed Ng tells wife – A TEARY Matthew Ng has urged his wife to "sell the house and leave China" for her own safety after a Guangzhou court rejected the Australian-Chinese entrepreneur's final appeal and sentenced him to 11½ years in jail.

    The crushing verdict yesterday, for bribery and corporate charges, left Ng and his family shell-shocked. Ng founded the successful London-listed travel business Et-China before he was detained in China in November 2010.

  • Amazon.com: Heaven Cracks, Earth Shakes: The Tangshan Earthquake and the Death of Mao’s China eBook: James Palmer: Kindle Store
  • ECB vs. Fed vs. BoJ vs. PBOC Money Printing – From Deutsche Bank's Torsten Slok, a look at the real money-printing culprit over the last decade: China.
    Of course, China has grown a lot faster than the US, Europe, and Japan over the last decade, but when you figure that China has basically been engaged in a form of non-stop monetary easing via the artificial suppression of the yuan, it makes sense that the PBoC has had to print wildly to alow China to accumulate gobs of foreign currency.
  • New subway line to open in Beijing in 2012 — Shanghai Daily | 上海日报 — English Window to China New – The first phase of Line 6, which will run through the city's central business district parallel to Line 1, will be 31 km long with 30 stations, according to Zhang Chengman, a spokesman for Beijing Railway Construction and Management Co., Ltd.

    The line will operate on a trial basis in September and go into full service before the end of the year, Zhang said.

  • China Punishes Web Sites for Spread of Coup Rumors – NYTimes.com – “The whole idea of rumors and interest in accuracy is a ruse,” said David Bandurski with the China Media Project at Hong Kong University.

    “It’s a moniker for control.”

  • People’s Daily Online IPO Approved; Roadshow may Start Next Week-Caijing – People.cn Co, has won approval for an initial public offering in Shanghai, the Chinese security regulator said, the first in a string of planned IPOs by Chinese state-run websites.
  • ‘I think Neil Heywood was killed… everyone’s scared’ – Telegraph – But what happened to Heywood – news of his death emerged only this week – has spooked him, and the expatriate business community. “I do not know how he died,” my contact told me. “But I think he was probably killed.” Denis McShane, a former Foreign Office minister, this week called for the Metropolitan Police to travel to China and investigate the death. Another senior businessman, who has worked in China for almost four decades, said: “My first impressions when I heard about suspicions around his death were that he had gotten himself into something way out of his depth which he was not equipped to foresee or deal with”
  • China puts a gag on social media and makes arrests for coup rumors | Ministry of Tofu 豆腐部
  • 新华网评:网络谣言是“毒瘤”_新闻中心_新浪网 – xinhua: online rumors are "malignant tumors"
  • 人立方关系搜索 – 徐明
  • Labor Shortage Complicates Changes in China’s Factories – NYTimes.com
  • Chinese Company and Employee Deny Any Involvement in Hacking Attacks – NYTimes.com – Tencent, a Chinese Internet company, denied on Friday that one of its employees had been involved in a recent breach of computers belonging to Japanese and Indian companies, as well as Tibetan activists.
  • China Vitae : Biography of Xu Ming – Xu Ming, male, Han nationality, is a native of Dalian. He was born in 1971 and studied at the Shenyang Institute of Aviation Industry.

    Despite his youth, Xu Ming is a successful entrepreneur. He began his career working for the Foreign Economic and Trade Commission for Zhuanghe City. In 1991, he left government to found several construction companies. Two of the construction companies Xu Ming founded succeeded in contracting two earthwork projects, Shengli Square in front of Dalian Railway Station and Dalian Xinghaiwan Square. Xu's success with these projects won high praise from leading officials of Dalian Municipal Government.

    In August 1995, Xu introduced a plastic project from Europe. He then set up Shide Plastic Industry Corporation, which was later evolved into Shide Kingdom of Plastic Sectional Materials. In January 1998, Xu Ming invested 600 million yuan to construct the 2nd, 3rd and 4th phases of the plastic industry company. In December 1998, his plastic sectional materials passed ISO9002 quality authentication.

    He later took over the football business with the establishment of Dalian Shide Football Club.

  • Xu Ming | World Economic Forum – Xu Ming – Xu Ming was a davos man. now under arrest in dalian
  • 消息称大连实德董事长遭中纪委调查 建行追缴其贷款-《财经网》 – 3月15日晚间,大连实德董事长徐明因涉嫌经济案件被相关部门控制。与大连实德有着密切业务关联的中国建设银行已经开始追缴实德的贷款,并对其全面停贷。大连知情人士确认了徐明被抓的消息,并称中纪委已经在大连驻扎多日。
  • Obama Clears Way for Measures Against Iran – NYTimes.com – Since the sanctions became law in December, administration officials have encouraged oil exporters with spare capacity, particularly Saudi Arabia, to increase their production. They have discussed with Britain and France releasing their oil reserves in the event of a supply disruption.

