The Sinocism China Newsletter 07.25.14

Recently I was asked by a news outlet to comment on the ongoing corruption crackdown. I am not sure what quotes they will use or when they will publish so decided to post my full answers here.

The two main questions were basically “what is going on with the crackdown” and is Xi “more like Mao than Deng”?

Here are my guesses. Yes, we are all guessing:

I think the corruption crackdown is just getting started. Xi Jinping became General Secretary and Wang Qishan took over the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the Communist Party of China (CCDI) in November 2012. It takes a while to get up to speed, consolidate power and push investigations through the system.

As for the question of whether the corruption crackdown is about consolidating power, of course it is, these crackdowns almost all have an element of that. It is a mistake however to conclude that it is only about reshuffling officials so Xi can put his people in place. I believe that Xi is serious about improving governance and cleaning up at least the more egregious corruption in both the Party-state and the military. Improving Party-state governance does not mean making political reforms in any Western sense but it does mean trying to build a more adaptable and accountable authoritarianism, while cleaning up the military is necessary to achieve his stated goals of building a strong, professional military. I think the anti-corruption efforts are also clearly about reining in and in some cases removing special interests that are resisting the very ambitious reform plans passed at the Third Plenum of the 18th Party Congress in November 2013. Caixin has translated into English a recent interview with a Chinese scholar who also makes this point, along with several other important ones.

There are only so many “tigers” the corruption investigators can go after but the flies over time are in many ways more important than the tigers. Most people never see a tiger in their lives but have to deal with flies almost every day.

Power consolidation is of course very important and we should consider the ongoing investigation into Zhou Yongkang and his allies at least in part in that light. There is little doubt these people were engaged in remarkable amounts of corruption, and there are all sorts of unproven rumors about plots and deals among this group in the runup up to the 2012 18th Party Congress, but taking down this network has also allowed Xi to gain control over the security services, and much faster than most observers expected.

Given the interests affected by this corruption crackdown, it is vital for Xi to have under his control the elements of hard power that can keep grumbling and complaining about the campaign from spiralling into much more serious and viable resistance. My understanding is that by the third quarter of 2013 he had successfully consolidated control over this system.

The other vital source of hard power is of course the military. The June 30 announcement of the investigation into retired General Xu Caihou, along with recent promotions of several generals as well as the reshuffling of officers in six of the seven military districts look to be further signs that Xi has also consolidated control over the PLA, ahead of what is likely to be an intensifying corruption crackdown inside the PLA.

The ongoing CCDI reforms and the five year graft fighting plan announced in late 2013 should be taken seriously as a sign that they are trying to institutionalize this crackdown and make it not an occasional campaign as in years past but rather a continuous, “new normal”. Plenty of people in and out of China argue that without an independent judiciary and a freer media there is no way these efforts can successfully rein in corruption. They may be right, though Xi and Wang appear to disagree with that assessment and would probably happily point to India and say “oh really?”.

I don’t think anyone is naive enough to believe that corruption is going away in China, given both how rife it is not just in government and throughout society but also because it is a near constant presence in China’s several thousand years of history. The real question is can Xi Jinping curb it enough to mitigate a serious threat to the Party’s rule and clear the way for some of the mooted, ambitious and painful reforms?

I find most of the comparisons of Xi to Mao to be quite facile. Of course Xi was influenced by Mao, everyone of his generation was. But so far there is no evidence that Xi wants a redux of the chaos of the Cultural Revolution. The Party now aggressively blocks mass citizen participation in the corruption crackdown outside of very structured channels managed by the CCDI, after cracking down on Weibo and dramatically reducing the use of Weibo as a channel for individuals to out misbehaving officials. The Mass Line Education Campaign, scheduled to run through September 2014, is not evidence of a throwback to Maoism, as Dr. Alice Miller clearly explained in a 2013 paper. Nor is the ongoing ideological retrenchment evidence of Maoism. There were several ideological crackdowns in the Deng Xiaoping era, including intense campaigns against things like “bourgeois liberalization” and “spiritual pollution”.

Xi can’t both achieve the “great renewal of the Chinese nation” and launch a new Cultural Revolution. The Cultural Revolution was an abject disaster that set China back decades, and Xi knows that better than most people.

