The Sinocism China Newsletter For 12.23.12

Just links today, probably no update until after Christmas. Merry Christmas to those readers who celebrate it.

BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

China eyes more rural development in 2013 – Xinhua At the Central Rural Work Conference that closed Saturday, Minister of Agriculture Han Changfu said while improving the country’s basic rural system, China would focus on fostering new types of agricultural businesses. This will require maintaining stable land contract relationships on the basis of household contract management while guiding the orderly transfer of farmers’ land contract management rights, said Han. It was agreed by delegates at the conference that farmers’ rights will be fully protected, and land transfers should not be compulsory or restricted.

中央农村工作会议:农民收入增长要力争超过市民_资讯频道_凤凰网 -

Chinese Investors Backed CP Group’s Purchase of Ping An Stake -Caixin – Chinese investors are behind the financing of the first phase of a multi-billion dollar deal between a Thai conglomerate and HSBC Holdings. One used capital maneuvered from three domestic banks to fund the transaction, Caixin has found. The London-based bank HSBC announced December 5 that it would sell its 15.57 percent stake in Ping An Insurance Group Co. to four companies from Charoen Pokphand Group (CP Group) for a total of US$ 9.4 billion. Caixin learned that for the first phase of the deal, worth HK$ 15.2 billion, two thirds of the financing was from mainland Chinese investors led by finance tycoon Xiao Jianhua. The rest of the first phase financing came from Thai investors.

China versus the S.E.C.–Sinica Podcast - An ongoing battle between the American Securities and Exchange Commission and China over whether Chinese accounting firms can release accounting information required by US law or whether these constitute “state secrets” is pushing China and the United States into conflict in global capital markets, threatening to force the US agency responsible for overseeing capital markets to effectively de-list all Chinese companies. Joining Jeremy Goldkorn to look at this issue, sparked by an SEC investigation into potential investor fraud which wiped out sixty one percent of Chinese and Hong Kong stocks traded in the U.S. markets since 2011, is Paul Gillis, an adviser to the U.S. Public Company Accounting Oversight Board and professor at Peking University Guanghua School of Management. We are also delighted to have Patrick Chovanec from Tsinghua University come back to contribute to this discussion as well.

Diggers Pile Up Unsold After Caterpillar Adds China Capacity – Bloomberg - Caterpillar Inc. (CAT), Komatsu Ltd. (6301) and other construction-equipment makers have built enough capacity in China to satisfy global demand twice over while sales in the country are falling, according to a research company. Manufacturing capacity in China is almost 600,000 excavators a year while the worldwide market is about 300,000, according to London-based Off-Highway Research. Inventories of crawler excavators in China are about 100,000, almost equal to projected 2012 domestic sales, the firms Managing Director David C.A. Phillips said.

 

POLITICS AND LAW

官场人人自危或酿反弹 考验习李王反腐决心_多维新闻网 - backlash building in official ranks against xi jinping’s corruption crackdown? either he backs off, or he will launch a much harsher round 2 against the recalcitrant, venal officials?//【多维新闻】十八大后中共高层掀起一股前所未有的反腐风暴。以习近平为首的中共新一届领导层对反腐倡廉的频频表态以及地方多个贪腐案例的果断迅速处理,让外界感受到中共这波反腐新风已吹响了前奏。有来自北京的消息称,中共十八大新领导班子上台后一副要“根治”政府和官员腐败的架势,令官场人人自危,惶恐不安,不满情绪亦有酝酿反弹趋势。官场腐败多年来是中共“沉疴顽疾”,以习近平、李克强和王岐山为首的中共反腐领导者势将面临前所未有的考验。

After Online Scandals, Officials Push Back – China Real Time Report – WSJ - But there are hints that some officials think matters have gone too far. This week, censorship officials in the city of Beijing expressed to some local media outlets their concern that the online anticorruption drive has been too extreme, one person briefed on the discussion told China Real Time. The officials told the outlets to refrain from carrying the stories, the person said. Beijing city officials didnt respond to requests to comment.