    And they have conducted a high-level campaign of shuttle diplomacy to try to persuade other countries, like China, Japan and South Korea, to buy less oil and demand discounts from Iran, in compliance with the sanctions.

    The goal is to sap the Iranian government of oil revenue that might go to finance the country’s nuclear program. Already, the pending sanctions have led to a decrease in oil exports and a sharp decline in the value of the country’s currency, the rial, against the dollar and euro.

  • China punishes popular social media and websites for coup rumors amid political scandal – The Washington Post – China is closing a dozen websites, penalizing two popular social media sites and detaining six people for circulating rumors of a coup that rattled Beijing in the midst of its worst high-level political crisis in years.

    The extensive crackdown, announced late Friday by state media, underscores the authoritarian government’s anxieties over a public that is wired to the Internet and eager to discuss political events despite censorship and threats of punishment.

  • Briton Who Died in China Expressed Fears to Friends – WSJ.com – Neil Heywood, the Briton whose death in China is at the center of a Chinese political crisis, told friends he feared for his safety because he had fallen out with the wife of a senior Communist Party leader, according to people familiar with the matter.

    Mr. Heywood had claimed to be part of the small inner circle of Bo Xilai, a former political rising star whose sacking as party chief of the city of Chongqing this month set off one of the biggest upheavals in Chinese politics since the Tiananmen Square crackdown on demonstrators in 1989.

    Mr. Heywood expressed concern in the months leading up to his death in November that relations had dramatically deteriorated between him and Mr. Bo's wife, Gu Kailai, as she became convinced someone in the family's inner circle had betrayed them, the people said.

  • Lynnae Williams: The CIA Spy Who Tweets – The Daily Beast – Lynnae Williams has a beef with the CIA—and she’s using her Twitter account to tell the world about it. In the process, Eli Lake reports, she may be disclosing a few details the agency would rather not publicize.
  • China will overtake America within a decade. Want to bet?: You’re on | The Economist – Michael Pettis has challenged us to a bet.

    For those of you who don’t know him, Mr Pettis is a finance professor at Peking University’s Guanghua School of Management and a frequent blogger. He would like to bet that China’s dollar GDP (calculated at market exchange rates) will NOT surpass America’s in 2018. That is the year that China's economy will overtake America's if you stick with the default assumptions in our most recent* interactive chart, which allows you to plug in your own guesstimates** of future growth and inflation in the two countries, as well as the exchange rate between them.***

  • Separate Justice System for Muslims – NYTimes.com – Since the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, genuine concerns about national security as well as politicking and fear have led to a shift in the balance between civil liberties and law enforcement. That much is indisputable, and widely discussed. Yet it’s rarely acknowledged that the attacks have also led to what’s essentially a separate justice system for Muslims.

    In this system, the principle of due process is twisted and selectively applied, if it is applied at all.

    Examples of the Muslims-only legal system abound, even though politicians and the press shy away from calling it that: Special detention centers for Muslims (Guantanamo Bay and the network of secret C.I.A. lockups, now said to be closed, where prisoners were almost routinely tortured); special trial procedures for Muslim prisoners (military tribunals); special allowances for agents dealing with Muslim suspects (extraordinary rendition, i.e. officially sanctioned kidnapping of foreigners)…
    Those who buy into the line that we have to surrender some of our liberties to combat terrorism, and believe they are safe from the abuse of power because they are not Muslims, would do well to remember that the government has singled out other minority groups in the past, and may single out new groups in the future. Once, it was enough to be of Japanese descent to earn you transport to an internment camp.

  • 麻豆腐 – Google Images – tastes much better than it looks
  • 人民网获IPO批文 清明节后启动招股_互联网_科技时代_新浪网 – people's daily online ipo imminent
  • Tibetan activism: No impact | The Economist – But China does not seem worried that the recent unrest in Tibet might derail its diplomacy. And it has good reason not to be too concerned. Four years ago China came under international pressure when a series of protests and riots swept across the Tibetan plateau. That outbreak coincided with Chinese preparations to stage the Olympic Games in August 2008, a period when international attention was unusually focused on China’s human-rights record. The unrest erupted before the global financial crisis made Western leaders more than usually eager to co-operate with China rather than confront it over internal issues such as Tibet.

    The West’s desire to secure China’s help in resolving other global crises has also frustrated Tibetan efforts to push their concerns higher up the diplomatic agenda. Before arriving in Delhi, Mr Hu met Barack Obama, America’s president, for 90 minutes on the sidelines of a nuclear-security summit in Seoul. The two leaders discussed North Korea’s plans to launch a long-range rocket next month (with a satellite atop it, says the North) as well as the upheaval in Syria.