Readers should not confuse me with an optimist. The Chinese leadership has a very difficult fight ahead and their ultimate goal is not what many observers or liberal-minded people want. But that does not mean we should just assume it will fail, or not be “good enough” to buy them more time and create the space for serious economic reform and an evolution into a more accountable, adaptable authoritarian regime with realistic aspirations to becoming a superpower.

PS. Readers interested in the cult of Mao Zedong might enjoy The Badges of Chairman Mao Zedong-毛主席像, my SAIS master’s theses from 1995.

Today’s Links:


Inside Xi Jinping’s purge of China’s oil mandarins | Reuters Xi is determined to bring down Zhou for allegedly plotting an audacious power grab ahead of the 18th Party Congress in November 2012, people familiar with the probe say. Zhou is accused of attempting to promote his supporters into the leadership so that he could rule from behind the scenes after he retired, they say. He has been under virtual house arrest in Beijing since late last year.

Related: How the Hammer Falls as China Nails Corruption – Caixin translation of their cover story from a few weeks ago  //  Anxiety is running high, for example, at the state-run oil company China National Petroleum Corp. (CNPC), where chief accountant Wen Qingshan was placed under investigation in December and deputy general manager Bo Qiliang was probed in May. Previously removed were more than a dozen executives, including top brass like the company’s petroleum planning department general manager Wu Mei, Indonesia operations general manager Wei Zhigang, and Iran operations general manager Zhang Benquan. Other CNPC executives axed since 2012 included Wang Yongchun, Li Hualin, Ran Xinquan and Wang Daofu. CNPC sources said that high-level managers are so worried about these investigations that they have drawn up a contingency plan for filling any position left vacant after a CDIC inspection. As part of the plan, all mid- to upper-level company managers must contact department heads daily. Anyone who does not report is considered gone, and replaced the next day by a pre-approved successor.

Chinese finance: Alibaba’s maturity mismatch | The Economist But since the start of this year, the central bank has steadily injected cash in the banking system, bringing money-market rates down from roughly 5% to closer to 3% for much of the past few months. How has Yu’E Bao responded? It has strayed into longer maturities, as shown in the chart at the top of this post. In the third quarter of 2013 – its first full quarter – more than 70% of Yu’E Bao’s assets were invested in products with maturities of less than 60 days. By the second quarter of this year, that proportion was down to 43%. Meanwhile, assets with maturities of longer than 90 days soared to 33% of its portfolio, up 30 percentage points from the first quarter. In other words, to continue offering high yields, Yu’E Bao has started to display classic signs of maturity mismatch – a cause time and again of instability in financial institutions.

Tencent Among Chinese Companies Approved to Set Up Three Lenders – Bloomberg Tencent Holdings Ltd. (700) was among companies approved by China’s banking regulator to establish three privately owned lenders as the government eases restrictions on the state-controlled banking industry. The banks will be based in the cities of Shenzhen, Wenzhou and Tianjin, the China Banking Regulatory Commission said in a statement today. The lenders will begin drafting corporate strategies, and selecting senior managers and board directors before opening officially, the statement showed. //CBRC announcement: 尚福林:三家民营银行获准筹建 

News Analysis: Turning point for Chinese property market? – Xinhua Among 49 cities which introduced property policies, more than 20 have lifted home purchase restrictions. Lifting restrictions will free up the property sector as administrative policies have been preventing the sector from reacting to market signals, said Li Zhanjun, a researcher with the China Real Estate Association. While there are few disagreements that the market has reached a turning point, views are split on the magnitude of house price corrections. The adjustment process may take a longer time than in the past, but the likelihood of a house price collapse remains small, thanks to the ongoing urbanization process, strong income growth, high saving rates and room for housing policy adjustments, said Zhu Haibin, J.P. Morgan China chief economist.

Related: Loan policy relaxes for Shanghai home buyers – Xinhua Shanghai home buyers will have access to discounted loan rates next month while high price, oversupply and credit tightening continue to drag down the property sector. The Agricultural Bank of China, one of China’s Big Four banks, said on Thursday that it will offer a 5 percent discount on interest rates to clients borrowing at least 2 million yuan for their first homes. The relaxation, although small, caught market attention as the property policy of the biggest Chinese city is deemed the wind vane of the whole country’s real estate policy, which puts containing prices its priority.

