The Sinocism China Newsletter For 03.25.13

Monday is another bad PR day for Apple in China, following on the attacks by CCTV (Danwei) during the March 15 Consumer Day show.

The People’s Daily criticizes the company on page 1 (售后服务双重标准 自我表扬应付质疑 苹果咬了“上帝”一口) about its support policies and public relations response to the uproar caused by the March 15 CCTV report. The newspaper also has two longer articles on page 9 in which it calls Apple arrogant and runs a cartoon mocking its PR response (人民日报-苹果公司售后服务“双重标准”引发消费者不满,消极应付惹质疑 傲慢苹果“啃”不动?).

If there is a bright side today for Apple, at least there is no word yet that as part of the frugality and anti-corruption campaigns Chinese officials will no longer be allowed to use Apple products.

The cartoon that in the top right bubble has the character for “empty” stamped on “Apple’s Statement”:

applepdcartoon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Links:

THE ESSENTIAL EIGHT

The Land of Many Palaces – a documentary feature film by Adam Smith & Song Ting about Ordos— Kickstarter one of the more vocal china bears/funds/research shops who made some decent money pushing the ordos Ghost City story should fund this…// China’s ghost city is awakened by an influx of new residents in “The Land of Many Palaces”…The film is about the allure of urban life in China, set against the backdrop of the new city of Ordos. We are following three characters who represent various facets of the dream of urban life, whether these be governmental, familial, or personal: Xiaomei, a young government official responsible for the relocation of farmers to the new city, and their education about how to become new urban citizens, Shiwen, a herdsman who sells his land to a coal mining company and moves his family to the new city with the compensation money he receives, and Wang, a taxi-driver who arrived in Ordos in search of over night wealth. The city itself, beating with new construction, and an influx of new residents, will serve as a 4th character.

温州炒房客撤离 豪宅每平8万暴跌至4.5万_新闻_腾讯网 high end real estate prices collapsing in wenzhou…wenzhou a city in which the bubble has been bursting for a while, world has not ended

Now you can use your phone to ‘call’ the dead – People’s Daily Online At a cemetery in Shenyang, capital of northeast China’s Liaoning Province, you will soon be able to “call up” the deceased using mobile phone technology. There are plans to incorporate a QR (quick response) code on graves in Shengjing cemetery if relatives request the service. By scanning the code using their phones, visitors can find out about the late person’s life, the local Liaoshen Evening News reported.

Chinese people, goods and money pouring into South Africa – AJW by The Asahi Shimbun On March 23, three days before the summit starts, an 18,000-square-meter commercial complex featuring Chinese products opened in Johannesburg. The complex is ringed by dozens of Chinese national flags. Similar gigantic facilities, known as China malls, have mushroomed and proved popular among South Africans. A 48-year-old homemaker said she was looking forward to the opening. She said Chinese products are not always of the highest quality, but are affordable even for the poor.

Peng Liyuan, China’s new first lady, adds glamour – NYTimes.com Concerned about China’s difficulties in projecting a global soft power presence, the government recently established a Public Diplomacy Association made up of former ambassadors and other notable figures. The association’s task is to make the “voice of China and the story of China more engaging and more convincing,” said Yang Jiechi, the new state councilor in charge of foreign affairs. Officials now talk publicly about the need for Chinese companies, especially mining and construction conglomerates, to be more sensitive to local needs in Africa and Asia.

Trade relations in focus before China’s Xi gives Africa speech | Reuters He then travels to South Africa for a summit of leaders of the world’s major emerging economies, known as the BRICS, on Tuesday and Wednesday, and could endorse plans to create a joint foreign exchange reserves pool and an infrastructure. The proposal underscores frustrations among emerging markets at having to rely on the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, which are seen as reflecting the interests of the United States and other industrialized nations. Nigeria’s central bank governor, Lamido Sanusi, wrote in the Financial Times this month that the trade imbalance between China and Africa was “the essence of colonialism” and cautioned the continent was vulnerable to a new form of imperialism.

Xi’s Visit More Than Symbolic – Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Outside observers often look for shortcomings, flaws and crevices in Sino-Russian relations that can develop into serious cracks. Obviously, they want to be reassured that Beijing and Moscow will not join forces against Washington, and they are usually satisfied with the conclusions they draw. Only a blind and bellicose policy by Washington can, in theory, prompt China and Russia to form an anti-US alliance. Today, such a scenario appears highly unlikely. Something else needs to be stressed, however. The stable and flourishing relations between Eurasia’s two biggest neighboring powers, which were engaged in a 30-year-long “cold war” of their own, are a major contribution to international peace and security. President Xi’s visit to Moscow may not necessarily be historic, but it is certainly symbolic of the long way the two countries have come.

