This morning China announced (Reuters) that 2012 Q4 GDP growth was 7.9%, just above the expected 7.8%, and full year 2012 GDP growth was 7.8%, the slowest since 1999. I am looking forward to analyst commentary on whether or not the numbers actually add up.
Tension between China and Japan continue. In China and Japan square up: the drums of war The Economist writes that war is possible:
Watch Chinese television these days and you might conclude that the outbreak of war with Japan over what it calls the Senkaku and China the Diaoyu islands is only a matter of time. You might well be right. Since Japan in September announced it would “nationalise” three of the islands that had been privately owned, China, which has long contested Japan’s sovereignty over them, has also started challenging its resolve to keep control of them. So both countries are claiming to own the islands and both are pretending to administer them. China this week announced its intention to map them thoroughly. Something has to give.
US diplomats are in the region and have called for ‘cooler heads’ in the island dispute (New York Times, official transcript of press conference in Tokyo here). If one of China’s goals with the Dioyu escalation has been to drive a wedge between the US and Japan, it may not be achieved. Reuters reports that the US and Japan are reviewing defense guidelines amid tension with China:
“We would like to discuss Japanese Self Defence Forces’ role and U.S. forces role with eyes on the next five, 10, 15 years and on the security environment during those periods,” a Defence Ministry official told reporters, without elaborating.The revision is due because of drastic changes in the security environment over the past 15 years including China’s maritime expansion and North Korea’s missile development, the Japanese government has said.
Japan’s Prime Minister Abe visited Southeast Asia this week on a trip that seems designed to enrage China. The Mainichi Shimbun reports that Japan and Vietnam to deepen security ties amid China’s growing assertiveness:
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Tan Dung agreed Wednesday to deepen bilateral security cooperation in the face of growing China’s maritime assertiveness on the first leg of Abe’s three-nation tour of Southeast Asia.
Japan and Vietnam, both involved in territorial rows with China, confirmed their opposition to “changing the status quo by force” in the South China Sea, Japanese Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Hiroshige Seko said, indirectly referring to China’s disputes with Vietnam and the Philippines in the waters.
Meanwhile, Former Japanese Prime Minister Hatoyama has been in China and on a visit to Nanjing apologized for wartime crimes (Xinhua).
Reuters has an excellent look at Chinese military officials and their use of the media in China’s military hawks take the offensive:
In a political system where civilian officials hew to tightly scripted public positions, these uniformed pundits, both serving and retired, appear free to go well beyond the official line. Almost all of the most-outspoken generals are military academics or theorists.
Foreign military analysts are uncertain if the hawks represent a majority opinion in the 2.3 million-strong military or exercise real influence over foreign policy. It is also unclear if operational commanders share the views of these so-called “activist officers.”
However, there is one generally agreed explanation for their prominence: The PLA now has something to talk about. The military budget has soared to almost $200 billion, according to some Western estimates – the world’s second-highest military budget behind the United States. That money has paid for the warships, strike aircraft and missiles allowing the PLA to plan for distant conflict. For the first time in its modern history, China has the firepower to contest control of disputed territory far from its coastal waters.
There is a lot of money in being a hawk, in China and the US.
Surprisingly, there can also be money, and other benefits, in being a Marxist theoretician. A senior official has been removed from his post for an “improper life style” (Xinhua):
Yi Junqing, director of the Central Compilation and Translation Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, has been removed from post for “improper life style,” central authorities said Thursday.
Jia Gaojian will replace him as the bureau’s director.
Chang Yan, a woman claiming to be Yi’s former lover, posted to the Internet a 120,000 character expose about Yi at the end of 2012, translated excerpts of which the Telegraph has published.
The Internet is increasingly a nightmare for dirty officials, who in turn help destroy the Party’s credibility.
As noted yesterday, our kids have started five weeks of winter holiday. I am taking them on vacation Saturday, returning to Beijing just before Chinese New Year. Once I get settled in our vacation spot I will resume publication but expect that there will be no newsletter until next Wednesday at the earliest. For interim updates you should follow me on Twitter @niubi.