Chinese Plan to Reduce Coal Use Could Allow Increases for Years – Professor Wang and others say a coal ceiling would be easier to enforce than a cap on carbon emissions from all fossil fuels, which some experts have proposed. China accounts for half of global coal consumption. The coal cap would be stricter than current limits, which are not mandatory and are only loosely enforced. But it would be pegged to expected economic growth and energy demand, so coal use could keep rising for years. Chinese policy advisers remain divided about how quickly the country should move to cut coal consumption. Some officials fear stricter limits would drag down the economy.

China Meat Scare Adds Foreign Suppliers to Food Worries – Bloomberg if you shop at Trader Joe’s check the labels, more of their stuff comes from China than most people realize  //  While such scares have exploded every few months in China since toxic milk killed six infants and sickened 300,000 six years ago, those have centered on local suppliers. The latest claims involving a foreign-owned company that sells to retailers in Japan, the U.S. and elsewhere suggest China’s food chain problems run even deeper than previously thought.

Related: China meat supplier faced claims last year over unethical work practices-Reuters Husi should expect massive, probably record-breaking fines. How big is the OSI parent and what kind of liability to they have?  //  Shanghai Husi Food, the U.S.-owned Chinese food supplier at the center of a meat safety scandal, won a court case earlier this year against a former quality control officer whose claims included that he was made to forge meat production dates. Wang Donglai, who worked at Shanghai Husi Food from 2007 to 2013, sought around 38,000 yuan ($6,100) in compensation for damage to his health from exposure to chlorine used as a cleaning agent by the meat processor. He also sought to terminate his contract at Shanghai Husi, claiming he was forced to work overtime and made to do “unethical work” that violated food safety laws, court documents showed.

Related: 上海福喜因使用过期肉恐面临天价罚单(图) Someone claiming to be a former Shanghai Husi employee claimed on Weibo in early 2013 that the company had all sorts of quality issues, including the intentional use of expired meat…5 Husi execs have been criminally detained, has OSI sent anyone from HQ? might be a bad idea if they don’t want to spend a long time in China

Related: McDonald’s Japan Calls Foul on Chinese Chicken – WSJ McDonald’s Holdings Co. (Japan) Ltd. said Friday it has decided to stop selling all chicken products produced in China after reports earlier this week that a Chinese food supplier may have shipped expired meat. “We made this decision as worries are growing over McDonald’s chicken products made in China due to the reports on Shanghai Husi Food Co.,” said Sarah L. Casanova, president and CEO of McDonald’s Japan, in a news release.

Related: Buyers and Brands Beware in China – WSJ Fans of McDonald’s burgers and KFC fried chicken across China weren’t laughing this week when a particularly gruesome video emerged of workers repackaging rotten meat for these and other fast-food chains. Chinese consumers often prefer foreign brands because their quality standards are believed to be higher than domestic competitors. But this trust may be misplaced. As multinationals have localized production and management, in many cases their standards have reverted to the local mean.

Schumpeter: Unplugged and unproductive | The Economist it is perhaps surprising to hear it argued that much of Chinese business has still not plugged in to the internet and to related trends such as cloud computing and “big data” analysis; and therefore that these technologies’ biggest impact on the country’s economy is still to come. That is the conclusion of a report published on July 24th by the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI), a think-tank run by the eponymous consulting firm. It finds that only one-fifth of Chinese firms are using cloud-based data storage and processing power, for example, compared with three-fifths of American ones. Chinese businesses spend only 2% of their revenues on information technology, half the global average. Even the biggest, most prestigious state enterprises, such as Sinopec and PetroChina, two oil giants, are skimping on IT. Much of the benefit that the internet can bring in such areas as marketing, managing supply chains and collaborative research is passing such firms by, the people from McKinsey conclude.

Related: China’s digital transformation | McKinsey & Company A new report from the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI), China’s digital transformation: The Internet’s impact on productivity and growth, projects that new Internet applications could fuel some 7 to 22 percent of China’s incremental GDP growth through 2025, depending on the rate of adoption. That translates into 4 trillion to 14 trillion renminbi in annual GDP in 2025.