China punishes North Korea for nuclear tests | South China Morning Post Freight handlers and trading companies at ports and cities near the North Korean border complain of more rigorous inspections and surprise checks that are raising the costs to doing business with an often unpredictable North Korea. Machinery, luxury goods and daily necessities such as rice and cooking oil are among the targeted products, the companies said, and business is suffering

 

BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

China Construction Bank Quarterly Net Rises 16% on Loans – Bloomberg  “The results affirmed our view that the pessimism over Chinese banks’ earnings since last September was overplayed,” said Luo Yi, a Shenzhen-based analyst at China Merchants Securities. “Bad loans may continue to rise this year as China lowers its pace of growth, but the increase will be fairly modest. Margin contraction may also stabilize as banks adjust their asset mix.” Although shares of China’s nine Hong Kong-listed banks have gained 22 percent since mid-September as the U.S. announced a third round of quantitative easing, they continue to trade near record-low valuations.

Economy – Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development The new Survey, presented in Beijing by OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría at a press conference with Mr. Yang Weimin, Vice Minister of the Office of the Central Leading Group on Financial and Economic Affairs of the Chinese Communist Party, forecasts that GDP will grow by 8.5% this year and 8.9% in 2014. “The gradual pick-up in activity provides a strong background for the ambitious reforms China needs to put in place to continue on the road to prosperity,” Mr Gurría said. “We are encouraged by the new leadership’s policy vision and welcome its emphasis on initiatives to make growth not only strong but also inclusive and sustainable over the years ahead.”

China Focus: Economic slowdown puts peaceful rise in focus – Xinhua | English.news.cn The country’s economic expansion is expected to slow to a year-on-year average of 7.2 percent between 2011 and 2025, said Li Xuesong, deputy director of the Institute of Quantitative and Technical Economics, Chinese Academy of Social Science (CASS). At a presentation at the ongoing 5th World Forum on China Studies, Li’s econometric models forecast slower GDP growth than the country’s 13-year low of 7.8 percent in 2012. “Optimistic calculations suggest growth at 8.2 percent, while a pessimistic one suggests 7 percent, between 2011 and 2015, and both figures will continue to decline over the next two five-year periods,” Li said.

China Vice Premier says economy faces headwinds, urges broad reforms —Reuters History has shown that the only way to surmount growth obstacles is to undertake sweeping changes, Zhang said. “This is a very important job for us,” he told a business forum, saying areas that needed change include government institutions, the household registration system and environment protection standards. “If not, even if our absolute economic size gets bigger, our economy, our growth standards, will still be at the mid- to low-end.”

Real estate not a pillar sector: economic planner – Xinhua | English.news.cn Zhu Zhixin, deputy director of the National Development and Reform Commission, made the remark Sunday in response to the widespread misunderstanding of the importance of the housing market. He was speaking at the ongoing China Development Forum held in Beijing. Instead, the central government considers the construction industry as a pillar one, he said.

张玉良回应王石地产”泡沫论”:并非中国整体情况_中国经济网??国家经济门户 张玉良告诉中国经济网记者,“中国的总体市场还是有需求的市场,有一些地方房价偏高、放量过快,特别是一线城市,这是事实,但这并不是中国的整体情况。另外,我们如果采取准确地、针对性强的措施地话,是可以回避的。”

Gansu City Moves Mountains in Search of Transformation -Caixin- Just north of the arid western city of Lanzhou, an army of excavators is flattening mountains truckload by truckload, obscuring the city’s burgeoning skyline with clouds of yellow dust. They are making way for a vast project that aims to transform this narrow gateway to Xinjiang and Tibet into a broad boomtown and suck water from a hinterland with little to spare. This gritty city of 3.6 million people has been known for some of the worst pollution in all of China. Now, the air is getting even grimier as investment from the coast is fueling development in an area almost twice the size of Manhattan that will be home to a million new residents. And that’s just one small part of the plan.

China’s Hanlong chairman investigated for harboring murder suspect: report | Reuters Liu Han was detained this week along with family members, according to local media reports. The official Xinhua news agency, quoting police sources, said on Saturday he was being investigated for possibly shielding evidence, among other “serious” criminal offences.

Joy CEO Says China Coal Miner Demand to Gain as Power Use Rises – Bloomberg Joy also bought a company from ERA’s founders, sorts been arguing that it to will have issues// The company has “strongly positioned” itself to benefit from a rebound in coal demand through its 2012 acquisition of International Mining Machinery in China, Rayle said. While the global coal market has begun to rebound from 2012, miners will delay capital spending until later in the year, he said Sutherlin said he is trying to increase the amount of revenue IMM captures from servicing and maintenance after the original machine sale.

