Just links today:
THE ESSENTIAL EIGHT
Teams to Draft Reform Topics for Party Congress Set up – Caixin The central government has formed seven task forces to draft reform plans for the third plenary meeting of the Communist Party’s 18th National Congress slated for this autumn. Comprehensive economic reform measures are expected to be unveiled at the party congress. The task forces are divided by sectors, namely: finance; the fiscal system; land; production prices; trimming bureaucratic review; the income gap; and the hukou, or household registration, system. Policy suggestions from these task forces will be discussed at the meeting and the reforms are expected to take effect next spring, sources close to the central government said.
China Premium Liquor Maker Moves to Lower Margins Amid Anti-Corruption Campaign-Caijing Kweichow Moutai Company Limited (SSE: 600519), maker of the most revered liquor in China, said Thursday it is looking at new targeting audience beyond officials while expressing willingness to accept lower-margin at a time when government’s crack-down on corruption crushes Moutai sales. Sales directly or indirectly related to public spending by officials on vehicles, receptions and oversea trips, known as “three public consumptions”, account for roughly 40 percent of overall sales, Yuan Renguo, CEO of the state-run company, told shareholders at the company’s annual general meeting on Thursday.
Chinese protesters oppose petrochemical plant in Kunming–Marketplace Today, hundreds of protesters shut down traffic in the Chinese city of Kunming to dramatize their opposition to a proposed petrochemical plant. It’s the latest in a series of ‘not in my backyard’ or NIMBY protests in recent weeks throughout that country. // local governments also believe in NIMBY, when it comes to protests. remarkable that these brave folks hit the streets given the steps the Kunming authorities took to prevent a protest…a few hundred to a couple of thousand people out of a municipal population of 6-7 million showed up
Related: Unstoppable: Kunming’s environmental protest movement takes a powerful turn | East by Southeast from an eyewitness. Dalian mayor also met with PX protesters in 2011. I think it is more likely the unstoppable force will be the coming crackdown on those who took to the streets, when they were explicitly told not to. anyone remember the names of the 2012 Qidong protesters who are now in jail? They were a little rougher on their mayor, who I believe lost his job over the poor handling of the incident// And then at 4:30pm Kunming city Mayor Li Wenrong met the marching protesters outside of a military compound. Megaphone in hand, he apologized to the group and gave a traditional bow. He passed the megaphone from protester to protester offering a rare opportunity of free speech and direct communication with a Chinese government official.
守住中央钱袋子 习近平放权王岐山金融打虎_中国_多维新闻网 Duowei says Wang Qishan going to clean house in financial industry in big corruption crackdown. Interesting timing for financial industry IPOs like Galaxy securities?// 【多维新闻】北京时间5月16日，据中国监察部网站报道，现任中共政治局常委、中纪委书记王岐山就落实中央八项规定，在4月22日至26日5天时间里，分别约谈派驻中央和国家机关各部委的纪检组长。同时又有接近中共高层的消息人士向多维新闻透露，一直深谙中国金融领域贪腐情况严重的王岐山，正在试图动用自己的全部力量，借助此次反腐时机，整顿整个大陆金融系统，以保证中国政府的财政安全。该消息人士表示，“目前的一系列动作仅仅是个开始，此次‘整风’远未结束，只是刚刚从部委开始，还会陆续‘刮’到各金融机构。而且习近平给了王极大的信任和支持”。
US seeks to calm tensions, sources say – Taipei Times The US may be playing a major behind-the-scenes role in trying to calm growing tensions between Taiwan and the Philippines over the killing of a Taiwanese fisherman last week, a US Department of State official indicated on Wednesday.
Related: Taiwan sends officials to investigate slaying |HK Macao Taiwan |chinadaily.com.cn Special envoy rebuffed, returns to Philippines–Taiwan dispatched a large investigative delegation to the Philippines, among other punitive measures, after Manila’s fence-mending efforts failed to quell escalating tension over the Philippines’ killing of a fisherman from Taiwan.