凝心聚力:互联网舆论场治理再观察–舆情频道–人民网 Secretary-General of the People’s Daily Online Public Opinion Monitoring Center-More Observations on Internet Public Opinion Governance //  互联网是政府公共治理的最大看台。网络舆论人声鼎沸,督促政府回应民意关切,民主决策、科学决策;同时也经常为现实政治运作添堵添乱,加大改革成本,甚至可能对施政产生颠覆性影响。 要摆脱陷入僵局的改革困境,闯过“历史的三峡”,需要“政治强人”以非凡的勇气和高度的权威,击退体制内抱残守缺的负能量和左右极端势力的拉扯,凝聚体制内外的广泛共识,大道直行,以可控的成本、路径和节奏除旧布新,走向现代国家治理的新时代。 互联网成为改革者在社会复杂博弈中消解对抗性因素,争取主动权主导权一块最重要的公共平台。2013年秋季开始,政府出重拳治理互联网;在全国宣传思想工作会议上,习近平总书记8.19讲话要求把网上舆论工作作为“宣传思想工作的重中之重”来抓;十八届三中全会后,习近平总书记亲任中央网络安全和信息化领导小组组长,都是在这样的背景下展开的。可以说,互联网治理,是全面深化改革的前哨战、外围战。



China Credit Trust Delays Payment on $210 Million Product – Bloomberg The Beijing-based company will extend the maturity of Credit Equals Gold No. 2, which was scheduled to expire today, according to a statement distributed to investors in the product and seen by Bloomberg News. China Credit Trust aims to sell assets held by the product within 15 months to repay investors, the July 24 statement showed. The product is at least the second of China Credit Trust’s to face difficulties this year and highlighted rising default risk in China’s $1.9 trillion trust industry. Credit Equals Gold No. 1, created to raise 3 billion yuan for a coal miner, was bailed out days before maturity in January, averting what would have been the nation’s first trust default in at least a decade.

China’s Jobless Rate Is 5.1%. Or Maybe It’s 4.1%. – Bloomberg Today, one Chinese ministry said the registered urban jobless rate was 4.08 percent at the end of June, two days after another agency said the urban jobless rate was 5.05 percent, based on a 31-city survey. The reports pit the registered rate, which excludes more than 200 million migrant workers, against the newer surveyed rate, whose methodology is undisclosed. The absence of reliable figures on employment has kept economists guessing on how deep of a slowdown China can tolerate without affecting jobs.

PetroChina reconsiders sale of natural gas pipeline assets: sources | Reuters scrapping the auction would pose a setback to the government’s plans to open up the state-dominated energy sector to domestic private investors to improve competition and rein in corruption. PetroChina controls more than 80 percent of China’s natural gas grid, and some privately owned domestic gas companies have complained this monopoly hurts their business. “It’s almost a done decision to let the joint venture… acquire Eastern Pipelines,” said a Beijing-based energy industry executive, who declined to be named as the matter remained confidential. “Few private investors also have the financial appetite to swallow such a massive asset,” the executive added.

SAIC, Alibaba Agree to Cooperate on Internet-Enabled Cars – Caixin Companies plan to offer limited services like navigation and music to start, but technology could lead to self-driven cars

Baidu says it’s working on a driverless car–TechInAsia hard to imagine would be worse driver than current ones… //  Two months after Google unveiled its driverless and steering wheel-less car prototype, it turns out that Chinese search engine giant Baidu (NASDAQ:BIDU) is working on the same tech as well. A Baidu representative confirmed to Tech in Asia this afternoon that it’s working on a self-driving car, but stated that the program is “at a very early stage.” This came in response to rumors on Chinese tech blogs earlier today.