Fiscal caution as focus put on budget balance[1]|chinadaily.com.cn Despite rapid revenue growth, the budget deficit will, as planned, reach 1.2 trillion yuan ($193.2 billion) in 2013. This marks a 50 percent increase from the previous year. Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli, addressing the China Development Forum, said the key was to spend wisely and not just let the government expand its share of the national coffers.

楼继伟:将对地方债务开正道堵歪门_经济频道_财新网 interesting comments from Lou Jiwei at China Development Forum// 在分析目前中国赤字规模较大的原因时,楼继伟称一是为了应对外部环境一些不利冲击,二是国内财政支出增长非常快,而财政收入不太可能出现超规模的增长. full text of his remarks here, full text of his Q&A here

“影子银行”内外有别 明确权责方能规范发展_财经频道_一财网 去年10月,时任中国银行董事长肖钢在《中国日报》发表英文署名文章,呼吁加强“影子银行”监管,将此话题的讨论推向风口浪尖。今年“两会”期间,肖钢对《第一财经日报》记者表示,国内“影子银行”风险在“个别地区、个别项目上已经开始发生,已经有了偿还的风险,一定要加强规范和管理。”他认为,“影子银行”是利率市场化改革的一个结果,“现在利率还是有一定的管制,市场资金的需求也是多样的,另外有些项目通过传统的银行信贷得不到资金,‘影子银行’应运而生”,“影子银行”一方面有其客观存在的必然性,另一方面也是系统性风险的隐患。

Dealer cheating causes havoc at Volvo’s China unit | Reuters Swedish auto maker Volvo has uncovered widespread cheating by its car dealers in China, where retailers inflated sales to win cash rebates from the company for hitting volume targets.An investigation by the struggling, Chinese-owned car maker uncovered thousands of fake sales booked in 2011 — but also an under-reporting of sales in 2012 to make the books balance. That meant it actually performed better last year than it had thought, according to a senior Volvo executive.

 

POLITICS AND LAW

人民日报-民生改善是梦想的最好诠释 ——五论同心共筑中国梦 本报评论员 fifth in a series of page 1 people’s daily commentaries about the china dream…//千百年来,中国老百姓企盼的就是“过上好日子”。能够让人们过上好日子的社会,必定是一个学有所教、劳有所得、病有所医、老有所养、住有所居的社会。我们深知,这样的中国梦,体量之大,涉及13亿人;范围之广,涵盖百姓生活的方方面面。这决定了圆梦之途绝不轻松,既需要尽力而为、量力而行、循序渐进,更需要克勤克俭、辛勤劳动,在推动经济发展中,不断满足民生之需、不断增进民生福祉。 中国梦不是空中楼阁。梦想成真,民生改善是最好诠释。将国家的发展落脚在所有人的共同发展上,将梦想的力量凝聚在共同富裕的旗帜下,未来中国定能以稳健有力的步伐,在民族复兴梦想的道路上踏实前行。

【舒立观察】证券监管如何继往开来_杂志频道_财新网 Hu Shuli’s editorial this week about Xiao Gang taking over as head of CSRC, she seems be fairly confident he will continue to push on reforms// 肖钢主席行事低调,此前的职业生涯均在央行和商业银行度过,外界尚难以知晓其对证券市场的见解。但观其既往,肖钢推进改革,尊重市场,警惕风险,具国际视野。如果他能将此风格和思路引入新职,证监改革就不会半途而废;具体改革路径和策略或有不同,但监管哲学应一以贯之。在3月17日的证监会人事交接会议上,肖钢亦表示将保持政策的连续性,这是一个好的开端。

Author of Deng’s biography awarded on China studies – Xinhua | English.news.cn Ezra Vogel, author of “Deng Xiaoping and the Transformation of China,” was honored on Saturday for his outstanding contribution in the studies of China together with two other renowned researchers. In a prerecorded audio clip, Vogel, 82, said that he was “deeply moved to be recognized in China as one who has seriously endeavored to interpret China to the West and to enter into the internal discussion within China as scholars here make an effort to understand the Deng era and how it transformed China.”

