The Sinocism China Newsletter For 02.21.13

My commentary for today was written this morning for the new ChinaFile conversation Cyber Attacks—What’s the Best Response?. So far Adam Segal, James Fallows, Xiao Qiang and Tai Ming Cheung have also weighed in to this very interesting discussion. Here is what I wrote:

Both Adam and Jim make very good points. A big question is whether the US response we are seeing will stop at “name and shame” or if there is much more going on in the background, either through the presentation of much more evidence to Chinese authorities or actions against individuals and other targets in China to show the US is not a cyber-patsy, all in an attempt to induce behavior modification and get the cyber activities into a smaller zone that generally matches what other countries like the US do.

Name and shame alone will not work. There is of course risk to a more robust response, as if the Chinese feel backed in to a corner we may see near-term behavior modification while it redoubles efforts to never be put in such a a position again. To deal with the “Third Taiwan Straits Crisis” in 1995-96 the US sent two aircraft barrier battlegroups into the area and things calmed down. But that move arguably influenced a generation of military officers and strategists and contributed to a much deeper resolve to develop weapons to counter US power to avoid ever being humiliated by the US like that again.

We do have to consider the domestic political situation. Xi Jinping has just taken over and he has been spending a lot of time with the PLA and pushing it to become stronger and more professional. If the Mandiant allegations are true, and the US response is robust enough to force at least a near-term reduction of activities, we should not expect the Chinese response to be to just stop. More likely we will see even more resentment and animosity towards the US and an increase in efforts to develop much stronger cyber capabilities.

Neither of the issues cited in the previous two paragraphs are reasons for the US to not respond. But we need to recognize that while there is obviously a lot of risk to the US in not doing anything, there is also much risk in a robust response as well. I would expect that the Obama administration weighed its options very carefully and perhaps decided that things have gotten so bad that delaying a muscular response was far more dangerous. Whatever is really going on, this is a very difficult situation that has me increasingly worried we will see a much more tense US-China relationship going forward.

Cyber attacks will not stop, and US companies and organizations need to do a much better job of protecting their data. For many companies now data is one of their key assets, just as cash in a vault is a bank’s key asset. Can you imagine a bank locking its front doors with a bicycle lock and leaving the cash in cardboard offices around the offices? Of course not, but that is what many corporations and institutions are effectively doing with their data.

Today’s Links:

THE ESSENTIAL EIGHT

PDF-Full text of Obama Administration Strategy on Mitigating The Theft of US Trade secrets – Interesting to watch the rollout of the US response over the last week. what else is going on that the public is not seeing?

China’s Truman-Style Resource Quest Tests UN Law and Neighbors – Bloomberg – When President Harry Truman’s push for oil in 1945 prompted him to claim all resources on the U.S. continental shelf, he unleashed a global race for the seas that led the United Nations to create rules for asserting territory. Seven decades later, China is making a broader claim in its drive for resources in the South China Sea, a move that would reinterpret the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. Last month the Philippines sought UN arbitration over China’s nine-dash map that asserts sovereignty of waters almost 800 miles away.

Chinese Admiral Says Senkaku/Diaoyu Conflict Would Be “Quick” | TIME.com – “The battle to take over the Diaoyu Islands would not be a conventional operation. For either party involved in the war, it would be very difficult to employ their full military capabilities, because there would be no time for them to fully unfold in the fight. The real fight would be very short. It is very possible the war would end in a couple of days or even in a few hours,” said PLA Navy Rear Admiral Yin Zhou, a former director of the Navy Institute of Strategic Studies, in a recent primetime special on Beijing TV.

人民日报-美丽中国,从雾霾中突围(贯彻十八大 开局新气象·特稿) ——学习贯彻落实十八大精神系列述评之二 – page 1 People’s Daily–Beautiful China Starts With Breaking The Smog Siege// 建设既富强又美丽的中国,不仅要增加GDP,也要提高人民生活质量,这就要有清新的空气、清洁的水、茂密的森林、广袤的草原。虽然实现这一目标还有很长的路要走,但是,只要我们沿着十八大指明的方向踏实迈进,就一定能早日驱散雾霾,迎来生态文明的美丽中国。

人民日报-用法治向地下水污染宣战(人民时评) 严厚福 – PD Commentary today on using rule of law to declare war on water pollution…official media seems to be “flooding the zone” on the water pollution problems…not dissimilar from smog siege response in january? see environment section below for more related links// 只有当每个主体都能严格依法办事,当法治成为像钢铁一样坚硬的准绳时,才会有天蓝、地绿、水净的美丽中国

Video – Unleashing Innovation: Internet May Be Testing Ground for Democracy in China – WSJ.com – The WSJ’s Li Yuan talks to Gary Wang of Tudou and Michael Anti, microblogger and political commentator, about whether social media could drive a political revolution in China.