读懂中国经济数据-王小鲁-搜狐博客 interesting talk from Prof. Wang XIaolu on understanding China’s statistics  //  前面我谈到的这些统计问题,有的涉及到我们对统计指标的理解,有的涉及到统计指标的复杂性,还有的涉及到统计指标和政府政绩观之间的问题。因为统计工作很专业,很复杂,对有些统计指标我们不太理解,容易发生误解,这种情况容易存在。我们的统计工作本身也很困难,因为13亿人口这么大的一个国家,你要把方方面面的情况和数据都搞的那么准确,实在是很困难的事情。 同时,统计工作面临最大的压力还是来自各级政府,常常会涉及到政绩问题,这种情况对统计影响比较大。这是我们现在行政管理体制存在的问题,也恰恰是我们改革需要解决的问题。如何端正政府的政绩观,如何纠正政府的这套激励机制,让它把劲用在该用的地方,用在为老百姓提供服务,而不要一味的追求GDP,更不要去追求虚假的GDP。这是我们改革政府管理体制和转变政府职能是关键。 对统计部门来讲,需要秉承一个基本的原则,就是客观、中立、唯实,这也算是我的希望。以上是我对统计指标的一些个人感受,谢谢大家。

China’s VAT reform eases taxes by 267.9 bln yuan – Xinhua China’s value-added tax (VAT) reform has so far resulted in a tax reduction of 267.9 billion yuan (43.56 billion U.S. dollars) for businesses, the State Administration of Taxation (SAT) said Thursday. China’s VAT reform, which was implemented as part of China’s structural tax cuts, has included replacing turnover tax with a VAT in the transportation industry, railway transport, postal services, telecommunications and some service sectors.

Mobius Says Not Too Late to Buy China With 20% Upside – Bloomberg The executive chairman of Templeton Emerging Markets Group predicts the nation’s equity market will climb another 20 percent, following a 19 percent surge in the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index since March 20. Mobius, whose $12 billion Templeton Asian Growth Fund has outperformed 94 percent of peers this year, favors state-owned banks and energy companies because of their cheap valuations and the government’s plans to open up state-dominated industries.

Sheila Patel: Investors Should Be ‘Positive’ about China Stocks – Caixin CEO of Goldman Sachs Asset Management (GSAM) International has optimistic view of opportunities in China and says a soft landing for country’s economy…Q: Do you expect a hard landing or a soft landing for China’s economy? A: I might have answered the question slightly differently a year ago, but today I have more confidence you will see a soft landing. There’s been an upside surprise in terms of the policies and the regulatory changes that are happening in China. The expectations versus the reality of planned recessions that fall or the measures being taken have been an upside surprise to investors. That’s why we’ve seen major investors in Europe, major investors in the Middle East, and major investors here in Asia take another look at China and looking at potentially increasing their allocation or starting a new allocation.



Focus of Graft Fight Must Move from Party to Nation, Professor Argues – Caixin Yan Jirong, associate director of the Institute of Political Development and Governance at Peking University, said the reliance on a “strongman” and the intensity of the movement that critics say cannot last results from history and limited resources. In the end, however, he says the campaign must evolve into institutional restraints on power and a system that routinely watches against corruption. At the current stage, the crackdown is still a matter of cleansing the party of impurities, but it is important that the job does not end there, Yan says. In a recent interview, Yan shared his views on these issues, saying: “Fighting corruption is not only about the construction of the party, but also building a national institutional structure.”

More than 25,000 investigated in China for corruption in H1 – China – Chinadaily Prosecutors investigated more than 25,000 people on suspicion of corruption in the first half of 2014, according to statistics released by the Supreme People’s Procuratorate (SPP) on Friday. About a quarter of them, or more than 6,300, are functionaries, a SPP official said at a press conference. The figure represents a year-on-year increase of 14 percent, he said.

最高检:将成立国际追逃追赃和违法所得没收领导小组|追逃|犯罪嫌疑人_凤凰财经 Supreme People’s Procuratorate setting up a leading work group to go after officials who fled overseas and will build a database about fugitive officials…they can start with California property records… //  中国经济网北京7月25日讯 最高检反贪总局局长徐进辉今日表示,最高检将专门部署加强国际追逃追赃和运用违法所得没收程序开展追赃工作,将成立国际追逃追赃和违法所得没收工作协调领导小组,健全潜逃境外人员数据库。

China graft-busters told to self-cleanse – Xinhua China’s disciplinary watchdogs at all levels have been told to make their training centers corruption-free, as many officials view training as opportunities for sightseeing and hedonism. The Central Discipline and Inspection Commission (CCDI) of the Communist Party of China said in a statement on Thursday that discipline organs should check their training centers for malpractice and set a good example by rooting out violations from within. Centers, often tucked away in tourist cities, drain public resources and offer luxurious services exclusively to government employees. Some also host ordinary tourists, but at very high prices. The CCDI said the campaign will target officials who hide behind training centers feasting and amusing themselves.