Pictures–Provincial civil servant exam kicks off in Jiangsu – Xinhua | English.news.cn A record high of 243,574 candidates sat the provincial civil servant exam on March 24, competing for 7,662 government job

公务员隐性福利调查:补助卫生巾 节假日都发钱_新闻_腾讯网 a look at the “hidden” benefits civil servants receive..no wonder so many people vying for spots// 省社会科学院研究员董泓扬认为,“考公务员热”带来的不是人民公仆,而是怀着升官发财美梦的一个个利益追逐者,很多人报考公务员带有很强的目的性,有的人可能已经准备好进到公务员系统就开始“寻租”了。这是非常令人担忧的。

人民日报-当官即不许发财(人民论坛) 辛士红 People’s daily: Officials are not allowed to get rich//  拒腐防变,须走正道。当社会生活越来越丰富,党员干部面临的诱惑也越来越多,消极腐败的危险更加突出地摆在面前。跨过金钱关、用好手中权,首先就要坚定理想信念,划出公私分明的界限,培养为民服务的情怀,不断筑牢思想防线。当然,遏制一些人发财的欲望,仅靠自律还不够,关键是加强对权力的制约和监督。通过完善“手莫伸,伸手必被捉”的机制,打造牢牢关住权力的笼子,给权力涂上防腐剂,才能真正让干部拒腐蚀、永不沾。

张维迎:发改委过去十年只关注发展 不太关注改革_资讯频道_凤凰网 Zhang Weiying goes after NDRC at the China Development Forum//  张维迎的提问赢得现场两次热烈掌声。他称,最近中国光伏产业处于危机中,领头企业无锡尚德已经处于破产程序,这个危机与政府的产业政策有关。他还说,今天很多产能过剩是过去产业政策导致的结果,甚至政府产业政策已经成为普遍的腐败和寻租的重要根源。 张维迎向国家发展和改革委员会副主任朱之鑫提问,在新一届政府下的发改委,会不会重新反思产业政策?“发改委全名叫发展和改革委员会,但是为何我们观察到发改委过去十年只关注发展,不太关注改革?” 朱之鑫回应称,是否所有的产能过剩都是由于产业政策造成的,以及是否所有产业政策中都产生了大量腐败,这些问题值得商榷。因为,产能和需求本身就是一个矛盾。“不能截然看到产业政策某些存在的问题就否定了它,而应该看到它持续发展的作用”,他说。

人民日报-请不要妖魔化“两桶油” (各抒己见) 西 雨 舆论对“两桶油”为代表的央企的监督批评是必要的。只有监督到位,才不会把长子娇惯成“坏孩子”。但同时,我们也应该多一点理性,少一点情绪化,更不要妖魔化和肆意谩骂,那样做只能挑起对立情绪,增加社会的负能量

媒体称两会后人事调整再现国企高管入仕_财经频道_一财网 全国两会以来的人事调整中,不少新任政府高官具有国企高管的经历,“高管入仕”现象再次出现。分析中国政坛中的“国企CEO”群体,年轻化、高学历是他们的普遍特点。

治裸官 广州15%比例抽查官员申报_财经频道_一财网 广州市官员申报事项不仅包括个人收入、房产、汽车、投资等财产信息,还包括婚姻变化、配偶及子女就业等,并明确抽查核实比例为15%。

我国三公消费突破9000亿 相当去年财政收入10%_新闻_腾讯网 中新网杭州3月24日电 (记者 徐乐静)24日,由浙江省公共政策研究院主办的以“三公浪费的治理”为主题的沙龙在浙江大学玉泉校区举行,来自全国多地的十余位专家学者就这一主题发表自己的见解。浙江大学公共政策研究院副院长范柏乃指出,遏制三公消费需构建公众参与的长效化治理机制,将三公消费与费用结算完全分离,并接受全民监督,真正把三公消费关进制度的“笼子”里。

陕西官员儿子被曝有3个户口 高中即有百万股份_新闻_腾讯网“ 父亲作为公职人员在公司入股100万,儿子还在上学,却拥有3个户口”,最近,有举报称三原县卫生局原党委书记王伟民违规违纪之事。而被举报人王伟民称儿子只有一个户口,但承认自己曾经入股企业100万元,儿子也在企业有100万元的股份。

每周舆评:上有行则下必效 官有责则民无怨-财经网 近日深圳新闻网发布“深圳市网络舆情应对能力排行榜”,该榜单每个月对深圳的10起热点舆情事件进行通报和分析,并以“响应速度、信息发布、机构行为、网络引导、应对成效”为指标,邀请专家和网友对涉事单位的应对处置能力进行打分和测评。这是舆论问责的一种创新模式,通过内部通报和舆论公开,对政府部门的工作形成有效倒逼,这一制度相信也会在不久的将来逐步风行各大城市。当下的“中国式问责”并不完美,在运行中常出现的模式包括如下几种。替罪兼灭火式问责:无责任者或不完全责任者成为问责对象,而真正的或主要责任人由于处于权力上游而成为漏网之鱼,事件充分膨胀后,民意汹涌,公愤难平,政府瞬间手起刀落初步处理责任官员,例如停职等,随着舆论风声降息,后续处理也不了了之;其次是,避风再复出式问责:在许多重大事件中被免职甚至判刑的官员经过一段时间的“隐忍”,躲过风头,经过“有心人”安排重出江湖继续担任重要职位。// 作者:沈阳(@武大沈阳) 武汉大学信息管理学院、新闻与传播学院 教授、博导

