The Sinocism China Newsletter For 02.20.13

This week’s Dealbook column is about the Chinese New Year, the economy and the latest hacking allegations. My draft headline was “Hacking in the Year of the Snake” but it went live as In the Year of the Snake, Challenges for the Chinese Economy. An excerpt:

In January, an “airpocalypse” across much of China led to plenty of hacking coughs, including for yours truly. But a different kind of hacking in China is noticeable in February.

BusinessWeek Magazine’s cover article last week was “A Chinese Hacker’s Identity Unmasked.” On Tuesday, The New York Times reported on its front page that “China’s Army Is Seen as Tied to Hacking Against U.S.” The Chinese government responded that it opposes the hacking allegations.

A week ago, President Obama signed an executive order about protection against cyber attacks, and according to The New York Times article, “The United States government is planning to begin a more aggressive defense against Chinese hacking groups, starting on Tuesday.”

The article does not specify what is entailed in a more aggressive defense, but if the United States wants concrete results then naming and shaming people and groups in China may be just one piece of a much broader response.

My VPNs are acting up this morning. Call me paranoid but I am worried that if there is a broader response and counter-response we may see connectivity to the global Internet slow to a crawl as it did around the 18th Party Congress. If that happens publication of this newsletter will become problematic.

Hacking is one dimension of 21st century power, drone capability is another. The South China Morning Post reports that China considered drone strike on foreign soil in hunt for drug lord:

The hunt for a Myanmese drug lord convicted of massacring 13 Chinese sailors more than a year ago could have ended with a “drone strike” launched on foreign soil, China’s top drug tsar told the Global Times newspaper in a story published on Monday. Liu Yuejin, director of the public security ministry’s anti-drug bureau, said one of the plans to end the months-long manhunt for drug lord Naw Kham was to strafe a mountain hideout in north-eastern Myanmar using unmanned aircraft.

I have to believe a Chinese drone strike inside or outside China is inevitable. How will the world, and especially the US, react?

Today’s Links:

THE ESSENTIAL EIGHT

North Korea is testing China’s patience – FT.com - Pyongyang’s nuclear big bang has exposed the flaws in Beijing’s approach, writes Kurt Campbell…As China takes stock of the situation in northeast Asia, it must confront several trends. The lack of North Korean reform, Mr Kim’s increasingly risky gambits, the ineffectiveness of its “soft” approach, its own deepening ties with South Korea, and the risks of a wider Asian conflict underscore a growing unease. This has caused influential insiders around the new leadership in Beijing to ask: what good is this so-called buffer? The writer is the chairman and chief executive of the Asia Group and former US assistant secretary of state for east Asia and the Pacific

China Housing Slaves Helping Property Rebound: Mortgages – Bloomberg - Good look at the property market. Demand is real and transactions and prices both rising, at least in tier 1 and tier 2 cities. Tier 3 and 4 cities may see/be seeing crashes, but china is a big economy with lots of regional markets, and a crash in one or a few places does not mean a crash everywhere. too many analysts and pundits elide or ignore that…and why should we believe that the data for average disposable incomes are correct? always seem far understated to me, seems like sometimes analysts pick and choose which Chinese data to question depending on the desired outcome// China’s growing middle class reaching for homeownership helped property prices rebound starting in the second half of last year. They rose 1 percent in January from December, the biggest gain in two years, according to real estate website SouFun Holdings Ltd. Home prices in Beijing and Shanghai each rose 2.3 percent from December. Average per-square-meter prices in 100 cities tracked by SouFun are five times average disposable incomes. A 100-square- meter (1076-square-foot) apartment today costs about 40 years’ income, according to SouFun and government data, even as salaries have more than quadrupled since 1998.

