Predictions For 2014–The Sinocism China Newsletter 01.05.14

I am taking the plunge with some predictions for 2014. My 2013 predictions, made December 2012 in The New York Times, probably rate a B or so.

1. 2014 is the Year of the Horse but it will also likely become known as the Year of the Grind as Beijing works through its many political, economic, environmental and social challenges;

2. Xi Jinping will continue to consolidate power. The apparent ongoing purge of Zhou Yongkang and his allies will result in Xi having more control over both the security services and the military than any leader in decades;

3. Xi’s appointment to head the leading group for comprehensively deepening reform is positive for reform prospects. Some had expected Premier Li Keqiang to lead the group and now see this move as a diminution of Li, but given that the scope of the group is much broader than just the economy it makes more sense for the General Secretary to lead it. Only Xi may have the authority and the bureaucratic power to push through reforms that affect so many entrenched interests (though of course reform will also bring new opportunities to some). If Xi is successful in rebuilding Party discipline through the Mass Line Campaign and the corruption crackdown then there is a decent chance the reforms will succeed. But there is a reason some in Beijing say that Xi is the Party’s last chance to make the changes needed to keep it in power;

4. The corruption crackdown will intensify and while it will not solve the root issues it will be more successful than most have predicted. Zhou Yongkang may be the first tiger to fall in 2014 but there will be others. There will be increasing pockets of resistance as cadres are squeezed but Xi appears to have the power base to continue the crackdown. And business prospects will not improve for luxury goods merchants;

5. The economy will continue to struggle, in large part to due to the excessive buildup of corporate and government debt. The recent audit and the listing of “resolving risk associated with local government debt” as a key task in 2014 by the Central Economic Work Conference are signs of both how worried Beijing is and how serious it is taking the debt mess. There are no quick fixes though, moral hazard is a huge issue and while a debt crisis is unlikely (but never say never) Beijing’s options are increasingly constrained and any overly aggressive efforts to rein in credit growth could dramatically slow the economy. GDP growth should come in around 7% (and there will be plenty of debate about how “healthy” or real” that growth is), the Shanghai Composite will end 2014 15% higher, the RMB will appreciate to between 5.8-5.9 to the US Dollar and first-tier and maybe second-tier city real estate markets will continue to see price appreciation, though at least one high profile real estate developer will be taken down as a scapegoat for the high housing prices;

6. The Party has made much progress towards its goal of seizing the commanding heights of the Internet and those efforts will continue, as will a continued shift in social media usage from Weibo to Wechat. The stepped up control of the Internet will continue part of the broader, ongoing ideological tightening;

7. Alibaba and the Hong Kong Stock Exchange will both make concessions by the second quarter that will allow the company to list on the HKSE. The IPO will be bigger than Facebook’s even though Tencent’s Wechat will increasingly be seen as serious threat and Laiwang, Alibaba’s Wechat clone, will have little traction;

8. There will be more China pain for US technology companies in the wake of the Snowden revelations. Do not be surprised if Beijing bans military and security personnel and cadres above a certain rank from using Apple products;

9. There will be progress on cleaning up the environment though the problems are so huge that not much will change substantively in a year. But there will be more bureaucratic will and policy support as Beijing has come to realize that the environmental disaster is one of the core threats to the country. One of my predictions for 2013 was that the environmental issues would lead to “more protests as citizens become more aware of their rights and are emboldened to protect them.” In fact there were fewer large scale ones than in 2012 as Beijing narrowed the public sphere.

10. Verbatim from last year’s predictions: China’s external environment is increasingly complex. Mr. Xi is likely to work hard on maintaining stable relations with the United States, while at the same time expanding China’s military capabilities and asserting its regional interests. China has unsettled its neighbors with its approach to the disputes over the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea and the various islands in the South China Sea. Both issues look intractable, so a solution is unlikely in 2013. Expect a quickening arms race in Asia, increasingly nationalist rhetoric, continued tensions with Japan, Vietnam and the Philippines and growing risks of misunderstandings — and possible mishaps — as the various countries send more vessels into the disputed areas.

What I will add for 2014 is that there will be increasing recognition that Beijing has a well-crafted strategy, not ad-hoc and uncoordinated actions, that it believes will demonize and isolate Japan in the region and force the US to choose between supporting an increasingly unpopular regional partner or applying pressure on Japan such that other countries will see the US as an unreliable ally. I am not convinced it will work but it does look to be a significant part of Beijing’s strategy. And Prime Minister Abe is starting to look like a gift for Beijing.

Of course any unforeseen, exogenous events could render some or all of these non-operative…

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This week’s interesting readings:

THE ESSENTIAL EIGHT

China Focus: China maintains pressure with 5-year anticorruption plan – Xinhua The Communist Party of China (CPC) has vowed to firmly fight corruption and maintain its “high-handed posture” in the next five years. “If the problems of work styles and corruption are not handled properly, they will critically harm the Party, and even lead the Party or nation to perish,” said a five-year (2013-2017) plan on building a system to punish and prevent corruption, issued by the CPC Central Committee on Wednesday.

Related: 中共中央印发《建立健全惩治和预防腐败体系2013-2017年工作规划》-时政频道-新华网 did the 2013-2017 corruption punishment and prevention plan that was issued 12.25 get any western media pickup? The third general meeting of the 18th CDIC (第十八届中央纪律检查委员会第三次全体会议) is coming up later this month, If there is to be a Zhou Yongkang investigation announcement should we expect it around that meeting or perhaps the NPC/CPPCC meetings in March? // 新华网北京12月25日电  近日,中共中央印发了《建立健全惩治和预防腐败体系2013-2017年工作规划》,并发出通知,要求各地区各部门结合实际认真贯彻执行。     通知指出,全面推进惩治和预防腐败体系建设,是党的十八大和十八届三中全会作出的重要部署,是全党的重大政治任务和全社会的共同责任,对于坚持党要管党、从严治党,深入开展党风廉政建设和反腐败斗争,推进国家治理体系和治理能力现代化,实现“两个一百年”奋斗目标和中华民族伟大复兴的中国梦,具有重大意义。

【舒立观察】谁来打破利益藩篱_杂志频道_财新网 Hu Shuli in her January 6 editorial on why it is so important that Xi Jinping is chairing the comprehensively deepening reform small leading group// 中国以往不少已经形成决议的改革,未能得到全面、准确和及时的实施,主要障碍既在认识,也在利益。此次学习贯彻十八届三中全会精神活动声势浩大,在某些地方、部门层面却不乏明颂暗抗之举。例如“决定”公布未几,即有地方政府专门出台针对民营企业的新禁令。很显然,在改革战略实施中必须统一认识。坚决维护中央权威,保证改革政令畅通,已成迫切任务。深改小组组长人选确定的次日,新华社即播发习近平署名文章《切实把思想统一到党的十八届三中全会精神上来》,强调“全党思想和意志统一”,分量很重。

