The Sinocism China Newsletter 08.04.14

Today’s Links:

THE ESSENTIAL EIGHT *

Premier Li examines situation in quake-hit Yunnan – Xinhua Premier Li Keqiang on Monday urged the rescue of people as top priority in relief work after a deadly 6.5-magnitude earthquake hit southwest China’s Yunnan Province. Li gave the instructions aboard a plane rushing to the quake zone, where at least 398 people died as of 2 p.m. Monday

Ex-Japan Premier Fukuda May Have Met Xi on China Trip, Jiji Says – Bloomberg Former Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda may have met Chinese President Xi Jinping on a secret visit to China, Jiji reported, citing unidentified people familiar with the trip. Fukuda and Xi are believed to have explored the possibility of arranging a summit meeting between Xi and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the news agency said yesterday, citing the people. Both Chinese and Japanese sides tried to prevent Fukuda’s July 27 visit and the possible meeting being made public, according to Jiji.

Related: Japan, China seek to hold summit at APEC in November: media | Reuters Japan and China are trying to arrange two-way talks between their leaders at a summit of APEC leaders in November in Beijing, in a bid to mend ties strained over a territorial spat and wartime history, the Nikkei business daily said on Monday. Such a move would mark a shift in stance by China, which has shrugged off a call by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for a summit at the APEC meeting.

Related: Commentary: Japan’s naming farce can’t change China’s sovereignty over Diaoyu Islands – Xinhua It is not the first time that Japan attempted to justify its grab of China’s Diaoyu Islands by telling the world that “it is naming the islands,” even though they were already named. In March 2012, then Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda’s cabinet arbitrarily decided to name 39 uninhabited islets, including seven in the Diaoyu Islands. Beijing was quick to respond. Just one day later, the Chinese government announced on the official website of the State Oceanic Administration that it had named 71 islands, reiterating that the Diaoyu Islands have been part of China since old times. Japan may believe that giving names to those islets is a show of its sovereignty, but it has to be reminded that those islets have already got a Chinese name.

In Televised Confession, Guo Meimei Blames Vanity for Her Misdeeds – NYTimes.com Guo Meimei, whose name has come to be inextricably linked with the Chinese public’s distrust of official charities, was shown on CCTV state television on Sunday night confessing to having fabricated her association with the Red Cross Society of China purely out of vanity. Dressed in orange prison garb, Ms. Guo, 23, who was detained along with eight other people in July for gambling on World Cup matches, appeared in her televised confession to be acquiescent and repentant. She spoke about having sex with men for large sums of money, fabricating reports about incurring a debt of 260 million renminbi, or about $42 million, while gambling in Macau, and operating an illegal gambling venue in Beijing.

Related: 人民日报:网络不是文明的荒地–观点–人民网 Sunday People’s Daily on continuing problems with rumor-mongering, uncivilized behavior and IP violations on the Internet…crackdowns that started Q2 2013 look to be a new normal, not just another campaign, in fact been stepped up again lately…perhaps Guo Meimei media blitz timed with this? Her arrested first publicized after she was caught up in betting crackdown earlier in July//  门户网站在转载传统媒体新闻时,往往自拟标题,为吸引眼球而断章取义。治理“标题党”,需提高网站“小编”的专业性和政策分寸感、社会责任感。 此外,论坛、微博、微信等公共社交平台都需努力。但微信与微博,在信息甄别机制上有些差异。微博属于公众意见平台,在网民的质疑和寻觅中,不实信息会被真实信息所取代。而微信属于同学、同事等私人小众圈,不实信息和偏执意见不容易受到质疑和制衡。往往在微博平台上已经得到澄清的消息,在微信群里还在疯传。所以,当前网络谣言治理的重点应在微信,一个是微信群,跨群传播;一个是微信公众账号。