North Korea: Witness to Transformation | Initial Chinese Reactions to the Test – Stephen Haggard- Official Chinese statements about the nuclear test are so bland and formulaic that analysts are reduced to parsing non-official sources that may or may not reflect actual policy. Given that China’s policy intellectuals have pretty wide latitude these days, these exercises can easily result in faulty inference or worse: wishful thinking. Scanning the commentary is not altogether useless, as it helps identify the scope of the debate. But real caution is required..Let’s end on a note of uncharacteristic sympathy. If the US has difficulty in figuring out what to do about North Korea, why should we think the task is any easier in Beijing? Their options are no better than ours. But when foreign policies are stuck, there is a tendency to revert to form; for the US, that is likely to be a return to strategic patience. We cannot rule out that Beijing will quietly ratchet up pressure on the North, and we should make the case that they should. But we cannot formulate our own policy toward North Korea based on the new Chinese leadership fundamentally altering the nature of its bilateral relationship with Pyongyang. It’s not going to happen.

» 25 Essential China Survival Apps Rectified.name 正名 – We loved the list of tips and tricks for living in Beijing that Kaiser Kuo wrote on Quora.  We agree with them all (especially the last one).  Not being able to top such comprehensive and impassioned advice, we thought we’d go a different route.  Since we (YJ excluded) confess to occasionally both whining AND bitching, we’ve come to rely on a few simple hacks to avoid unnecessary bad China days.

 

BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

China central bank chief set to keep job in reshuffle: sources | Reuters with Xiao Gang as eventual successor. bold reporting, market wills probably love this, we will find out in a couple of weeks// China’s central bank governor, Zhou Xiaochuan, is set to keep his job next month despite reaching the mandatory retirement age of 65, sources said, in a bid by Beijing’s new leaders to maintain the momentum of financial reform.  Two sources with ties to China’s Communist Party leadership and two senior financial industry sources said that, barring last-minute changes, Zhou, would be made a vice chairman of parliament’s top advisory body to give him “national-level leader” rank that would exempt him from compulsory retirement.

China’s next central bank governor is… | beyondbrics- good primer, written before Reuters report that Zhou is staying on, xiao gang eventual successor// For over a year, much of the speculation has centred on Guo Shuqing, China’s chief securities regulator. In recent months, other names have cropped up, including Shang Fulin, the top banking regulator, and Lou Jiwei, head of China’s sovereign wealth fund. But in discussions with PBOC watchers in Beijing over the past week, the dominant view was that the front-runner for the position is now a lesser-known figure: Xiao Gang, chairman of Bank of China, a commercial lender.

China Orders More Cities to Restrict Housing Purchases – Bloomberg  less than three weeks left in office for Premier Wen. even stricter controls really going to be the policy under Li Keqiang, or is this a last call as part of his legacy efforts?// Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao called on local authorities to “decisively” curb real estate speculation and take steps to rein in the property market after data showed prices surged the most in two years last month.  Cities that have had “excessively fast” price gains should promptly impose home-purchase restrictions if they’ve not done so already, China said in a statement released yesterday after a State Council meeting headed by Wen. Provincial capitals and municipalities reporting directly to the central government should also publish annual price control targets to keep new- home costs “basically stable,” according to the statement.

限购、房产税试点双扩容“落靴”_财经频道_一财网 – 本届政府最后一次国务院常务会议明确房地产调控不松劲,5年国务院常务会议涉及楼市议题的至少有15次。

China Aims to Finish Construction of 4.7Mln Units of Affordable Houses in 2013-Caijing – Chinese premier Wen Jiabao pledged Wednesday to “fully implement” an affordable housing plan, which aims to complete the construction of 4.7 million units of affordable houses, and start construction of another 6.3 million in 2013.

Gov’t Raises Charge to Transport Rail Freight – Caixin – 0.015, not 0.15 as Sinocism wrote Wednesday// Rail freight rates will increase 0.015 yuan per ton per kilometer on February 20, a notice from the National Development and Reform Commission and the Ministry of Railways says. The 13 percent increase is the highest in the past decade. The notice, which has been approved by the State Council, the country’s cabinet, was released on February 17.

New Rules Cast Doubt on Insurer’s Deal with City’s Financing Platform -Caixin – (Beijing) – When China Life Insurance (Group) Co. struck a deal with the Suzhou government and its financing platforms, the insurer looked set to be a shareholder in a fund that would primarily back infrastructure building. Now the prospect is less certain because some interpretations of a new policy, released one month after the deal was reached, cast doubt on whether the agreement is legal. China Life is not the only insurance company that wants to profit from local government-sponsored operations. Some large insurers, including China Pacific Insurance and New China Life Insurance, have jumped at opportunities to hold a stake in local infrastructure projects, which provide high returns.

