The Sinocism China Newsletter 10.05.13

We are back from the Golden Week holiday with a long, catchup newsletter. We stayed in Beijing and barely left home. Given the huge crowds moving around China during this holiday week your best bet is to either leave the country or hide in place, unless masochism is your thing.

The House GOP has damaged America’s standing in Asia (among other places) with its forced closure of the US government. President Obama has cancelled his trip to the region and is sending Secretary of State John Kerry to attend the ASEAN APEC meeting in his place. China surely benefits from the GOP-induced dysfunction in DC (isn’t the GOP supposed to be the party of foreign policy and national security?) but a prolonged paralysis over the debt ceiling could be very bad for China, not only because it owns so many US Treasuries but also because any significant financial market turmoil could upset China’s already shaky economy.

The US may now have a much harder time convincing countries that they should agree to any politically difficult concessions to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Why would anyone believe that a US president could get any trade or other treaty through this Congress?

Today’s Links:

THE ESSENTIAL EIGHT

Cancellation of Trip by Obama Plays to Doubts of Asia Allies – NYTimes.com This week, Mr. Xi became the first foreigner to address the Indonesian Parliament, offering billions of dollars in trade to the country that was Mr. Obama’s childhood home. Mr. Xi then moved on to Malaysia, before preparing to attend two Asian summits that Mr. Obama had to abandon because of the government shutdown. With the cancellation of the visits, the much-promoted but already anemic American “pivot” to Asia was further undercut, leaving allies in the region increasingly doubtful the United States will be a viable counterbalance to a rising China.

Related: China elevates Malaysia ties, aims to triple trade by 2017 | Reuters China and Malaysia agreed on Friday to elevate bilateral ties to a “comprehensive strategic partnership”, aiming to boost military cooperation and nearly triple two-way trade to $160 billion by 2017…China is already Malaysia’s largest trading partner, with two-way trade last year totaling 181 billion ringgit ($57 billion). Trade between the two countries, which rose at an average annual of 15.7 percent between 2002 and 2012, is expected to hit $70 billion by the end of this year.

Related: Xi Jinping holds Malaysia talks in regional charm offensive | South China Morning Post President Xi Jinping said after talks with Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak that both nations would step up co-operation to promote regional stability as he continued his maiden presidential tour of Southeast Asia in Kuala Lumpur. Xi’s trip is seen as an attempt by Beijing to gain leverage over the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), especially over the handling of territorial disputes and offset the impact of Washington’s so-called pivot to Asia. With US President Barack Obama scrapping his Asian tour due to the US government shutdown, Xi’s meetings with regional leaders have grabbed the limelight.

Related: Commentary: On guard against spillover of irresponsible U.S. politics – China.org.cn In view of the latest political failure, a replay of the 2011 summer drama seems likely, which is certainly a concern for U.S. foreign creditors. The United States, the world’s sole superpower, has engaged in irresponsible spending for years. With no political unity to redress its policy mistake, a dysfunctional Washington is now overspending the confidence in its leadership.

Related: China launches charm offensive as Obama shortens Asia trip–USA Today ”Obama is not rebalancing but giving tilted support that will only make tension more heightened,” said Shen Dingli, an international relations professor at Fudan University in Shanghai. Shen says Washington risks making China more confrontational by not encouraging the Philippines, Vietnam and Malaysia to bend to China’s demand that it owns the entire sea, even those shoals that are far closer to other nations. “Some day diplomacy will fail and China will be able to defeat these countries, and the U.S. has no guts to back them,” he said.

Related: Back in Asia, Hagel Pursues Shift To Counter China’s Goals in Pacific – NYTimes.com “With Secretary Kerry spending most of his time and energy on the Middle East, additional responsibility has fallen on Hagel to demonstrate the United States commitment to Asia,” said Ely Ratner, the deputy director of the Asia-Pacific Security Program at the Center for a New American Security. But, Mr. Ratner said, Mr. Hagel’s efforts are “arguably at the cost of reinforcing perceptions in the region that the rebalancing policy is primarily a military endeavor.”

Related: Commentary: High time to build new maritime silk road – Xinhua In his speech at the Indonesian parliament on Thursday, Chinese President Xi Jinping proposed to build a China-ASEAN community of common destiny and provided guidance for constructing a new Maritime Silk Road of the 21st century. After a decade of fruitful cooperation since the launch of strategic partnership between the two sides, we have every reasons to believe it is high time to bring the brilliant concept of a new maritime silk road between China and the ASEAN into reality.

Tourpocalyse photos during China’s National Day holidays never get old | Offbeat China There is no better time than China’s annual “golden week” National Day holidays to get a feel of how many people China really has – so many that to use the term “tourist apocalypse” isn’t an exaggeration. // lots of pictures

Related: 黄金周每天约1亿人在路上 出行者比春节多一半_新闻_腾讯网 100 million people traveling each day during this October Holiday…more by half than during spring festival? //

Related: Inundated tourist sites barricade themselves against sightseeing hordes | South China Morning Post Major tourist locations moved to relieve the pressure from “golden week” visitors yesterday – by locking them out – but travel woes continued, prompting experts to question the benefits of such week-long holidays.

Related: National Day holiday: Golden Week, or golden mess? – Xinhua Since the holiday kicked off on Tuesday, relatively comfortable weather across the country, toll-free highways, admission ticket discounts, and lower gas prices have combined to make this so-called Golden Week the best time for traveling. At least that was the theory. But such miracles rarely happen when millions of minds think alike — the hustle and bustle of crowds have been seen almost everywhere. No other description allows better visualization of the situation than the Chinglish phrase “people mountain, people sea,” as netizens re-branded Golden Week as “golden mess.”

Related: Tourists Trap the Real China Story – WSJ.com In a recent report, Standard Chartered cited work by professors at two universities in Shanghai, who estimated that in 2009 household consumption was close to 50% of the economy, compared with the NBS estimate of just 35.3%. Not all economists would put the true consumption figure quite so high, though most agree the official figures are significantly understated. For years, critics have lamented China’s slow transition to a consumer-led economic model. This week’s strong tourist data is just the latest indication that China is further along on the path to rebalancing than many give it credit for.

Party organs affirm “criticism” resolution after Xi’s remarks – Xinhua The CPC provincial committees and Party units at state organs and major state-run enterprises and universities have moved quickly to study remarks made by Xi while attending local Party committee sessions in Hebei last week. According to an official statement obtained by Xinhua on Thursday, Party officials have vowed greater “courage and resolution” for criticism and self-criticism at intra-Party sessions attended by top officials…Such sessions are part of the CPC’s ongoing year-long “mass line” campaign that is dedicated to removing undesirable work styles among officials and forging closer Party-people ties. Xi told the Hebei officials that he wanted no “fancy words” from them but “real criticisms and self-criticisms,” referring to a work style that has long been cherished by the CPC as a weapon for solving intra-Party contradictions and making self-improvements.