Related: 中央政治局召开会议 决定成立中央全面深化改革领导小组–时政–人民网 中共中央政治局召开会议 决定成立中央全面深化改革领导小组 .研究部署党风廉政建设和反腐败工作 审议通过《党政领导干部选拔任用工作条例》 中共中央总书记习近平主持会议

影子银行整顿风声鹤唳 一财求证传言始末_金融资本_财经频道_一财网 Another attempt at a shadow banking crackdown about to hit? China Business News reports on a surge in rumors that a Document #9 is about to be released by the CBRC, to plug the loopholes financial institutions found after the release of Document #8 last year. Implementation would be painful //银 监会“9号文”迟迟未能落地,不断膨胀的银行同业业务急需规范。而与此同时,各种有关同业业务整顿的传言也不时传出,这让金融业人士始终惴惴不安。 近两日,又有传闻称,一份旨在规范银行同业业务,严管表外业务风险的文件已经于近日酝酿完成。 上述传闻称,该文件内容包括,严禁过桥、通道、代持等绕8号文监管的业务模式。严禁非信贷科目放款。严禁帐外杠杆。

Related: Rawhide in China | FT Alphaville Faced with a mountain of maturing loans this year, China has given local governments the go-ahead to issue bonds as a way of rolling over their debt to avoid defaults. The announcement by the National Development and Reform Commission, a top central planning authority, is the most explicit official endorsement of a massive debt refinancing operation that has become unavoidable and is already under way, analysts said.

Related: 如何看待地方债务被允许“借新还旧”?-新闻中心频道-新华网 Xinhua on the risks of allowing LGFVs to borrow more to cover existing debt// 值得提醒的是,有关方面也需要警惕“借新还旧”可能带来的负面导向效应:“借新还旧”可能会强化投资机构“地方债务总会获得偿付”的观念,如果如此,正在推行的利率市场化将难以发挥作用。 “试想,如果市场上所有债务始终都不出现违约情况,谁还会青睐具有良好财务状况但利息较低的债务,客观上将会鼓励投资机构无视风险向提供高利率的地方融资平台放贷的行为。对于整个市场来说,平台类债务出现违约的情况是必要的。”一位市场人士如是说

Related: 资金掮客:1天筹资超200亿 行长也跟我们套关系_网易新闻中心 long 21st Century Business Herald story on brokers who find short-term deposits for banks to help them meet their monthly, quarter-end and especially year-end loan-deposit ratios// 2013年的最后一天,空气中洋溢着新年的气氛,郑元(化名)与他的伙伴们,完成了2013年最后一笔“钱”的买卖——为某大型国有商业银行位于北京国贸地区的支行提供了一笔三亿元的存款。在12月末大约一周的时间里,郑元他们成功地将总计80亿元资金“做”进银行。 “每到年关,都有不同的经历和收获。很久没有遇到如此团结一心的团队,配合着共进退,相互匹配资源,不计较得失。”在对某财经网讲述他所操盘的资金大挪移的故事时,郑元忽然有些伤感,他说是因为“离别”。

Related: China LGFV Sells First Dollar Bond as Yuan Borrowing Costs Rise – Bloomberg Shanghai Chengtou Corp. sold the first onshore dollar-denominated bond by a local-government financing vehicle in China as yuan borrowing costs surge. The funding unit issued $200 million of AAA rated notes with a 3.3494 percent coupon on Dec. 27, according to a statement posted on the website of the Shanghai Clearing House on Dec. 31. The bond was priced to yield 300 basis points more than six-month Libor, the statement said.

Related: 地方AMC扩容_杂志频道_财新网 Caixin on the expansion of local Asset Management Corporations // 注册资本最低限额为10亿元,且为实缴资本;银监鼓励民间资本投资入股地方版资产管理公司

河北日报-习近平同志在正定 15,000 word piece in Hebei Daily on January 2 on Xi Jinping’s time in Zhending, Hebei

Related: 习近平要求干部既有老黄牛品格又有千里马气势_网易新闻中心 人民网北京1月4日电 河北日报近日刊发《习近平同志在正定》的文章,披露了习近平在河北石家庄市正定县工作生活的诸多细节。文章说,习近平在主政正定期间指出,干部在工作作风上要适应新时期的要求,不能仅仅是一个老黄牛,也不能只是一个空谈家,而要把远大目标和务实工作结合起来,既有老黄牛的品格,又有千里马的气势,既是一个有胆有识的战略家,又是一个脚踏实地的实干家。

Related: 长篇通讯《习近平同志在正定》引发干部群众热烈反响_河北新闻网 and the article received an enthusiastic reaction from cadres…all about showing Xi as sincere and down to earth, working for the masses and pushing reform. phase 2 of the mass line is probably not going to be so fun for some cadres // 河北新闻网1月3日讯(河北日报记者)“真实再现习近平同志呕心沥血推动正定发展的感人画面,生动反映习近平同志与正定广大干部群众一块苦、一块过、一块干的感人场景。”1月2日,河北日报头版刊发的长篇通讯《习近平同志在正定》,被许多媒体纷纷转载,在广大干部群众中引起热烈反响。大家认为这篇通讯生动地再现了习近平同志在正定工作和生活的方方面面,让人们真切地感受到一种真挚朴实的为民情怀、坚定不移的改革勇气、久久为功的实干精神,进一步加深了对习近平同志一系列重要思想的理解和认同,从而更加坚定了对以习近平同志为总书记的党中央的组织自信。

为了国家长治久安——怎样理解全面深化改革的总目标_ 2014/01 _求是理论网 “For the long term peace and stability of the nation”. Qiushi 秋石 in Qiushi (Seeking Truth) on understanding the overall goal of comprehensively deepening reform// 党的十八届三中全会通过的《中共中央关于全面深化改革若干重大问题的决定》提出:“全面深化改革的总目标是完善和发展中国特色社会主义制度,推进国家治理体系和治理能力现代化。”确立这个总目标,对全面深化改革有重大指导作用,对坚持和发展中国特色社会主义、实现社会主义现代化有重大理论意义和实践意义。本文就如何理解这个总目标谈一些看法。

Beijing PM 2.5 reading fails national standard – Xinhua The average PM 2.5 reading for Beijing in 2013 was more than double the national standard, the city’s environmental authority reported Thursday, suggesting tough challenges ahead for the pollution-plagued Chinese capital in its anti-smog campaign. Beijing’s average PM 2.5 index, which measures airborne particles smaller than 2.5 micrometers, stood at 89.5 micrograms per cubic meter in 2013, the Beijing Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau said in a press release. The reading was 2.56 times the national standard of 35, which was set by the State Council in 2012 in a set of revised air quality standards that included indices for ozone and PM 2.5.