  • The Jamestown Foundation: Politics and the PLA: Securing Social Stability – Every year, especially around the time of the National People’s Congress, political campaigns are waged to assure the loyalty of all those who carry guns in China and this year is no different (PLA Daily, March 19; Xinhua, March 13). This practice is based upon Mao Zedong’s dictum that “‘Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.’ Our principle is that the Party commands the gun and the gun must never be allowed to command the Party” (“Problems of War and Strategy,” November 6, 1938). Today, in China, the prime operating directive is that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) controls the Chinese armed forces and civilian police force. The CCP demands “absolute loyalty” of the armed forces and police..
    The 1997 Law on National Defense defined the Chinese armed forces as consisting of the active and reserve units of the PLA, the People's Armed Police (PAP) Force and the people's militia. The PLA is tasked with “the defensive fighting mission,” that is to say its primary role is external security. When necessary, however, it may “assist in maintaining public order in accordance with the law.” The PAP is charged with “safeguarding security and maintaining public order”—that is, domestic security. The militia provides support to both missions.

    According to the 2006 White Paper on National Defense, in performance of its domestic security operations the PAP “is under the leadership and command of the Ministry of Public Security” at the national-level; at the local government level, its forces come under the “command of the public security organs.” In other words, the PAP routinely works with the roughly 1.9 million members of the Ministry of Public Security and its local bureaus to maintain internal stability (Xinhua, February 5, 2009). The PLA is not in the chain of command for these operations.

    The 2006 White Paper also states that local PLA commands (at provincial, city and prefecture and county levels) are under the dual-command of their higher military headquarters and “local Party committees and governments at the same level” (China’s National Defense in 2006). As such, it seems likely that PLA leaders are involved in the decision-making process for internal security operations, but public security officials have the lead.

    Thus, the formal, legally established order for maintaining domestic stability in China is first the civilian police (at national and local level), backed up by the PAP and followed by the PLA as the third line of defense. In effect, the PLA’s main role in domestic stability is deterrence; however, if deterrence fails, it may become involved after other elements of the government request its help.

  • The Jamestown Foundation: Beijing’s Post-Bo Xilai Loyalty Drive Could Blunt Calls for Reform – The shock downfall of Chongqing Party Secretary Bo Xilai has shattered the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) façade of unity and stability. The past fortnight has witnessed a plethora of rumors about a failed coup d’etat supposedly masterminded by Bo in conjunction with Politburo Standing Committee (PBSC) member Zhou Yongkang, a former party boss of Sichuan who has close links with the charismatic princeling. Other wild stories claimed that Bo had tried to boost his standing within the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) by promoting ties with the Chengdu Military Region. Also enjoying massive circulation in China’s cyberspace are unconfirmed reports that Bo had with the help of former Chongqing Police chief Wang Lijun tried to bug the conversations of several PBSC members (Ming Pao [Hong Kong], March 22; Bloomberg News, March 21). While the great majority of these tales and innuendo seem to be off the mark, they do confirm serious ills in China’s body politic.
  • Sina, Tencent Weibo Punished for Spreading Rumors | Tech in Asia – Sina Weibo and Tencent Weibo have grown into massive powerhouses, and even after the real-name rules went into effect (kinda), they still have impressive user numbers. But don’t be fooled into thinking that would stop the government from shutting them off entirely to prevent the spread of rumors it sees as extremely harmful — like, say, rumors of a failed coup during a time of leadership transition. People who suggest the government wouldn’t shut down weibo because it’s too popular may be forgetting that just a few years ago, the government turned off basically the entire internet in Xinjiang, a province with over twenty million inhabitants, for months after unrest occurred there. If they think weibo poses a real threat to social stability, they will not hesitate to pull the plug.

    But it will never come to that, because Sina and Tencent aren’t stupid. They may have been playing fast-and-loose with the real name regulation rules so far, but they both understand that complying with regulators is the only way a company can do business in China. (Don’t believe me? Ask Google.) So, if you’re on weibo, expect to see significant changes in the months ahead (and maybe don’t retweet those coup rumors unless you’re interested in getting to know your local State Security agents a bit better). Real-name registration hasn’t significantly impacted the discourse on Chinese microblogs yet, but I have the distinct feeling that the music is about to stop.

  • A chilling end in Chongqing – FT.com – When Neil Percival Heywood was found dead in his hotel room in southwest China last November, many of the British businessman’s friends were instantly sceptical.
    Local police informed the British consulate in the metropolis of Chongqing that 41-year-old Heywood had died from “excessive alcohol consumption” but that the body had already been cremated without a full autopsy. “This set alarm bells ringing, and at his memorial service in the UK a lot of people were suspicious about how and why he died,” says someone close to Heywood, who acquaintances describe as “very well-mannered” and the spitting image of American comedian Steve Martin dressed like the Tailor of Panama. People who knew him say he was not a heavy drinker…
    According to people familiar with the matter, Mr Wang claimed to have evidence that Heywood was in fact poisoned on the orders of Bo Xilai, Chongqing Communist party secretary – Mr Wang’s former boss, and one of the country’s most powerful politicians. However, one person familiar with the case told the FT Mr Bo had been “shocked” by the death of the Briton, who he had known for many years.
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