Setback for Chinese Democracy: Why Protest Leader Admits He “Regrets” Taking Charge of Wukan | Tea Leaf Nation - These words are not from dissidents, but Lin Zulian (commonly referred to by his former name, Lin Zuluan), who led the southern Chinese village of Wukan in a 2011 anti-government uprising and is now the town’s democratically elected leader. That uprising, a grassroots response to the local government’s selling off land without giving villagers proper compensation, has given way to what many have seen as a bold democratic experiment in Communist China. One of the goals of a democratic village government was to recover the land villagers had lost. But according to Dragon Television, Shanghai’s provincial television station, Wukan is now facing serious difficulties.

For a Top Chinese Banker, Profits Hinder Political Rise – WSJ.com- Jiang Jianqing built Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd. 601398.SH -1.16% into the most profitable state-owned bank in China. It has more assets than any other bank in the world, employs the latest techniques to manage risk and was the first Chinese bank to win approval to buy a retail-banking network in the U.S. Mr. Jiang’s reward from China’s leadership: The longtime ICBC chairman was the only one of his peers at the nation’s top four banks to be passed over for promotion at a recent Communist Party Congress. That badly weakened his chances of running the central bank or holding another senior ministerial-level position in the coming reshuffle of the country’s key economic posts.

A Shocking Expose of China’s Black PR Industry Implicates Government Officials, is Quickly Deleted from the Web -TechInAsia– Caixin often posts official English translations of its feature articles, but as no translation is available yet, we’re providing a brief summary. The article centers around two public relations companies, Xinxun Media and Yage Times, which until July of 2012 both occupied swanky offices in the high-rent Sanlitun Soho office complex. In July, though, their offices were raided by a swarm of police, and the employees were all detained and questioned.

Dirty Business for China’s Internet Scrubbers -Caixin - abridged, official Caixin translation of special report highlighted Monday, worth reading along with link above// Flames of a public relations disaster were licking at the heels of a private equity firm when China’s most notorious Internet-scrubbing company rode to the rescue. Saving the Shenzhen-based firm’s image was not cheap, and it took more than two months to douse the flames of Internet news reports and rumors claiming executives had used a Ponzi scheme to bilk investors. From a technical standpoint, however, deleting every image-stinging accusation was relatively easy for a team of public relations specialists at Yage Time Advertising Ltd., which for a price deleted Internet postings of all kinds according to client specifications before a police crackdown on Internet scrubbing last year.

人民日报-改会风从批评开始(今日谈) 廖小言 - more on the party accepting criticism, on page 1 of people’s daily// 近日,某机关召开总结会,一上来就要求:不讲自己什么活干得好,只讲自己什么活没干好,当众开展批评和自我批评。会议时间不长,收效甚大。年长同志感慨,这样的会多少年没开过了;年轻同志惊讶,这种场面从没经历过。忐忑、尴尬之后是畅快、振奋,大家都为这个会叫好,有人感慨,改会风就应从批评开始…现在流行“好孩子都是表扬出来的”,这话对孩子可能是对的,但是,不能把它作为信条,推广到党内政治生活中来。党员领导干部不是孩子,人民的事业不是儿戏。

AAPL: Time is Ripe for ‘iPhone mini’ in China, Says Morgan Stanley – Tech Trader Daily – Barrons.com - Shares of Apple (AAPL) are down $2.60, or 0.6%, at $457.56, after a report from Morgan Stanley’s Katy Huberty today suggested Apple’s prospects are looking up for selling a less-expensive model of the iPhone in China, what she’s referring to as an “iPhone mini.” Huberty, who maintains an Overweight rating on Apple shares, writes that prices of smartphones in general are “stabilizing,” not falling, as some others opine. Citing work by her colleague Jasmine Lu, who covers China hardware firms, Huberty writes “China smartphone prices stabilizing, contrary to consensus view, as smartphone users trade up and component shortages lead to less pricing erosion.”

 

BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

China Stocks Drop Most in Five Weeks on Property Concerns – Bloomberg - China Vanke Co. and Poly Real Estate Group Co. slumped more than 4 percent, sending a gauge of developers to its biggest loss in six months after China Business News said the government may impose real-estate curbs around the time of an annual legislative meeting. Anhui Conch Cement Co. slid the most since September 2011 after the government forecast slowing cement output growth. SAIC Motor Corp. dropped 4.5 percent, leading losses for consumer companies reliant on economic growth.