Related: 各地学习贯彻习近平讲话精神 对标找差距 整改见行动-高层动态-新华网 新华网北京10月3日电  9月23日至25日,习近平总书记参加河北省委常委班子党的群众路线教育实践活动专题民主生活会并发表重要讲话。连日来,各地区各部门各单位迅速组织学习,大家集体观看中央电视台《新闻联播》有关报道和《焦点访谈》专题节目,学习新华社刊发的《大胆使用批评和自我批评有力武器》纪实文章和中央教育实践活动办公室编发的《河北省委常委会召开高质量专题民主生活会》简报,认真领会讲话精神,研究贯彻落实措施,推动专题民主生活会“补火升温”。

Related: 中央要求党员进一步开展批评和自我批评|民主|生活|自我批评_新浪新闻 新华网北京10月4日电 近日,中央党的群众路线教育实践活动领导小组印发《关于认真学习贯彻习近平总书记重要讲话精神切实开好专题民主生活会的通知》,要求各级党组织和广大党员、干部把认真学习贯彻讲话精神作为当前的一项重要政治任务抓紧抓好,进一步提高开展批评和自我批评、开好专题民主生活会的思想自觉和行动自觉。

Related: 中共启动新一轮党内民主生活会_网易专题 Netease News special section on the party kicking off a new round of “Democratic Life Meetings”

Related: 民主生活会制度的历史由来与演进–理论-人民网 On the historical origins and evolution of the “Democratic Life Meetings” system…the criticism/self-criticism meetings that Xi has launched are part of this tradition // 民主生活会制度作为党的一项重要制度,是伴随着党内民主生活的扩大和党内民主观念的提升而逐步确立并完善起来的。历史地考察民主生活会制度的由来与演进,对于各级党员领导干部在群众路线教育实践活动中开好民主生活会,具有重要意义。

Related: Changing with the times – GlobalTimes–From 2010 In China, the democratic life meeting was designed for Party members to exchange thoughts and provide a chance for criticism and self-criticism. It has a long history that goes back to the Party’s early days, and has become an important method for the CPC to optimize its members and promote inner-Party democracy. The CPC Central Committee released a regulation in 2005 regarding the democratic life meeting and required all county level and higher Party members to hold a meeting at least once a year.

Related: “新版《毛主席语录》或年内出版”纯属误传-时政频道-新华网 Xinhua says reports that publication of a new edition of Mao’s Little Red Book is imminent are incorrect // 新华网北京10月1日电 经向有关部门了解,网上所谓“新版《毛主席语录》或年内出版”纯属误传。//reports calling Xi “Maoist” perhaps a bit lacking in historical perspective? He seems more Dengist to me. At least until the criticism sessions bring in the masses to criticize the officials…

ANALYSIS: Japan seeks tough stance, U.S. pushes cooperation in dealing with China – The Asahi Shimbun China, as expected, was the main theme of a Japan-U.S. security meeting, but differences emerged over how to deal with the rising power. Japan, currently feuding with China over sovereignty of the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea, wanted to send a forceful message to Beijing at the Security Consultative Committee meeting on Oct. 3 in Tokyo. But the United States, whose economic ties with China are growing, pushed for reconciliation and cooperation with Beijing to ensure stability in East Asia

Related: Japan and U.S. Agree to Broaden Military Alliance – NYTimes.com Most significantly, the United States will deploy a new X-band radar system in Kyogamisaki over the next year to better protect both nations against military threats from North Korea. For the first time, the two countries will work on specific cyberdefense projects to increase cybersecurity in both countries. Further, the United States Marine Corps will replace aging helicopters here with two squadrons of MV-22 aircraft, and will deploy surveillance drones to be based in Japan for the first time. And the P-8, a cutting-edge highly advanced manned reconnaissance airplane, will be deployed for the first time to Japan to help the United States and its allies monitor maritime activities in the Pacific, where Japan and China both claim the same disputed islands.

Related: Beijing fete to mark 35th year of friendship treaty with Tokyo seen as thaw | The Japan Times Although Beijing continues to steadfastly maintain its claims to the Japan-held Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea, the move indicates China’s switch to a policy of promoting bilateral civil exchanges as part of efforts to seek improved private-sector and economic relations.

Study of Scientific Outlook on Development stressed – Xinhua Members and officials of the Communist Party of China (CPC) have been told to strengthen studies and practice of China’s Scientific Outlook on Development theory. The instructions were carried in a statement released after a Monday meeting of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, which was presided over by CPC leader Xi Jinping. The meeting reviewed the Guideline on the Study of the Scientific Outlook on Development and reached a decision to release the document among the whole of the Party.

Related: 习近平:实施创新驱动不能等待观望懈怠-高层动态-新华网 习近平就此提出5个方面的任务。一是着力推动科技创新与经济社会发展紧密结合。关键是要处理好政府和市场的关系,通过深化改革,进一步打通科技和经济社会发展之间的通道,让市场真正成为配置创新资源的力量,让企业真正成为技术创新的主体。政府在关系国计民生和产业命脉的领域要积极作为,加强支持和协调,总体确定技术方向和路线,用好国家科技重大专项和重大工程等抓手,集中力量抢占制高点。二是着力增强自主创新能力。关键是要大幅提高自主创新能力,努力掌握关键核心技术。当务之急是要健全激励机制、完善政策环境,从物质和精神两个方面激发科技创新的积极性和主动性,坚持科技面向经济社会发展的导向,围绕产业链部署创新链,围绕创新链完善资金链,消除科技创新中的“孤岛现象”,破除制约科技成果转移扩散的障碍,提升国家创新体系整体效能。三是着力完善人才发展机制。要用好用活人才,建立更为灵活的人才管理机制,打通人才流动、使用、发挥作用中的体制机制障碍,最大限度支持和帮助科技人员创新创业。要深化教育改革,推进素质教育,创新教育方法,提高人才培养质量,努力形成有利于创新人才成长的育人环境。要积极引进海外优秀人才,制定更加积极的国际人才引进计划,吸引更多海外创新人才到我国工作。四是着力营造良好政策环境。要加大政府科技投入力度,引导企业和社会增加研发投入,加强知识产权保护工作,完善推动企业技术创新的税收政策,加大资本市场对科技型企业的支持力度。五是着力扩大科技开放合作。要深化国际交流合作,充分利用全球创新资源,在更高起点上推进自主创新,并同国际科技界携手努力为应对全球共同挑战作出应有贡献。

Related: Top leaders study at China’s Silicon Valley – Xinhua  China’s top leaders…and other members of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee visit the Zhongguancun Science Park in Beijing, capital of China, Sept. 30, 2013. China’s top leadership held a group study Monday in Zhongguancun, a Beijing technology hub known as China’s Silicon Valley

Related: [视频]习近平在中共中央政治局第九次集体学习时强调 敏锐把握世界科技创新发展趋势 切实把创新驱动发展战略实施好_新闻频道_央视网  Speakers at the session shown in the CCTV Evening News report include Baidu CEO Robin Li, Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun and Lenovo founder Liu Chaunzhi.