辽宁政协副主席陈铁新被查 曾邀请谭晶任主唱_新闻_腾讯网 Deputy head of Liaoning CPPCC is under investigation

中央国家机关工委发通知严禁国庆公款送节礼_网易新闻中心 new Party circular banning gifts at the upcoming Mid-Autumn and National Day Holidays  //  本报北京7月24日电中央国家机关工委24日印发《关于认真学习习近平总书记“6·30”重要讲话精神,进一步深化落实中央八项规定的通知》(以下简称《通知》),要求中央国家机关各级党组织认真学习领会、坚决贯彻落实总书记重要讲话精神,抓住纠正“四风”和落实八项规定这个重点,着力解决当前突出问题,注重建立长效机制,努力推动党的作风建设取得新成效。 《通知》要求,中央国家机关各部门在中秋、国庆等节假日期间要严格执行中央八项规定精神,严禁用公款送节礼;严禁用公款大吃大喝或安排与公务无关的宴请;严禁用公款安排旅游、健身和高消费娱乐活动;严禁滥发津贴、补贴、奖金和实物。

齐竹泉空降央视财经频道总监_政经频道_财新网 SAPPRFT official Qi Zhuquan takes over the CCTV Finance channel

辽宁:一法院11名法官被查 中高层被掏空-搜狐新闻 11 court officials in Fushun, Liaoning under investigation…Augean stables a cakewalk…

Tibet Resists | ChinaFile Compared to Melvyn Goldstein of Case Western Reserve University, most other Western writers on Tibet fall into the shade. The three volumes that make up his History of Modern Tibet are copiously documented, comprehensive, and detailed. They have emerged slowly over the years, the last two inching through very brief periods (1951–1955 and 1955–1957). Some Tibetans have dismissed Goldstein for not explicitly condemning the Chinese occupiers. Although I have also strongly condemned the occupiers, I do not join the critics here. What Goldstein does is supply information and close analysis that Beijing must loathe, although it is plain enough in his earlier narratives that, aside from the Dalai Lama himself, the Lhasa elite resisted attempts to modernize Tibet before the Chinese invasion in 1950.



Height restriction violations threaten China’s military airports – Xinhua More than 10 military airports have been forced to be relocated or closed due to safety concerns, according to a statement by the General Staff Headquarters of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). The headquarters said more than 1,000 buildings are higher than clearance limits in the reserve zone, with some standing more than 300 meters higher than the limit. Aside from high-rise buildings, pet pigeons and small model aircraft in the reserve zones have also posed threats to the security of military airports, according to the headquarters.

Asia Unbound » All Roads Lead to Beijing-Elizabeth Economy Throughout a ten-day trip to India and China, my colleagues, Alyssa Ayres and Dan Markey, and I heard discussion of South Asia as a significant element in China’s regional economic and security plans…Then there is the United States. Here there was mostly cautious optimism. Some Chinese analysts saw significant opportunities for cooperation, highlighting the potential for the United States and China as “outside powers” to shape regional security. As Dan notes in his post, the Chinese are concerned about the security outlook in Afghanistan, particularly after the U.S. troop withdrawal. A number of Chinese viewed security in Afghanistan as a likely fruitful area for U.S.-China cooperation, although at least one suggested that the Shanghai Cooperation Organization would have to be included in such discussions.

Asia Unbound » India in a Changing Asia–Alyssa Ayres There’s a palpable excitement and energy in New Delhi about the new Modi government, and its intention to revive the Indian economy. The pursuit of economic growth will surely preoccupy New Delhi for the foreseeable future, and rightly so—but it will also have to deal with forging its path in a changing Asia. It will need to do so in the context of a China which has greatly increased its economic and political influence across Asia and indeed throughout the world, especially in recent years. New Delhi’s relations with Beijing appear at first blush very similar to Washington’s: both relationships have rapidly growing trade and investment ties, while both have some challenging security differences to manage. Yet this superficial similarity belies a much deeper set of contradictions India faces with China.

