The Sinocism China Newsletter For 10.20.12

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Reuters has called the lineup for the new Politburo Standing Committee (PBSC) of the 18th Party Congress. In what the newswire bills an “exclusive”, Reuters writes that it has confirmed from “three sources with ties to party leaders” that the seven members will be Xi Jinping, Li Keqiang, Wang Qishan, Liu Yunshan, Li Yuanchao, Zhang Gaoli and Zhang Dejiang.

Duowei actually predicted this same lineup back on September 13 in 中共十八大政治局常委3.0版 (noted in the September 14 Sinocism newsletter). Today Duowei is happily trumpeting that Reuters has confirmed its earlier story.

I have no idea if either report is correct. This lineup is one of the versions that has been circulating, with the most credible one I have heard including the prediction that the relatively young Wang Yang is a shoe-in for the 19th PBSC unless something goes very wrong. Now that we are so close to the 18th Party Congress perhaps it really has been finalized, and the excellent Reuters reporters have gotten the English-language scoop, with some interesting, new details.

Jiang Zemin continues to make his presence publicly known. His October 9th meeting in Beijing with the president of Shanghai Ocean University is getting a lot of play in the media today, complete with pictures–江澤民夫婦在京接見上海海洋大學校領導–時政–人民網.

John Garnaut takes another look at the creation myth of Xi Jinping (Foreign Policy). Garnaut emphasizes how little anyone really seems to know about Xi.

Mother Jones is reporting that Paul Ryan’s brother is a Cargill exec in China:

At the center of this fast-emerging profit center for Cargill is none other than Paul Ryan’s brother, Stan Ryan, who “serves as corporate vice-president of Cargill’s agricultural supply-chain businesses” based in Shanghai. According to his bio, Stan Ryan is “focused on growing Cargill’s business operations in Asia and its agriculture-based supply-chain businesses globally, in addition to other corporate functional responsibilities.”

Cargill can not possibly support the promises Romney and Ryan keep making about “cracking down” on China. Does Shanghai-based Stan Ryan have any influence with his brother?

Today’s links:

BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

Investment from China in US reaches record high|Economy|chinadaily.com.cn - China’s direct investment in the United States hit a record high through the first nine months of 2012, despite election-year rhetoric against the country and a congressional report alleging that two Chinese tech companies posed a possible threat to US national security. During this year’s first three quarters, Chinese businesses invested $6.3 billion in the US

China’s foreign investment shopping spree is about to explode—but first we need to set global rules – Quartz - Multilateral, rules-based systems govern many aspects of the global economy, from the WTO to banking rules to the International Monetary Fund, and the time may have arrived to add foreign direct investment into the mix.  A foreign investment framework, globally negotiated, would allow China to get in on the ground floor and allow it to take a leadership role. If China is serious about playing by the rules, it should finally grab the chance to help design them.

Beijing property sales up 25 pct in January-September period – Xinhua | English.news.cn - The sales boom, particularly strong in the middle of the year, also came after two lending rate cuts sparked fears among potential home buyers that the central government might ease property market control measures.

China 2013 Growth May Slow to 23-Year Low, Honeywell Says – Bloomberg - “It wouldn’t be surprising to us if China didn’t break 7 percent GDP growth in 2013,” Honeywell Chief Financial Officer Dave Anderson said in a telephone interview. “Our expectation is that there’s going to be relatively muted growth overall.”

China Might Have Overstated Growth in Standard Chartered View – Bloomberg - A slowdown in electricity production and an “unimpressive” reading in a manufacturing survey are reasons September’s pickup in factory output was “a bit difficult to believe,” Standard Chartered said in an Oct. 18 note…. “The growth rebound is too good to be true,” said Li Wei, an economist at Standard Chartered in Shanghai. “Maybe the political agenda has played a role. If you are going to hold a board meeting of course you want to report a decent number. It’s understandable.

China Fiscal Revenue Growth Sows to 11.9Pct, Central Revenue Fell-Caijing - Central fiscal revenue fell 2.4 percent to 366.4 billion yuan, while revenue collected by local governments rose 26.8 percent to 459.4 billion yuan

Hong Kong Firm to Pay $14 Million to Settle Insider Trading Charges; Release No. 2012-212; October 18, 2012 - slap on the wrist// Well Advantage is controlled by prominent Hong Kong businessman Zhang Zhi Rong, who also controls another company that has a “strategic cooperation agreement” with CNOOC. “If approved by the court, Well Advantage has agreed to give up all of its ill-gotten profits from these trades and pay a substantial penalty on top of that,”

Convincing Women in China They’re Too Hairy – Businessweek - this is why we teach our kids that advertisements try to trick you into spending money on things you do not really need// “It’s not how much hair you have, it’s how much you think you have,” says Aditya Sehgal, the company’s China chief. “If your concern level is high enough, even one hair is too much.”