Related: Shanghai paying price of China’s campaign against industrial pollution | Reuters Beijing always gets priority, especially as the Shanghai Gang’s influence wanes? // Chinese steel production is moving from its heartland in Hebei province in the wake of government efforts to tackle pollution near Beijing, but Shanghai could be paying the price as steel mills around the commercial capital ramp up output. Stricter environmental checks in Hebei have also created opportunities for polluting industries such as cement and glass-making plants in provinces near Shanghai.

How China and American can keep a Pacific peace | The A-List–Kurt Campbell Until recently, there was a subtle tension between the party and the military over rules of engagement for People’s Liberation Army assets. It appears, however, that there is greater co-ordination under Xi Jinping, his successor…the US and China have very distinct strategic cultures with different objectives when it comes to operational encounters, and finding an acceptable paradigm will be challenging. Yet find it they must: global stability depends on avoiding a collision.

Mandiant, which rooted out Chinese hackers for the NYT, is being snapped up for nearly $1 billion FireEye, Inc. has purchased the Alexandria-based firm in a $989 million mix of stock and cash, executives said Thursday. The deal, which closed on Dec. 30, involves 21.5 million shares of FireEye and $106.5 million in cash. With Thursday’s announcement, Mandiant will become a publicly-held company for the first time. The decade-old firm does $100 million a year in sales, and its 500 employees serve around 500 customers, most of which are in the Fortune 500, said CEO Kevin Mandia in an interview.

 

BUSINESS, ECONOMY AND TRADE

China Local Debt Rises to $2.95T: Video – Bloomberg Bloomberg’s Tom Orlik reports on China’s debt risks which amounts to 53% of GDP which auditors are saying is controllable. // Orlik doesn’t see a crisis ahead

Pimco Sees Dim Sum Refinancing Boom on Cash Crunch: China Credit – Bloomberg “A lot of local and Dim Sum bonds are coming up for maturity so there will be a lot of refunding needs,” said Raja Mukherji, the Hong Kong-based head of Asian credit research at Pimco, manager of the world’s biggest bond fund. “Given that onshore rates have been ticking up in China, corporates may choose to go to the offshore bond markets and extend their maturity.”

China’s Runaway Train Is Running Out of Track – Bloomberg The detailed blueprint for market reform published by the Communist Party in November encouraged many. China’s leaders clearly recognize that its economy needs to move in a new direction. But the first crucial step, weaning China away from its addiction to debt-fueled stimulus, is proving a lot harder than many imagined. China’s leaders are riding a runaway train that they don’t quite know how to stop. And they’re running out of track. // we’ll see how little track they really have. I’d bet it is more than the author thinks, though he shies away from giving a specific timeline. Surprised there is no mention of the recent debt audit, or that the central economic work conference for the first time listed resolving risk associated with local government debt as a key task. 2014 is not going to pretty, but good luck to those betting on a real debt crisis. 

‘Dr. Doom’ Roubini gets bullish on global economy Threats of a euro zone implosion, another U.S. government partial shutdown, a debt-ceiling fight, a hard landing in China, or a war between Israel and Iran will be far more subdued, he said…”In sum, the global economy will grow faster in 2014, while tail risks will be lower. But, with the possible exception of the U.S., growth will remain anemic in most advanced economies, and emerging-market fragility – including China’s uncertain efforts at economic rebalancing – could become a drag on global growth in subsequent years,” he said.

山西煤老板7000万嫁女背后:营造不差钱假象_网易新闻中心 was Liangsheng’s chairman Xing Libin already in financial trouble when he threw the 70m RMB wedding for his daughter, and made it so outlandish as part of a strategy to convince banks he was rolling in cash and therefore help him raise more money? wouldn’t be the first to do that…and will the Liansheng troubles serves as a warning to bankers/investors the next time a “tuhao” boss flaunts wealth so obscenely?// 事实上, “土豪”的炫富热情和民企飙升的负债率已成为孪生兄弟。在实际负利率时代,“土豪”之所以成为“土豪”,并不是在于实业经营的能力,而在于其借钱的本事。在灰暗的基层金融生态系统中,炫富往往会成为一种有助于融资的信用资源。很多情况下,它是“土豪”们在这个系统中自由穿梭的通行证…2014年,不论邢利斌的财富故事是否会结束,中国土豪“显摆”的事情都可能愈演愈烈。但越是疯狂地“显摆”,越是在宣告这一轮疯狂的负债潮即将水落石出。

Closer Look: Investment Bankers, Companies Got Extra Reason to Cheer on New Year’s Eve – Caixin Six companies received the prized permission from the CSRC that night. One is bound for the main board, two for the Small and Medium Enterprise board and the rest for the ChiNext board. By the time the last one was announced, 2014 was only less than half an hour away. This brought the total number of companies to get IPO permission in 2013 to 11. All of the permissions were made on December 30 and 31, after the regulator froze domestic IPOs for almost 15 months. Despite the general enthusiasm for reopening new stock issuance, not all investment bankers are keen on testing new IPO rules published on November 30. The rules hold underwriting institutions more responsible for the accuracy and validity of companies’ IPO materials and are seen as a step toward a registration-based IPO system.

Burgeoning Delivery Industry Grapples with Poisoning Death – Caixin Shipping companies trying to figure out how to screen packages after leaked chemical kills man whose parcel was tainted during delivery

Lure Of China’s Gray Economy Reaches Rich And Poor : NPR Wu notes that the phenomenon of gray income has been around throughout China’s history. Ancient texts record that a contemporary of Confucius complained about the problem of gray income 2,500 years ago.

China’s Plan to Create Six Rare Earth Groups Approved by Cabinet-Caijing China’s State Council, the cabinet, has approved a plan to merge the country’s rare earth companies into six large groups, the Economic Information Daily reported, citing an authority. The long-discussed plan, led by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), aims to better protect and develop the precious minerals which are used to make everything from consumer electronics to car components to defense systems.