 

FOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS

What Xi Jinping’s visit to Tanzania means : Analysis-africareview.com But Dr Benson Bana, head of the department of Political Science and Public Administration at the University of Dar es Salaam, said: “Our President should find a way of telling his counterpart what Tanzanians want from China. They should invest more in this country, rather than making us a ready market for their products.” China’s industries need raw materials and markets and this is what the new leader must strive to provide, analysts say, but not at the expense of Tanzania–which needs Chinese products, but not when quality is not guaranteed. Moreover, they should help Tanzania construct its own industries to produce finished goods,” according to Dr Bana.

Will China and Russia’s New ‘Strategic Partnership’ Work? | Via Meadia So for now, VM maintains that this is a big old nothingburger of an event. China and Russia will continue to cooperate and vote together against Western initiatives when it suits them, all the while suspiciously eyeing each other for evidence of intrigue. Though it’s always dangerous to draw conclusions based on past trends, we see no solid evidence that anything has changed in the well-established dynamic between these two countries.

Chinese, Russian presidents push for tourism cooperation – Xinhua | English.news.cn The China-Russia Tourism Year program, which began last year with the Year of Russian Tourism in China, aims to foster tourism ties and cultural exchanges between the two countries. It is the third theme year following the China-Russia National Year and the China-Russia Year of Language held in recent years in the two countries. Putin said those events have greatly deepened mutual understanding and trust between the two peoples and have consolidated the social basis of bilateral relations.

Xi’s First State Trip Yields ‘Breakthrough’ Oil Deals With Putin – Bloomberg China agreed to double oil supplies and supported construction of a natural gas pipeline from Russia under “breakthrough” agreements during President Xi Jinping’s first state trip abroad. OAO Rosneft, the world’s biggest traded oil producer by output, will borrow $2 billion from China Development Bank Corp., backed by 25 years of oil supplies, under accords signed yesterday in the Kremlin. The Russian company also offered China National Petroleum Corp. access to Arctic resources, and OAO Gazprom said it plans to conclude a 30-year gas-supply contract to China by year-end.

Xi Heads for African Tour as Policy Makers Question China’s Role – Bloomberg Chinese President Xi Jinping will set out plans for mining and infrastructure development on a trip to Africa this week, as China seeks to reassure leaders on the continent who have voiced unease about its trade relations. During his eight-day trip Xi, 59, will stop in Tanzania, Congo Republic and South Africa, where he plans to sign business cooperation deals and attend a summit of BRICS nations. Trade between Africa and China doubled since 2007 to more than $200 billion and Chinese investment stands at $20 billion, according to Standard Bank Group Ltd. (SBK), Africa’s biggest lender.

Jing Daily: Exception, Home-Grown Chinese Fashion Brand, Has Its “Jason Wu Moment” Initially, Weibo users speculated that the bag was by Italian luxury brand Tod’s, but others were quick to identify the brand of the purse — as well as Peng’s jacket — as Guangzhou’s Exception (Exception de Mixmind). After being confirmed by an Exception PR rep, the discovery immediately set off a firestorm of interest in the brand on Sina Weibo.

彭丽媛出访所用国产服装品牌走红|彭丽媛|服装|例外_新浪新闻 上述业内人士告诉本报记者,中国的新一代高端阶层愈发成熟,趋于内敛,“No Logo”(无品牌标签)渐成风尚。从这一层级消费领域的需求变化看,市场蛋糕长期由国际服装定制品牌和本土设计师品牌分享,后者正在争夺更大的话语权。毛继鸿曾表示,与西方“加法的奢侈”不同,“无用”是属于东方的“减法的奢侈”,反对Logo化与过度物质化

Peng Liyuan: the ‘Kate Middleton’ effect of China’s new first lady – Telegraph “In her role as first lady on this visit abroad, Peng Liyuan is exhibiting China’s soft power,” Wang Fan, head of the Institute of International Relations at China Foreign Affairs University, told the newspaper. The footage of her in Moscow quickly caused something akin to the “Kate Middleton effect”, with copies of her coat instantly appearing on Taobao, an online shopping site, for 499 yuan (£53) – and advertised as “in the same style as the first lady’s”. “Her shoes are really classic, and who designed her bag?” wrote another user on Weibo. In fact, the black leather clutch she carried was made to order by a Chinese firm in the southwestern city of Chengdu.