发改委退休高官曾联名举报刘铁男 内部称其目中无人|刘铁男|发改委|倪日涛_新浪财经_新浪网 China Newsweek with many more details on Liu Tienan case…not just a simple Weibo expose. Caijing had a november 2011 article that revealed some of the corruption, without mentioning his name, retired NDRC officials sent a joint letter to the NDRC before the 18th Party Congress accussing Liu of corruption// 此前，《中国新闻周刊》记者获悉，国家发改委部分部级退休高官，在获取刘铁男涉嫌贪腐的部分证据之后，向中纪委实名举报。而中纪委对刘铁男的调查，亦早在2012年5月即已开始。其后，刘铁男接连遭遇仕途滑铁卢，并在2012年年底为千夫所指。
Related: 影星陈好和央视主持张羽疑卷入刘铁男贪腐案_新闻_腾讯网 A star (Chen Hao) and a CCTV anchor (Zhang Yu) may be caught up in the Liu Tienan case // [导读]2006年上半年，陈好和央视名嘴张羽分别买入ST黑龙280.3万股、217.26万股，陈好净赚2700万元。此时正是中竹控股介入重组ST黑龙敏感时期。中竹控股实际控制人倪日涛被认为和刘铁男结成官商同盟。
Caterpillar Settles Outstanding Issues Relating To Siwei Acquisition if there were really fraud would they have paid anything more? sounds like horrible due diligence by CAT. vindication for Emory Williams and John Lee? // As part of the resolution of outstanding issues between the parties, Caterpillar’s total outstanding obligations of $164.5 million to the MML Parties, which were part of Caterpillar’s obligations relating to its acquisition of ERA, were reduced by $135 million to $29.5 million.. Caterpillar and the MML Parties have also mutually released all their claims relating to the acquisition of ERA.
多地取消禽流感预警 鸡苗价格涨幅逾十倍 _财经频道_一财网 per Xinhua, several cities have ended their H7n9 warnings..summer here, hope this means we can breathe easier until next winter// 随着疫情得到控制，肉鸡等相关市场开始回暖。根据新华社全国农副产品和农资价格行情系统监测，进入5月以来，国内多地白条鸡、鸡蛋等价格止跌回升，鸡苗价格也有较大涨幅。
BUSINESS AND ECONOMY
Wenjiang’s Empty Houses – Economic Observer Wenjiang District in Chengdu has the highest urbanization rate among outer lying districts of the city, but this hasn’t boded well for economic development. Instead, Wenjiang has a lot of houses and very few people, with city coffers that now over-rely on real estate.
Chinese graduates face toughest job market ever | beyondbrics According to Shanghai Evening Post, the situation is even more severe than it was in late 2008, when the global financial crisis was at its height. The Post reported that by the end of April, only about 30 per cent of graduates had signed employment contracts in Shanghai, 10 per cent fewer than in previous years. In Beijing, the number is 26.6 per cent of college graduates and 36.59 per cent of postgraduates as of mid April, according to the Beijing Evening News.
Foreign Investment in China Misses Estimates Amid Growth Concern – BloombergInvestment rose 0.4 percent from a year earlier to $8.4 billion, the Ministry of Commerce said in a statement today in Beijing. That was less than the 5.7 percent gain in March and the 6.2 percent median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey of eight analysts.
Economic reforms: Walking the talk | The Economist Stimulus does not need to be at odds with reform. Cutting taxes or increasing social spending would both stimulate the economy and help rebalance it towards consumption and services. Likewise, many structural reforms, such as removing barriers to entry in industries now dominated by state-owned enterprises, would also simultaneously help to boost spending. The Chinese economy clearly needs reform and may soon need revival. There is no reason why the leadership cannot do both
Possible PCAOB deal | China Accounting Blog | Paul Gillis I expect the agreement will be announced as part of the Strategic and Economic Dialogue between the U.S. and China scheduled to take place in early July. Once the SEC gets the requested working papers, I expect it will dismiss the case against the firms. That removes the most urgent risk that the accounting firms might lose the right to practice. Accordingly, this agreement likely removes the risk that U.S. listed Chinese companies will be delisted. For the PCAOB, the agreement is a painful compromise. There is no deal allowing for inspections
China Cuts Investment Red Tape as Li Shows Stimulus Reluctance – Bloomberg sounds almost Reagan-esque…cutting taxes and red tape. but will people be asking in a few months “where’s the beef”?// The red-tape reduction is part of Premier Li Keqiang’s efforts to pare the government’s role in the world’s second-biggest economy after a new Communist Party leadership took over in March. In comments published this week, Li signaled that policy makers are reluctant to use stimulus to counter a slowdown, saying China must rely on market mechanisms to aid growth.
Cabinet acts to reduce red tape|chinadaily.com.cn Of the 133 approval requirements to be canceled, 117 were posted on the government website, while the remaining 16 are pending law amendments or remain State secrets. Approval is no longer required from central government agencies for activities ranging from foreigners touring China in their own vehicles to companies investing in large oil and gas fields.
