The Sinocism China Newsletter For 12.01.12

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Expect more discussion of Chinese “green shoots” as China’s Manufacturing PMI Expanded for a Second Month (Bloomberg) in November. FT China Confidential head James Kynge expresses some optimism about the economy in the video China – stronger growth ahead? The “China GDP is below 5%” pundit cohort must be feeling some pressure.

ABC News’ Gloria Riviera does a great job protecting her coconut in Chinese billionaires’ new accessory: female bodyguards, a funny look at women training to become bodyguards at a school in Hainan.

Duowei goes deep into the tea leaves and suggests that the background imagery during Xi Jinping’s speech Thursday is important. Duowei notes in 扛民族复兴大旗 习近平独漏“江胡” that the picture behind Xi was of Deng Xiaoping at the third plenary session of the 11th CPC Central Committee, the beginning of reform and opening up. These public appearances and statements are highly scripted so this is not a coincidence, though what it actually means is still a guess.

Today’s links:

BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

China Economic Watch | Time to Address Income Inequality in China?- One item that there has not been much discussion of in this context is Hukou (residence permit) reform. Perhaps more than any single one policy, this has institutionalized the income gap between urban and rural areas. Any income inequality reform that does not address this issue is unlikely to make much progress. Keep an eye out for the income inequality plan when it is finally released. The true test will be how vigorously it is implemented by the new Xi-Li administration.

Chart: China Land Use – Business Insider - Bank of America’s Ting Lu has put together a great chart that breaks down how China uses its 9.6 million km2 of land

央企中冶置业56.2亿购地 成为今年全国总价地王 新华社——经济参考网 - a central SOE drops 5.6b rmb on a plot of mand in Nanjing

两年涨10亿 北京新地王欲出 – 经济观察网 - 专业财经新闻网站 - a new Beijing Land King, near the west side of Chaoyang Park

郭广昌首度披露心路历程 正面回应潘石屹 – 经济观察网 - 专业财经新闻网站 - Fosun head guo guangchang opens up about his shanghai lawsuit w soho china amd pan shiyi over a piece of prime land//

三一中联“谍战门”_21世纪网-21cbh.com - 21st century business herald on the war between sany and zoomlion. Yes Chinese firms often screw foreign competitors, but they screw their compatriot competitors at least as badly

券商点燃通道“费率战”硝烟 信托筹谋业务升级转型|券商资管|信托|价格战_21世纪网 -

Is Muddy Waters Becoming A Fade? | ZeroHedge- We have every confidence that Carson Block and company have only the purest of intentions (facilitated by a variety of incentives of course, monetary and otherwise), but perhaps it is time to reevaluate the business model. Because the last thing Muddy wants is to become the “fade” itself. One or two more flops, and the work product of the company, that may or may not be trying to raise capital to become a hedge fund, could easily become counterproductive. And just a thought: China has more than enough fraud but how about targeting some US-based fraudcaps and criminal management teams for a change.

China-backed payment processor to accelerate global expansion | Reuters - UnionPay, China’s dominant payment card supplier, is looking to expand the number of shops and outlets overseas that will accept its cards and also grow the number of partner banks issuing UnionPay-branded cards. The move would increase its business, assist inbound and outbound travelers and is also aimed at promoting the use of the yuan as a global currency.

 

POLITICS AND LAW

The Jamestown Foundation: The Unrepentant China Model - This celebratory CCP conservatism is once more a sign that the Chinese leadership may fight over policy differences, but there is a fairly clear consensus at the top about the nature of the political-economic system. Reform, once again, remains restricted to regulating corruption within the party and improving its performance in governing. Such reforms, however forcefully expressed by senior leaders ranging from Wen Jiabao and Li Keqiang to Xi Jinping, are not a shock to the system, but rather a natural part of the evolving system of socialism with Chinese characteristics. The question of political change in China is not one of reform, but whether the CCP’s administrative improvements to reorient governance actually address China’s problems and, if not, what then?