Liquor makers fined 449 mln yuan for involvement in price monopoly – Xinhua | English.news.cn – Two Chinese liquor makers, Kweichow Moutai Co. Ltd and Wuliangye Yibin Co. Ltd, have been fined 449 million yuan, equivalent to 1 percent of all sales of the two companies throughout 2012, for their involvement in price monopoly activity.

China’s Foreign Direct Investment Declines for Eighth Month – Bloomberg – China’s foreign direct investment fell for an eighth month in January, a sign that the recovery in the world’s second-largest economy has yet to revive confidence among overseas companies. Inbound investment dropped 7.3 percent from a year earlier to $9.27 billion, the Ministry of Commerce said in a statement today in Beijing. Non-financial outbound investment rose 12.3 percent to $4.91 billion, the ministry data showed. China’s economic data in the first two months are distorted by the timing of the weeklong Lunar New Year holiday, which fell in January last year and February this year.

Two Ex-Xinhua Finance Board Members Admit to Tax Crime – Bloomberg – bad actors// Two former board members of Xinhua Finance Ltd. pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiring to obstruct the U.S. Internal Revenue Service as part of a deal with prosecutors to drop insider-trading allegations. Shelly Singhal, 45, admitted today in federal court in Washington that he conspired to hide about $3.5 million in forgiven debt from the IRS for Dennis Pelino, a fellow board member, and Loretta Fredy Bush, the company’s former chief executive officer. Pelino, 65, pleaded guilty to the same conspiracy charge on Feb. 15 as Bush did two days earlier. All three face as much as five years in prison when sentenced April 29.

TEXT: Moody’s Says China Avoids Hard Landing | MNIhear from a very savvy reader in finance that Moody’s track record on China is not strong (euphemism alert)// The following is the text from a release by Moody’s Investors Service on Wednesday:”Moody’s Investors Service says that China’s economy is recovering and a hard landing is becoming more and more an unlikely and distant possibility. In addition, while Moody’s considers the rebound in growth as positive, it can also — to the extent that it depends on an ample availability of financial credit and if it is left unchecked — exert credit pressures over time, perhaps offsetting the initial advantages for the economy.

 

POLITICS AND LAW

Restrictions on property inquiries arouse controversy – Xinhua | English.news.cn- “While real estate information could be used by the public to fight corruption, it could equally be sold at high prices or released to political rivals,” said Wen Jun, a professor with East China Normal University. A recent Internet post claiming that the deputy head of the Pudong New District of Shanghai owns a large villa of 2,000 square meters seems to have illustrated the erroneous or malicious potential of such data. An ensuing investigation by the authority showed that his main building has a floor area of a mere 247 square meters with a 63-square-meter affiliated one-story house.

S China mega-city to push forward officials’ asset disclosure – Xinhua | English.news.cn- Guangzhou will push forward a trial program for government officials’ asset declaration and disclosure in the second half of March, an anti-graft official said Wednesday. Government officials in the south China mega-city’s Nansha District will be required to declare not only their housing properties and automobiles, but also information regarding their overseas travels and the employment status of their spouses and sons and daughters, Mei Heqing, spokesman for the standing committee of the Guangzhou City Commission for Discipline Inspection of the Communist Party of China (CPC), told a press conference.

河北阜平获习近平探访后成扶贫“特区”_网易新闻中心 – after Xi Jinping’s visit Fuping, Hebei is now a poverty alleviation “special zone”// 核心提示:元旦前夕,河北阜平成为习近平探访贫困的第一站,阜平就此成为扶贫“特区”:各方提供年均3亿元的扶贫资金,该数字是阜平过去20年扶贫资金总和的1.5倍。阜平副县长称,阜平已确定种核桃大枣、养羊养牛的发展规划,而有观点称,“两种两养”不新鲜,此前都失败了。

北京多年出现考城管热 女生为当城管拒国企外企_网易新闻中心 -on why people want to become Cheng’guan in Beijing//  在很多人的印象里,城管不是褒义词,常常与抄摊儿、打人联系在一起。但是,查询近几年的本市公务员招考信息,几乎每年都是城管最热门。那么,如此遭人挤对的工作,为何还会吸引这么多高学历的年轻人投身其中?晨报记者为此采访了一些近年来通过公务员考试的城管队员,还原一个真实的城管工作。

上抗中央下欺百姓 官员利益集团腐败“期货”化严重_多维新闻网 – on local officials pushing back against corruption crackdown.//【多维新闻】近期,前山西省委副书记侯伍杰提前出狱受到当地官商热烈迎接的新闻持续占据中国各大新闻网站要闻位置,成为坊间舆论热点。此前多维新闻曾发表文章《百余官商迎出狱贪官,腐败期货化成习执政难点》认为,当前中国官场衍生出权力与利益交易“期货”化的腐败新形式。实际上,这种“期货”化的腐败不仅不利于中共高层力推的反腐行动,而且还会进一步巩固饱受诟病的地方官员利益集团,成为向上对抗中央、向下欺压百姓的重要方式和手段。习近平与王岐山等中共高层领导应当以更大的决心和勇气掀翻这些牢牢盘踞在地方的官员利益集团,为保证中共的持续和合法执政、实现中国人民共同富裕和国家富强的“中国梦”扫除障碍。