China may Tighten Property Cooling Measures as Several Cities Introduced New Restrictions-Caijing - A few Chinese cities have tightened their belts on loans from the country’s housing provident fund since January, sparking speculations that Beijing may take further actions to cool the still sizzling property market.

二套房贷收紧风声再起 房地产调控新政暗潮涌动?_财经频道_一财网 - more on rumors of tightening of mortgages as part of possible new real estate repression measures…// 目前各家银行尚未收到关于调整二套房贷政策的相关通知,但市场人士称不排除房产新政在近期出台。

大气治污“最严新政”剑指六行业 新华社——经济参考网 - Economic information looks at 6 industries that may be hit hardest by efforts to reduce air pollution// 就在按日通报部分城市空气质量情况半个多月后,环保部推出了大气污染防治的“最严”产业政策。环保部19日确定,将对包括19个省(区、市)的47个地级及以上城市在内的重点控制区,对火电、钢铁、石化、水泥、有色、化工等六大重污染行业及燃煤工业锅炉的新建项目,火电、钢铁、石化工业以及燃煤工业锅炉的现有项目,实施特别排放限值。 环保部部长周生贤19日主持召开环境保护部常务会议,听取关于建议在重点控制区实施大气污染物特别排放限值的情况汇报。会议认为,“十二五”时期,工业化、城镇化将继续快速发展,汽车保有量和煤炭消费总量持续增长,大气环境将面临前所未有的压力。严重的大气污染问题,不仅损害人民群众身体健康,而且破坏生态环境,必须采取严格的大气环境管理措施。

铁路货运均价每吨公里涨1.5分 涨幅高达13%_公司频道_财新网 - caixin says rail freight charges to increase 13%, or 0.15 rmb/ton/km//【财新网】(记者 吴静 于宁)据财新记者独家获悉的《铁道部关于调整铁路货物运价的通知》(下称《通知》)显示,经国务院批准,国家发改委、铁道部2013年2月17日下发《关于调整铁路货物运输价格的通知》(发改价格〔2013〕261号),决定自2013年2月20日起,对全路实行统一运价的营业线货物运价进行调整,平均运价水平每吨公里提高1.5分,涨幅达到13%。

Eswar Prasad: Beijing’s Steady Progress Toward Rebalancing – WSJ.com - New data suggest that it is time to revise the view that China’s growth is driven largely by exports and investment. Private and government consumption together accounted for more than half of China’s output growth in 2011-12, signaling a big shift in the composition of domestic demand. Physical capital investment, the main driver of growth over the previous decade, is no longer the dominant contributor to growth. As for exports, a shrinking trade balance has in fact dragged down growth these past two years.

China Services Job Gains Key for Shift to Consumption: Economy – Bloomberg - Services had the biggest share of China’s employment in 2011 for the first time, larger than agriculture’s 34.8 percent and manufacturing’s 29.5 percent, according to the most recent labor-ministry data. The gains have helped the Communist Party maintain social stability by keeping a lid on unemployment, estimated by a research center at more than 8 percent in urban areas in July.

China’s booming fake muni bonds | beyondbrics - With chengtou bonds accounting for around a quarter of total outstanding corporate bonds, these are no niche product – they are at the heart of China’s onshore bond market. For investors looking at Chinese fixed income, it’s worth knowing what you’re buying.

China Firms Lose Interest in Insurance – Deal Journal – WSJ - surprised no mention of the new Ping’An, Alibaba, Tencent online insurance venture…potentially very disruptive// Chinese companies from home-appliance maker Haier Group to metal giant China Minmetals Corp. in recent years joined foreign insurers in setting up insurance joint ventures in China. But their inability to break the dominance of China’s top insurers has led many of the Chinese partners—particularly those outside the financial sector—to retreat, and analysts said others are likely to do so.