Peng Liyuan – When that day comes (China’s First Lady) – YouTube Peng Liyuan the PLA major General performs. a bit different than Jackie Kennedy, Michelle Obama or Kate Middleton

South Sea Fleet holds beach landing drill – People’s Daily Online–Pictures Recently, the Jinggangshan dock landing ship, the largest warship in the Chinese Navy, conducted a large-scale beach landing drill with mobile formation on the D island in the South China Sea. The beach landing exercises tested the coordinative fight ability and beach landing ability of both forces.

China continues patrols of Diaoyu Islands – Xinhua | English.news.cn The Yuzheng 206 solemnly declared to a Japanese ship that the Diaoyu Islands have been Chinese territory since ancient times and urged them to immediately leave the Chinese waters

Top China college in focus with ties to army’s cyber-spying unit | Reuters  Several papers on computer network security and intrusion detection, easily accessed on the Internet, were co-authored by researchers at PLA Unit 61398, allegedly an operational unit actively engaged in cyber-espionage, and faculty at Shanghai Jiaotong University, a centre of academic excellence with ties to some of the world’s top universities and attended by the country’s political and business elite.

Wang Qishan meets with Henry Kissinger in Beijing – Xinhua | English.news.cn Wang Qishan (R), member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the party anti-graft chief, meets with former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, March 22, 2013

China to attend major U.S.-hosted naval exercises, but role limited | Reuters U.S. law prohibits the Pentagon from any military contacts with the PLA if it could “create a national security risk due to an inappropriate exposure” to activities including joint combat operations. There is an exemption for operations or exercises related to search and rescue and humanitarian relief, and China participated with the United States last year in a counter-piracy drill.

NASA Shuts Down Database During Security Inquiry – NYTimes.com NASA announced the security procedures this week, after the F.B.I. arrested a Chinese citizen at Dulles International Airport in Virginia who had boarded a plane to Beijing. The man, Bo Jiang, had been working as a contractor at NASA’s Langley Research Center in southern Virginia. According to an affidavit filed on Monday, Mr. Jiang is being charged with making false statements to federal agents — failing to disclose that he was carrying a laptop, hard drive and SIM card that were discovered after a search of his belongings.

Iceland Baffled by Chinese Plan for Golf Resort – NYTimes.com“ It never seemed a very convincing business plan,” said Iceland’s interior minister, Ogmundur Jonasson, who last year rejected a request that Mr. Huang be exempted from Icelandic laws that restrict foreign ownership of land. “I put many questions and got no answers,” the minister added. Prodded by diplomats from the United States and other countries to take a hard look at Mr. Huang’s intentions, Mr. Jonasson questioned what might lie behind China’s curious interest in Grimsstadir. “One has to look at this from a geopolitical perspective and ask about motivations,” Mr. Jonasson said.

Lawyer: Accused defense contractor, woman in love – Yahoo! News Bervar said he spoke to the girlfriend, who hasn’t been named by authorities. Officials say she’s living in the U.S. on a student visa. The woman told Bervar agents went to her home on March 15 and seized computers but have since returned one computer and another laptop. She hasn’t been arrested.

 

HONG KONG, MACAO AND TAIWAN

China magazine spikes Taiwan issue, fires staff – AJW by The Asahi Shimbun The publisher of a Chinese monthly history magazine spiked an entire issue shortly before it went to print because authorities were unhappy with its focus: the democratization of Taiwan. It also fired much of its staff. Informed sources told The Asahi Shimbun that the majority of the 20 or so editorial staff at Kan Lishi (Eye on History), including the editor in chief, were required to submit resignations.

 

TECH AND MEDIA

China Mobile May Restructure Fetion to Fight back Weixin amid Slower Business -Caijing The Chinese mobile operator is keen on developing Fetion, which is close to over-the-top (OTT) services like Weixin, into a most important integrated telecommunication product, according to a leaked document on a recent meeting held in China Mobile headquarter. The document shows that the company is planning to make every China Mobile client a Fetion user through integrations with the company’s other products, as well as contact lists and expand user base by introducing favorable packages.