The Jamestown Foundation: China’s New Leaders to Strengthen the Party-State - again says Xi is a “Leninist Nationalist”.I still prefer (economic) Reformist (hardline) Nationalist…lots of people seem to be choosing german comparisons…// The new right-leaning leadership is composed primarily of those like Xi who in their policy leanings emphasize law and order, the developmental state and expanding China’s international power. The era of Bismarck has dawned in China…In retrospect, the CCP was extraordinarily successful this political season in inculcating a sense of excitement and anticipation about its new leadership among overseas scholars, analysts and journalists. A more effective propaganda campaign is hard to imagine. Breathless commentary and eager curtain-raisers filled the media and policy journals prior to the congress. Looking back on the Hu Jintao era, however, provides a welcome corrective. In fact, the leadership transition is not that important except for what it tells us about the forces shaping Chinese politics and policy. The Xi leadership, as with the Hu-Wen leadership before it, is more a consequence than a cause of China’s politics and policy.//any breathlessness from me was due to the pollution…

Thoughts from the Chairman: All Eyes on Xi as China’s New Leaders Take Power | Center for Strategic and International Studies -

人民日报-人民网 - 2 front page people’s daily articles today on the “renewal” and the “Chinese dream”

习近平宣誓民族复兴 自信“长风破浪”_多维新闻网 - 多维新闻此前曾在题为《引领中国——习近平必须面对的十大挑战》的社论中就民族复兴问题提到,现代的中国必须以文明立国,文明的起点应该是政治和生活文明。而在这个古老国家,文明的基础从来就是建筑在国家主导意识之上。习近平的重任正是因为在中共一百周岁和中国成为世界第一大经济体的历史转折点上,历史和人民对他如何领导中国实现这个伟大愿景赋予了极大的象征意义。如果习近平能够以一已之德行承载中国的复兴,历史将以无限的荣耀来回报;相反,如果他为了一己之私利而玷污了这项功名,历史也必将做出恰当的记载。

Heading for Resurgence: Exhibition of Xi’s Ambitions-Caijing -

党报:前30年改革红利在消失 稳增长需继续改革_网易新闻中心 -

人民网评:杜绝空谈,改进党风先要改进表达–观点–人民网 -

人民网:薄熙来当政时大言炎炎私下却蝇营狗苟|薄熙来|反腐_新浪新闻 -same story as above, sina gives it a more interesting headline than does people’s daily

王岐山就反腐问计专家 专家建言领导公开财产|中纪委|反腐|专家_新浪新闻 -

华生:中国经济和社会领域的挑战-财经网 -

Shandong official probed after “divorce promise” leaked online – Xinhua | English.news.cn -how do idiots like this get promoted in a meritocracy?

重庆薄熙来执政期间所植银杏树大量枯死后运走_新闻_腾讯网 - Lots of the ginkgo trees Bo xilai planted in chongqing have died..who had the contract for those trees? Must have made several fortunes on that contract

Blind China activist’s nephew gets three years in jail | Reuters - A court in eastern China sentenced the nephew of blind Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng to three years and three months in jail on Friday for intentional infliction of injury,

Trying Juveniles – NYTimes.com–john Kamm - Yet China has made important strides in at least one crucial area: the treatment of juvenile suspects and offenders.

Chinese thugs knocked out by amateur Kung Fu fans – Telegraph - So when 38-year-old Shen Jianzhong was faced with a mob of thugs trying to evict him, he asked himself what his hero, Bruce Lee, would do. The answer, according to a video that has attracted more than two million hits on the Chinese internet, is turn to kung fu.

 

FOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS

Hainan’s New Maritime Regulations: A Preliminary Analysis-Taylor Fravel-The Diplomat–initial reporting and analysis indicated that the regulations may provide a basis for China to challenge freedom of navigation in the vast disputed waters of the South China Sea. As the full-text of the regulations have not been published, such conclusions are, at the very least, premature.  Moreover, based on information that is currently available, the regulations will likely focus on the activities of foreign ships and personnel within Hainan’s 12 nautical mile territorial seas and along Hainan’s coast, including its islands.  The basis for this conclusion is analysis of a partial summary of the regulations that Xinhua published.

Chinese, U.S. soldiers complete disaster relief drill amid Asia tensions | Reuters - The exercise, which included 20 U.S. soldiers visiting facilities in three Chinese cities, are meant to bring the two rivals closer together through non-combat military collaboration, and to allay fears of countries in the region worried over China’s rising influence.

China Expresses Concern as Singapore Charges Bus Drivers – Bloomberg - China said it was “highly concerned” about the arrest of four of its citizens by Singapore authorities for their role in a labor protest, the island’s first strike since the 1980s. The Chinese nationals were charged in court yesterday with instigating SMRT Corp. (MRT) bus drivers to take part in an illegal strike this week, according to court filings.