China Shifts from North to South Korea | Brookings Institution In an interview with Radio Television Hong Kong, Jonathan Pollack discusses the Chinese president’s recent visit to South Korea, examining stronger relations between China and South Korea and U.S. reactions, China’s adjusted attitude toward its traditional ally North Korea and South Korea-Japan relations.

Controversial Chinese Deep-Water Rig Drifts Into Calmer Seas – China Real Time Report – WSJ China’s Maritime Safety Administration confirmed this week that the rig, HYSY 981, had taken position about 70 nautical miles southeast of China’s southern island province of Hainan. The statement, posted Thursday on the agency’s website, says the rig is scheduled to operate in the area until the end of September.

Debate renews over Confucius Institutes @insidehighered Marshall Sahlins, the Charles F. Grey Distinguished Service Professor of Anthropology emeritus and the author of the influential Nation article on Confucius Institutes, described the AAUP statement as “a turning point in the acceptability of this.” The CIs and the many hundreds of K-12 Confucius Classrooms that are already in existence likely won’t be going away any time soon, he said, “but I think it might change the momentum. I think it might slow it down and some places might opt out.”



China builds listening station in Hong Kong – IHS Jane’s 360 The existence of a People’s Liberation Army (PLA) communications installation atop Hong Kong’s tallest mountain – the 957 m-high peak of Tai Mo Shan – recently came to light.



Baidu Profit Tops Estimates as Advertisers Boost Spending – Bloomberg “We are still in the very early stages and growth expectations are quite high from mobile traffic,” Sam Gu, a Hong Kong-based analyst with First Shanghai Securities Ltd. said before the results were announced. “Users of mobile apps are the fastest growing traffic source so this is a great market to capture.” Revenue surged to 12 billion yuan from 7.56 billion yuan, in line with the 12 billion-yuan average of 11 analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Director Zhang Yimou Talks Chinese Box Office, ‘Coming Home’ and the Upcoming ‘Great Wall’ (Q&A) THR sat down with the legendary Chinese director to discuss his plans, the success of his artistic return to form in “Coming Home” and his coming big budget movie about the building of the Great Wall.

小米虚高的估值泡沫要破了么?-搜狐IT Xiaomi getting lots of negative coverage in Chinese media since announcement of Mi4 phone…concerted PR attacks from rival, or fatigue? My money is on jealous competitors

小米回应虚假数据质疑 2亿数据实为互动次数_财经频道_一财网 One example, CBN suggests Xiaomi inflated claims of the online viewership of the recent Mi4 launch event…there has also been lots of mocking of Lei Jun’s claims about the aluminum used in the phone  //  针对近日媒体有关小米发布会直播的2亿人观看为虚假数据的报道,小米7月25日中午对此回应称,文案措辞不够严谨,目前已将显示文案修正为“互动次数”,实为互动总数达到约2.2亿次。



北大决定燕京学堂宿舍不再设在静园_网易新闻中心 Peking University decides to move site of planned new Yenching Academy building

Jing Daily: Video: What Makes China’s Post-90S Generation Tick As China’s “Post-90s Generation” (those born after 1990) reaches adulthood, brands are taking notice—and with good reason. According to a recent video by Chinese social network RenRen and communications firm Anomaly, the size of this consumer group alone is greater than the population of the world’s fifth-largest country, meaning that understanding them is crucial for any company with hopes for future China growth. The video embedded above provides an outline of the interests, habits, and characteristics of this incredibly tech-savvy, idealistic, and hopeful group.

CHP-137-Sir Edmund Backhouse Part 1 | The China History Podcast In this episode we will begin a 3-part series covering the life of Sir Edmund Trelawny Backhouse, 2nd Baronet. He lived from 1873 to 1944, spending more than half his life in Beijing.  Backhouse is best known for the various frauds he committed over the period of his life.  In his last year of life he was urged by Dr. Reinhard Hoeppli to commit his fantastic stories of his life to paper.