THE ESSENTIAL EIGHT
Scientist hits out over China air quality – FT.com - got a big airing of this on weibo over last couple of days…setting up another test of will/ability of Xi to take on powerful special interests. if he won’t force CNPC and Sinopec to clean up their fuel and make breathing safer then risks people not believing any promises..// One clear example is that the petrol sold in Beijing is high in sulphur, which results in more pollution from vehicle fumes. The sulphur content of Beijing’s petrol is “definitely higher than the national standard”, says Mr Wang. “CNPC and Sinopec bear a large responsibility in this regard,” he adds, referring to China’s two largest energy companies, which refine and sell most of the petrol in Beijing. China’s powerful energy companies have already delayed the introduction of higher fuel standards for diesel several times. The China IV standard was originally due to be implemented two years ago but has been pushed back twice and is now scheduled to start in July this year.
This Simple Ship Could Let the Chinese Navy Circle the Globe | Danger Room | Wired.com - will the PLAN and other maritime agencies use all the excess shipyard capacity for a surge in ship building?// “Replenishment vessel construction rate will be a particularly revealing barometer of the PLAN’s future expeditionary intentions,” wrote Andrew Erickson, an analyst at the U.S. Naval War College. The more new oilers, the farther China will be able to send its new capital ships. Without underway replenishment, most naval vessels can travel only a few thousand miles; with fuel top-offs, they can circle the globe.
An Alternative Top Ten | ChinaFile Beta - where can we see these? // Though China’s practitioners of independent film suffered in 2012, as festivals and conferences came under official pressure and often were canceled at the last minute, the informal sector nevertheless produced an impressive number of creative, beautiful, and moving new films whose existence should figure in any account in the year in Chinese movies. In honor of pictures mostly passed over by the press, here’s my alternative Top 10—a list of the best independent films China had to offer in 2012.
北京要求200多万名宣传工作者都要开通微博_新闻_腾讯网 - 60,000 Beijing propaganda workers “inside the system”, 2 million “outside the system”, Beijing Propaganda department head Lu Wei says at meeting they should all be on Weibo. Party very serious about seizing the commanding the heights of weibo, as it discussed in october 2011 at the 6th plenum of the 17th party congress // 昨日，在北京市宣传部长会议上，市委常委、宣传部长、副市长鲁炜称，全市宣传队伍体制内有6万多人，体制外200多万人。要加强热点问题的正面引导，每一名宣传工作者都要应用好新媒体，“看微博，开微博、发微博，研究微博”，发挥网络正能量
Is China’s Huawei a threat to our national security? | Marketplace.org- Huawei’s foreign PR people can not possibly have such certainty. He may be right but there is 0 chance he knows everything that goes on between Huawei and Chinese government, just as there is 0 chance Cisco’s or ATT’s PR folks know everything that goes on in their firms’ conversations with the US government..//“We have not done a good job at telling our story,” says Scott Sykes. He and others in Huawei’s PR team are now more willing to talk to foreign journalists. This tour is part of a charm offensive in the wake of a U.S. House Committee report that essentially barred the company from doing business in the U.S… “It’s not about security, because we have proven equipment. So what is it about? I think one of the major things would be trade protectionism,” said Sykes… But Huawei’s biggest problem is that it’s a telecommunications company from China. Most telecommunications firms have a relationship with their local government. “How else would a security service be able to do wire tapping or some other communications monitoring?” asks Peter Mattis, editor of the China Brief at the Jamestown Foundation in Washington. “So the question is: Why is Huawei exceptional from the rest of the world?”
China in Revolution and War | Brookings Institution - Several serious problems in China could trigger a major crisis, potentially igniting either a domestic revolution or foreign war. Cheng Li wrote this memorandum to President Obama as part of Big Bets and Black Swans: A Presidential Briefing Book.
Default Alarm Rings as Trust Loans Jump Sevenfold: China Credit – Bloomberg - So-called trust loans rose 679 percent to 264 billion yuan ($42 billion) from a year earlier, central bank data showed on Jan. 15. That accounted for 16 percent of aggregate financing, which includes bond and stock sales. The amount of loans in China due to mature within 12 months doubled in four years to 24.8 trillion yuan, equivalent to more than half of gross domestic product in 2011, and the People’s Bank of China has set itself a new goal of limiting risks in the financial system. “Short-term financing instruments such as trust loans have been rising really quickly,” said Zhang Zhiwei, chief China economist at Nomura Holdings Inc. in Hong Kong. “Quite a number of companies resort to trust loans when they face financing troubles. A breakdown in this financing chain will eventually lead to a default on debt this year.”