Global telecoms giant ZTE sees gold in Chinese roots | Reuters “The China market is like a gold mine as telecom operators are cash-rich,” David Dai Shu, a spokesman for ZTE, told Reuters. “It is a top priority for us by country.” China’s three mobile operators plan to spend a combined 345 billion yuan ($56 billion) this year on network expansion. That includes investment in 4G, which promises rapid data downloads for millions of mobile users holding Apple Inc’s iPhones or Samsung Electronics’ Galaxy phones.  Hong Kong-listed China Mobile, the world’s top carrier with 715 million subscribers, is forking out 41.7 billion yuan from its total spending of 190.2 billion yuan for this year to build 200,000 4G base stations covering more than 100 cities

Board defends governance at Huawei–AFR Mr Lord revealed the random check of the secret share register from a sealed room in Shenzhen to refute a study that suggests Huawei is more likely to be covering up corporate governance inadequacies than involved in Chinese cyber security activities. The research, by an Australian academic, suggests that Huawei has been caught out in its offshore expansion by efforts to hide its true dividend payout ratio to employee shareholders and its part ownership by non-employee shareholders. It concludes that it is the company’s efforts to implement opaque Chinese corporate governance practices that explain its difficulty persuading some western authorities of its bona fides rather than the commonly claimed fear that it is controlled by the Chinese ­military.

 

SOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY

For One World War II Vet, Unfinished Business in China – Christopher Magoon – The Atlantic So says Robert Willett, a Korean War and World War II veteran who is still waiting for the U.S. government to recover the wreckage of his cousin’s plane, CNAC #60. The plane disappeared over the mountains near the China-Burma border in the early stages of World War II. After 30 years of research and three treacherous treks, CNAC #60 has been found. The wreckage sits at 25°38’59″N 100°05’30″E, on the western flank of the Cang Shan mountain range, outside the city of Dali in Yunnan province. But the remains of Mr. Willett’s cousin are still missing; and Willett, now 86, is getting impatient.

Shanghai car plate auction hits new highs |Hot Issues |chinadaily.com.cn another scarce resource whose prices popped by too many people competing for it and government intervention// The cost of a car license plate hit a record high at an auction in Shanghai on Saturday, skyrocketing to more than 90,000 yuan ($14,480), despite municipal government efforts at regulating the market. The Shanghai government said that the price of a secondhand car plate should not exceed the auction price of new car plates, nine days before March’s car plate auction on Saturday, blaming the rising price of secondhand plates for pushing up the new prices. That move, which took effect on Saturday, was one of four new measures to fight against speculation and curb the surging price of plates.

博客-财经网–宋教仁的百年之问 傅国涌 宋教仁的痛苦不仅是湖南桃源人的痛苦,更是整个中国人的痛苦。而且这种痛苦时不时就要隐隐发痛的痛苦。因为我们失去了一个难得的具有建设力的人物,一个中国历史上稀缺的具有建设力的人,一个阳光人物。他身上具备健全的角色意识,他所以说,他如此笃定的说,进而组织政府,实行确定的政治主张,退而在野,处于监督地位,跟反对党可以相磨相帮,共同进步。这番话一百年来如此笃定的说过,一个掌握了权力的人敢说进而在朝如何,退而在野如何,敢说这么笃定的话吗?他有自信,他才知道,我选下来了,下次可以选回来。因为我有自信,我相信自己的政治主张能够获得大众的支持,能赢得选举。如果没有这样的笃定,政治人物说不出来这样的话。政治人物好不容易在打天下中赢得了政权,哪肯放手的?你见过放手的吗?我只见过一个,蒋经国先生,他放手了,他终于放手了。我们看见他在那一个时代他可以说出这么笃定的话,“进而组织政府,实行政见,退而在野,处于监督地位”,这正是民主宪政最核心的理念。这是中国的一条正路,这条光明大道,曾经在1912、1913年的中国铺开了,他是走在这条路上的领头羊,是中国政治的领军人物,是一个超前看见了新中国的人。但是这样的一个阳光人物,他即将给中国带来阳光,带来全新政治文明的空气,他不幸被一个兵痞,武士英一颗小小的子弹击中了。这颗子弹就结束了中国探索民主宪政的一条道路。这一百年我们仍然活在百年余痛当中。宋教仁的百年之问,到今天仍然是一个巨大的、写在天空的问号。

Hurting at home, China’s Li Ning courts U.S. glitz | Reuters The Chinese firm is paying top dollar for an elite athlete just as Nike and other established sportswear brands are scaling back on big-name endorsements because of disappointing returns.  A decade ago, Nike reportedly paid Wade’s superstar teammate Lebron James more than $90 million for a 7-year contract, but high-potential rookie players now command shoe contracts worth just $1-$2 million a year, Powell said. James is the world’s fourth highest-paid athlete with endorsements bringing in $40 million a year, according to a Forbes ranking as of June 2012. Wade ranked 35th, with $12 million a year in endorsements. “It (the Wade deal) has a positive effect in boosting Li Ning’s image … but it doesn’t necessarily generate more sales,” said Elyse Wang, an analyst at Haitong International Research in Shenzhen. “The deal is not justified as for sure it’s offering a very high price.”