Officials to line up for Beijing buffets – Xinhua | English.news.cn- A new regulation to battle extravagance in Beijing Municipality bans banquets for officials in the city on business. Officials at various levels will all receive buffet-style meals during work-related visits to Beijing, according to the regulation passed Thursday by the Communist Party of China (CPC) Beijing Municipal Committee.

Anthology of bamboo-themed poems published – Xinhua | English.news.cn- An anthology of 100 bamboo-themed Chinese poems has been published, which features a foreword and a poem written by former president Jiang Zemin. A launch ceremony for the book, The Charm of Bamboo, was held Saturday in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, with the presence of State Councilor Liu Yandong, and Liu Qibao, head of the Publicity Department of the Communist Party of China Central Committee.

Yang Xiong named as surprise choice for Shanghai mayor|WantChinaTimes.com- The 59-year-old Yang has reportedly been assigned to the position due to his connections to former president Jiang Zemin. The post is considered an important position which controls huge financial and political resources and several previous holders of the office have gone on to places on the Politburo, according to Hong Kong’s Oriental Daily. In 1994, Yang was a manager at Shanghai Alliance Investment [Microsoft Partner for MSN China] which was headed by Jiang Zemin’s son Jiang Mianheng. Yang earned the trust of the family and helped the younger Jiang to expand the firm’s business

U.S. Businessman’s Chinese Legal Nightmare Includes Torture, Lawyers Say – The Daily Beast -the bullets and casino explanation seem a bit stretched..remember when this story broke in chinese press, got a lot of coverage as a gang crackdown// And yet the terrible irony of this case is that Wus American citizenship offers him no protection because he entered China using his Hong Kong ID rather than his U.S. passport. That fateful decision has allowed the Chinese government to ban all access from U.S. consular officials, since China does not recognize dual-nationality.

New twist unfolds in Hainan police drama | South China Morning Post- With the incident yet to be resolved, another Weibo post on Thursday added a new twist to the drama. The user claimed to be a friend of Wang’s “wife”, who is not the female user in the pictures. “This policeman is the husband of my friend from college,” the user wrote, “They just registered marriage a few years ago and held a banquet last year. The problem is, that’s not my friend in the picture. The woman in the picture is his mistress.”

李源潮陪同习近平再度现身 掌管港澳呼之欲出_多维新闻网 -Li Yuanchao to get oversight over Hong Kong?

 

FOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS

日媒称中国飞机飞至钓鱼岛上空 日战机升空应对_新闻_腾讯网 - Japan’s scrambles fighters again after a Chinese maritime surveillance plane flies within 100k of Diaoyu Islands, per Japanese media…

钓鱼岛争端持续发酵_腾讯新闻_腾讯网 - Nice QQ News Microsite: “Diaoyu Islands Crisis Escalates”

[视频]实拍中国空军歼-11编队飞越珠穆朗玛峰_新闻台_中国网络电视台 - cctv video of j-11 formation flying near everest..India watching no doubt..anyone know what music the video is set to?//

Top Official Demands Cease of “Political Checks” From US-Caijing - Vice premier Wang Qishan has reportedly said that the United States should stop “political background checks” on Chinese companies who want to invest in the country, in addressing the long-term Chinese compliant of being discriminated when it comes to investment.

US alarm at foreign state acquisitions – FT.com -  James Lewis, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic & International Studies, said the new finding came at a time when Cfius was under more scrutiny and facing more pushback for its decisions, particularly around China. There is a lot of attention on China because they are so problematic [for the US] and a lot of that has to do with the [corporate] links to the Chinese government, he said.

Theory Talks: Theory Talk #51: Yan Xuetong -

Not Backing Down: China Responds to the US Rebalance to Asia -Global Asia-Chinese officials know this well. But with its rebalancing toward Asia, could the US be on a path to conflict with China? Fudan University Professor Wu Xinbo examines China’s response to the new US strategy.