人民日报-国务院取消和下放133项行政审批等事项 放权，不搞形式不避重就轻（政策解读） People’s Daily publishes the list of the 133 items (except the ones it can’t) , have not seen a full English list yet
133项审批权改革出炉背后_财经频道_一财网“ 更大的改革现在才开始。”一名曾经的国务院简政放权专家组成员对《第一财经日报》记者说。新一届国务院成立58天，就部署行政体制改革和机构职能转变，向自己“开刀”，取消和下放了133项行政审批事项。5月13日，国务院召开全国电视电话会议对此进行了部署；两天后，国务院办公厅公布此次取消和下放的行政审批项目的具体目录。 “政府职能转变是由表及里、触动既有利益格局的深层次改革。”中央编办、国家发改委、人力资源和社会保障部负责人称。
CITIC Capital’s Take Private Deal for AsiaInfo-Linkage: Is There A Chinese Way to Do an LBO? | China Private Equity Are we seeing the birth of “Leveraged Buyouts With Chinese Characteristics”? Or just some of the craziest, riskiest and unlikeliest buyout deals in worldwide history? That’s the question posed by the announcement this week that China buyout PE firm CITIC Capital Partners is leading the “take private” deal of NASDAQ-listed AsiaInfo-Linkage Inc., a Chinese software and telecommunications services that company whose shares have halved in value from over $20 during the last two years.
Jade Becomes Rarer Amid Demand From China – NYTimes.com “Jade is getting rarer and we have more demand from China, so it’s really a question of demand and supply,” Ms. Sek said. “Prices are going up. For the past two years they actually went up very fast, because the buying power of the Chinese went up so quickly. This year, the market is steady. It’s just stabilizing, and there is still a very strong demand.”
POLITICS AND LAW
China: What’s Going Right? | ChinaFile So, it is no idle exercise to make a balance sheet of its progress by asking: “What’s right in China?” Compared to the past, the progress is enormous. Compared to a more idealized future, China still has a long way to go. But, then nobody pretends it’s otherwise. In this, China is hardly unusual.
Ministry Tells Local Gov’ts to Protect Peasants’ Land Rights – Caixin The requirements in the ministry’s notice reinforced the central government’s long-term commitment to protecting farmers’ land rights, but their wording shows unusual determination to crack down on violations, a source in the ministry said. That is because some central government leaders were shocked by the deaths of peasants involved in land disputes, he said.
China to issue real estate registration rules by June 2014 – Xinhua | English.news.cn China will issue real estate registration rules by the end of June 2014, Hu Cunzhi, vice minister of land and resources, said Thursday.
Beijing Observation: Regressing Further from “Five Nos,” by Gao Yu | Seeing Red in China In late April, the General Office of the Communist Party issued Document No. 9 to the county/military division level across the country. The document is called the Minutes of the 2013 National Conference of Propaganda Chiefs — Briefing on the Current Situation in the Field of Ideology with Liu Yunshan’s speech, in its entirety, attached to it. Documents of the CCP General Office are only second to those of the Central Committee, and they must be signed by the entire Standing Committee. So this is not just about Liu Yunshan anymore.
解放军报–一同感受信仰的力量！–一同感受信仰的力量！ ——对话12集历史文献纪录片《苦难辉煌》总编导、执行总撰稿徐海鹰 PLA daily interview with director and head screenwriter for the 12 part documentary “Glory and Suffering”// 近日，这面旗帜上又多了一抹令人赞叹的亮彩——自5月13日起，由中共中央党史研究室、国防大学和解放军电视宣传中心联合摄制的12集历史文献纪录片《苦难辉煌》，每晚在央视综合频道《魅力纪录》栏目播出，引起了强烈的社会反响和追剧热潮。
南方周末 – 成为一名县长有多难 Southern Weekend on how hard it is to become a County chief..60% about personal relations, 40% about work results// 山西一县政协副主席：”书记碰头会上干部必须定下来，不能再变动了，然后再开常委会”；一甘肃贫困县副局长：”干部提拔60%要看人际关系，40%要看工作成绩”；河南一副县长：”组织部长把人选一念，大家举一下手就通过了”，该县副书记说，”一定要记住：党管干部”。
New police tech displayed at exhibition|chinadaily.com.cn The Fifth China (Beijing) International Exhibition and Symposium on Police Equipment and Anti-terrorism Technology and Equipment was held at the capital’s Exhibition Center from Wednesday to Friday.