Listed Firm’s Foray into Military Sector Excites Investors – Caixin The market warmly welcomed news of the acquisition. CSIC’s share price climbed 3.78 percent on September 24, after gaining 47.76 percent in the period after September 11 when the plan was announced. During the same period, the Shanghai Composite Index was down 0.23 percent. Investor enthusiasm was mainly driven by the expectation that China’s military spending, which ranks a distant second behind the United States, will continue to grow fast, said Li Kun, an analyst at Northeast Securities. In the United States, roughly 20 percent of the capital market’s value is comprised of military assets, an executive at a fund investment company said. In China, the figure before the CSIC deal was zero. //中国重工戴上军功章_杂志频道_财新网 Big money to be made in China’s military industrial complex, and now private investors can participate, including foreigners with QFII quotas

Chinese IPOs: back in the USA? | beyondbrics Sentiment has also been helped by the successful debut of the two Chinese companies that listed last year. Vipshop, an online flash sales retailer (think Vente Privée in France or Gilt in the US), has seen its shares gained by more than 836 per cent since its IPO last March. Having debuted at $6.50 a share, the stock is now trading at $60.85. Shares in YY, a social gaming portal, are up 358 per cent at $48.09 since it went public last November.

Related: Qunar Amendment No.1 to Form F-1 getting close to break even // We have achieved substantial growth since the commencement of our operations in 2005. Our revenues increased…to RMB358.8 million (US$58.5 million) in the six months ended June 30, 2013. We recorded net losses of..RMB16.9 million (US$2.8 million) in…the six months ended June 30, 2013… Our adjusted EBITDA was RMB13.7 million (US$2.2 million) in the six months ended June 30, 2013 // so 91% of Baidu’s $306m investment went to existing shareholders and not the company. // Net cash provided by financing activities totaled approximately RMB147.0 million in 2011 reflecting the proceeds of the equivalent of approximately RMB1,680.0 million we received from the Baidu Transaction, which was primarily offset by a distribution to shareholders of approximately RMB1,529.7 million….On July 20, 2011, Baidu Holdings Limited (“Baidu”) subscribed to 181,402,116 of the Company’s ordinary shares, representing 62.01% of the equity interest of the Company (60% of the equity interest of the Company on a fully diluted basis) for a total consideration of US$ 306,000 (RMB1,976,515) (the “Baidu Transaction”). // so Baidu valued Qunar at $510m in 2011 //

Related: June 2011 Why Qunar will travel with Baidu – The Term Sheet: Fortune’s deals blogTerm Sheet So I spent some time on the phone this morning with venture capitalist Richard Lim, a Qunar board member and managing director of GSR Ventures. What follows is an edited transcript…Remember, there were no selling shareholders. The company got lots of cash, more than in most IPOs. Management stays in place, and I’m still on the board. // so technically true as most of the Baidu cash went to existing shareholders as dividends? GSR now owns just over 6% of Qunar…

China’s Poisoned Air Prompts Woman to Devise Green Tax – Bloomberg “China is in urgent need of climate policies like a carbon tax to save energy and reduce emissions,” said Cao, an associate professor of economics at Tsinghua and a consultant for the World Bank. “If they are well designed, there will be no big impact on the economy. If they are poorly designed, they may bring disastrous consequences.” Cao, also a researcher at Tsinghua National Institute of Fiscal Studies funded by the Ministry of Finance, predicts the government initially will adopt a carbon tax. She says this would have a smaller economic impact — and so is more politically acceptable in China — than the cap-and-trade model adopted in the European Union, where companies buy and sell permits to pollute.

 

BUSINESS, ECONOMY AND TRADE

China Services Index Jumps in Sign of Sustained Rebound – Bloomberg An increase in tourist numbers for a current week-long Chinese holiday points to robust consumption, Lu Ting, Bank of America’s Hong Kong-based economist, wrote in a research note received today. Gains in non-manufacturing industries help Premier Li Keqiang shift the economy away from dependence on exports and investment, with the next phase of that strategy to be mapped out at a Communist Party meeting in November. “The rising service PMI suggests that the recovery in 3Q13 was quite broad based even if the recovery was led by fixed asset investment in transport and urban infrastructure.,” Lu said today in an e-mail. The “robust” service sector indicates the low probability of a hard landing, according to Lu.

China’s Economy, Back on Track – NYTimes.com Hank Paulson OpEd // NEXT month, President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Li Keqiang will use an important meeting — the so-called Third Plenum of the Communist Party’s 18th National Congress — to unveil China’s priorities for reforming economic policy for the next decade. Yet because it will probably decide only general policies, leaving the specifics for later, some cynics have already begun to dismiss the reforms as too little, too timid and too late. They note that a decade ago, a previous generation of leaders failed to reduce the influence of state-owned enterprises and to complete the economic reforms of the 1990s. But I believe the prospects for restructuring China’s economy — bolstering the role of the market, expanding opportunities for small and medium-size businesses, allocating capital more efficiently and improving the balance between consumption and investment — are better than at any point since the 1990s. // his point about how the Third Plenum will be dismissed by many as disappointing is so true…I may pre-write quotes for various foreign experts whom the media will interview about the Third Plenum….whatever comes out, assume no one will be satisfied…

China’s plenum: the bloody versus boring debate | FT Alphaville various investment banks’ research reports discussing upcoming Third Plenum

Inside the world of China’s “shadow banks” | Marketplace.org ”My friend lent some money to a businessman who agreed to pay it back with interest in 60 days,” mutters Gao, “But then the guy disappears. We’ve been looking for him, but he ran away.” This has become common in Wenzhou. Private loan defaults have soared over the past two years. Dozens of Wenzhou businessmen unable to pay back their loans have gone missing or been found dead. Yin Zhichao, deputy director of the China household finance survey, has studied China’s shadow banking sector for years. He fears these types of defaults could lead to social instability throughout China.