China Exclusive: No rush to rebalance China’s economy: economist – Xinhua The whole world says China needs to rebalance its economy, and the Chinese government agrees. But one economist now says: “Wait a minute.” And he is not a nobody. Yukon Huang is a prominent economist and the World Bank’s former country director for China. In a recent interview with Xinhua, Huang said “rapid growth is essentially an unbalanced process.” “Unbalance is not the problem,” Huang said. “The problem is to make sure that you invest in the right things.”

虚拟货币本质上不是货币|盛松成|虚拟货币|比特币_新浪财经_新浪网 PBOC researcher blogs about Bitcoin and why it is not a legitimate currency replacement.. No reason the believe there will be any positive news from PRC regulators about bitcoin, or that somehow the recent crackdown was good, as some of the bitcoin bulls have been trying to spin

证监会关注互联网金融违规营销 业绩宣传涉嫌误导投资者-财经网 CSRC looks to crack down on sales practices of some Internet finance products, force their marketing to abide by same rules as traditional finance products do 

How China crashed the Nafta party | Kevin P Gallagher and Enrique Dussel Peters | Global development | theguardian.com Looking back, our research shows that China has significantly penetrated many of the new markets opened by Nafta. In a paper published by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, we document the extent to which Chinese products have taken away market share in the US, and how China has begun to take Mexican markets from the US as well.

On Defensive, JPMorgan Hired China’s Elite – NYTimes.com In the months and years that followed, emails and other confidential documents show, JPMorgan escalated what it called its “Sons and Daughters” hiring program, adding scores of well-connected employees and tracking how those hires translated into business deals with the Chinese government. The previously unreported emails and documents — copies of which were reviewed by The New York Times — offer a view into JPMorgan’s motivations for ramping up the hiring program, suggesting that competitive pressures drove many of the bank’s decisions that are now under federal investigation.

 

POLITICS AND LAW

稳中求进 改革创新 奋力开创改革发展新局面 _ 2014/01 _求是理论网作者: 本刊社论// 全面深化改革,全党在看,群众在盼,国际社会也在关注。要着眼于领导好全面深化改革这场攻坚战,加强党建各项工作,认真搞好党的群众路线教育实践活动特别是第二批活动,努力提高各级党组织特别是领导干部的思想政治能力、动员组织能力、驾驭复杂矛盾能力,各方面工作都要紧紧围绕全面深化改革来进行,都要用保证或促进全面深化改革的实际成效来检验。让我们团结一心,扎实工作,开拓进取,攻坚克难,奋力开创改革发展新局面!

Xi Jinping’s proposals for economic reform reminiscent of Deng Xiaoping | South China Morning Post The so-called “Leading Group for Overall Reform” was announced at the party’s third plenum last November. Zhang Lifan , a political analyst formerly with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, says Xi’s appointment makes the group the most powerful central agency in charge of reform in China’s modern history. The new agency will have equal footing with the Central Finance and Economy Leading Group, which is positioned as the agenda-setter and co-ordination unit for financial and economic issues.

Chinese Firm Linked to CNPC Suspected of Fraud in Iraq – Caixin Caixin found that the sole shareholder of Hermic, Li Wei, was a mid-level manager of CNPC who once worked as a subordinate of Zhu Junfeng’s in CNPC’s Sudan operation. That project started in 1996 as the company’s first overseas operation. Zhu, 53, was a veteran of CNPC’s activity overseas. He has worked in CNPC’s Shengli Oilfield, in the coastal province of Shandong, with former CNPC head Jiang Jiemin. Jiang headed the country’s regulator of state-owned assets until September, when the Communist Party said he was being investigation for “serious discipline violations.” Zhu was the head of the Sudan branch until he was sent to Iraq with many of his team members.

Li Ming, ad executive who knew disgraced ex-official, dies age 47 | South China Morning Post  An entertainment industry magnate connected to disgraced deputy police chief Li Dongsheng has reportedly died of a heart attack at age 47. News of Li Ming’s death started to circulate among the mainland’s social media late on Thursday and was confirmed yesterday by Li’s company, Beijing Galloping Horse Media….A report on news portal Caixin cited anonymous sources as saying the entertainment magnate was taken away by authorities a week ago to “assist an investigation”. It said Li liked to drink and had suffered heart problems for some time, but the report was no longer accessible by late last night.//a friend has worked for him for years. An amazing guy with very deep connections, apparently in part because he kept his mouth shut and went to jail after 1989

不动产登记条例6月前出台:或仍将严禁以人查房_网易新闻中心 work underway on the real estate asset registration system, very sensitive // 一位接近住建部的人士介绍,国土部研讨不动产登记制度时,将借鉴住建部个人住房信息联网的先行经验。 与此同时,不动产统一登记技术平台的建立还将考虑如何与个人住房信息联网技术标准和管理相协调的问题。 据上述接近住建部的人士了解,住建部已和国土部就此进行过多次沟通。 值得一提的是,不动产登记条例制度设计中,将增设查询服务,但将限制在此前的法律法规范围内,备受争议的“以人查房”,或仍为“禁区”,被严格限制。

Chinese disciplinary body’s spending drops – Xinhua Money spent on receptions, meetings and printing decreased by 61 percent, 59 percent and 13 percent respectively last year compared with the figure in 2012, according to a Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) statement on Saturday. The drops are the result of an “eight-point” anti-bureaucracy and formalism rule that was introduced at a meeting of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee in late 2012.//and many hoops to go through now for any international travel, and no more junkets. everyone wonder how long this can last, but so far much more effective and enforced than most expected

[视频]民意调查:整风肃纪反贪腐成效明显_新闻频道_央视网(cctv.com) top Thursday CCTV Evening News report on how much popular support there is for the corruption and extravagance crackdowns // 央视网消息(新闻联播):过去的2013年,在以习近平同志为总书记的党中央坚强领导下,环环相扣纠正“四风”的措施和大力惩治贪腐的力度得到了群众称赞。近日,多家机构发布的民意调查结果表明,广大干部群众认为党风廉政建设和反腐败工作成效明显。

西安拟投资380亿元再建阿房宫 惊动习近平_网易新闻中心 Xian officials may not be spending 38 Billion RMB to rebuild Qin Shihuang’s Epang Palace, now that Xi Jinping has weighed in // 在中国,通常来说,由政府引起的舆论事件跟现实世界是两条线—往往热点甫成,“舆论场”上物议鼎沸,来自四面八方的口诛笔伐淹没了所有报纸、网站头条,大有动摇星河之势;但现实中,久历考验的地方政府早塑就一身定力,熬过当口,躲一阵子,“舆论场”来得快去得更快,该干什么,继续干就是了。 但阿房宫事件是个例外。最近问起后续,西安市的官员说起来心有余悸,“方案调整很大,项目名字都要换掉,教训深刻”。 教训有多深刻?近两个月,全国不少地方的党组织学习了中办转发的一份文件—《中共中央办公厅的通知》,深刻领会习近平总书记在《西安380亿打造“新阿房宫”引舆论质疑》一文上的重要批示精神。