Eight Questions: Tom Miller, ‘China’s Urban Billion’ – China Real Time Report – WSJ looking forward to reading the book, hear great things about it
BUSINESS AND ECONOMY
消息称一号文件已下发部委 开始制定落实措施_财经频道_一财网 - rumors that 2013 #1 policy document has been issued, is about agricultural modernization// 去年底召开的中央农村工作会议透露，今年中央一号文件仍将聚焦“三农”问题，文件题为《关于加快发展现代农业进一步增强农村发展活力的若干意见》，这是一号文件连续第十年聚焦三农。目前一号文件已下发到相关部委，相关部委已开始制定落实措施。
Media Analysis of the New Meanings of the “New Four Modernizations”: From Giving First Place to Materials to Putting People First | China Copyright and Media- (People’s Daily, 17 January 2013) Where Are the New Ideas of the “New Four Modernizations?”
Funding set for renewed railway boom on horizon 2013 – Globaltimes.cn- China is planning to invest 650 billion yuan ($104 billion) in railway construction and put more than 5,200 kilometers of new lines into operation this year, a move analysts said signals a return to the country’s railway boom following a fatal high-speed collision in 2011. According to a press release sent to the Global Times from the Ministry of Railways, Railway Minister Sheng Guangzu told a national work conference Thursday that among the earmarked investment funds, 520 billion yuan will be invested in infrastructure construction.
六大渠道确保铁路基建资金到位 新华社——经济参考网 - railway infrastructure financing will come through 6 channels in 2013, getting money should not be a problem, says economic information //相关人士向《经济参考报》记者透露，2013年铁路基建资金的筹措有六大渠道作为保障，包括扩大铁路建设基金征收范围、保持1500亿元铁路建设债券发行规模、加大财政预算内投资、加大银行信贷支持力度、深化运价改革、落实地方政府和其他投资人资金等方面。
融资压力巨大 铁道部重提铁路发展基金_财经频道_一财网 - First Financial on financial pressures for Ministry of Railways//一头“化缘”，一头花钱。铁路投资的复苏对临近还债高峰期的铁道部而言是喜忧参半。在巨大的筹资压力下，铁道部开始重提设立国家铁路发展基金的旧愿。
IPR fears won’t derail bullet train exports|chinadaily.com.cn- Fears over intellectual property rights will not derail China’s exports of bullet trains, as the technology is home-grown, the vice-minister of science and technology said as he dismissed as “nonsense” copycat claims by a Japanese company. The country had developed its own version of high-speed technology through years of innovation, Cao Jianlin said in an exclusive interview.
Auditors help recoup stolen housing funds |Industries |chinadaily.com.cn- drop meet bucket?// China’s top auditing authority announced on Wednesday the recovery of around 2.7 billion yuan ($428.57 million) that was embezzled from affordable housing funds in 2011. Authorities have also canceled about 7,000 households’ rights to stay in the housing, according to a report released by the National Audit Office.
Chinese Choosing Prada Over Louvre Boost Luxury Shares – Bloomberg - Europe will be among the top destinations for the 94 million mainland Chinese who are expected to travel abroad by 2015, according to McKinsey & Co. Their tour-group itineraries are showing day-long trips to luxury outlets — squeezing short visits to the Eiffel Tower and Louvre museum in between.