“In Any Authoritarian Country”: Subversive Chinese Readings of Kim Jong-un’s Purges « SINO-NK- While literally dozens of foreign reporters were analyzing the hilarious but completely inconsequential meme of Kim Jong Un having been named “The World’s Sexiest Man” on English People’s Daily website, a much more important media convergence was playing out in Beijing. Xinhua released the following: The Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK) has termed former army chief Ri Yong-ho (李英浩) ”a counter revolutionary” against the ruling party, Japanese newspaper Mainichi Shimbun quoted an anonymous source working in China-North Korea trade as saying.

Ex-GM Engineer, Husband Guilty of Trade Secrets Theft – Bloomberg - A federal court jury in Detroit reached the verdicts today after a trial that started Nov. 5. Jurors began deliberating yesterday. The U.S. claimed Shanshan Du, the ex-GM employee, copied the Detroit-based company’s private information on the motor control of hybrids and provided documents to her husband, Yu Qin. Prosecutors accused Qin of using the data to seek business ventures or employment with GM’s competitors, including the Chinese automaker Chery Automobile Co.

donga.com–US officials made secret trip to N.Korea in August - A diplomatic source on Wednesday said a U.S. Air Force plane departed from Guam on Aug. 17 and entered Pyongyang via a Yellow Sea route. “The plane stayed in Pyongyang for four days before leaving the North on Aug. 20,” said the source, adding that the route taken was the same as in April.

Reordering Chinese Priorities on the Korean Peninsula | Center for Strategic and International Studies - By Bonnie S. Glaser, Brittany Billingsley

 

TECH AND MEDIA

Why Youku Tudou Shares Briefly Popped (YOKU)-Motley Fool -  Now what: The guidance looks promising, but Youku Tudou must now deal with integrating the recently purchased Tudou into the fold, and it still hasn’t figured out how to turn that elusive profit. China’s GDP growth has slowed to its lowest levels in years, which is hurting advertising spending all while Youku Tudou is trying to expand quicker than its competition. It could very well be a few years before the company’s valuation matches its bottom-line results

视频:走秀网陷“售假门”引发电商危机 – 经济观察网 - 专业财经新闻网站 - Ebay looks to have another Chinese Internet mess with its Xiu.com partnership..sounds like someone messed up the due diligence

 

SOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY

Brody relishes opportunity to act in his third 1940s film[1]|chinadaily.com.cn - Academy Award-winning actor Adrien Brody has developed a special affinity for the 1940s. Hismost famous works, The Pianist and The Thin Red Line, were set during that time period. His latest work during that time period, Back to 1942, is about a Chinese famine that killed millions of people.

Why Won’t the Chinese Acknowledge the 1942 Famine? – NYTimes.com - HENAN Province, China, 1942. Nearly three million people die of starvation.//Liu Zhenyun

Yao Ming’s Cure for What Ails Chinese Basketball – China Real Time Report – WSJ - Yao Ming told China Real Time in a recent interview. “You need to have local people come in and have a deep impact, to make that link, that connection between the players and the fans.”

 

ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT AND HEALTH

Chinese AIDS Activist Endures “Degradation” in New York, Determined to Finish What She Started | Tea Leaf Nation - “Live on in degradation.” Gao Yaojie wrote these words in Chinese (gou huo, or 苟活) with a forceful and fine handwriting that indicates her highly educated background, a rare privilege among Chinese women born in her era. Her bedroom was dim; the ceiling light had been broken for at least a year. Her deeply-lined face revealed sadness and loneliness.

Xi calls on public to care AIDS patients as “brothers and sisters” – Xinhua | English.news.cn - Xi Jinping (R), general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, shakes hands with an HIV positive person while visiting a community clinic on eve of the World Aids Day in Beijing, capital of China, Nov. 30, 2012. (Xinhua/Lan Hongguang)

Contrasting World AIDS Day coverage in China’s newspapers | Danwei - While most newspapers focused on informative education and prevention activities related to HIV/AIDS, Dongguan Times went straight for the proverbial low blow by focusing its front page story entirely on brave and nervous nurses at a local hospital while they treat AIDS patients who seem crazy and plague-ridden (and who are mostly outsiders [外地人] anyway).

 

FOOD AND TRAVEL

Jing Daily: Copenhagen Luxury Retailers Face Chinese Tour Guide “Kickback Culture” -

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