贺国强新书揭中组部选配高官的”贺氏法则”_网易新闻中心 核心提示:日前,贺国强出书谈及任中组部部长时的经历,称党内人士看来这一职位“是一件得罪人的活儿”,但他结合自身任职经验,摸索出一套选配干部的“贺氏法则”–在保证干部素质的前提下,注重干部之间的兼容性:党政一把手的配备上,避免2个强势干部配在一起。

Gift giving gets complicated |From the Press |chinadaily.com.cn The Spring Festival holiday is approaching, and despite the gift industry feeling the impact of the government’s new policy to combat extravagance and waste, the sales of a new product called “gift list” is flourishing, says an article on gmw.cn. Excerpts: The “gift list” is a new way to present gifts. But instead of visiting shops and shopping malls to buy gifts and personally giving them to family members, friends or officials, people just use e-commerce and express delivery to send the gifts to the intended person. By doing so, people can avoid supervision over gift giving using public funds and subsequent investigations.

China to carry out spot checks on officials’ asset declarations | Reuters China will begin conducting spot checks this year on assets and other personal information reported by officials to the ruling Communist Party and punish those with hidden wealth, state media reported. The internal declarations are not made public, and in the past a lack of oversight had largely reduced the system to a formality.

New foreign assets rule comes into force – CHINA – Globaltimes.cn Under the new rule, Chinese citizens and organizations need to declare any overseas financial assets and liabilities. Foreign individuals and organizations that make economic business transactions on Chinese territory are also required to declare their international receipts and payments to the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE).

李崇禧落马细节:收钱从不客气 要的都是整数_网易新闻中心 some details on Li Chongxi’s corruption detention // 李崇禧一再遭遇举报但屡次化险为夷,颇耐人寻味。 一位曾在四川省纪委挂职锻炼的广元市干部称,据他了解,李崇禧在官场里得罪的人并不算多。这在某种程度上为他提供了庇护。 2011年1月,年满60岁的李崇禧任四川省委副书记、省人大常委会副主任、党组书记,正式进入了正省级干部序列。

媒体披露“习近平庆丰包子铺吃包子”事件始末_网易新闻中心 interesting details of Xi’s visit to the Qingfeng baozi shop

中国政法系统整顿队伍:反腐治贪、正风肃纪|政法系统|整顿_凤凰资讯 on the ongoing “rectification” of the politics & law system…lots of laudatory year end pieces about how well everyone has done implementing the new spirit since the 18th// 中新网北京1月4日电(记者阚枫) 2014年开年,最高人民法院即向全国法院系统发文,提出正风肃纪的新要求。中共十八大以来,从正风肃纪到专业化建设,再到以公开促公信,中国政法系统正打出一组改革自身、强化队伍的“组合拳”。

矢志不渝做中国特色社会主义事业建设者捍卫者(深入学习贯彻习近平同志系列讲话精神)–时政–人民网 long piece by Minister of Public Security Guo Ghengkun in Friday’s People’s Daily. Managing the Internet gets a mention, right after fighting splittism and terrorism//各级公安机关要牢固树立国家安全观,始终把维护国家政治安全、政权安全置于首要位置,坚持下好先手棋、打好主动仗,以实际行动坚决捍卫中国共产党的领导,坚决捍卫人民民主专政政权,坚决捍卫中国特色社会主义制度。切实增强政治敏锐性和政治鉴别力,善于从战略上把握大势、研判形势,善于从政治上观察问题、分析问题,坚决抵制西方反华势力的意识形态渗透,依法打击境内外敌对势力的捣乱破坏活动,确保政治安全和政权安全。高举维护社会稳定、维护社会主义法制、维护人民根本利益的旗帜,大力加强反分裂斗争,严厉打击暴力恐怖活动,确保国家安全和社会稳定。坚持依法管网、以人管网、技术管网相结合,健全完善网络综合防控体系,加强和改进网络安全管理,严厉打击网络造谣诽谤、网络诈骗等违法犯罪活动,确保网络安全和网上良好秩序。// China tells police to be loyal to party amid graft crackdown | Reuters

Chinese official stresses increased capability in guiding public opinion – Xinhua Senior Chinese official Liu Yunshan on Friday stressed increased capability in guiding public opinion and the creation of a “positive and upward” atmosphere on the Internet. When delivering a speech at a national conference attended by local publicity chiefs, Liu emphasized the leadership of the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) over the media, the correct guidance of public opinion, and the pooling of “positive energy.” // 全国宣传部长会议在京召开 刘云山要求更加积极主动奋发有为做好各项工作 

2013年”打谣”成效显著 2014年”治谣”如何亮招?_新闻中心_中国网 沈阳认为,关键还是提速,政务微博、官方微博应该提高发布活跃度,信息公开更加彻底;媒体应当加快对于未证实消息的确认速度,便于跟进或辟谣;相关应用平台应进行技术革新,例如完善社区管理机制、优化搜索引擎,对于不实信息的关键字搜索结果,自动、优先呈现真实信息;手机新闻客户端的推送应注意及时跟进,尤其是推送热点谣言的辟谣信息;强化网络大V信用体系,对于经常发布、转发不实信息的,在其转发和搜索等功能上进行一定限制…祝华新认为,面对海量信息中的不实传言,应依靠专业力量进行精细化斗争。杂家型大V应谨慎发言,可以鼓励专家型的“中V”,在自己熟悉的领域反馈民意,促进顺畅沟通和良性互动。专家型的“中V”如果大量出现,其自身也是对信口开河的杂家型“大V”的制衡。//hard to be optimistic for Weibo BigVs going into 2014

“终身副教授”的最后一课 – 国内 – 南都周刊  Southern Weekend on Prof. Chen Hongguo’s resignation // 按原来的教学计划,12月27日将会是谌洪果在西北政法大学的谢幕演出,他打算给学生讲《拷问死刑》和结语。但就在上课的前一天,课程被校方紧急叫停。于是,12月25日星期三的那节“倒数第二堂课”,成了谌洪果的最后一课。

The One-Year Plan–Foreign Policy–Damien Ma That’s why reform will be the central task as China gallops into 2014, the Year of the Horse. As Chinese leaders have repeatedly exhorted the government to “roll up its sleeves” and get things done, 2014 will prove to be a pivotal year in how the balance between reforms and economic growth plays out. Here are six areas to watch:

 

FOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS

央视首次曝光中国海监船南海撞击越南船只画面_网易新闻中心 CCTV 4 runs documentary called “Blue Border Defenders”. shows footage of 2007 confrontation in S China Sea between CMS and Vietnamese ships // 这是CCTV-4近日播出纪录片《蓝疆卫士》,片中首次披露中国海监曾在南海与闯入我领海的越南船只对峙,并实施撞击的情况,两国船只距离极近,当时的情况十分危险,场面很震撼。 据悉这次撞击事件发生在2007年,当时中国海监船只为维护中国勘探船作业权利,与外国武装船只进行冲撞。

人民日报海外版批东南亚容忍安倍:大气都不敢出|日本|靖国神社_凤凰资讯 People’s Daily Overseas edition asks why SE Asia is keeping quiet about Abe’s Yasukuni visit. Getting SEA on board with the Abe demonization program is a key component of China’s regional strategy

U.S. waived laws to keep F-35 on track with China-made parts | Reuters The Pentagon repeatedly waived laws banning Chinese-built components on U.S. weapons in order to keep the $392 billion Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 fighter program on track in 2012 and 2013, even as U.S. officials were voicing concern about China’s espionage and military buildup. According to Pentagon documents reviewed by Reuters, chief U.S. arms buyer Frank Kendall allowed two F-35 suppliers, Northrop Grumman Corp and Honeywell International Inc, to use Chinese magnets for the new warplane’s radar system, landing gears and other hardware. Without the waivers, both companies could have faced sanctions for violating federal law and the F-35 program could have faced further delays.

变革世界 梦想中国 _ 2014/01 _求是理论网 Wang Yi in the new Seeking Truth on the 2013 success of the start of the new administration’s foreign policy

Zheng Chuanfu and Han Weiguo made army deputy commanders | South China Morning Post The official newspaper of the Beijing Military Region, Zhanyou Bao, said Zheng attended an internal meeting at the end of December as a deputy commander. Zheng was chief of command for Inner Mongolia in 2006 and Shanxi in 2003. He is also a standing c ommittee member of the Communist Party’s Beijing Committee. The paper added that Major General Han Weiguo, 57, also attended the meeting as a deputy commander. Han previously served as commander of the 12th Group Army based in Nanjing , Jiangsu province

U.S. icebreaker Polar Star to help vessels trapped in Antarctica: AMSA – Xinhua The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has requested the U.S. Coast Guard’s icebreaker Polar Star to assist the Russian vessel MV Akademik Shokalskiy and the Chinese vessel Xue Long (Snow Dragon)which are stuck by ice in Antarctica. AMSA has identified the Polar Star as a vessel capable of assisting the trapped vessels. The U.S. Coast Guard accepted this request on Saturday and will make Polar Star available for the rescue operation, AMSA said in the latest statement.

China to centralize military command to improve operations | Reuters In the past, regional level military commanders have enjoyed major latitude over their forces and branches of the military have remained highly independent of each other, making it difficult to exercise the centralized control necessary to use new weapons systems effectively in concert. The English-language newspaper, citing the Defense Ministry, said that China will implement a joint command system “in due course” and that it has already launched pilot programs to that effect.

Inside the Tale of North Korea Execution by Ravenous Dog – NYTimes.com no video, no reason to believe this story. because if this happened and 300 people had to watch it, you know there is a video somewhere // Though Wen Wei Po has taken editorial stands that favor party policy, it is not an official mouthpiece of Beijing. And some scholars in Hong Kong have criticized what they call the newspaper’s low editorial standards. (It is true, however, that analysts have been saying for months that China, North Korea’s patron, is unhappy with Mr. Kim for ignoring its entreaties to stop its nuclear weapons and missile tests.) The Straits Times commentary brought more attention to Wen Wei Po’s North Korea report. Then on Friday, some Western news organizations ran stories about that original article. NBC News, for example, summarized the article in an online report co-written from Beijing, with the caveat that it had no independent confirmation of the assertions.

Next stop, Mars: Chinese scientists eye red planet probe within four years | South China Morning Post Scientists across China are pushing forward with a project to send a probe to Mars, possibly in four years, but the research is being done largely out of the public eye. The technological challenges involved are much greater than those posed by the soft landing of the Chang-e 3’s rover on the moon in December, specialists involved in the programme say.

Hack job tries to link Snowden and China – Salon.com For little more than a speculation-drenched hack job, Gordon G. Chang’s article in The Daily Beast Friday boasted a strident title: “Snowden lied about China contacts,” the headline proclaimed. But yet the piece — which has angered the NSA whistle-blower’s cadre of supportive journalists (myself included) — is entirely devoid of fact. Chang’s suggestion is that Snowden has been in close working contact with the Chinese government, contrary to the whistle-blower’s claim that “I have had no contact with the Chinese government… I only work with journalists.” So let’s look at Chang’s evidence. // Chang: Snowden Lied About China Contacts

Womp! This Country Was Named The Greatest Threat To World Peace The U.S. was voted the biggest threat by far, garnering 24 percent of the vote. Pakistan was a very distant second with 8 percent, followed by China (6 percent) and Afghanistan (5 percent).

FBI: SF Chinese Consulate Fire Set Intentionally – ABC News No one was hurt in the Wednesday night blaze that charred the building’s doorway, damaged the lobby and burned upward toward the roof. //suspect apparently in custody, but no details. All over Chinese media, government wants compensation and prosecution, says several incidents in the US have not been solved

‘Ping-Pong Diplomacy,’ by Nicholas Griffin – NYTimes.com When the game of table tennis became the focus of diplomatic efforts to defuse Cold War tensions between the United States and China, no detail was too small to warrant careful scrutiny. As Nicholas Griffin demonstrates, in a book filled with well-chosen examples, the Chinese team visiting Colonial Williamsburg in 1972 was comfortable eating apple pie and singing “Home on the Range.” But “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” was dicier: the line “life is but a dream” was politically incompatible with the teachings of Chairman Mao. Thanks to some fancy footwork on the part of a translator, the line quickly turned into “life is full of steam.” // book on Amazon 

 

TECH AND MEDIA

Chinese mass media asked to promote Mandarin – Xinhua China’s television and broadcasting watchdog has asked the country’s hosts and broadcasters to take the lead in promoting Mandarin. Television hosts and broadcasters should speak Mandarin when hosting programs, except in special cases, and slang that violates language specifications should be prohibited, according to the State General Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television. They are asked to abide by Chinese syntax rules and not to coin new words or non-standard expressions, the administration said, adding that imitating pronunciation of some dialects and local expressions is also prohibited.