常艳：我的事就是档案引发的“惨案”_深度_新京报网 Beijing News interview with the woman whose essay took down Yi Jinqing…life has not been easy since her expose// 去年年底发表“写实小说”后，常艳在网上发表致歉信然后销声匿迹。4月27日，常艳在新浪开通实名认证微博，陈述她与山西师范大学的人事纠纷，称希望学校尽快解决她的去留问题。她希望继续留在学校，“看大门、做工勤岗也愿意”。山西师大回应，常艳去年7月已提出辞职，学校从11月份起已停发工资。
央视播专题片揭露达赖集团如何操弄自焚事件_新闻_腾讯网 CCTV report on Dalai Lama’s role in inciting self-immolations
China bans travel for activist–Australian Financial Review A Chinese environmental activist has been denied a passport in order to prevent him accepting a freedom of speech award in the United States.. Wu Lihong, who spent three years in jail after exposing the toxic state of the Tai Lake outside Shanghai, is to be honoured by the Visual Artists Guild at a dinner in Los Angeles next weekend.
MGM China Sees Macau’s VIP Gaming Business Continuing to Pick Up – Bloomberg unless Macau sees a hit should we assume more thunder than rain so far in corruption crackdown? but only been 6 months, Macau should not get complacent that crackdown not going to get real?// High-rollers from China’s mainland curbed spending amid a slowdown in the world’s second-largest economy last year. In the first quarter, the city’s VIP baccarat revenue rose 9.8 percent to 57.82 billion patacas ($7.2 billion) from a year earlier. “Everyone was speculating some negative impact, but the leadership change wasn’t an impact,” Bowie said, referring to the government transition in mainland China. “There’s also a level of resilience in terms of how China market is performing relative to the global market.”
FOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS
China threatens own trade action if EU opens telecoms case | Reuters ”If the European side insists on opening an investigation, the Chinese side will according to WTO rules and Chinese law take firm measures to safeguard its legitimate rights and interests, and the consequences must be borne by the party provoking the friction,” Chinese Ministry of Commerce spokesman Shen Danyang told reporters in Beijing.
E.U. Considers Emission Fines on Chinese and Indian Airlines – NYTimes.comThe commission said the eight Chinese carriers could face fines totaling €2.4 million, or $3 million, and the two Indian airlines face total fines of €30,000. So far the emissions rules apply only to flights within Europe, and European carriers and most non-European airlines have complied. Still hotly debated, though, is the planned expansion of the system next January to include international flights in and out of Europe.
Japan and Abenomics: Once more with feeling | The Economist this week’s cover story// The Shinzo Abe shaking up Japan’s economy seems a different man from the one whose previous premiership was marked by nationalistic posturing. He isn’t
Japan: Abe’s master plan | The Economist Shinzo Abe has a vision of a prosperous and patriotic Japan. The economics looks better than the nationalism
Japanese mayor ready to apologise to comfort women – Channel NewsAsia Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto on Thursday offered to meet former “comfort women” to apologise for their suffering after causing an international storm when he said they served a “necessary” role in wartime.
Gordon Chang’s Story of Belonging – YouTube Gordon Chang, author of “Nuclear Showdown: North Korea Takes On The World” and “The Coming Collapse Of China”, tells his story of growing up as the only minority in his community.
Russian church in China has first service in 51 years | Capital News The head of the Russian Orthodox Church held a service in a historic Shanghai church on Wednesday, its first in more than half a century, as worshippers said they hoped the building would be returned to them.
China Air Traffic Congestion Worsened by Military Control – Bloomberg The country’s air force controls airspace and allots only 20 percent to civil aviation. With China’s three biggest airlines planning to add at least 273 planes in the next three years, traffic congestion that already delays 25 percent of flights is set to worsen. “At present, the limited airspace resource has restricted the development of civil aviation,” said Li Jiaxiang, the head of Civil Aviation Administration of China. “We will strive to further open up the airspace,” he said in Beijing yesterday.
China Matters: The Tiger and the Fox I think public-arena US pundits are a little bit behind the curve here. We’re now drifting away from the comfy post-World War II narrative of “Japan is completely dependent on us” and “everybody wants to club together to contain the Chinese” to the brave new world of eroding US dominance, the emergence of China as an economic linchpin, and “US objectives are hostage to Japan’s forward Asian policy”. China seems to sense an opportunity here.
U.S. sees China launch as test of anti-satellite muscle: source | Reuters The U.S. government believes a Chinese missile launch this week was the first test of a new interceptor that could be used to destroy a satellite in orbit, one U.S. defense official told Reuters on Wednesday.