阿里巴巴 中国平安和腾讯筹建在线财险公司 _阿里巴巴集团(ALIBABA) _i美股 - Ping’An, Alibaba and Tencent have the approvals for their online insurance firm// 南都讯 蛇年伊始,却见春风得意“马”蹄疾。阿里巴巴、中国平安和腾讯公司去年筹划联手设立众安在线财产保险公司,目前已走完监管审批流程,在商界叱咤风云的“三马”(马明哲、马化腾、马云)首次合作的成果将不日面世。尽管深圳有“二马”加入此次合作,但二者可能并列二股东,阿里巴巴则将一家独大。

Further tax reform needed for income redistribution: official – Xinhua | English.news.cn- The government must actively study taxes as a means of redistributing income, as the country’s widening income gap has seen no fundamental changes, said Jia Chen, head of the ministry’s department of tax policies. Jia said the government has to improve the personal income tax system, particularly by increasing taxes on the wealthy. He also said appropriate adjustments will be made regarding which items will feature consumption taxes and how much those taxes will be.

Deloitte sued over audits of ChinaCast Education | Reuters - why Deloitte China is still certified is beyond me…someone needs to be made an example of// A group of U.S. investment funds has sued the Chinese and U.S. affiliates of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu DLTE.UL, blaming them for investor losses at troubled ChinaCast Education Corp (CAST.PK). The funds are seeking to recover tens of millions of dollars of investment losses from Deloitte, which audited the Chinese company’s financial statements. The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan.

Muddy Waters Secret China Weapon Is on SEC Website – Bloomberg - yup, SEC site a gold mine. Never understood why Google doesn’t offer searching on it. they can’t possibly say they index the world’s information if they leave out this awesome database…// Muddy Waters LLC, whose analyst reports triggered $7 billion in losses for Chinese stocks, used an unlikely secret weapon for its research: the public website of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Carson Block, the 36-year-old short-seller who heads Muddy Waters, said he’s an avid reader of letters from the SEC’s corporation-finance experts to executives about the adequacy of disclosures in regulatory filings.

 

POLITICS AND LAW

冯兴元:当下需要真正的“试错式”改革-财经网- 总体上看,在下一阶段,关键在于推行一种真正的“试错式”改革,打开一种开放试错的进路。迄今为止,所谓的“改革”被利益群体和部分政府官员用以满足私利或部门利益,这恰恰反映了政府体制改革需要跟上。不能因为政府体制改革滞后,就可以否认真正“试错式”改革本身。2012年11月,中国人民大学毛寿龙教授提出,应设立一个常设性的中央改革委员会,直属中共中央政治局,下设政治体制改革小组、社会体制改革小组、经济体制改革小组及机构改革小组。这样的机构改革建议之所以提出,就是为了形成这样一种开放试错的进路。 作者系中国社会科学院农村发展研究所研究员

上海浦东一副区长“豪宅”围墙被拆_网易新闻 - a Shanghai pudong official in a weibo-driven mansion scandal…

十八大后全国27名厅级以上干部被处理_网易新闻中心 - 核心提示:媒体统计称,十八大后中央六次就反腐表态,密集程度罕见且用词严厉,各级党委政府及司法机关已经宣布了至少15名厅级以上干部落马、12名厅级以上干部免职的信息。有学者称,十八大之后,有关部门对某起网络举报事件启动调查的条件要宽松许多。

山西:不存在“贪官出狱受官员富豪列队欢迎”一事_资讯频道_凤凰网 - Shanxi provincial government says the reports about a former vice provincial governor being feted on his early release from prison were false// 中广网太原2月19日消息(记者岳旭辉 李楠)山西省相关部门人士今天表示 ,网络《山西省前副书记侯伍杰出狱回家,当地官员富豪列队欢迎》一文内容虚假。

Bo Xilai’s police chief ‘sought British protection’ – Telegraph - hard to know if should be taken seriously..certainly will be a juicy book// The claim appears in ‘A Death in the Lucky Holiday Hotel’, a book about the Neil Heywood murder scandal that will be published in the UK in April and was written by Chinese journalists Pin Ho and Wenguang Huang.Mr Ho runs Mingjing News, a New York-based website that specializes in salacious and sometimes accurate stories about high-level Chinese politics.