20G海量用户信息被盗卖 支付宝内鬼泄密 – 经济观察网 - 专业财经新闻网站 on the recent arrests for a massive 2010 Alipay user data theft // 导语:李明下载支付宝用户信息后,伙同两位阿里巴巴系统外的IT业者,共同将用户数据加以分析、提炼,并兜售给目标客户。据一位在李明被取保候审后与其有过接触的人士透露,李明团队对警方承认,支付宝用户信息被其团队多次出售给多家电商公司、数据公司,并从中获得了经济利益。

马云的女人:他能做很多帅男人做不了的事_21世纪网 frank essay by Jack Ma’s wife Zhang Ying, even discusses their son’s fight with gaming addiction…one of the many reasons jack Ma seems to hate Tencent and Pony Ma // 我和马云是大学同学,毕业就拿了结婚证。马云不是个帅男人,我看重的是他能做很多帅男人做不了的事情。

高晓松爆料:崔健有望上春晚_网易娱乐-网易新闻客户端 Gao Xiaosong says that Cui Jian will make an appearance on this year’s CCTV Spring Festival Gala

《甄嬛传》为什么走红? _ 2014/01 _求是理论网 Seeking Truth on the popularity of the TV series The Legend of Zhen Huan…interesting says that “viewers liking it is a hard truth” and should be the driving force in programming…//  电视连续剧《甄嬛传》从2011年11月首播到现在,两年多时间过去,重播复重播,收视率依然高企。随着它“闯美入韩又登日”,新一轮关注也风生水起。这种现象很值得研究。…观众喜欢是硬道理。如何评判一部作品,由谁来评判,人民群众喜欢不喜欢、满意不满意、接受不接受、认可不认可是根本标准。文艺评价不能与观众的评价背道而驰。传播学中有个著名的“子弹论”,老假想观众是一群头脑简单的小兔子,看了言情剧,就学谈恋爱;看了武侠剧,就学飞檐走壁;那么看了《甄嬛传》,可能就学权术和阴谋。这是一个极大的误解。我们应当相信观众是有审美鉴赏力的。文艺批评要充分尊重艺术规律,充分尊重作家艺术家的创造性劳动,最大限度地贴近社会大众的审美心理,才能发挥好助推剂和清醒剂的作用,共同营造影视精品脱颖而出的良好生态。

China’s 2013 box office nears 21.8 bln yuan – Xinhua China’s box office sales in 2013 neared 21.8 billion yuan (3.6 billion U.S. dollars), according to official figures revealed on Friday. Domestic films raked in about 12.8 billion yuan, registering a year-on-year increase of 54.3 percent and accounting for 58.7 percent of mainland box office revenues last year, said Zhang Hongsen, head of the film bureau under the State General Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television.//what would the foreign receipt percentage be without quotas and release date manipulation to benefit domestic films? 

4.7 million reasons China got the latest season of Sherlock three weeks before the US – Quartz For millions of fans, the agonizing wait for the return of the hit detective show Sherlock is over. The BBC broadcast the first episode of the third season at 9pm (GMT) on Jan. 1. A few hours later, Sherlock hit the Chinese internet via Youku, China’s biggest online streaming site. In less than 24 hours, it’s gotten 4.72 million views (link in Chinese). But US fans half way around the world aren’t as lucky: The show’s US premiere is set for Jan. 19. //episode 1 on Youku, need a PRC IP address to watch, and not the most watched TV show overall on Youku the day it was released

‘Saturday Night Live’ comes to China’s Internet – Yahoo News The late-night U.S. comedy sketch show that regularly mocks politicians, popular culture and celebrities is being shown exclusively on the website of Sohu Video, a unit of Chinese online media group and Nasdaq-listed Sohu.com Inc. Ten episodes from the current 39th season of “SNL” are available now.

21st Century Fox Sells Stake in Chinese TV Company – NYTimes.com The television, cable and movie conglomerate owned by Rupert Murdoch, 21st Century Fox, said on Thursday that it would sell its 47 percent stake in Star China TV. The move was the latest step the company has taken to reduce its position in China.

Qualcomm’s China Challenge Greets Incoming CEO Mollenkopf: Tech – Bloomberg “Qualcomm has a big advantage on the LTE side,” said Wayne Chen, general manager of Lenovo’s mobile business unit. “When we go outside of China, they have a very good image in mature markets.” Qualcomm controls more than 90 percent of the market for smartphone processors with built-in baseband chips that supply the fastest data download speeds. It’s been offering baseband processors for LTE for more than two years while Intel Corp. and other chipmakers are just starting to introduce rival products.

Twitter / niubi: Sunday New York Times section A has China Daily insert. When did this start & how much does China Daily pay 4 this?

Apple insists it did not work with NSA to create iPhone backdoor program | Technology | theguardian.com Documents released Monday showed the NSA had worked on software that would allow it to remotely retrieve virtually all the information on an iPhone including text messages, photos, contacts, location, voice mail and live calls. // these disclosures probably won’t help Apple in China

 

SOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY

中国富商法国坠机警示:敬畏之心须有 tycoon who died after buying French vineyard made some of his money in a resort project that led to a nasty battle with a Buddhist temple in Chongqing. The temple was in Lei Zhengfu’s district…Lei, Bo Xilai, Wang Lijun are in jail now, the developer and his son are dead…perhaps just a coincidence… // 面对寺方抗议,柏联集团反指重庆温泉寺盗伐林木,重庆各有关部门均不肯将事实真相予以说明。为了阻止柏联集团对寺院的侵蚀和当地宗教干部对寺方的施压,温泉寺定融法师用红铅油在布条上写下了“依法维权”四字,绑在额头,手持一杆大秤站到了大殿前。定融法师在日志中写道,“要用这个秤杆称一称那些贪官污吏、为富不仁者的良心”。 而今天,公平法制与昭昭天理已然称出是非曲直:三年前,官员和富商联手毁寺院、打和尚,只为抢地敛财。三年后,与此事有关联的市委书记(薄熙来)判无期,区委书记(雷政富)判十几年,柏联老板父子同时遇难。这其中是否有什么因果关联不得而知,只是,奉劝那些曾经或者正在或者打算拆寺毁庙的人,需要自己仔细掂量。

Q. & A.: David Der-wei Wang on C.T. Hsia, Chinese Literary Critic – NYTimes.com C.T. Hsia, the Chinese literary critic who died in New York on Dec. 29, aged 92, had a “legendary career” as “a true cosmopolitan, shrewd, critical and brilliant,” says David Der-wei Wang, the Edward C. Henderson Professor of Chinese Literature at Harvard University, in an interview on the significance of the life and work of his mentor and friend.