China Economic Watch | Two Charts to Explain the Current State of the Chinese Economy - Beijing dramatically repressing real estate demand, for two years+. who says it can not take on special interests when it deems it necessary? financial repression a real buzzword now. real estate repression is real too// the crackdown on the residential real estate market and the ongoing crisis in Europe continue to restrain economic growth in China.

 

POLITICS AND LAW

State Media Articles Call for Continued Reform – Caixin - bit of a ferment actually// Qiushi Journal, an influential magazine run by the party’s Central Committee, published an article October 16 headlined “Striving Forward with Reform and Opening Up” and written under a pen name. In the new, 5,000-word article, the writer uses the phrase “reform and opening up” 51 times, also mentions political reform, and argues the country must make more changes nearly 35 years after embarking on a course of modernization.

The Jamestown Foundation: 18th Party Congress to Showcase Rising Status of Private Business - The limelight given to “red capitalists” is evidenced by the fact that a record 24 private-sector (minying) businessmen have been chosen as delegates to the Congress. It is true that these tycoons only represent 1.06 percent of the 2,270 deputies. Yet at the 16th CCP Congresses in 2002—when non-state-sector bosses were first allowed to become deputies—only seven made the cut. This number was increased to 17 at the 17th Party Congress five years ago (Southern Weekend [Guangzhou], September 6; Xinhuanet.com, September 6).

中共首开信访网站 促民意畅通保稳十八大_多维新闻网 - 报道称,网站将征求社会公众意见建议,定期发布信访理论研究前沿成果,汇集社会民生信息。未来,网站还将开通微博、智慧手机终端等功能,逐步发展成为信访工作者、研究人员、社会公众互动沟通的平台。

北京市信访矛盾分析研究中心 - Beijing Municipal Petitions & Letters Contradictions Analysis Research Center

Two women injured in playboy Ling Gu Ferrari crash are named by magazine | South China Morning Postdifferent version than even the SCMP reported? // In its latest issue, Hong Kong-based news magazine Asia Weekly (亞洲週刊-法拉利車禍藏族美女死亡內情 .紀碩鳴 ) writes that the two young women in the vehicle when Ling Gu died upon impact after crashing his Ferrari were Tashi Dolma (Zhaxi Zhuoma), daughter of a deputy director of the Qinghai Provincial Public Security Department, and Yang Ji, then a student at China University of Political Science and Law in Beijing, reportedly the daughter of a well-known living Buddha also from Qinghai. According to Asia Weekly, Yang passed away unexpectedly last month despite showing signs of positive recovery from the serious injuries she sustained in the accident. It is claimed she felt unwell and was given an injection last month, after which she fell into a coma and later died.

 

FOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS

The Jamestown Foundation: China’s International Right to Speak - Beijing does have to be careful in promoting its discourse power, because having a greater influence on international narratives is not an unalloyed good. China’s Reform and Opening policies led the West to believe that China was on a convergent road with the Western development model. Pursuing China’s right to speak is the starting point for ending that belief and making it clear that China’s course is different (People’s Forum, October 17). Yet, according to Tsinghua media specialist Zhang Zhizhou, China cannot rise without challenging the Western concepts that denigrate China’s accomplishments—e.g. democratic peace theory, great power politics, the end of history, etc.—and thereby showing China’s divergent development path

Senior publicity official hopes for media cooperation among developing countries – Xinhua | English.news.cn - Liu Yunshan (C, front), a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and head of the CPC Central Committee’s Publicity Department, poses for a group photo with delegates who attend the media ministers’ seminar for developing countries in Beijing

From the Ruins of Empire-Sinica Podcast - Kaiser Kuo and Jeremy Goldkorn host a discussion with Pankaj Mishra on his book From the Ruins of Empire, a history of Asia’s intellectual response to Western imperialism in the late 19th and early 20th century. Also joining us for this wide-ranging discussion is Jeffrey Wasserstrom, Chinese historian, frequently published columnist, and editor most recently of Chinese Characters, a collection of essays on Chinese individuals by many well-known China watchers.

U.S. to invite Myanmar to joint military exercises | Reuters - Myanmar has been invited to observe Cobra Gold, which brings together thousands of American and Thai military personnel and participants from other Asian countries for joint annual maneuvers, officials from countries participating in the exercises told Reuters.

China Must Learn That Size Only Gets You So Far – Bloomberg - China and the other countries should adopt the new Indonesian proposal for an interim international code of conduct in the South China Sea. It calls for concrete confidence building and conflict prevention measures, including a reduction of military activity in the region. For the time being, that may be as close to calm as we can get within these troubled waters.