李克强的英语为什么好?_好逑_新浪博客 - interesting Sina blog post with pictures on Li Keqiang, his wife, and why his english is so good// 程虹相当低调,她绝对出得了场面,一口娴熟的英语。李克强未出国留学,但去年在香港大学百年校庆上,以英文发表演讲,有人说,这可能与他有个教英文的妻子有关。

Teng Biao: Defense in the Second Trial of Xia Junfeng Case | Seeing Red in China - Xia Junfeng (夏俊峰) was a street vendor from Tieling county, Liaoning province (沈阳铁岭县). On May 16, 2009, while selling chicken strips, roasted sausages and other snacks with his wife Zhang Jing near a crossroads in Chenhe District, in the city of Shenyang (沈阳沉河区), Xia Junfeng was seized by urban enforcers known as Chengguan (城管) and taken to their office where he was beaten. During the course of the beating, Xia Junfeng fought back with a small knife he carried in his pocket, stabbing two Chengguans to death and injuring one. He was convicted of intentional homicide and sentenced to death during the first trial, and the second trial, held in July, 2010, upheld the verdict of the first trial. The case has garnered wide online attention in China since its onset. It is currently being reviewed by the Supreme Court in Beijing. Dr. Teng Biao was Xia’s defense lawyer in the second trial, and the following is an excerpt of his closing argument. Several volunteer translators, Yaxue included, have collaborated on a complete translation of Dr. Teng’s defense in the hope to shed light on, and call for attention to, the Xia Junfeng case and the ill system at its root. The Chinese original is here.

 

FOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS

The Department of Foreign Affairs’ Statement on China’s Response to the Philippines’ Arbitration Case- The Department received this afternoon from Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Ma Keqing a Note Verbale stating that China rejects and returns the Philippines’ Notification and Statement of Claim. The Department stresses that China’s action will not interfere with the process of Arbitration initiated by the Philippines on 22 January 2013. The Arbitration will proceed under Annex VII of UNCLOS and the 5-member arbitration panel will be formed with or without China.

China rejects Philippines’ arbitral request |Politics |chinadaily.com.cn- The Chinese government has rejected a Philippine move to take their dispute regarding sovereignty issues in the South China Sea to the United Nations for arbitration, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said Tuesday. “Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Ma Keqing had an appointment with officials from the Philippines’ Foreign Ministry on Tuesday and returned a note and related notice after expressing China’s rejection,” spokesman Hong Lei said at a daily press briefing.

中国军网_总部制定下发十项措施要求全军部队 厉行节约贯穿伙食保障每个环节 - frugality push growing in PLA…can it stick?// 本报北京2月19日电 张云凌、记者范炬炜报道:整治餐饮浪费现象在军营再掀热潮。经总后勤部首长批准,总后军需物资油料部日前下发《部队伙食保障厉行节约反对浪费十项措施》,要求全军部队以更实的举措、更严的要求,积极推行筹措、储运、管理、加工、烹制、供餐、就餐等全链条、全过程、全方位的伙食节约保障,坚决纠治餐饮浪费。

Cyber: Unclear and present danger - James Lewis is Director of the Technology and Public Policy Program at CSIS, Washington, DC. This is the first of a five-part series on the world of cyber. The focus is Asia and particularly the role of China.