浙前政协委员卷款5亿逃美 行踪暴露债主上门_中国_多维新闻网 Minor Zhejiang official fled to the US with 500 million RMB or so…creditors hired a private investigator who tracked him down in Orange County outside Los Angeles…he has at least 7 houses in the US, all paid for in cash. Creditors have gone to the US, are negotiating with his lawyer…have a Chinese in-law who moved from Beijing to Orange County and sells real estate there…does the US government keep a database of all the officials who have bought property in the US?//【多维新闻】遭内地警方通缉、涉非法集资及于2012年捲款五亿元潜逃美国的浙江永康市前政协委员朱紫键,近期被内地债主聘请的私家侦探查出在美国加州多地拥有最少七处豪宅,并找出朱紫键行踪。据称朱紫键得悉是私家侦探时,吓到呆滞说不出话。多名债主已抵美国,与朱的代表律师商讨还钱事宜。

房贷荒初现:北京广州等地多家银行暂停房贷_证券时报网 banks in several cities including Beijing and Shanghai have cut way back on new mortgage loan issuance // 记者近期走访北京、广州、天津、武汉等地多家银行发现,不少银行都以“额度用尽”为由暂停房贷业务,一些银行虽未停贷,但也纷纷取消利率优惠甚至上浮利率,房贷的审批流程也出现了不同程度的延长。“金九银十”遭遇“房贷荒”,苦了“刚需”族。

Beijing Says “No” to “Land Kings” amid Concerns over Overheated Market -Caijing China’s Ministry of Land Resources (MLR) is calling a halt to land kings as he warns about soaring housing prices promoted by activities in the country’s overheated real estate market.  No new land kings shall be seen within the year, said Hu Cunzhi, the deputy minister while ordering first-tier cities to increase residential house supplies to tame prices. //a site about to go up for auction in Shunyi, expectations have been that it will be a new Beijing land kind. maybe not now…

China’s Online Retail Turnover Rocketed 70% YOY To 880 Billion Yuan In 2013 H1 China’s online retail turnover surged 70% year-on-year to more than 880 billion yuan ($143.06 billion) in the first half of this year, bucking the sluggish growth of the whole retailing industry, according to Yao Jian, spokesman of the Ministry of Commerce

China Seen to Wait Until 2016 to Scrap Cap on Bank Deposit Rates – Bloomberg Policy makers will remove all restrictions on deposit rates in 2016 or later, according to seven of 12 economists and analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News from Sept. 9 to 13. Most respondents said such a move could cut net interest margins, a measure of loan profitability, by at least 50 basis points and smaller banks will be the hardest hit.

China Debates Benefits of Inheritance Tax on Estates in Shrinking Wealth Gap – China Real Time Report – WSJ The country doesn’t currently have an inheritance tax—also commonly known as the death or estate tax—a levy paid by people who inherit money or property, or a tax on someone’s estate after they die. But a recent media report has sparked discussion about whether China should start levying such a tax, and if so, how heavy rates should be.

以房养老引发70年使用权担心 续期代价引猜测|土地使用权|以房养老|使用权_新浪财经_新浪网 the proposal to use reverse mortgages to pay for retirement has now spurred a discussion of what happens when the 70 year lease on properties expire. When you buy a house in China you usually only get a 70 year “lease”…can of worms//  商品房70年土地使用权到期之后,我们的房子该怎么办?是自动续约再延长几十年的使用权,还是根据当时的地价补缴土地出让金,或是还有其他新办法?在“以房养老”政策开始在一些地区试点时,“房子70年后怎么办”的问题再次变得迫切和现实起来。

Because the results of China’s local government debt audit just can’t come fast enough | FT Alphaville No city mayor wants to be the first to announce that his LGIV is unable to repay its obligations. Unfortunately, without an LGIV having a serious problem repaying its loans, the moral hazard problem will remain, and lending to LGIVs without due attention to risk will continue. To end the moral hazard problem, we believe an LGIV default in the bond market is needed.

China Developer Plans $810 Million London Crystal Palace Rebuild – Bloomberg A Shanghai Zhongrong Property Group Co. unit plans to invest 500 million pounds ($810 million) rebuilding London’s Crystal Palace, a glass and iron commercial hub that burned down in 1936. The Chinese company plans to reconstruct the 500-meter (1,600-foot) long former landmark and restore the surrounding 180-acre park, London Mayor Boris Johnson said at a press conference today.

Delayed take-off: China cautious on large aircraft program | Reuters China’s largest domestically produced aircraft may not enter service until early next decade, a delay that gives dominant rivals Boeing Co and Airbus time to launch their upgraded single-aisle planes first. The Comac C919, which will compete with the Airbus A320 and Boeing 737 family of aircraft, was scheduled for its first flight next year, but that has now been delayed until 2015, which pushes the first delivery to around 2017 or 2018, local media have reported.

 

POLITICS AND LAW

China ex-security chief’s public appearance throws doubt on graft reports | Reuters China’s former domestic security chief was all smiles as he attended an alumni celebration at his former university on Tuesday, his first public appearance since overseas media reported that he was being investigated for corruption. Zhou Yongkang, 70, one of the most powerful Chinese politicians of the last decade, attended an alumni celebration at the China University of Petroleum, according to photographs posted by the university on its website. // Zhou Yongkang’s national day visit to the China Petroleum University, with pictures, getting play in Chinese media

Dealmaker linked to Zhou Yongkang case had ties with ex-vice-president | South China Morning Post Hong Kong-listed mainland developer Fantasia Holdings provides a key link between Wu and Zeng’s family. Fantasia Holdings’ largest shareholder and executive director is Baby Zeng Jie, better known as Zeng Baobao, who is a niece of Zeng Qinghong. The company holds a controlling 58.8 per cent interest in Fantasia Chengdu Development, Zhongxu holds 10 per cent, while a person named Qiu Qiongming controls the remaining 31.2 per cent, according to Fantasia’s prospectus for its 2009 listing. Qiu’s identity is unknown, although the person has the same family name as Wu’s wife, sources said.

Firm Linked to Embattled CNPC Has Shanghai Offices Sealed – Caixin Agricultural Bank of China (ABC) asked a court to seal an office building owned by Hong Kong-listed Wison Engineering Services, a source says, while it pressures the company to pay 186 million yuan in loans and interest. // but earlier Caixin piece on Zhou Bin and his wife’s family deleted

Xi Jinping hopes traditional faiths can fill moral void in China: sources | Reuters ”Xi understands that the anti-corruption (drive) can only cure symptoms and that reform of the political system and faiths are needed to cure the disease of corruption,” one of the sources told Reuters, requesting anonymity to avoid repercussions for discussing elite politics. Government agencies would moderate policies towards Confucianism, Buddhism and Taoism in the hope these faiths would also help placate the disaffected who cannot afford homes, education and medical treatment, the sources said. “The influence of religions will expand, albeit subtly,” a second source said, also speaking on condition of anonymity.