The satellite space race – Globaltimes.cn - “Not needing to rely on the US’ GPS system is very important for national security, and the EU has definitely been lagging behind. China was a cooperative partner of the EU’s Galileo project and tried to learn from it, but now Beidou’s progress has surpassed it,” said Huang Jun, a professor at the School of Aeronautic Science and Engineering, at Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

 

TECH AND MEDIA

24Quan, Once China’s 5th-Biggest Daily Deals Site, Suspends Operations - interviewed the CEO on stage at Techcrunch Disrupt China, very smooth, US-educated, realized soon after that he had overstated the health of his business// The troubled Chinese daily deals site 24Quan.com has announced that it is suspending its business for a few weeks – and that it “hopes to resume” in a few weeks’ time. We’ve reported on turmoil at the company as far back as November of last year when we heard the site was withholding wages and closing sales offices.

Tapping into Crowd Power with Website Finance - China’s Kickstarter clones// The force driving China’s growing ranks of small-scale angel investors are crowdfunding websites, which offer individuals access to business financing pools for as little as 100 yuan each. But these websites are operating in a regulatory gray area in China. And investors are called to give money for flimsy returns: In one case, they were rewarded for their financial backing with scarves in lieu of cash.

 

SOCIETY, ART, CULTURE AND HISTORY

京籍人士抗议异地高考:严重影响本地居民权益_网易新闻中心 - Some Beijingers very opposed to allowing kids without Beijing hukous to take the college entrance exam in Beiing, as it might impact their kids’ chances. big issue in chinese press/social media over last few weeks// 核心提示:20余名京籍人士日前赴北京市教委信访办抗议放开异地高考。他们认为,外籍孩子素质极差,带坏了本地小孩,且过多占用了本地教育资源,“要想享受作为北京人的权利,必须先要承担责任”。在互联网上,京籍人士申明,外地人口涌入严重影响了本地居民的正当权益。

Reel China @NYU 6th Biennial 2012 Schedule « dGenerate Films - wish these films were more accessible online//The Reel China @NYU 6th Film Biennial continues its tradition of sampling some of the most outstanding contemporary independent documentaries produced in China. This year Reel China has also added a few independent fiction films that we feel also reflect a keen understanding of this post-reform moment

中国画廊业代理制严重缺失 市场被私下交易侵蚀-中新网 - 日前召开的中国画廊业集群新模式探索(西安)高峰论坛透露出的信息表明,当前政府部门、画廊从业者和学界人士都在积极探索画廊业发展的新模式,“要素聚集”战略正在推动画廊业“脱困”。

What Big Highways Mean For China’s Small Villages : The Picture Show : NPR - The photo essay presented here barely scratches the surface of a big, complicated story. It’s a glimpse at a place you might never have otherwise seen, and a cursory introduction to the people who live there. But below the surface is a universal take-away, which Takayama finds resonant with his own culture.

 

ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT AND HEALTH

Flying Splinters - - The sense that Liu Futang had walked into foreboding territory came just before his arrest in October. On his microblog, an entry began with “If one day, I’m invited out for tea, please don’t worry about me,” referring to a common euphemism for secret police interrogations. Liu stands accused of publishing, selling, and giving away five books written by him related to environmental protection in Hainan, all of which constituted illegal business practices, say prosecutors. Others indicted include officials and employees of the publishing companies involved.

Behind China’s High Abortion Rate – NYTimes.com - One result is that young people simply don’t know how to use contraceptives, said Wu Shangchun of the family planning commission research institute.

Vital Task for China’s Next Leaders: Fix Environmental Protection – China Real Time Report – WSJ - if China’s next leaders wish to remove one potential source of social discord as it tries to steer the country through the next phase of its development, they would do well to genuinely embrace the potential for NGOs to help enforce environmental regulations at a local level – to use them to push for more transparency and accountability at that level.

Europe Worries about Health Hazards of Cheap Food from China – SPIEGEL ONLINE - Doesn’t Trader Joe’s sell a lot of food from China?// In recent years, China has become a major food supplier to Europe. But the low-cost goods are grown in an environment rife with pesticides and antibiotics, disproportionately cited for contamination and subject to an inspection regime full of holes. A recent norovirus outbreak in Germany has only heightened worries.

 

FOOD AND TRAVEL

Baijiu factory tour: How Chinese brew their national liquor | CNNGo.com - A visit to Beijing’s Niulanshan baijiu factory reveals as much about China as it does the manufacture of the popular drink

 

BOOKS

China: how to cash in on Mo Yan | beyondbrics - Just a week later, controversy has moved on to the difficult subject of how to distribute the spoils of Mo Yan’s new fame. Local officials in the writer’s hometown of Gaomi in the Eastern province of Shandong have dreamed up a plan to create a ‘Mo Yan Experience Park’ and a ‘Red Sorghum Culture Park’.

Mo Yan: I will “speak the truth” – China Media Project - In today’s edition, the Chinese Communist Party’s official People’s Daily runs an interview with Mo Yan. He is asked for his thoughts on the honor, how the prize has changed him or his outlook on his work, for his views on contemporary Chinese literature.

The best way to see this daily post is to subscribe by email. You can also follow me on Twitter @niubi or Sina Weibo @billbishop

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