政府信任危机 习近平如何解“人走政息”之忧_多维新闻网 – 与习近平信用政府建设思路殊途同归的一种观点认为,要想有效规避“人走政息”,就得向具有政治可行性的法治化轨道靠拢。法律面前人人平等。也正因为此,习时代信用政府的构建,从此处入手,也不失为明智之举。不过,与法治化这一略显空泛的解决之径相比,向企业“开刀”,则更为具体化。中国当前的舆论生态,在官员一次次因腐败、暴力维稳而消耗民意后,已经变得主流与民间之间欲壑难填,鸿沟不断拉大。如果有企业来作为缓冲地带,不仅能纾解民众对官员的积怨,还能在一定程度上分散政府因信任危机而承受的重压。 回归耿彦波一事上,如果民众对政府存有信任,就不会出现“人走政息”的焦虑,已经有依法行政保障的政策连续性,也不需要附带着大同市政府“五个凡是”的承诺。耿彦波们值得肯定,民众跪地挽留所求为何,同样值得深思。如果此事在信息洪流中很快被湮没而没有引起当局的足够反思,才是远比民众跪地未能留住耿彦波更为悲哀的。

胡耀邦之子:中共反腐雷声大雨点小_多维新闻网 – Hu Deping criticizes progress of anti-corruption campaign// 【多维新闻】近日,胡耀邦之子胡德平接受香港媒体《明报》的采访,对中共整改的阻力和薄熙来这个既得利益的典型案件发表了自己的看法。他认为,目前中国改革的阻力来自于利益集团,尽管中共十八大后一系列的贪官落网打击了一部分的既得利益团体,证明中共十八大以来的反腐并不是作秀,但到目前为止,薄熙来案、李春城案等都没有一究到底,因此,“我觉得反腐工作还是雷声大雨点小”。

中共反腐几经嬗变 当前以治标为主_多维新闻网 – 【多维新闻】中共十八大后,经历了三个月的思考、座谈与调研,新一届中央新领导层在反腐问题上的思路愈加清晰。舆论称,百日新局“开得不错”,展现了新气象和新气息,抓住问题也抓住民意需求。有媒体报道,中共反腐侧重点经历几轮嬗变后,当前以治标为主,为治本赢得时间。

 

FOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS

China’s Cybergames – NYTimes.com – China and the United States have to cooperate on numerous international security issues. But that won’t happen if they end up in a cyberwar. Publicizing China’s transgressions and blocking Internet access to hackers should be a warning to Beijing. Washington is right to defend its interests. But the two nations need to take the lead in negotiating new international understandings about what constitutes cyberaggression and how governments should respond.

Commentary: Hacking allegations against China both baseless and revealing – Xinhua | English.news.cn – However, it is beyond belief that a firm specialized in the field of cybersecurity could be so indiscreetly desperate as to jump to a conclusion so full of loopholes, unless it has a good reason. If one takes a closer look at Mandiant’s report, it is not too difficult to find that it reeks of a commercial stunt. In a statement accompanying the firm’s report, Kevin Mandia, founder and CEO of Mandiant, seems to do nothing but market the products and services of his company.

中国军方继续批驳“网络攻击”不实指责——国防部网站 –  曼迪昂特(Mandiant)网络公司所谓中国军方从事网络间谍活动的说法是没有事实根据的。首先,该报告仅凭IP地址的通联关系就得出攻击源来自中国的结论缺乏技术依据,众所周知,通过盗用IP地址进行黑客攻击几乎每天都在发生,是网上常见的做法,这是一个常识性问题。其次,在国际上关于“网络攻击”尚未有明确一致的定义,该报告仅凭日常收集的一些网上行为就主观推断出网络间谍行动,是缺乏法律依据的。第三,网络攻击具有跨国性、匿名性和欺骗性的特点,攻击源具有很大的不确定性,不负责任地发布信息,不利于问题解决

‘Cyberattacks using US IPs’ target military |Politics |chinadaily.com.cn- Internet security a new way for Washington to ‘pressure Beijing’ The military has been the target of a “considerable number” of cyberattacks, the Defense Ministry said on Wednesday. Military computers suffered “a large number” of overseas attacks, with “a considerable number” of them originating from the US judging from the IP addresses, said ministry spokesman Geng Yansheng.