Mandiant APT1 Report Has Critical Analytic Flaws | Digital Daoa dissenting view..dunno, Mandiant seems to have nailed it…// In summary, my problem with this report is not that I don’t believe that China engages in massive amounts of cyber espionage. I know that they do – especially when an executive that we worked with traveled to Beijing to meet with government officials with a clean laptop and came back with one that had been breached while he was asleep in his hotel room. My problem is that Mandiant refuses to consider what everyone that I know in the Intelligence Community acknowledges – that there are multiple states engaging in this activity; not just China. And that if you’re going to make a claim for attribution, then you must be both fair and thorough in your analysis and, through the application of a scientific method like ACH, rule out competing hypotheses and then use estimative language in your finding. Mandiant simply did not succeed in proving that Unit 61398 is their designated APT1 aka Comment Crew.

Malware Attack on Apple Said to Come From Eastern Europe – Bloomberg

Navigation system set to soar |Sci-Tech |chinadaily.com.cn- The fledgling Beidou satellite navigation system will soon benefit hundreds of millions of users, and provide a cheaper and in some cases better alternative than the Global Positioning System, industry specialists said. The Beidou network has 16 navigation satellites hovering over the Asia-Pacific region. But global coverage will be achieved when the network has more than 30 satellites.

U.S., Australia, Japan send signal to China with joint air drill in Guam | World Tribune - The objective of the exercise was for the three air forces to operate as one if a war breaks out in the region that requires joint response. “The training is not against a specific country, like China. However, I think the fact that our alliance with the U.S. and Australia is healthy is a strong message,” Japan’s Air Self-Defense Force Lieutenant General Masayuki Hironaka was quoted as saying.

China Policy Institute Blog » Sino-Japanese Relations: The Security Perspective- These provocative actions, each one relatively small, seem designed to evoke a response that would provide Beijing with a rationalization to further its claims that the East China and South China seas. The target state is confronted with a dilemma. To respond risks escalating tensions to a degree that would justify the other side escalating still further, perhaps ending in violent confrontation over what seems a minor matter.  On the other hand, small provocations if not responded to are likely to encourage future provocations that may result in the aggressor state incorporating the contested area through gradual osmosis. Both cooperation and confidence-building measures have been suggested as a way out of this dilemma.  Both have been tried, with disappointing results thus far. With regard to the former, efforts at resolution of competing maritime claims on the delineation of the East China Sea have been inconclusive. The two sides held eleven rounds of negotiations between October 2004 and mid-2008. In June 2008, an agreement in principle was reached on working together to develop one of the four gas fields in the East China Sea. While international media portrayed the agreement as a significant breakthrough and there was much talk of turning the disputed area into “a sea of peace and friendship,”[6] the reality was quite different. Despite reassurances by leaders of both sides that they had not surrendered their respective nations’ sovereign rights over the area, citizens were skeptical. Anger was particularly noticeable on the Chinese side. Talks continued for several months thereafter, with no resolution.

China Policy Institute Blog » Stranded on the Islands: Why China and Japan’s Clash over Maritime Claims Is a Problem, But a Soluble One- At a time when the Middle East, north Africa, and Central Asia remain deeply problematic, and the economies of the developed world are still stuttering, and where Syria’s tragic implosion continues, the last thing the world’s powers want is to have to focus their widely overstretched diplomatic energies on keeping the second and third largest economies in the world from smashing into each other over a small group of uninhabited islands in the South China Sea.  But that, it seems increasingly likely, is what they will need to do. President Obama may have meant something completely different when he talked of the `pivot’ to Asia a few years back, but now, reelected, he is going to have to take precious time and political capital from all his other battles to bear down on the Japanese and Chinese and find ways of making them calm down. There are perfectly viable compromise solutions – resource sharing arrangements that put the sovereignty issues on hold till a day, way in the future probably, when it can be resolved (and this means involving the other contesting parties) being one of them.  Urging on China the approach of Deng Xiaoping in the 1980s about thorny issues like this might also be worth persisting in – leave them to the next generation to find the solution to, and deal with the issues today pragmatically. US pressure on Japan as a major ally is likely to continue. And for China, though its tougher, an approach that simply stresses how much it stands to lose if things continue to get out of hand, and how much to gain if it starts acting more like a global player looking a bit further than its own backyard.