透视经济下行时期的用工荒_财经频道_一财网 - long first financial story on problems chinese firms are having finding workers// 报记者调查显示，相比于以往出于供需，或者新生代农民工的解释，它更与中国经济结构深层次的扭曲，以及多年来数量型的扩张，并未形成真正竞争力有关。
逾期贷款成防控化解风险重点 新华社——经济参考网 - banks changing the risk disclosures around loan repayments in face of growing risks of repayment delays?// 据了解，根据监管层的要求，目前已有不少银行修改了对公信贷资产风险分类标准，“企业偿还贷款有多种方式，相对较大的企业倾向于等额本息还款，中小企业更倾向于先偿还利息再偿还本金，因为利息比本金偿还的难度低得多。”工行公司业务部一位经理对《经济参考报》记者表示，“我们对逾期贷款的容忍度在去年下半年就有所下调，对于先偿还利息的企业，如果利息逾期30天以内就将被银行所关注，如果超过30天那么必要时银行会启动催收程序，如果连续两期都偿还不了利息，那么银行就将重点介入了。”
海南楼市”去泡沫”时代来临 新华社——经济参考网 - more on the likely crash of Hainan real estate// 日前结束的第17届海南冬季房地产展示交易会上，8.8折到7.5折各种折扣不一而足；送家电、送装修、送旅游等各种促销方式让购房者眼花缭乱。然而据主办方统计数据显示，房展会3天时间共预定和成交房子162套，创下近三届房交会的新低，成为2012年海南楼市“惨淡”的注脚。
China December Home Prices Rise in Most Cities Since April 2011 – Bloomberg China’s new home prices rose in December in the most cities in 20 months, renewing concerns that the government may issue new tightening measures. Prices climbed in 54 of the 70 cities the government tracks, compared with 53 in November, according to data from the statistics bureau today. Prices fell in eight cities, the data showed. In April 2011, prices increased in 56 cities.
二手房价飙升 卖方看涨捂房惜售 新华社——经济参考网 - 2nd hand home prices rising quickly in several cities// 近日，在楼市成交量一路走高的背景下，排队过户、黄牛售号、坐地起价、捂房惜售等现象再次出现，受预期影响较大的二手房市场尤为明显。
China Taps Forex Stash for Globalization Cash – Caixin - Securing U.S. dollars for overseas investments is getting easier now that the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) has opened a direct channel for funneling some of China’s US$ 3 trillion in forex cash to the lending arms of state-run banks. The service launched last summer reflects a government initiative to widen the scope of forex investments announced last year by People’s Bank of China Governor Zhou Xiaochuan, whose agency oversees SAFE.
Apple Up, Moutai Down Among Gifts for China’s Rich – China Real Time Report – WSJ Here are the top 10 most desired gift brands among wealthy men and women in China, according to Hurun, with the percentage of top-choice votes in parentheses:
Evergrande Rides Investor Interest in Real Estate to Raise Money – Deal Journal – WSJ remember Citron Research’s attack on Evergrande? another bad call by Citron?// “Evergrande has been perceived as a stock with high risk profile, given its highly leveraged balance sheet, aggressive landbanking activities and also concerns on corporate governance,” J.P. Morgan notes. It adds the cash-call could help bring down the company’s net gearing and decrease its funding cost, and could help narrow the valuation gap between the developer and its peers.
POLITICS AND LAW
Guangdong party chief Hu Chunhua vows to stick with existing policies | South China Morning Post - Guangdong must reach consensus to speed up development, says provincial party chief
New editor appointed at paper to calm dispute over censorship | South China Morning Post- A source close to Guangdong’s provincial government said Wang Genghui , a deputy editor-in-chief of Nanfang Media Group, which owns the newspaper, had taken over from Huang Can , Southern Weekly’s editor-in-chief since 2009. Huang had been sidelined and was likely to be transferred to another post in the group. “Wang has a rather popular image as he is more willing to listen to editors and journalists,” the source said. “But this is likely to be a transitional role to restore normal operation at the newspaper as soon as possible.”
Southern Weekly issues corrections after dispute | South China Morning Post- The Southern Weekly, whose editorial staff had a rare but short-lived revolt against censorship, issued a correction on Thursday for mistakes that were blamed on censors and helped fuel the dispute. The correction came as a bookend to a dispute in which journalists tested the boundaries of state censorship and in which China’s ruling Communist Party showed that it is not ready to loosen its tight grip on the media.
CPC flagship newspaper told to improve reporting style – Xinhua | English.news.cn- The publicity chief of the Communist Party of China (CPC) stressed efforts to improve the media’s reporting style during an inspection tour of the Party’s flagship newspaper on Thursday. Liu Qibao, head of the Publicity Department of the CPC Central Committee, visited the headquarters of the People’s Daily, the official newspaper of the CPC Central Committee.