China Won’t Cut Its Cyberspying – NYTimes.com-Greg Austin OpEd- Yet there is disbelief in China that the United States would expect it to make a principled rejection of military cyberespionage. The Chinese would argue that the United States is doing it, and so should China. There is commitment in China to the idea that in terms of military preparedness in the Information Age, a country has to be able to use cyberassets, if it can, to disable adversary infrastructure on which a military campaign might depend. Last November, the Chinese leadership announced it would hasten the development of information technology for military purposes. Military advisers in China have an easy case to make. Why should China abandon its nonlethal, contingency operations related to possible cyberattacks on critical infrastructure where the United States itself now is vigorously pursuing offensive cyberoptions?

Mandiant, the Go-To Security Firm for Cyber-Espionage Attacks – Businessweek – Should we expect IPO filing or trade sale on the back recent great business and PR run for Mandiant? And have some of the former senior government officials now affiliated with KP been helpful to Mandiant in DC?// For the first few years, his company remained small and relatively unknown outside computer security circles. But it was in the right place at the right time. In 2011, as anxieties about attacks by China spread, the company raised $70 million from venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and the investment arm of JPMorgan Chase (JPM). It has used the cash to increase in size to more than 300 employees and open an operations center in Dublin, Ireland, and the new facility in Redwood City. “Outside of the NSA, I would guess that Mandiant knows more about advanced persistent threats [APT] than anyone in the world,” says Ted Schlein, a Kleiner Perkins partner, using the industry term for high-end cyber-espionage.

纽约时报曝光上海一建筑称系解放军黑客总部(图)_网易新闻中心 – Chinese media reporting on the New york Times Mandiant story// 纽约时报曝光上海一建筑称系解放军黑客总部(图)_网易新闻中心

On China’s Twitter, Discussion of Hacking Attacks Proceeds Unblocked | Tea Leaf Nation- Perhaps unsurprising in a country where the state remains heavily involved in its media, many commenters evinced a monolithic conception of the United States that linked Mandiant, media outlets, and the U.S. government. In particular, users responding to the CCTV post took a negative tack toward the U.S., telling the “yankees” that “America is always turning a little mirror towards others, and never towards itself!” Others felt that turnabout was fair–or necessary–play.

Review & Outlook: China’s Online Thieves – WSJ.com- strong language from WSJ editorial page..how long till WSJ Chinese blocked?// Better defenses are imperative. Naming and shaming the Chinese entities responsible, as Mandiant has done, are also important, and targeted sanctions against individuals and institutions will probably be needed. Chinese officials need to understand that if they want their current economic relationship with the U.S. to continue, they must stop their cyberattacks. Beijing has long wanted to showcase the triumph of “socialism with Chinese characteristics,” and in a way it has. Its defining characteristic is theft.

中国军网-牢记能打仗打胜仗是强军之要 总参谋部 – 习近平主席站在党和国家事业全局的高度,着眼国际战略形势和国家安全环境的发展变化,强调要牢记能打仗、打胜仗是强军之要,必须按照打仗的标准搞建设抓准备,确保我军始终能够召之即来、来之能战、战之必胜。这一重要指示,揭示了我军的根本职能和战略任务,反映了对走中国特色强军之路的深邃思考,为在新的历史起点上加快推进国防和军队现代化指明了方向。我军作为执行党的政治任务的武装集团,能打仗、打胜仗是党和人民对军队的根本要求,也是军事斗争准备的根本出发点和落脚点。军事领域贯彻落实党的十八大精神和习主席重要指示,必须强化打仗思想,做好打仗准备,提高打仗能力,坚持打仗标准,努力建设一支听党指挥、能打胜仗、作风优良的人民军队,为坚持和发展中国特色社会主义、实现中华民族伟大复兴作出新的更大贡献。

China army re-fry leftovers amid anti-waste campaign – Xinhua | English.news.cn- China’s anti-waste campaign keeps simmering in the military, as new measures have asked soldiers to feed on their leftovers and keep away from fancy food during official banquets. The “ten new measures” meted out this week by the General Logistics Department of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, instruct personnel to develop civilized and frugal diet habits, and make better use of leftovers and food materials.

Chinese Plan to Kill Drug Dealer With Drone Highlights Military Advances – NYTimes.com- China’s global navigation system, Beidou, would have been used to guide the drones to the target, Mr. Liu said. China’s goal is for the Beidou system to compete with the United States’ Global Positioning System, Russia’s Glonass and the European Union’s Galileo, Chinese experts say. Mr. Liu’s comments on the use of the Beidou system with the drones reflects the rapid advancement in that navigation system from its humble beginnings more than a decade ago.

For Abe, overcoming perceptions top job at Obama summit | The Japan Times- When Prime Minister Shinzo Abe travels to Washington this week for a summit with U.S. President Barack Obama, his first job may be to convince the president he’s not a rightwing fanatic seeking confrontation in East Asia, but rather a calm partner who can work with the Americans to maintain peace and stability in the region. Such fears partially stem from his last stint as prime minister.