Sotheby’s insists authenticity of calligraphic work – Xinhua a big mess for Sotheby’s. Taking on the Shanghai museum, even if it is wrong, is going to be damaging. But agreeing with their claims, true or not, is also very damaging. Wonder if there is more than just scholarly disagreement at play here // International auction house Sotheby’s on Friday insisted that an ancient work of Chinese calligraphy sold at an auction in September was a genuine piece by Su Shi, a famous Chinese poet of the Song Dynasty (960-1279). The statement came in response to accusations from three researchers from the Shanghai Museum saying that the calligraphic work was a forgery from the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911)

CAS academic faces further plagiarism accusations – CHINA – Globaltimes.cn More accusations of plagiarism were directed at a Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) academician, after he was first accused of the transgression by a former student last year. Wang Zhengmin, the CAS member, allegedly copied the technology of an Australian-made artificial cochlea during his development of China’s homemade product in 2003, reported China Central Television (CCTV) on Thursday.

Turning the Table on Museum Displays, Chinese Huanghuali Wood Furniture Gets a Chance to Shine – Scene Asia – WSJ Huanghuali wood furniture has long had its fans. Collectors have prized its color, its scent and its distinctive grain—not to mention the simple elegance of the designs crafted by Chinese artisans. But now it’s finally getting a seat at the big table, so to speak, being recognized by the National Museum of China as worthy of a bit more attention with its own display alongside the museum’s more celebrated ancient bronze ware, paintings and porcelain. // anyone “sponsor” this exhibit?

The Great Wall of Qi | Jottings from the Granite Studio There have been Great Walls found as far south as Yunnan and as far north as Mongolia. With many walls still yet to be unearthed or discovered, it would seem that the debate over what makes a wall “Great” will continue.

 

ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT, SCIENCE AND HEALTH

China rules out vaccine death link – Xinhua There have been 17 deaths following BioKangtai vaccinations reported between Dec. 13 and 31. All have been investigated or are under investigation. Nine of the cases have nothing to do with the vaccines, director of the disease control bureau of the National Health and Family Planning Commission Yu Jingjin told a press conference. Preliminary analysis of the eight other cases have also found no link between the deaths and the vaccines, but the cause of the deaths will be confirmed only after autopsies, Yu said. // hope not another coverup

北京承诺居民患大病可大幅增加报销额_政经频道_财新网 1月2日下午,北京大病医保政策出台,自起付线至5万元的部分,报销比例为50%,超过5万元的部分,按照60%的比例报销,2013年发生大病高额费用患者在报销范围内 // Beijing government promises greater insurance coverage for major illnesses

How a massive meth bust in China is tied to traditional medicine – Quartz But why this small village? Boshe and the surrounding city of Lufeng are also a major distribution center for Ma Huang, a herb commonly used in Chinese medicine to alleviate wheezing, coughs and congestion, according to a report (in Chinese and with great pictures) in the Southern Metropolis Daily. Ma Huang is also known as Ephedra Sinica, a plant traditionally cultivated in arid northwestern China, which is a natural source of ephedrine, a key ingredient in methamphetamine and also in Western medicines for asthma, among other ailments.

Predictions for China’s Environment in 2014 | ChinaFile If 2013 was the year so many government air quality plans were forged, 2014 is the year they will begin to be wielded. A few examples from the transport sector specifically: starting January 1, the nationwide implementation of a cleaner gasoline standard means that all cars will emit less pollution; a parallel cleaner diesel standard will follow by the end of the year. In Beijing, new limits on the population of vehicles will make winning the city’s notorious license plate lottery even more unlikely, while thousands of electric and gas-fuelled buses and municipal trucks will begin to hit the streets. The year 2015 and beyond will bring even more aggressive goals, especially sweeping new regulations and targets for the greater Beijing, Yangtze River Delta, and Pearl River Delta regions.

China pledges further support for solar industry | Reuters  The State Council, China’s cabinet, said in July that the country aimed to more than quadruple solar power generating capacity to 35 gigawatts by 2015 in an apparent bid to ease a glut in the domestic solar power industry. The State Council, in a statement published on its website, said the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology was taking measures to “promote the healthy development of the photovoltaic industry”.

 

FOOD AND TRAVEL

Wal-Mart Adds DNA Tests in China After Donkey-Meat Recall – Bloomberg Wal-Mart withdrew all products from vendor Dezhou Fujude Food Company Ltd., after fox DNA was identified in samples, the retailer said yesterday in a statement. Yucheng, China authorities put Dezhou Fujude officials in “criminal detention,” and Wal-Mart is considering legal action, according to the statement. Wal-Mart said it’s offering compensation to customers and that the testing it’s adding goes beyond what is legally required in China

China’s Forbidden City implements Monday closure – Xinhua The Palace Museum, also known as the Forbidden City, in central Beijing will be closed to the public every Monday for renovation and maintenance starting on Jan. 6, it announced Sunday.

 

BEIJING

Master con woman who scammed Beijing’s high society – Telegraph 32-year-old Wang Ti convinced Beijing’s new aristocracy that she was one of them – a woman of class and refinement, with impeccable connections to the top of the Communist party. Over three years she conned two dozen victims out of nearly £6 million in order to fund an irrepressible taste for the finer things in life.

Beijing subway network stretches to 465 km – Xinhua The subway network in the Chinese capital of Beijing reached 465 km as a new section of Line 8 opened on Saturday. The metro network hauled an average of 8.76 million passengers per day from January to November, up 30.5 percent over the previous year, according to the municipal transport commission on Monday. It moved a daily maximum of 11.06 million passengers, according to the commission.

 

BOOKS AND LITERATURE

Amazon: China Alone: The Emergence from, and Potential Return to Isolation by Anne Stevenson-Yang China’s emergence as an economic power over the last 20 years has astonished the world, as have the longevity and adaptability of its political system. Is this a whole new model or, as Anne Stevenson-Yang argues in this book, just one of China’s historical cycles of centralization and fragmentation, expansion and isolation? China’s ability to centralize its resources enables great leaps forward. But the unitary state lacks any checks or balances and creates massive abuses of power and ultimately a return to isolationism. China now may be on the brink of such a turn inward.

 

JOBS AND EVENTS

Job Offer – Full-Time Sous Chef for Senior Diplomatic Residence Company: US Embassy, Beijing

 

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