Property database delay frustrates China’s anti-graft drive | Reuters ”Hopes have crumbled to nothing again,” the official Xinhua news agency said in June. “Some local governments and departments are not collaborative.” The property database, despite its benefits for the housing market, presents a threat to officials trying to hide multiple luxury homes. Tian Guoliang, a professor at the Central Party School who conducts research on corruption issues, told state media this summer that the database would disclose the property status of government officials in sensitive positions, including the power, rail and banking sectors. // this was big news in June/July in the Chinese media

FTZ issues first ‘negative list’|Economy|chinadaily.com.cn  Zhang Li, a Commerce Ministry expert on strategic research, said the negative list opens the scope of foreign investment to the maximum possible at this time, and some regulatory measures might be removed from the list over the next two years. Qu Hongbin, chief China economist at HSBC, said the launch of the free trade zone and introduction of negative list signaled the beginning of a new round of reform. “A step-by-step release of the FTZ effect over the next three years will steer China’s financial reform and mid- to long-term growth,” he said. // 上海自贸区负面清单_经济频道_财新网

The Shanghai Free-Trade Zone: A damp squib | The Economist It is possible that the SFTZ could yet take off over time, if the implementing regulations are crafted in ways that are bolder than the general principles announced thus far. The devil is always in the details with such pilots, and China does have a history of going softly, ever so softly. Messrs Xi and Li may well redeem themselves with unexpectedly bold measures to come in the next two months. But on the evidence presented so far, this is a damp squib. // seems a bit premature to conclude the FTZ is a big nothing dumpling, as many seem to have already concluded

中共智囊警告意识形态斗争勿不服便揍人_中国_多维新闻网 9月29日,即最高法、最高检就打击网络谣言的司法解释进行介绍说明当天,《环球时报》发表中共学者文章,警告中共对待网民便如同对待人民,切不可在意识形态斗争领域奉行“不服便揍人”的伦理,随意对网民威胁“亮剑”。 // has there been some softening on the interpretation and enforcement of crackdown on online rumors?

“亮剑”遭一刀切误读 谁是歪嘴和尚?_中国_多维新闻网 【多维新闻】习近平8月19日在全国宣传思想工作会议上围绕意识形态的讲话余波震荡,以党报官媒为核心的主流舆论场紧随其后对讲话内容进行剖丝剥茧式的解读和宣传。其中,尤其具有肃杀气氛的“亮剑”一词频频被提及。有知情人士称,对照习近平讲话,此部分被误读、一刀切的痕迹明显。《人民日报》、《北京日报》,《求是》等并没有领会讲话核心要义,以至囫囵吞枣断章取义,甚至过分解读,将原本的“好经”给念歪了。

Supreme court specifies terror hoax definitions, punishment – Xinhua The six-item explanations clearly define the range of false terror information, including threats of explosion, biological and radioactive threats, major disasters and epidemic situations that can seriously threaten public security and may cause social panic or public security crises. Those involved in fabricating and deliberately spreading false terrorist threats will receive harsh punishments ranging from detention to a jail term of up to five years, or more for those whose actions have severe consequences, said Lyu Guanglun, an official with the Supreme People’s Court, at a press conference.

China Focus: Celebrity bloggers – confession and contrition – Xinhua Beleaguered online celebrity Xue Charles Bi-Chuen, already awash in a sea of troubles, may soon have a few more. On Saturday Beijing police detained an environmentalist accused of fabricating online rumors, who allegedly confessed to working with Xue in manipulating online opinion. Dong Liangjie claims that he posted a large amount unverified news on environmental pollution at weibo.com, a Chinese twitter clone, to incite public panic and promote his company’s water filters. // Xue Manzi could be looking at a few years

GAPPRFT Chief: Concentrate on Positive Propaganda and Mainstream Ideology | China Copyright and Media This article by GAPPRFT director Cai Fuchao was first published in People’s Daily on 25 September. Persist in Giving First Place to Positive Propaganda Throughout, Consolidate and Expand Mainstream Ideology and Public Opinion Deeply Study and Implement the Spirit of General Secretary Xi Jinping’s Important Speech at the National Propaganda and Ideology Work Conference

Chinese Activist Joins Conservative Research Group – NYTimes.com Jerome A. Cohen, a law professor at N.Y.U. who helped shepherd the Chen family through their dizzying first year in the United States, said he was pleased that Mr. Chen would be affiliated with three institutions, but said he was still uncomfortable with his decision to accept a post at Witherspoon. “It puts him in a more partisan category than I would have felt comfortable with, but my hope is he will continue to be a vibrant voice for human rights in China,” Mr. Cohen said. “I wish him well.”

Red Culture: The Spiritual Backbone of the Chinese | China Copyright and Media Chinese red culture is not a spirit that leaps out from within stones, and it is not an extra-terrestrial guest that came down from imagination. Its emergence and development has profound cultural sources and social sources. There are three cultural sources:

何毅亭出任刘云山副手[图]_中国_多维新闻网 He Yiting appointed vice president of the Central Party School// 【多维新闻】中共中央党校网站“校务委员会”栏目显示,习近平“文胆”何毅亭已接任中央党校常务副校长,成现任校长刘云山“第一副手”,此前其任职中央政策研究室常务副主任。多维新闻此前在《观察站:习近平七大智囊》中曾指出,和擅长马列理论的王沪宁不同,何毅亭在党建以及官员公共形象方面有其独到见解。习近平在担任党校校长之时在“党建”议题上提出“纯洁性”的说法,上任最高领导人后的“习八条”、“南巡”、“整风”等动作都与何毅亭有着或多或少的联系。

薄熙来长子李望知代父悼恩师[组图]_中国_多维新闻网 薄熙来与现任妻子谷开来之子薄瓜瓜一向出现在公众视线的频率颇高,相反,薄熙来与其第一任妻子李丹阳所生的儿子李望知则低调了很多。在今年8月24日,薄熙来在济南中院受审时,首次提到长子李望知,称从来不会担心李望知有什么困难。李望知也到现场进行了旁听。据悉,早在今年5月份薄熙来的老师关敏卿去世时,李望知就曾代父参加了追悼会。图为李望知(右六)在追悼会现场。

李天一案魏某律师将举报李家律师违规_网易新闻中心 Lawyers involved in the Li Tianyi case under investigation by the Beijing lawyers Association for violating professional rules and conduct, based on a complaint from the lawyer for one of the other defendants // 市律师协会9月29日召开不公开审理案件代理工作研讨会,针对近期本市部分律师在代理不公开审理案件过程中发生的一些违反律师职业道德、执业纪律规范的行为,特别是李某某等人强奸案相关代理及辩护律师涉嫌泄露当事人隐私、不当披露案件信息、不当发表贬损同行的言论等行为,严重损害了行业形象及声誉,在行业内和社会上均造成了不良影响,广大律师反应强烈。

 

FOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS

Xi Jinping’s graft purge sets sights on China’s military–Sydney Morning Herald The biggest corruption case in Chinese military history is being prepared for trial, as President Xi Jinping extends his anti-corruption campaign into the secretive People’s Liberation Army (PLA). The value and range of the assets alleged to be involved in the case of disgraced lieutenant-general Gu Junshan could be staggering, according to a source with ties to senior military figures.