Princely Barge -Caixin Slideshow The city of Chongqing recently built a tourism barge on the Yangtze River at the cost of 1.5 billion yuan, sparking heated discussion on the budget of the project  //  clearly someone stole a lot of the money

China’s ageing millions look forward to bleak future – Yahoo News know several people working on businesses to address this. Not surprisingly some of the entrepreneurs looking to Japan for ideas  //  China is still only piloting schemes, such as care homes and financial products, to provide care for the elderly and help them pay for it — at present the country has only 25 care beds for every 1,000 senior citizens, civil affairs minister Li Liguo said this week.



China to roll out seven pilot markets for trading water rights | Reuters The move is the latest sign that China aims to use market-based mechanisms to handle growing environmental problems. It has already launched seven pilot markets to cut emissions of climate-changing greenhouse gases, and plans to roll out a national scheme later in the decade. The provinces of Gansu, Guangdong, Henan, Hubei, Inner Mongolia, Jiangxi and Ningxia will draw up rules for their water markets and have them approved by October, the Ministry of Water Resources said on its website.

China considers traditional Chinese medicine legislation – Xinhua China’s cabinet, the State Council, issued a draft on traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) legislation for public review on Thursday. China will establish a comprehensive TCM medical service system covering both urban and rural areas, the draft said. Local governments above the county level should set up TCM departments in public hospitals and promote TCM service in grassroots clinics, according to the draft.



Powerful Patriots: Nationalist Protest in China’s Foreign Relations: Jessica Chen Weiss: Amazon very much looking forward to this book  //  What role do nationalism and popular protest play in China’s foreign relations? Chinese authorities permitted anti-American demonstrations in 1999 but repressed them in 2001 during two crises in U.S.-China relations. Anti-Japanese protests were tolerated in 1985, 2005, and 2012 but banned in 1990 and 1996. Protests over Taiwan, the issue of greatest concern to Chinese nationalists, have never been allowed. To explain this variation, Powerful Patriots identifies the diplomatic as well as domestic factors that drive protest management in authoritarian states. Because nationalist protests are costly to repress and may turn against the government, allowing protests demonstrates resolve and makes compromise more costly in diplomatic relations. Repressing protests, by contrast, sends a credible signal of reassurance, facilitating diplomatic flexibility. Powerful Patriots traces China’s management of dozens of nationalist protests and their consequences between 1985 and 2012.

Book Review: ‘The Emperor Far Away’ by David Eimer – WSJ David Eimer’s “The Emperor Far Away: Travels at the Edge of China” is a work of reportage about the fortunes of men like my barbers—the 100 million or so Chinese who are not members of the giant Han majority. These characters are scattered among China’s 55 officially recognized minority groups and are mostly draped along the country’s perimeter, a testament to the fact that they and their lands were incorporated into China during a long and fitful process of imperial expansion that reached its peak in the 19th century. // so far an enjoyable book, have read about 1/3



Video: Beijing Ferrari Driver Beats Taxi Driver in Middle of Busy Street | TheNanfang As caught on video, the driver of the Ferrari is seen beating the taxi driver, then on his knees in the middle of the road. The Ferrari driver slapped and kicked the taxi driver and used foul language to berate him.

In Beijing’s Hutong Neighborhoods, Cat Cafés Prove Contagious – China Real Time Report – WSJ The cat café craze is firmly entrenched in Beijing, and Mr. Yuan—who last year opened a café peopled with dozens of cats in a quiet hutong neighborhood—is among its most passionate adherents. His café sells merchandise decorated with the various faces of his cats, which are legion: In addition to the 30 that alternately doze and pace yowling inside his café, he keeps another 40-50 in a separate hutong residence rented exclusively for that purpose. // as someone who is allergic to cats, I’d rather go running during an airpocalypse

北京核心区将禁止新建扩建高校和大型医院_网易新闻中心 Beijing under Xi looks to be serious about cleaning up the city… //  央广网北京7月25日消息 据中国之声《央广新闻》报道,在今天发布实施的北京《新增产业的禁止和限制目录》(2014版)中,建材、造纸、纺织等一般制造业,被列入北京全市禁止或限制的产业。而北京核心区在执行全市性管理措施的基础上,严格禁止新建扩建高等学校、大型医院等。

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  • jpf

    Hi Bill, just curious to know whether the corruption crackdown is also targeting non-Party individuals/companies and if so, how. If not, whether it is expected to…why, why not, etc….Also, should we presume that all persons arrested are Party members?