Xinjiang unrest leaves nearly 100 dead, including 37 civilians, China says | World news | theguardian.com Masked militants attacked civilians, police and officials last week in China’s far western region of Xinjiang leading to almost 100 deaths, the government said on Sunday, giving fresh details on one of the worst incidents of unrest in years. The official Xinhua news agency said 59 “terrorists” were gunned down by security forces in Shache county in Xinjiang’s far south, while 37 civilians were killed in the attacks on 28 July. State media had reported the incident a day later, saying dozens of people had been killed when knife-wielding attackers had staged assaults in two towns in the region

Related: China controls narrative of violence in tense west-AP Foreign news organizations also have a deeper tradition of interacting with Tibetan rights groups and scrutinizing their reports than they do with Uighur exiles, making it more challenging to determine the credibility of the Uighur accounts. Beijing’s strategy might be hurting its efforts to gain international support for its counterterrorism efforts, or sympathy for the victims of the violence. “This doesn’t help China, to keep the flow of information under such tight control,” said Zweig, the political scientist. “Because they would have, to a certain extent, a sympathetic audience. Americans understand what it means to be afraid after 9/11.”

Related: Imam’s killing in China may be aimed at making Muslim Uighurs choose sides | Reuters The targeting of Uighur officials or religious leaders has been an undercurrent of unrest for some 20 years in Xinjiang, where members of the Uighur minority are unhappy at official restrictions on their culture and religion. Jume Tahir, the imam at China’s largest mosque, Id Kah, in the Silk Road city of Kashgar, was killed on Wednesday by three suspected Islamist militants armed with knives. His predecessor narrowly survived a knife attack in the same spot in 1996. But the attack contrasted with most recent violence aimed at the majority Han ethnic group and may be calculated to persuade Uighurs to fall in behind what China says are separatists seeking an independent state called East Turkestan.

Related: In Xinjiang, Veils Signal Conservative Shift Among Uighurs – WSJ Uighur scholars and activists deny a link between violence and the veil, saying those who wear it are simply pious Muslims. Some of them say the practice has become more popular through exposure to television shows from Turkey and the Persian Gulf. Others point to the influence of Uighurs who received religious education in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. // at Madrassas? And is the Saudi support to spread Wahhabism in Xinjiang?

Is China’s Charm Offensive Dead? | The Jamestown Foundation-Bonnie S. Glaser- A series of seemingly unprovoked actions in the South and East China Sea has been described as an abandonment of the “second charm offensive” launched last year by Chinese President Xi Jinping. However, China has continued to pursue economic and diplomatic cooperation with its Southeast Asian neighbors even as it contests territory with them at sea. Rather than choosing between two different approaches to “periphery diplomacy,” Xi is attempting to unite them in a single, “proactive” strategy that advances Chinese interests…Beijing’s proactive economic diplomacy is part of a larger strategy aimed at binding its neighbors in a web of incentives that increase their reliance on China and raise the cost to them of adopting a confrontational policy towards Beijing on territorial disputes. At the same time, China continues to engage in a steady progression of small steps, none of which by itself is a casus belli, to gradually change the status quo in its favor.

The War of Words in China – NYTimes.com These are challenging days for foreigners in China, who in the past year or so have increasingly found themselves caught up in a war of words that paint Westerners as conscripts in the army of “hostile foreign forces” seeking to thwart China’s rise.

Related: 7 Experts On What Worries Them About China – Business Insider one of my concerns, from 6 months ago..only gotten worse since then  //  Growing anti-foreign, and especially anti-American, sentiment as more and more people are told, and start to believe, that the West is trying to keep China down and prevent its rejuvenation.

Related: 从周小平“美国残暴的封建统治”谈起_百科全书_新浪博客 Zhou Xiaoping is one example of this, worrisome that his writings being studied in parts of the bureaucracies…there is push back but lots of people willing to buy into idea that foreigners and especially the US trying to keep China down  //  赵士林教授透露的信息让我联想起两件与之相关的事,第一件事是:今年四月中旬的一个晚上,一位在广东某市一家银行工作的朋友打电话向我吐露苦水,说最近一个多月中,行长多次组织干部员工学习周小平的文章《请不要辜负这个时代》。不但学习,还要求每位参加学习者要写出心得体会。为此,这位朋友在电话中苦笑道:“看到周小平颠三倒四、满口痞子腔的文章便十分人恶心,还要学习、写心得体会,真正让人吐血!” 第二件事则发生在半个月前,有一位江西的朋友来信告知了与某银行朋友相似的情况:“我们单位领导这几周多次召集大家学习周小平的文章《不要辜负这个时代》,太悲催了!老李,你再撰写一篇文章痛批一下周小平!”