女政治局委员罕见出山 中国诱美陷入朝核战略圈_多维新闻网 – what signal is China sending be having Politburo member Liu yandong attend south Korean presidential inauguration?//【多维新闻】朝鲜核试验之后,中国官方媒体号称不会大规模改变对朝政策,美韩再度抱团以军演制裁应对朝鲜,冷战气氛空前加剧。但是目前对于半岛局势出现两种奇怪的趋势:一是朝美关系可能会出现突然好转,二是中国对韩国释放出前所未有的暧昧信号,派出中央政治局委员级别的官员出席韩国总统就职典礼。

Shambaugh: China won’t be a global power until it figures out what it wants | The Best Defense- Contrary to some of the more sensationalist appraisals of China’s rise in world rankings, David Shambaugh argues in his new book, China Goes Global: The Partial Power, that despite China’s undeniable achievements, it has succeeded in becoming a global actor but not a global power. Hence the word “partial.” Shambaugh, a George Washington University political scientist, introduced his book last week in a February 13 talk at Johns Hopkins SAIS. He focused less on China’s “vertical” rise — its skyrocketing GDP and increasing military sophistication — than on the extent of its “horizontal” expansion of its influence to the rest of the planet. He analyzed China’s current global presence along five vectors: diplomacy, global governance, economics, culture, and security.

 

TECH AND MEDIA

Dodging censors and gonzo grips: How to make a movie in China – CNN.com – Each month, CNN’s Kristie Lu Stout sits down with three China experts to discuss what’s really driving the world power and economic giant. This month’s episode on Chinese cinema features DMG Entertainment’s Dan Mintz and directors Eva Jin and Lu Chuan

Hollywood and Censorship in China: Revenue and Responsibility : The New Yorker – Hollywood and China could have a profitable new future together, but American directors might be surprised by the way Chinese fans can react to some good-natured pushback against the censors. When Lou Ye did it, Chinese fans cheered him. As a commentator named Zhang Bingjian put it: “What would happen if every director and producer published the censorship process on Weibo from now on?”

New Movie Version of Journey to the West Is Box Office Hit -Caixin – amazing how one story can generate so many successful products…also hugely popular in gaming// On February 14, daily sales for Journey to the West totaled 122 million yuan, exceeding Hollywood blockbuster Transformers: Dark of the Moon Repack’s single-day record of 114 million yuan. Journey to the West, directed by Stephen Chow and Derek Kwok Tsz-kin, is an adaptation of the classic Chinese novel. Film industry analysts expect it to break the 1.3 billion yuan box office record set by the low-budget comedy Lost in Thailand in December.

SINA Reports Fourth Quarter 2012 Financial Results – Yahoo! Finance – SINA Reports Fourth Quarter 2012 Financial Results – Yahoo! Finance

思科高管空降新浪微博 面临三大挑战_财经频道_一财网 – first financial on three challenges for sina’s new cto// 在未来的新浪高层架构中,许良杰将主管微博业务,而杜红继续主管门户业务,共同向董事长曹国伟汇报工作。

百度诉360案进入诉讼程序_财经频道_一财网 – settlement talks failed, baidu’s suit against qihoo 360 to go to court, baidu seeking 100m rmb//百度索赔1亿元,庭前调解协商未果。

Sina admits rival WeChat will continue to cut into Weibo usage, but says it has critical mass – The Next Web – Sina, the company behind China’s popular Sina Weibo microblogging platform, has again admitted that time spent on its service from users has dipped due to competition with Tencent-owned messaging service WeChat. However, the company has defended its position, saying that the service already has a mainstream following.

The best blog posts about marketing and branding on WeChat | China Internet Guru – With the use of a public account on WeChat, marketers have a unique way to engage with customers and fans of the brand. This mobile chat app was only launched in 2011 and already has more than 300 million users. Not only in China, but already in 30 countries worldwide. Information about how to use WeChat as a marketer is still limited on the Internet. We have made a collection of the best blog posts we could found to launch your WeChat public account and marketing on the increasingly popular platform.

Geek Park Lures Google’s Schmidt in China App Hunt: Tech – Bloomberg – Geek Park has held about 40 forums since 2010, when founder Zhang Peng decided China needed events to help developers share ideas, find funding and create products for the nation’s online market. China has about 564 million Internet users, or more than the combined population of the U.S., Canada and Mexico.“We wanted to create something that would encourage more people to innovate, to feel proud about it, and that would be a platform for communication,” said Zhang, who was previously a reporter for a local technology magazine. “There used to be a lot of copycats in China and not enough innovators.”