Storey: China Runs Rings Around Asean – WSJ.com China has thus ensured that talks with Asean regarding a code of conduct will be protracted and process- rather than results-oriented. A year or two from now the final product will be full of fine words, but short on specifics. Critically, it is unlikely to ameliorate tensions in the South China Sea. As China grows stronger and more confident, it sees little reason to sign a legally binding and substantive code that limits its freedom of action in a body of water in which it believes “historical facts” make it the final arbiter.

China-U.S. Military Ties Grow as They Eye Each Other at Sea – Bloomberg China’s participation in RIMPAC sparked concern in the U.S. Rep. Randy Forbes, a Virginia Republican, introduced an amendment to the 2014 National Defense Authorization Act seeking to limit Chinese exposure to “sensitive information obtained through military-to-military contacts.” “This it not like turning over an entirely new leaf, this is just one small step forward to develop a slightly more positive relationship with the PLA,” Bitzinger said. “There’s going to be steps forward and steps backward. And every time there’s a step backward generally U.S.-allied ties get stronger.”

China Policy Institute Blog » Five Misconceptions About the Chinese Military Written by Dennis J. Blasko.-The conventional wisdom about the Chinese military appears simple on the surface but becomes more complex upon closer examination.

Q&A: Larry M. Wortzel, Author of ‘The Dragon Extends its Reach: Chinese Military Power Goes Global’ – China Real Time Report – WSJChina is expanding its military capabilities, shifting its role from coastal defense to protecting the country’s interests on a global scale. In “The Dragon Extends its Reach: Chinese Military Power Goes Global,” Larry M. Wortzel, a specialist in Asian defense and counterintelligence issues, assesses China’s strategic objectives and military capabilities — as well as the policy challenges for the U.S.

Welcome to the United States: The Shutdown Edition : The New Yorker Evan Osnos has officially started his new job as a DC-based National correspondent for the New Yorker // For years, American officials visiting China marvelled at how Chinese leaders could push through infrastructure projects and sweeping legislative changes, without the complications of opposition and the niceties of voting. It always bothered me a bit to hear visitors rave about the efficiency of Chinese authoritarianism, when there was so much they didn’t see—how the government was poorly equipped to hear the demands of its people, how it was captive to the whims of a minority determined to hold on to power. When I got worked up, I suspect I began to sound like a flag-waver. There were moments on October 1st, in Washington, when I found myself wondering about some of the same problems on this side of the Pacific. How did a system so well designed to absorb the demands of its people become captive to so few? How many times do we get to do this before people start to wonder if we’re still the best place to visit? The best place to study? To work? To stay?

Shutdown hits military academies hard – POLITICO.com The government shutdown disrupted the daily rhythms of the nation’s most orderly college campuses: the five federal military service academies. Campus commissaries rushed to sell milk, eggs and other perishable groceries before turning out the lights. The U.S. Naval Academy canceled language classes in Chinese and Arabic. And the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy ceased its normal operations altogether.

Crossing the line | South China Morning Post For Laos, the cost of the HK$56 billion high-speedrail link connecting Vientiane to Yunnan may far outweigh the benefits. In the first of a two-part series on China’s growing economic interests in its neighbour, David Eimer looks at why the project may have grave consequences for one of Asia’s poorest nations

Iran Staggers as Sanctions Hit Economy – NYTimes.com One economist, Mohammad Sadegh Jahansefat, said the government had been taken hostage by countries benefiting from the sanctions — particularly China, which he called the worst business partner Iran had ever had. “China has monopolized our trade — we are subsidizing their goods, which we are forced to import,” he said, adding of its work in the energy industry, “They destroy local production and leave oil and gas projects unfinished so that no one can work with them.”

RPT-UPDATE 2-Turkey says Chinese missile deal not final | Reuters Arinc did not single out the United States in his criticism, saying comments from U.S. officials about the decision had been “respectful”, but reiterated that Turkey did not need to consult on matters of domestic defence. “We are a member of NATO and we have had good relations from the beginning with NATO countries, especially the United States. However, when it comes to the subject of defending Turkey … we have the power to take a decision without looking to anyone else,” he said.

2 Uighur former Guantanamo detainees have left El Salvador–McClatchy Muhamman, a 35-year-old former farmer, was the only Uighur at Guantanamo considered a “high” risk detainee, said Thomas Joscelyn, a terrorism researcher at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a think tank in Washington concerned with counterterrorism. At his combatant status review tribunal, a type of military court, Muhamman acknowledged that he’d been a weapons trainer at a camp under Abdul Haq, a fellow Uighur who was a top lieutenant to al Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, Joscelyn said. Abdul Haq was killed in a drone strike in Pakistan’s North Waziristan in early 2010, he added. The camp was run by “heavy hitters . . . al Qaida and Taliban trainers,” he said.

网络安全的国家责任 _ 科技观察 _求是理论网 来源: 中国科学报     作者: 王明华 -国家网络空间的安全责任主要分为四部分:国家防御,空间治理,网络外交,综合威慑。网络空间的安全主要体现在两个层面,一是网络层面,二是信息层面,即信息保护和信息监管。网络层面又分攻防两个角度,因此网络层面包括网络防御和网络威慑。

“Kuaizhou” Challenges U.S. Perceptions of Chinese Military Space Strategy – All Things Nuclear It seems clear the Chinese military and the U.S. military are both concerned about the loss of space capabilities in a time of conflict and are pursuing the same means to compensate for it. This shared concern could form the basis for meaningful bilateral talks on space security that lead to a mutual understanding, and possibly a formal agreement, to refrain from attacks on each other’s satellites.

China Testing New Space Weapons | Washington Free Beacon Fisher said China recently hosted a major space conference and is seeking to position itself as a space “superpower” as a means to increase cooperation and technology acquisition from other countries. At the conference, “Chinese officials made a deliberate appeal to Canada, which developed and built the manipulator arm used on the International Space Station and U.S. Space Shuttles,” Fisher said.

China Is Said to Be Holding Professor Over His Activities in Japan – NYTimes.com The apparent arrest of the professor, Zhu Jianrong, possibly on espionage charges, after he returned to Shanghai from Japan comes as relations between China and Japan have hit their lowest point in decades, and it has sent tremors of fear through the small community of Japan experts in China and other academics.