陕西“房姐”被曝在京拥20套房值10亿 有两户口_新闻_腾讯网 - online posting claims a Shaanxi village bank of agriculture branch executive has 20 properties in Beijing worth 1B rmb (including three commercial ones at 8 gongti beilu} and that she has 2 official IDs..she is now known as “Housing Older Sister”..not sure people really appreciate the scale of local, even village-level corruption//
湖北省人大副主任疑涉权钱交易包养情人被调查_新闻_腾讯网 - a vice chair of Hubei NPC under investigation for corruption and mistresses
湖南常德副局长调戏妇女被免 称当地是老子天下_新闻_腾讯网 - local Hunan official goes down after online allegations of misbehavior// 事件回顾：1月14日，常德市武陵区某茶楼副领班赵钟利在红网《百姓呼声》栏目实名举报，“武陵区水利局副局长张健酒后调戏妇女，暴打服务员”。帖子说，张健还扬言：“我一分钱都不赔，你愿怎样就怎样”。1月15日，赵钟利在红网发帖表示，称事情已得到武陵区委、区政府、区纪委领导的高度关注，经双方调解协商，已得到妥善解决。目前，涉事的副局长张健被免职。
铁路巨贪罗金保受贿来源多是国企 称不能不收 - more details about SOE bribery in corruption case of former railways official Luo Jinbao// 昨日(1月17日)，在《每日经济新闻》记者拿到的起诉书中，罗金保的贪腐之路清晰可见——他非法收受的贿赂款物共计折合人民币4747.5万元，一单单详细的记录，不仅显示其不仅是工程建设的“拔毛”高手，同样精于索贿之道，利用中间人、以物换物等多样化方式不断巧取豪夺
毫不动摇坚持和发展中国特色社会主义_2013/02_求是理论网Qiu Shi piece in Seeking Truth on no wavering in continuing and developing socialism with Chinese characterisitcs// 来源：《求是》 期号：2013/02 作者：秋 石
“Qiushi” Signed Article: Unwaveringly Persist in Socialism with Chinese Characteristics | China Copyright and Media The raising of the basic requirements of the “Eight Musts” develop the “Four Cardinal Principles” of Socialism with Chinese characteristics into “Five Cardinal Principles”, and greatly enrich the practical characteristics, theoretical characteristics, ethnic characteristics and characteristics of the times of Socialism with Chinese characteristics. General Secretary Xi Jinping emphatically pointed out that: “The Party’s basic theory, basic line, basic programme, basic experience and basic requirements are managing the overall situation, managing the orientation and managing the long term, everyone must deeply understand and earnestly implement this, emphatically assert that there is no slackening on the green hills, there is no fear of any risk, and there is no doubt of any disturbance.
“Eight Musts” – What Does Xi’s Political Programme Contain? | China Copyright and Media Basically, these documents confirm the Party’s intention to maintain the current political structure, strengthen and improve it. This should come as no surprise, as this basically has been the line that has been taken since 1979. In other words, anyone expecting breakthroughs in areas that the Party has identified as crucial for its hold on power, including media (as demonstrated by the Southern Weekend kerfuffle), the Internet, relations with the Army, and the Leninist political structure. What is striking, however, is that the legitimation of all Eight Musts is based on quotes from Mao and Deng. Jiang Zemin is completely absent from the articles, while Hu Jintao is only mentioned once in the People’s Daily. More generally, these articles clearly aim to reconnect pre-’79 China with the reform period。
改革共识四人谈_2013/02_求是理论网 - 编者按：人心齐，泰山移。要全面深化改革开放，凝聚改革共识很重要。我国改革已进入攻坚期和深水区，凝聚改革共识的难度加大。越是这样，越需要下功夫尽可能广泛地凝聚共识。为此，本栏刊发下面四篇文章，以期对读者的思考有所帮助。
FOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS
Whoops there goes another China myth…. | Daniel W. Drezner- surprised no mention that Japan now neck and neck w China for total holdings, neither over 10%// In other words, contrary to the fears of debt hawks in 2009 — including, it should be noted, Hillary Clinton — China has not exercised an iota of influence over the United States via its debt holdings. Indeed, the shifting pattern of their debt purchases strongly suggests that the Chinese have recognized the futility of such an approach. While Beijing has recognized this truth, certain Very Serious People who write Very Serious Columns persist in being afraid of China’s mythical debt leverage. So, on occasion, as a public service, this blog will continue to remind its readers that U.S. remains clothed in immense financial power.