TECH AND MEDIA
Interview: CNN’s Kristie Lu Stout on Haw Flakes, Twitter and Tracking China | Asia Society nice mention of Sinocism, now I have to figure out how to get on her show…
Sina Posts Loss as China Slowdown Damps Online Advertising – Bloomberg Sina Corp. (SINA), owner of China’s largest Twitter-like service, posted a first-quarter loss as an advertising slowdown damped revenue and the company spent more on developing mobile applications.
How China Fell in Love with Fruit Ninja | TechRice Fruit Ninja is the #2 smartphone game of all time, said Phil Larsen the CMO of Halfbrick Studios in an interview at the GMIC. So how did this slasher of satisfyingly squishy fruits move into China?
SOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY
Art in China: On script and cutting edge? – CNN.com Editor’s note: 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 will discuss Chinese contemporary art. See here for air times for CNN’s “On China.”
An apology that is 47 years late | Offbeat China 47 years ago in 1966, the famous “May 16 Notification” was released under Mao’s personal supervision, marking the official start of China’s 10-year Cultural Revolution. 47 years later, a long-overdue apology quietly went viral on Sina Weibo, China’s most dynamic microblog service.
ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT AND HEALTH
China’s Hukou System: A Passport to Health (Part 3/3: Hukous and education) | Asia Health Care Blog In this concluding installment, Bradley explores the link between the Hukou system, education and health. How does the link between Hukou’s and educational opportunities affect health outcomes?
The last hutongs of Beijing | FundedByMe – Fund your project through social networks interesting project, I donated// We aim to single out 8 of the most interesting hutongs left in Beijing, go there and perform interviews in Chinese with at least one citizen on each street. Together with the citizen’s personal story, we will also add historical facts and make a profile of each particular hutong. Of the collected material we will make a coffee table book in full color. Apart from the 8 streets, we will do a opening chapter on the hutong’s history, complete with maps and accurate facts. There will also be an ending chapter on the future of the hutongs, as we predict it, including commentaries and interviews with people familiar with the matter. In addition, we also want to make a website concerning the remaining hutongs of Beijing, their location and status, that can be easily updated with news about demolition or reconstruction.
北京闹市区人行道现无名尸 据称头部四肢均不见|尸体|无名尸体|碎尸_新浪新闻 headless ,limbless body found in zhushikou at 4am thursday–beijing evening news// 京华时报讯(记者卢宝厉) 昨天凌晨4点多，一具尸体出现在珠市口西大街与煤市街交叉口西北角的人行道上。据目击者称，尸体头部和四肢均不见踪影。
前门大街多家店铺关门停业 – 新华财经 – 新华网 New Qianmen shopping street, developed by SOHO China, is not just an architectural but also a business mess? // 记者发现，在前门大街主街上，还有不少临街商铺的大门被锁住。一些已撤店铺的品牌标志还依稀可辨，如美特斯邦威、周大福等。另据了解，去年，运动品牌361°、李宁等品牌店在租约到期后，也没再续租。据新京报记者不完全统计，整条主街有110余家商铺，有27家店铺处于关闭状态，占比近25％。在正常营业的店铺里，有鸿星尔克、森马等国产服饰店，也有ZARA、ONLY、H&M、哈根达斯等国际品牌店，还有馄饨侯、张一元、老北京布鞋、全聚德烤鸭等北京老字号。不过多数店内顾客稀少。
BOOKS AND LITERATURE
Independent publishers scoop PEN awards for translation 10. Chūchù (出处)by Diao Dou, translated from the Chinese by Brendan O’Kane. Published by Comma Press 11. Maofan Shu (冒犯书) by Chen Xiwo, translated from the Chinese by Nicky Harman. Published by Make Do Publishing
“公子”打人何以成了新闻_时事评论_新京报网 CORRECTION: a different Wang Shuo, not WS the writer. Apologies // 5月15日晚，“京城四少”之一的王烁因开车和对方发生纠纷并动手打人，被打者是北京某报女记者及其丈夫。昨天上午，当事人表示，王烁在电话中道歉，双方和解。她说整个道歉过程王烁仅说了一句话，“这件事我做得不对，对不起。” 这虽然看上去是一起普通的民事纠纷事件，却成了新闻，因为涉嫌打人者王烁有“京城四少”的特殊身份，以及此人曾之前屡屡惹出事端而备受关注。实际上，2011年，王烁因涉嫌非法持有枪支、弹药罪，故意毁坏财物罪，被公诉至东城区法院。那么，这个有前科的“京城四少”为何再生事端？而当初案件究竟判决结果如何，时至今日也欠缺公众一个清晰交代。