 

ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT AND HEALTH

消息称下月起天然气价格将大涨逼近4元大关_新闻_腾讯网 regulators to increase natural gas prices sharply next month? //刚刚走马上任的国家发改委主任徐绍史,在今年两会以后,首要完成的是对上一任制定的能源改革方案付诸实施。记者3月24日从有关方面获悉:从4月起,我国天然气价格将进行大幅度上涨,其各地零售终端价格将达到3元-3.5元/立方米区位,进而逼向4元大关。

“毒大米”事件引发湖南米厂停工潮 新华社——经济参考网 “poison rice incidents” have led to surge in closures of rice mills in Hunan// 全国最大的水稻主产区湖南省正遭受“毒大米”事件影响。《经济参考报》记者近日调查了解到,受不久前关于湖南上万吨大米重金属镉含量超标的事件影响,湖南省米厂出现“停工潮”,在湖南最大的米市“兰溪米市”,当地企业反映已有70%的米厂停工。对于“毒大米”事件,湖南方面已经成立了调查组,但记者多次联系后均未获知调查结果。当地种粮农民和粮食企业担心,如果不能即时全面公布“毒大米”事件的真相,后期湖南粮食流通企业也将遭受重创,而部分农民可能因稻谷销路不好和价格下跌而弃种水稻

电改试金石-财经网对电力体制进行市场化改革是中国最高层11年前的决策,延宕至今,电力改革的理论准备、舆论准备、国际经验、国内探索都已非常充分,改革能否继续,是中国政府推进市场化改革意愿和能力的试金石

China Officials Endorsing Mainland Baby Formula in Attempts to Revive Buyer Confidence-Caijing Chinese officials have repeatedly claimed that infant formula products in the country are safe following tighter regulations in recent years in the market, in a bid to revive the shattered industry which was hit by a string of chemical-tainted milk scandals. In the latest effort, a vice chairman of China Dairy Industry Association told the state-run People’s Daily that results of 11 sampling tests in 2012 found no problems respecting quality in major brands of infant formula products.

 

FOOD AND TRAVEL

Beer in Beijing: Jing A to open craft brewery in The Big Smoke | Beijing Boyce The Big Smoke will soon be home to a brewery called Jing A by Kristian Li and Alex Acker. The pair will take over the first two rooms in that long hallway of The Big Smoke, which is on Xingfucun Middle Road, just north of Workers Gynasium. The project makes sense given that the recently closed Saddle Cantina, which had ownership links to The Big Smoke, contained a small brewery for years

 

BEIJING

Oil pollutes city’s best river – CHINA – BEIJING – Globaltimes.cn Beijing water authorities are trying to discover the source of an oil slick which has polluted the Kunyu River in Haidian district.  Local residents said the oil has contaminated the water for several days, despite attempts to disperse it.  Kunyu River is about 10 kilometers long, and connects Kunming Lake in the Summer Palace to several downstream lakes such as the one in Yuyuantan Park in Haidian district. The area alongside the river has been designated as a first-level water protection zone since 1985.

 

BOOKS AND LITERATURE

Chinese fiction is focusing on the fringes – of both map and mind | Books | guardian.co.uk Only 30 years have elapsed since literary Maoism and socialist–realist writing ceased to exert their deadening pressures, and Chinese writing has branched out in many different directions. Serious fiction about ethnic minorities’ lives, excursions into sci-fi, fantasy and surrealism … Call me an optimist, but surely things can only get better.

China Goes Global: The Partial Power: David Shambaugh: Amazon In China Goes Global, eminent China scholar David Shambaugh delivers the book that 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. Today however, 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.

China and the world: Identity crisis | The Economist IN THE first part of our interview with David Shambaugh, author of “China Goes Global: The Partial Power”, he describes the country’s political, economic and military influence abroad

 

JOBS AND EVENTS

Forensic Investigator-Fortune 500 Company at Hays in Beijing – Job | LinkedIn  A Fortune 500 Company is now hiring a Forensic Investigator to join their headquarter in Beijing. The Forensic Investigator will support the senior forensic investigator with domestic and international investigations by analysing problem, studying documents, conducting research and determining the chain of activities, and then carrying out compliance investigations by checking and evaluating business processes and projects in terms of risk, correctness, economic feasibility and quality, as well as by conducting interviews and preparing interim reports.

Job Offer – Director of Communications–American Chamber of Commerce Beijing Management of communications team – manage a staff of six professionals on the communications team, including a digital communications manager, magazine editor, two designers, media relations manager, and sponsorship manager. Maintain close communications with colleagues in the operations (responsible for organizing events, as well as support for forums and committees), government relations, and membership departments, to ensure that chamber publications reflect the breadth of the organization’s programs and activities.

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