China Defense Blog: Photos of the day: Xianglong, Soaring Dragon gearing up for its maiden flight?- Last June’s pending test flight rumor turns out to be false — it was nothing more than a taxi run. Lets see if second time’s a charm. To date, Xianglong is the largest joined-wing aircraft known to have been built, there is nothing out there like it.
Confrontation Over Korea | Brookings Institution - North Korea’s severe internal crisis has impelled the United States and China to prepare to intervene in the North, even though neither Washington nor Beijing wants to re-ignite that conflict. Jonathan Pollack wrote this memorandum to President Obama as part of Big Bets and Black Swans: A Presidential Briefing Book.
Bringing Beijing Back In | Brookings Institution - The U.S. rebalancing strategy (pivot) toward Asia has produced desirable results, but the current strategy could increase security conflicts with China. Kenneth Lieberthal drafted this memorandum to President Obama as part of Big Bets and Black Swans: A Presidential Briefing Book.
Maritime Security: Calming the Eastern Seas | Brookings Institution - The United States has long sought to foster an environment in East Asia that is conducive to peace, stability and prosperity. Yet an intensifying contest for resources is destabilizing the maritime domain in the East China Sea and South China Sea. Richard Bush, Bruce Jones, and Jonathan Pollack wrote this memorandum to President Obama as part of Big Bets and Black Swans: A Presidential Briefing Book.
China Objects After Shell Is Fired From Myanmar – NYTimes.com- “China has lodged urgent representation to Myanmar over the incident, to express grave concerns and dissatisfaction,” said Hong Lei, a spokesman for China’s Foreign Ministry, who called for a cease-fire, according to the official Xinhua news agency. Xinhua said the artillery shell was the fourth “bomb” dropped inside China in recent months. Three others landed on Chinese territory on Dec. 30.
TECH AND MEDIA
Alibaba Denies Hiring Investment Banks for Share Sale – Bloomberg bs story..and hear goldman would not be on deal as a relationship with an alibaba competitor is in the way// (Corrects story first published Jan. 16 to say Alibaba hasn’t hired banks for an IPO.) Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd., China’s biggest e-commerce company, denied hiring Credit Suisse Group AG (CSGN) and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) to arrange an initial public offering in Hong Kong.
Media Watch: Jack Ma Steps Down as Alibaba CEO, But Does It Matter? – Caixin - Lin [Guotong, managing editor of new media at Zhejiang Business Magazine] said Alibaba’s organization department was an idea borrowed from the Communist Party, and the emphasis on unifying values and thoughts can be traced to the United Front Work Department. The party uses the latter to manage relations with non-party elites and ensure their support for its rule. “Alibaba’s structure and governance now is a step closer to Apple,” Lin wrote. “Only the business is more complicated in the China context. Alibaba has a more bottom-up trajectory, and its business model bears more Chinese characteristics.”
Baidu and Tencent Pose Security Threat to Vietnamese Internet User » M.I.C. Gadget - Baidu introduced the Vietnamese version of its search engine and other online services in January last year. Page views soared from 70,000 in April to 2 million by August. Tencent also launched its mobile phone text and voice messaging service in April last year, attracting more than 1 million Vietnamese users so far. Local media suspect the two internet companies are accessing and stealing information from users. Some former users have complained that the software is hard to remove after installation.
Chinese Censors Clamp Down on ‘Skyfall’ – The Hollywood Reporter - saw huge video ads for Skyfall in Beijing subway line 10 Thursday..opens here Jan 21, in theater..”opened” in DVD shops over a week ago..//The missing scene was set in Shanghai, when a French hitman (played by Ola Rapace) is shown shooting a Chinese security guard in the elevator lobby of a skyscraper before preparing for an assassination. Later in the film, in a casino in Macau, Daniel Craig’s Bond questions the story’s femme fatale, Severine (Berenice Marlohe), about whether her tattoo is the result of her being forced into a local prostitution ring at an early age. While the lines remains intact on the soundtrack, the Chinese subtitles suggest the spy is asking her about being coerced into the mob instead.
SOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY
Will Growing Online Consensus Against China’s One Child Policy Have an Effect? | Tea Leaf Nation - The letter objecting to the One Child Policy was signed by academics from China’s top institutions of higher learning, including Peking University, Tsinghua University, and Fudan University. Reactions to the letter ran the gamut from outright support to party-line opposition. One person commented on Mao Yushi’s blog, “Reproductive rights are God-given. Only the most evil of societies would forcibly restrict reproduction.” Some argued that China’s population problem has made the restrictions a necessity. Another wrote, “It’s almost too expensive to raise even one kid these days. Who would dare to raise several?
George Patterson – Telegraph - George Patterson, the Scottish medical missionary known as “Patterson of Tibet”, who has died aged 92, did more than anyone else to inform the world of the suffering that followed China’s invasion of Tibet in 1950. In later life he helped Keith Moon, drummer with The Who, to evict two “demons” to whom he had sold his soul.
Beijing plans to rebuild past by razing hutongs | South China Morning Post “They want to restore the Drum and Bell Tower square to the time of the prosperous Qing dynasty,” but in doing so they will destroy a “rich accumulation of cultural heritage,” said He Shuzhong, founder of Beijing Cultural Heritage Protection Centre, a nongovernmental organisation.
China’s Ambitious Goal for Boom in College Graduates – NYTimes.com- China is making a $250 billion-a-year investment in what economists call human capital. Just as the United States helped build a white-collar middle class in the late 1940s and early 1950s by using the G.I. Bill to help educate millions of World War II veterans, the Chinese government is using large subsidies to educate tens of millions of young people as they move from farms to cities. The aim is to change the current system, in which a tiny, highly educated elite oversees vast armies of semi-trained factory workers and rural laborers. China wants to move up the development curve by fostering a much more broadly educated public, one that more closely resembles the multifaceted labor forces of the United States and Europe.
ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT AND HEALTH
Chinese tobacco firms’ tax payments surge – Xinhua | English.news.cn- China’s tobacco firms paid 864.9 billion yuan (137.7 billion U.S. dollars) in taxes in 2012, up 15.7 percent year on year, according to new official data. The industry also handed over 716.6 billion yuan in profits to the government last year, a 19-percent rise from a year earlier, Jiang Chengkang, head of the State Tobacco Monopoly Administration, said at a national work conference on Thursday.
Off the Charts: Air Pollution in China Breaks the Scale | Environment on GOOD - what sticks in my mind is a great experiment conducted by Greenpeace East Asia on eight volunteers who also wanted to find out how much dust their lungs would collect over 20 hours. What Greenpeace did was genius: tagging each volunteer with an air filter that connects with a breathing simulator through a pipe for a day. The team photographed the air filters before and after the experiments. The result is a striking visual warning about the most persistent public health hazard in many Chinese cities.
FOOD AND TRAVEL
Flavor to savor |Center |chinadaily.com.cn- Eating lamb during Beijing’s bitter winter is a 200-year-old tradition and a guaranteed way of beating the freeze. Hong Dacai, the owner of Muslim restaurant Hongyunxuan, claims Mongolian and Manchu aristocrats used to favor lamb hotpot during the cold season. “If you look at the shape of a typical Beijing-style bronze pot, with the lid on, it looks exactly like a Mongolian yurt,” he says. “When you open the lid, the pot looks similar to the hat Mongolian singers wear.”
洪运轩饭庄(北纬路店)电话,地址(图)-北京-大众点评网 - Hongyun Xuan restaurant listing on Dianping..never been, want to try it
JOBS AND EVENTS
Spotify expanding in Asia; hiring in Hong Kong and Singapore : SGE - The lawyer is expected to travel out of Hong Kong often, possess a solid understanding of business culture in Hong Kong and other cities, as well as display fluency in English, Mandarin, Cantonese, and basic Japanese.
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