 

SOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY

From China to the Met, and Now a Soprano’s Mentor – NYTimes.com – w video// My friend Denise is communications director for the program and took me to the Met to hear an alumna, Ms. Yu, sing one of the lead roles in Verdi’s “Trovatore.” Just days before, she had made her Met debut to glowing reviews, and she sang with an assurance and passion I’ve seen in indie musicians who have just been discovered. After the opera Denise whisked me backstage to Ms. Yu’s dressing room. I was completely charmed by the young star. We then escorted her out the back door, past an entourage hoping for an autograph, and hustled her across the street to Fiorello’s for a late dinner with friends. The most extraordinary opera performance of my life was about to begin. During dinner her friends kept urging Ms. Yu to sing, and eventually she began a popular Chinese song, “I Love You, China.” I was one table away! My business is live music, but this took my breath away. I’d never heard anything so strong and pure — I wept. When I looked up, I saw that everyone in the restaurant had left the table to come and listen.

Special concert dedicated to Song Zuying held in Washington D.C. – Xinhua | English.news.cn – pictures// Famous Chinese singer Song Zuying performs during the “Cultures of China, Festival of Spring” performance in Washington D.C., capital of the United States, Feb. 19, 2013. A special concert is dedicated to Song Zuying in this year’s “Cultures of China, Festival of Spring” event in the United States from Feb. 16 to March 3

Villagers re-build 1m demolished tombs in Henan | South China Morning Post- Villagers in Henan have secretly re-built one million of the two million tombs torn down last year under a controversial government “tomb-flattening” policy, the China Business Daily reported on Wednesday. Authorities launched the unpopular policy of demolishing tombs in 2012. Henan’s provincial government said it was necessary to provide more land for agriculture. More than two million tombs had been destroyed since March 2012, the government claimed.

河南周口官员因村民复坟向上级检讨_网易新闻中心 – 核心提示:据报道,河南周口平坟历时数月,200余万坟头被平掉,而如今至少半数被平坟墓一夜间被圆起,涉事乡镇官员已就村民复坟向领导做检讨。有网民称,周口市商水县平坟宣传车上街要求民众将自发拢起坟墓再平掉,否则后果自负。

河南周口200万平坟半数恢复 或面临“二次平坟”潮_资讯频道_凤凰网 - 2m tombs restored in Henan, maybe be removed again. strange, big story// 南都讯记者 孙旭阳 在刚过去的春节里,河南省周口市的农村复坟成风。据估算,去年被强制平掉的200多万座坟,约有一半以上已经恢复,以便后人祭奠。不过,南都记者昨日调查显示,这些被恢复的坟头,很可能将再次被强制推平。

Larry Kwong’s Shift for Rangers in 1947-48 Broke a Barrier – NYTimes.com – Larry Kwong’s career with the Rangers lasted a New York minute, but his legacy lingers some 65 years after his debut ended in disappointment.Long before Jeremy Lin transfixed the N.B.A. and New York City, Kwong was the first player of Chinese descent to appear in the N.H.L. He played for the Rangers in one game, for one shift, during the 1947-48 season.

Hong Kong feng shui master rakes in the mainland dollars|WantChinaTimes.com- Gone are the days when the Communist government denounced and derided traditional Chinese culture as backward superstition and attacked those who practiced it. Such is evident from the large crowds flocking to attend a series of seminars hosted by Hong Kong-based feng shui master Mak Ling-ling around the country every Friday and Sunday over the last few days, the report said. Mak charged a minimum price of 80,000 yuan (US$12,800) for each seminar she hosted and the prices were even higher in the north of the countries. Forums in the northeastern cities of Changchun and Harbin cost about 150,000 yuan (US$24,000) to attend. Mak already has a packed schedule of seminars until March in a market in which respected feng shui masters charge between 30,000 yuan and 50,000 yuan (US$4,800-$8,000) for their advice on how to arrange furniture in the most auspicious manner.

Impressive moments of Beijing since 1950s–Photos- – People’s Daily Online –

 

ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT AND HEALTH

» What Would China’s Carbon Tax Regime Look Like– Dance to the Revolution - Ella chou knows her stuff// My Twitter stream is bubbling with excitement about China’s introduction of carbon tax: Quartz, Think Progress, etc. all reported on the Xinhua report, but the larger context is missing and the key questions about the implementation are not answered.

China Sets Emission Limits in Toughest Counter-Air-Pollution Plan-Caijing – China’s environment watchdog is putting a cap on the amount of air pollutants produced by heavy-pollution industries in what is called the “toughest” counter-pollution policy to placate public worries as more cities in the country are breathing bad air. The country’s Ministry of Environmental Protection in Tuesday’s regular meeting, set emission limits on new projects in six heavy-pollution industries including thermal power generation, iron and steel, petro-chemical, non-ferrous metals, etc. as well as on the existing projects in four of the six industries.