Daily chart: Trouble at sea | The Economist - nice video primer// Squabbles over little specks of land in the ocean threaten Asian peace

 

TECH AND MEDIA

kai-Fu Lee–My adventures in China social media | LinkedIn - This is only a partial list of my involvement, and my involvement is only a tiny fraction of the overall social media community. Regardless of any setbacks and obstacles, I am confident that China is building up a significant population of socially responsible netizens, who will make a difference to the future of China. I can’t wait to return when my hiatus ends!

 

SOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY

Divorce rate rises for seven straight years in China – People’s Daily Online - People just need identity cards and household registration documents to get married in China, but it is hard to maintain a happy marriage. China has long advocated harmonious relations among family members, but is now experiencing waves of divorce. More than 1.2 million Chinese couples tied the knot in 2009, but nearly 2 million Chinese couples divorced in the same year. What factors have affected the Chinese people’s marital happiness? Are they emotions, money, or children? In order to find answers, the “Well-being Magazine” and Tsinghua Media Survey Lab conducted a nationwide survey on the Chinese people’s marital happiness in 2012.

5 young boys left alone light straw fire, suffocate — Shanghai Daily | 上海日报 — English Window to China New - FIVE boys ranging in age from four to six died, apparently from suffocation, in an abandoned building where they burned straw on Monday evening as their parents were busy organizing a wedding in southwest China’s Guizhou Province. It was the second case of its kind in the province within three months

 

ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT AND HEALTH

China’s Disappointing Absence from U.N. Water Summit | ChinaFile- After recent heated debate over China’s mega-dam plans, any visitor to the launch on February 11 of the U.N.’s much-vaunted International Year of Water Cooperation would have been disappointed. As well as a notable absence of any representatives from China, there was a lack of any discussion of large infrastructure projects, just weeks after the country announced plans to build a slew of controversial giant dams on rivers flowing to other countries, including India.

What the world is getting wrong about China and climate change - Pressing ahead too fast with emissions cuts will cause pain down the line for China, says senior climate strategist Zou Ji

Pressure leaves millions of youth exposed to suicide risk |Society |chinadaily.com.cn- Analysis suggests millions of young people like Sun are struggling under the pressures of work, study and relationships. Unfortunately, many are not finding the help they need. Every year, roughly 250,000 people commit suicide in China, while another 2 million attempt to cut their lives short, according to the Ministry of Health. Although studies show the highest incidence is among elderly and rural women, the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention says suicide is now the top cause of death for people aged 15 to 34.

New Coronavirus Infects Human Airways Faster Than SARS – Bloomberg - not in China…yet?// New Coronavirus Infects Human Airways Faster Than SARS

四川昨日连发8次地震 最高4.9级_网易新闻中心 - string of 8 earthquakes in sichuan, biggest 4.9

China plans new medical payment system |Industries |chinadaily.com.cn - Patients will be able to “pay after” they receive medical treatment as part of a new payment method, China’s Ministry of Health revealed Tuesday. According to Jiao Yahui, an official with the MOH medical administration division, more than 20 provincial regions are exploring the new payment method.

Renewable energy generation soared in 2012 |Economy |chinadaily.com.cn - China’s renewable energy power generation in 2012 rose 30.3 percent from a year earlier to 968 billion kilowatt-hours, according to the State Electricity Regulatory Commission.Solar electrical energy generation in 2012 surged 414 percent year-on-year to 3.5 billion kWhs while hydroelectricity rose 29.3 percent year-on-year to 864.1 billion kWhs. Wind electricity increased 35.5 percent year-on-year to 100.4 billion kWhs.

 

FOOD AND TRAVEL

In China, Horse With a Side of Poisonous Fake Mutton – Bloomberg - No one covers European horse meat quite like China Central Television, the state-owned and operated news media and entertainment juggernaut. For the past week and a half, CCTV newscasts just haven’t been complete without the most up-to-date information on the deceit that led to horse meat being sold as beef across Europe. Indeed, horse meat fever runs so hot at CCTV that, as of the afternoon of Feb. 19 in China, a search for “horse meat” on the network’s official website produced 313 video results, with only a handful predating Feb. 11.