 

HONG KONG, MACAO AND TAIWAN

Taiwan Says It Wants US Weapons Despite Warmer China Ties | Defense News “The Chinese mainland’s military might keeps growing at a fast pace in the past few years, posing a grave threat to Taiwan,” deputy defense minister Yen Teh-fa told reporters on the sidelines of the US-Taiwan Defense Industry Conference in Annapolis, Md., from Sept. 29-Oct 1. The conference, the 12th since 2002, discussed Taiwan’s Quadrennial Defense Review and examined the island’s defense needs against an increasingly assertive Chinese military, Taiwan’s state Central News Agency reported.

China Policy Institute Blog » Taiwan’s retired generals: A gold mine for China? Although Taiwan’s MND does not itself initiate exchanges between retired officers with their PLA counterparts, it also does not do anything to prevent those from taking place, provided that retired officers do not divulgate secrets in the process, a rather imperfect, if not somewhat naïve, way of treating the matter. There are important lessons to be learned from the incident described above. Above all, it alerts us to the fact that analysts who worry about such exchanges tend to focus too much on the risks of intelligence leaks while neglecting an equally crucial component of China’s strategy vis-à-vis Taiwan: propaganda.

Taiwan’s President Called as Witness in Anti-Leaking Case – China Real Time Report – WSJ Mr. Ma late Thursday was summoned as a witness by the Taipei District Prosecutors Office over its probe into Prosecutor-General Huang Shih-ming. Taipei prosecutors are probing whether Mr. Huang breached Taiwanese anti-leaking laws when he shared information with Mr. Ma about an ongoing investigation into a senior Taiwanese lawmaker.

Nobel laureate Mo Yan will teach in Taiwan | South China Morning Post Nobel Laureate Mo Yan will teach Chinese writing and literature at a Taiwanese university beginning next year. The National Taiwan Normal University announced on Thursday that Mo Yan, who is from the mainland, would lecture on literature and the cross-strait literary experience. Mo Yan won the Nobel Prize for literature last year.

 

TECH AND MEDIA

China threatens closure of mobile news apps amid Internet crackdown | Reuters.com what about Flipboard/Sina product?// Mobile news applications identified include Zaker, which said it had more than 17.5 million users at the end of April, and Chouti whose slogan is: “Publish all that should not be published.” The state regulator has told authorities to further crack down on illegal mobile news applications, by requiring them to “rectify” according to the laws.

China Focus: 100 websites pledge healthy, positive content – Xinhua | English.news.cn One hundred websites and news portals pledged to create a healthy and positive cyber environment for minors here on Sunday. They called on all Internet media organizations to advocate the Chinese dream, which is characterized by national prosperity and rejuvenation as well as citizens living a happy life.

Can China’s Leading Indie Film Director Cross Over in America? | ChinaFile To the question of domestic release, Jia’s confidence is not without grounding. A Touch of Sin is a collaboration with the Shanghai Film Group (SFG), formerly known as the Shanghai Film Studio, which is one of several veteran studios formerly subsidized by the state that has since been transformed into a state-controlled yet commercially-run media conglomerate. As a state-controlled film group, as opposed to a private film group such as Huayi Brothers, SFG is in a better position to secure state endorsement for its films. It is therefore not a small detail that Jia thanked the Shanghai Film Group for its support when he was handed the best screenplay award at the Cannes Film Festival in May.

BBC News – China employs two million microblog monitors state media say More than two million people in China are employed by the government to monitor web activity, state media say, providing a rare glimpse into how the state tries to control the internet. The Beijing News says the monitors, described as internet opinion analysts, are on state and commercial payrolls. // 网络舆情分析师成官方认可职业 从业者达200万人(全文) Chinese media story on which this is based 

Apple kowtows to China’s censors; removes circumvention app | Radio Netherlands Worldwide Trying to jump the Great Firewall of China? There’s an app for that. At least there was, until Apple took it down. Apple removed OpenDoor, a censorship circumvention tool, from its app store last month with no explanation or notification. To one Chinese Internet expert, it signals that Apple has taken their willingness to self-censor to a “whole new level”.

The new Facebook lives in China | PandoDaily “WeChat is now pretty much a complete Platform with a capital P – complete with a feed, ways for businesses to participate, games, monetization,” says James Hsu, a product manager at Yahoo Beijing Research and Development Center, who I interviewed via, natch, WeChat. “I would say just about anyone 35 and under is using it,” says Hsu. “On subways, it’s the No. 1 app I see open next to maybe the game du jour or an e-reader. Even some of my friends’ parents started using it. It’s a bit like Facebook in that respect.”

Sina CEO Charles Chao on How Weibo Is Changing China – Liz Gannes – Social – AllThingsD “The biggest impact social media has brought today is the impact on the media itself. The impact on society is indirect; the impact on media is direct.” But can there really be freedom of information in such a censored society? Chao downplayed those concerns, saying most people in China know what they can say, and censor themselves willingly. “There are certain things you cannot say on the Internet either in the United States,” he noted. For Chao, it’s all relative. “We see a lot of progress in terms of freedom of media in the last 15 years. We have to put these things in historical context.”

Chinese game developer Forgame surges in HK trading debut | Reuters Shares of Forgame Holdings Ltd (0484.HK), China’s largest developer of Web games, soared more than a third in their Hong Kong trading debut on Thursday, underscoring investor optimism for technology companies that have fueled rallies on the Nasdaq this year.

 

SOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY

丈母娘送400万宾利车 女婿当众下跪:绝不辜负你女儿-时政频道-新华网 mother in law gives groom 4m rmb Bentley at wedding in Maanshan //  昨天,在马鞍山一对新人的婚宴上,丈母娘当场宣布赠送给女婿的礼物堪称“马鞍山史上最贵嫁妆”:一辆价值400万元左右的宾利牌轿车。

Notes on a Scandal: Corruption at China’s Top Classical Music Acadamies corruption is not just an official problem. It permeates society // For young musicians looking to enter Beijing’s prestigious Central Conservatory of Music (CCOM), the jury audition is the most stressful performance of their nascent careers. For many of their professors, however, it’s the most profitable time of the year.

Interview: Jung Chang’s New Book Rewrites the Empress Dowager Cixi (+ VIDEO) – Scene Asia – WSJ While “Mao: The Unknown Story” catalogued Mao’s legacy of starvation and anguish, Ms. Chang’s “Empress Dowager Cixi: The Concubine Who Launched Modern China,” released Thursday, strives to rehabilitate its subject’s place in history. Instead of casting the empress as a grasping, power-mad tyrant, as she is commonly perceived, the book hails Cixi as a figure who helped usher China into the 20th century. // the book on Amazon 

Xi Jinping’s Chinese soccer comments met with widespread derision online | South China Morning Post President Xi Jinping’s comments on Chinese soccer during his Southeast Asian trip were met with rampant mocking from online users who have grown tired of being disappointed by the continuing failures of the national team. “I hope both of our national teams will make it to the World Cup finals in the near future,” Chinese President Xi said in an interview in Indonesia according to Xinhua.