北京治霾征集意见结束 四成网友称公车应先限行 新华社——经济参考网 – 《北京市大气污染防治条例(草案送审稿)》公开征集意见2月8日结束,北京市法制办共收到326条市民建议,其中109条意见集中讨论机动车尾气管理以及限行方案。市法制办表示,意见征集结束后,将对全部意见进行归纳总结,可能在进行适当的修改后,将条例草案送交市人大常委会进行审议和表决。 据悉,该条例将有望于年内出台实施,在修改和细化的内容中,可能会涉及到机动车限行的问题。

遏制水污染需更多行动的公民_社论_新京报网 – Beijing news Wednesday on need for citizen actin to fight water pollution// 向地下水污染“宣战”,需要更多的公民行动起来,去调查、取证,向公众、媒体和政府提供线索。各级政府部门不但应重视这些公民的监督,同样也应善待这些监督的公民。

离北京50公里的“癌症村”_凤凰周刊_新浪博客 – 离北京50公里的“癌症村”_凤凰周刊_新浪博客 Phoenix Weekly magazine on a cancer village 50 km from beijing

环保部:个别地区因化学污染出现“癌症村”_资讯频道_凤凰网Ministry of Environmental Protection says in a report that pollution has caused some “cancer villages”// 环保部今天公开发布《化学品环境风险防控“十二五”规划》(以下简称规划),规划显示,我国化学品污染防治形势十分严峻。 规划表示,我国有3 千余种已化学物质对人体健康和生态环境危害严重;个别地区甚至出现“癌症村”等严重的健康和社会问题。

山西长治市长张保因苯胺泄露事故被提名免职_资讯频道_凤凰网mayor of changzhi. shanxi to be removed after dec chemical spill into river// 调查认为,这是一起由企业安全生产责任事故引发的重大环境污染事件,事故企业,相关政府及部门对此负有责任。调查认为,事故直接原因是金属软管存在质量问题导致破裂,造成苯胺泄漏。长治市政府责任、大局意识不强,政府应急部门信息上报迟缓,应急处置不力,未及时将环境信息通报下游省市有关部门。此次事故及事件共涉及责任人员38名,山西省长治市市长张保对事故负有领导责任,山西省委已经决定,提名张保不再担任长治市市长职务。

3500亿治污风暴来袭 环保股上演春季攻势|环保股|春季|治污风暴_21世纪网 – bull market market ahead for environmental stocks?// 核心提示:实际上,近年来,环保概念一直都是短线热钱炒作的“宠儿”。经过此前关于大气污染PM2.5治理的炒作后,近期环保板块稍有休整。不过,在蛇年股市开市以来,环保概念股炒作再度起飞,连续两个交易日表现强劲。

 

FOOD AND TRAVEL

» 7 Reasons You Should Visit Kashgar, Xinjiang-Far West China – Kashgar, an ancient oasis located between the Taklamakan desert and the Karakorum mountain range, was one of the busiest stops along the Silk Road. The European, Arab and Asian dealers of silk and spices used to meet here and exchange their goods. Today the Silk Road is gone but the markets are still there.

China considers BBQ ban to combat smog–AFP – China is considering a ban on barbecues to help reduce air pollution in built-up areas after heavy smog recently choked large swathes of the country, state media reports.The country’s environmental watchdog has issued draft guidelines advising major cities to adopt legislation banning “barbecue-related activities”, official news agency Xinhua said on Wednesday, risking the ire of street-food-loving locals.

 

BOOKS AND LITERATURE

The China Beat: Coming Distractions: Two Kinds of Timefrom 2008, timeless, want to read this book, no kindle version// With all that in mind, I recently encouraged the University of Washington Press to reprint my favorite China book of all time, Graham Peck’s Two Kinds of Time, originally published in 1950. UW has now brought the book out, in paperback. Pieces of my modest Foreword to this new edition follow here. Bringing Peck to new audiences, six decades after his great book appeared, is, for me, a labor of love. The books offers tremendous food for thought – about China then and now, radically changed and perhaps in some ways hardly changed at all; about the American experience with China, then and now; about Americans themselves, their politics, their sense of place in the world. Above all, Two Kinds of Time is a masterpiece of writing, and of illustration. I’ll let the Foreword speak for itself, but I hope that visitors to The China Beat will be intrigued enough by what they see online to get hold of the book, think about where we have been as they ponder where we’re going — and above all get a sense of what great American writing about China really can be. We’re entering a new Golden Age of writing about China, in my view, and dear Graham Peck, who died in obscurity as I labored through graduate school only a hundred and fifty miles from his Vermont home, unaware yet of his existence, offers a standard for the best of our contemporary observers to emulate

 

JOBS AND EVENTS

China: Embracing Informality | Reboot Event in NYC  Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013 GREEN SPACES NEW YORK (TRIBECA) 394 BROADWAY, FIFTH FLOOR Hundreds of millions of migrant workers have flocked to Chinese metropolises in search of opportunity. But, financial access has not kept pace with an increasingly transient population. Citizens at the bottom of the economic pyramid lack even the most basic means to save for their children’s education, make purchases on credit, protect their homes through insurance, and send and receive money. Financial exclusion prevents many of them from realizing their potential and improving their livelihoods. How can we design better financial services to meet their needs?

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