Sanya Says It Never Licensed Any Form of Gambling Activities-Caijing - Sanya Cultural and Sports Council officials told Chinanews.com that the city has never licensed any form of gambling activities. Also, it has ordered to suspend business of the bars operating in the Sanya Bay Mangrove Tree Resort, which is suspected of running gambling activities.

Airlines fly into headwinds from high-speed trains | South China Morning Post - why would you fly if the train is an option// Mainland airlines experienced turbulence at the turn of the year, posting losses for three consecutive months due to low air fares and competition from high-speed railways, analysts said.Air China, China Southern Airlines, China Eastern Airlines and other mainland carriers collectively reported 1 billion yuan (HK$1.24 billion) in losses last month, the official China Business News reported yesterday, citing the Civil Aviation Administration of China.

China’s new rich revive eating as art – FT.com - In this land of culinary homophones, the relationship between food and words is never simple. Take that elderly ovary oil, for example: it came straight out of a book – the 18th-century literary classic, A Dream of Red Mansions, a sort of Chinese War and Peace crossed with Pride and Prejudice, with a dash of Romeo and Juliet. As China outgrows that phase of development when going to Pizza Hut was seen as a night on the town, its ever wealthier entrepreneurs are increasingly indulging a taste for food that comes from books, spawning a resurgence in decadently expensive literary feasts where per person prices can be as high as Rmb1,500 ($240). “You have to use chicken oil, not any other kind of oil, because that is what is used in the book,” says Ju Changlong, one of the foremost living practitioners of the art of Red Mansions cuisine, at his culinary institute in the ancient Chinese town of Yangzhou. “To the Chinese, eating is seen as an art form: like drawing and writing a poem,” he says.

 

BOOKS AND LITERATURE

China Goes Global: The Partial Power: David Shambaugh: Amazon- In China Goes Global, eminent China scholar David Shambaugh delivers the book many have been waiting for–a sweeping account of China’s growing prominence on the international stage. Thirty years ago, China’s role in global affairs beyond its immediate East Asian periphery was decidedly minor and it had little geostrategic power. As Shambaugh charts, though, China’s expanding economic power has allowed it to extend its reach virtually everywhere–from mineral mines in Africa, to currency markets in the West, to oilfields in the Middle East, to agribusiness in Latin America, to the factories of East Asia. Shambaugh offers an enlightening look into the manifestations of China’s global presence: its extensive commercial footprint, its growing military power, its increasing cultural influence or “soft power,” its diplomatic activity, and its new prominence in global governance institutions. But Shambaugh is no alarmist. In this balanced and well-researched volume, he argues that China’s global presence is more broad than deep and that China still lacks the influence befitting a major world power–what he terms a “partial power.” He draws on his decades of China-watching and his deep knowledge of the subject, and exploits a wide variety of previously untapped sources, to shed valuable light on China’s current and future roles in world affairs.

The political schism between Chinese science fiction and fantasy - The current special issue of Science Fiction Studies is entirely devoted to exploring Chinese science fiction. Few western readers are familiar with Chinese contributions to the genre, though SF has been popular in China since the early twentieth century. Chinese SF scholar Yan Wu writes in the introduction to the issue that there are a lot of parallels between Golden Age SF in the west, and contemporary Chinese SF. Powered by the hopefulness (and cynicism) of industrial development, the Chinese SF and fantasy genres are stronger than they’ve ever been.

 

JOBS AND EVENTS

IHS Career Openings - IHS is hiring for a macroeconomist and a senior energy researcher in the Beijing office…if interested apply online or send me your resume and i will forward to the hiring manager// IHS Global Insight is a recognized leader in providing expert, independent analysis of economic conditions around the globe. The company is looking to hire an economist who is interested in taking a challenging yet rewarding job in Beijing, providing on-the-ground analysis on the economy of China and Chinese provinces.

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