China bans alcohol in military banquets to curb graft | Reuters - in the unlikely event this sticks, moutai is in big trouble…US probably hopes this fails, corruption and moutai are not good for PLA readiness

中央军委印发关于加强自身作风建设十项规定–军事–人民网- 新华网北京12月21日电 中央军委日前下发通知,印发《中央军委加强自身作风建设十项规定》。 通知指出,《中央军委加强自身作风建设十项规定》贯彻了党的十八大精神和习近平主席关于加强作风建设的重要指示,依据《十八届中央政治局关于改进工作作风、密切联系群众的八项规定》,按照从严、从紧、高标准的要求,结合军队实际制定改进作风的具体措施,充分体现中央军委带头发扬我党我军光荣传统和优良作风的鲜明态度,体现严于律己、狠抓作风建设的坚定决心。军委同志要严格执行《十项规定》,率先垂范,从自身做起,从现在做起,说到做到,自觉接受全军官兵监督。

 

HONG KONG AND TAIWAN

The Anti-Media Monopoly Movement 反媒體壟斷運動 in Taiwan | The China Story- Media ownership emerged as a major issue at the end of 2011 when the Want Want China Times group expressed its intention to buy out China Network Systems (CNS), the second-largest cable TV provider in Taiwan. Want Want China Times is part of Want Want, a conglomerate that started out in the 1960s making rice crackers; it is now one of the largest snack food and beverage producers in Asia, with extensive interests in China. Want Want China Times was formed in 2008 following the acquisition of the China Times Group [thanks to a very bad bet related to Lehman Brothers that forced a sale after 2008 crash, from what i have heard] which included the China Times 中國時報 newspaper and a number of other print and electronic titles. It subsequently added the terrestrial and cable television broadcasters CTV and CiTV to its stable. Its high-profile chairman, sometimes referred to as Taiwan’s richest man, is Tsai Eng-meng 蔡衍明, son of the company’s founder Tsai A-shi 蔡阿仕. The current CEO of Want Want China Times is the founder’s grandson, Tsai Shao-chung 蔡紹中. After it was bought out by Want Want, the editorial line of the China Times media group skewed towards support for a particular kind of Chinese state corporatism. It validates the PRC party-state and the rhetoric of national economic development. It also supports the parallel efforts of Taiwan’s Nationalist (KMT 國民黨) government to align its policies with those of the mainland. Rather than being explicitly pro-Communist Party, the China Times group speaks as if Taiwan and the PRC are simply a single, albeit geographically divided, entity of corporate activity. Its editorial line is expressed in English in the online news website wantchinatimes.com.

 

TECH AND MEDIA

China eyes protecting online personal information via legislation – Xinhua  would that it were just about personal information protection//- A draft bill on strengthening Internet information protection will formally be tabled for deliberation at a bimonthly session of China’s legislature set to open on Monday. Widely hailed by Internet and telecom experts and online commentators, the long-awaited move comes amid China’s efforts to secure citizens’ personal information from becoming prey to illegality. Behind China’s surging online scam, fraud and identity theft in recent years has been a rapidly growing Internet sector and a lagged-behind law system for personal information protection, according to analysts.

全国人大常委会第三十次会议将审议加强网络信息保护相关议案-财经网 -

Draft Would Bar Firms with Foreign Links from Net Publishing - - The draft, proposed by the General Administration of Press and Publication (GAPP) and published on a website run by the State Council, China’s cabinet, contains a wide range of issues related to Internet publishing. The government is inviting opinions on it until January 10. According to the draft, a publisher must have an Internet publishing license from GAPP, and editors of the publisher are responsible for the legality and quality of the content. GAPP will conduct an annual check on Internet publishers.

人民日报再论网络管理:开放性不意味着恣意妄为_网易新闻中心 - Netease News has the better headline for 12.23 people’s daily article on need for better internet management

人民日报-有底线,才健康(今日谈) 简满屯 - more in 12.23  people’s daily (page 1) about geting people to behave better online//海量的信息,自由的交流,网络让人们体验畅所欲言的愉悦,感受天涯若比邻的便捷,这正是网络时代的魅力所在。然而有的时候,表达成为情绪宣泄,讨论变成了恶语相向,一些人借助网络展示恶俗,信息潮中涌动着谣言诽谤的暗流,这就变了味,过了界。

评论:让网络社会与“法治”兼容并行-搜狐IT -

Great Firewall ‘upgrade’ hits internet users as China prepares crackdown | South China Morning Post -