‘The Blood Telegram,’ by Gary J. Bass – NYTimes.com At the time of the crackdown in East Pakistan, President Nixon and his national security adviser, Henry Kissinger, were trying to establish relations with the People’s Republic of China, which was only then emerging from the chaos of the Cultural Revolution. Nixon wanted desperately to extract the United States from Vietnam in something less than a catastrophic way and, as focused as ever on the Soviet Union, he and Kissinger believed that opening a channel to China could help them with the war while, at the same time, delivering a blow to the Soviets by exploiting their rivalry with the Chinese. Pakistan and, in particular, Yahya, its military leader, became Nixon’s secret liaison with the Chinese leader Zhou Enlai. Yahya helped lay the groundwork for the visits to China by Kissinger and then Nixon. It’s hard to overstate just how earth-changing Nixon and Kissinger regarded their trips to China — and how important they thought they were for bringing them about. In practice, this meant that Yahya — a vain, shallow mediocrity — was suddenly considered indispensable, free to do whatever he wished in East Pakistan. With the White House averting its eyes, the largely Muslim Pakistani Army killed at least 300,000 Bengalis, most of them Hindus, and forced 10 million to flee to India.// the book on Amazon

 

ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT, SCIENCE AND HEALTH

淮河癌症_杂志频道_财新网 terrifying Caixin cover story this week on cancer from water pollution in the Huai River Watershed 淮河癌症 // 中国有没有严重的环境公害病? 每个中国人心中都知道答案,但多年来,中国的官方和环境健康学者一直没有做出正面回答。今年6月底,中国的环境公害病正式脱去皇帝的新衣。中国疾病预防控制中心原副主任杨功焕,发布其团队历时八年进行淮河流域癌症研究的结论——淮河流域严重的水污染,与这一地区沈丘、颍东、扶沟、蒙城、埇桥、灵壁、汶上、巨野等八县区居民消化道肿瘤(主要为肝癌、胃癌、食道癌)的严重高发,二者之间存在“时间和空间上的一致性”,且两者有“相关关系”。

The Chinese city living in fear of giant killer hornets | World news | theguardian.com Jonathan Kaiman visits Ankang municipality where swarms of highly venomous hornets have killed 41 people in three months

Chinese Farmers, American Farms : The New Yorker Albion is a tiny town of rolling hills and kettle lakes in Indiana, two and a half hours from Indianapolis by car. These days, it’s also the site of a training program that sheds light on the changing nature of American agriculture: Chinese pig farmers have been traveling to Albion for lessons in breeding swine from a man named Mike Lemmon….Lemmon has hosted about thirty Chinese workers since he started the program in 2008, and by next summer, he expects to bring in up to thirty people annually—some from the company’s Beijing unit, and others employed by Whiteshire Hamroc’s Chinese customers.

China’s drive to clean up thriving but dirty recycling business jolts global industry | Fox News The Chinese campaign is aimed at enforcing standards for waste imports after Beijing decided too many were unusable or even dangerous and would end up in its landfills. Under the crackdown dubbed Green Fence, China has rejected hundreds of containers of waste it said were contaminated or that improperly mixed different types of scrap.

Junkyard Planet: the Video. | Shanghai Scrap On November 12, Bloomsbury Press will publish my first book, Junkyard Planet: Travels in the Billion Dollar Trash Trade (pre-order the book; pre-order the e-book). In advance of the release, I’ve been posting images from the book (and many that aren’t in the book). Today, I’m excited to post the first video from my reporting for the book, in the form of a short video “trailer” that I put together with Bloomsbury. It’s a brief but hopefully tantalizing peak inside of a fascinating industry that touches all of us. //the book on Amazon 

On Site Ivanhoe Mines, Africa – The Calandra Report | CEO.CA When cash-hungry DRC Congo essentially opened the gates for fresh mineral exploration two years ago, the Ivanhoe team decided to survey Copper Belt areas that had little in the way of visible outcroppings. That’s a simplification, but as board member William Hayden affirms, “The strategy worked. Kamoa might be providing a notable percentage of the world’s copper in our lifetimes.” // Robert Friedland has deep ties in China. If this project is going to happen do not be surprised if there is Chinese investment

 

FOOD AND TRAVEL

Coming Your Way: China’s Rotten Apples  – Bloomberg In other words: If rotten Chinese apples (and the toxic molds that sometimes grow with them) are making their way into Chinese fruit-juice factories (and past Chinese inspectors), then more likely than not they’re making their way into American refrigerators, pantries and bag lunches, too. What’s worse, chronically under-funded and under-staffed U.S. food inspectors lack the resources to capture many, if any, of these potentially tainted shipments. Indeed, according to a May report in the New York Times, the U.S. FDA manages only to inspect 2.3 percent of food shipments imported into the U.S. and 1,000 of the more than 250,000 foreign food plants that export to the U.S. In that sense, statistically speaking, it’s almost certain that most Chinese apple juice is never inspected, either in China or the U.S.

 

BEIJING

“京味儿”胡同游被指走样 300名车夫仅8名老北京_网易新闻中心 only 8 of the 300 registered Beijing Hutong Tour rickshaw drivers around Houhai are actually from Beijing // 胡同游是什刹海的一大特色,也是品牌,但很少有人知道它的存在已经有着近20年的历史了。目前,什刹海胡同游登记在册的三轮车共有300辆。其中只有八名北京人,他们被称为“后海八爷”。他们的名气已经成了品牌中的品牌。其他的车夫则来自中国的五湖四海,河北、河南、陕西、东北,其中以山西人较多。

 

BOOKS AND LITERATURE

Youth writers dominate Chinese sci-fi awards – Xinhua Eight Chinese science fiction writers and editors won top prizes at the fourth Xingyun (nebula) Awards on Friday, with the post-80s generation consolidating its place as the main drivers of this niche literary genre in China. The awards, which featured eight categories, honored 40 finalists including “Ether,” “Ender In Exile” and “High-Speed Rail.” According to the organizers, more than 30,000 public votes were received. Chen Qiufan, 32, a Beijing-based writer and a Google employee, won the prize of best novel and best new sci-fi writer with “The Waste Tide.”

Chinese Texts This course is intended for people who would like to learn how to read classical Chinese philosophy and history as expeditiously as possible. The professor is a specialist in early Chinese history. He is not a linguist, and offers no more discussion of grammatical particles and structures than is strictly necessary.

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