工商部门将加大监管力度净化网络市场-搜狐IT - 【搜狐IT消息】12月21日消息,针对网络经济迅猛发展的新形势,工商部门将进一步加强监管,依法严厉查处利用互联网从事不正当竞争、开展传销活动、进行虚假违法广告宣传、销售假冒伪劣商品等行为,净化网络市场. 这是工商部门在全国工商行政管理工作会议上所透露出来的声音。

People’s Daily editorials signal harsher internet regulation | South China Morning Post - Chinese Communist Party mouthpiece the People’s Daily meted out harshly worded front-page editorials about internet regulation on Friday, Thursday and Tuesday this week, a move that might signal the party’s new campaign to impose further controls on the nation’s already heavily censored internet, especially its booming social media community.

Ministry of Truth: Net Safety and the Safety Net – China Digital Times (CDT) - Central Propaganda Department: In the near future, Xinhua News Agency, People’s Daily, and other central media outlets will successively report typical cases of threats to Internet safety and infringement on citizens’ personal information. All media and websites are kindly asked to republish these documents in their entirety.

BBC News – Chinese Ambassador on China’s internet policy- China’s ambassador to the UK Liu Xiao Ming has told BBC’s Newsnight that there is a “misconception” about the internet in China. He says “every day thousands of people make comments online”, but that the government must “remove unhealthy content”.

Tencent: Our Video Site is Now China’s Biggest, Ready to Charge for Hollywood Movies-TechIn Asia - iResearch’s UserTracker September 2012 report on video sites for web and PC clients shows Tencent’s 275 million monthly user coverage was more than Youku’s 266 million, making Tencent Video the number one platform in the industry. [… And] the October monthly coverage was 272 million, leading Youku again by six million.

Created in China | ACM Interactions - In September 2010, China’s first hackerspace opened its doors in Shanghai under the name XinCheJian (literal translation: new workshop, or new factory). Only a year after the founding of XinCheJian, the Shanghai government announced a call for proposals to build 100 “innovation houses” (chuangxin wu ) to be supported by government funding. Although the official document [4] described this initiative as part of a larger effort to build a citywide platform for supporting popular science work and innovation, national and international media interpreted this move as an endorsement of China’s fledgling maker culture by Chinese politicians.

 

SOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY

Beijing’s Doomsday Problem by Ian Johnson | NYRblog | The New York Review of Books - But such tolerance for unsanctioned religious activity is not universally shared. While some local officials have decided not to interfere, other officials are cracking down. As Xi and his team take control in Beijing, the question is what will the new government’s religious policy look like? Are the harsh measures against the Catholic bishop and the Almighty God sect indications of more repression to come? Or can Xi’s team build on the broader trend in recent years toward openness and autonomy? Whatever the answer may be, it seems likely that Xi will not be able to fall back on the caution and inertia that have characterized Beijing’s approach to these issues for several decades. And with tensions growing on many fronts, the one sure thing is that Xi doesn’t have much time to decide.

 

ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT AND HEALTH

China Publishes Anti-Smoking Plan, Won’t Have Pack Photos – Bloomberg - “The plan carries a heavy smell of cigarettes,” Wu Yiqun, a director at the Beijing-based ThinkTank Research Center for Health Development. “It’s a compromise result between the tobacco industry and the Health Ministry, and it seems the tobacco side has the upper hand.” The State Tobacco Monopoly Administration was involved in the plan’s preparation. Wu, a former deputy director at the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, singled out the lack of graphic photos as a weakness.

 

FOOD AND TRAVEL

World’s longest high-speed rail line takes smooth test run – Xinhua | English.news.cn- China put the 2,298-km Beijing-Guangzhou high-speed railway, the world’s longest, into a test operation on Saturday. Running at an average speed of 300 km per hour, it only took two and a half hours for the train to cover the 693 km distance from Beijing to Zhengzhou, the northern section of the whole route that links the country’s capital and the southern economic hub.

Spread the word by forwarding this email to your friends, follow me on Twitter @Niubi or Sina Weibo @Billbishopsupport Sinocism.

Subscribe to the Sinocism China Newsletter email. Free