Related: 重磅文章揭露假爱国以营私的周小平-赵士林-搜狐博客 下面这篇题为《要不辜负这个时代,就得剥周小平的皮》的文章以大量的详尽的事实淋漓尽致地揭露了假爱国以营私的政治投机分子周小平宣扬狭隘民族主义而制造散布的种种谣言,我读后有以下几种感想: 一 有关部门竟然对周小平这种黄网办不下去改做“爱国生意”的投机分子如获至宝,联想到最高文宣部门主管的《党建》杂志竟然刊载掌握十套“宇宙真理”的“全能神”刘浩峰批判《归来》、为文革十年浩劫涂脂抹粉的垃圾文章,用这种毫无理论素养和基本常识的江湖骗子、投机小丑作意识形态宣传大将,难道真的是黔驴技穷、不择手段?

Top One Percent Has One Third of China’s Wealth, Research Shows – Caixin this study led by Peking U prof Xie Yu says weath Gini is .73…[this section updated to note wealth vs. income Gini] // Why do you think Chinese people are willing to accept wealth inequality? In my 2010 article Understanding China’s Inequality I argued that inequality is unlikely to lead to political and social instability for three reasons. First, China’s inequality is manifested more through a collective form as a group compared with another group rather than individuals against individuals. That means the hard feelings about inequality are softened by the sense of belonging to a group. The second reason is ideological. Despite the strong moral appeal of equality in China, the country’s traditional culture is relatively tolerant of inequality. But I think that most people tolerate inequality only when they can advance to a higher class of social status through their own efforts. Third, some Chinese people believe that economic development itself may lead to inequality. We want to develop and improve people’s lives, and it is difficult to avoid inequality in the process. Thus some of the people dissatisfied by inequality grudgingly accept it.

Related: Income inequality now greater in China than in US | University of Michigan News “Income inequality in today’s China is among the highest in the world, especially in comparison to countries with comparable or higher standards of living,” said University of Michigan sociologist Yu Xie. Xie, a researcher with the U-M Institute for Social Research, is co-author with U-M graduate student Xiang Zhou of an article published online this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The researchers based their main analyses on data from the China Family Panel Studies, a large-scale survey project conducted by Peking University’s Institute of Social Science Survey…They found that the Gini coefficient for family income in China is now around 0.55 compared to 0.45 in the U.S. In 1980, China’s Gini coefficient was 0.30. In 2012, the Chinese government refused to release the country’s Gini coefficient. Generally, when the coefficient reaches 0.5, it indicates that the gap between rich and poor is severe.

“反腐老将”徐泽洲改任上海组织部长_政经频道_财新网 Xu Zezhou appointed head of Shanghai Municipal Organization Department. He is moving from Heilongjiang, but more importantly before that he spent 27 years working in the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI)…his appointment, along with the CCDI inspection team in Shanghai, and some other things apparently going on, likely making some Shanghai officials, and their patrons, very nervous…

 

BUSINESS, ECONOMY AND TRADE *

China Central Bank Signals No Broad Monetary Easing – Bloomberg “The total debt level has been rising relatively quickly”, the PBOC said in its second-quarter monetary policy report on Aug. 1. “Our existing money supply and credit are already relatively large and their growth is also high.”..“Restructuring and reform of the economy remains an arduous task,” the central bank said in its 54-page report. “It’s not appropriate to expand overall liquidity sharply to solve structural problems.”

PBOC’s $162 Billion Loan Spurs Speculation on Easing – Bloomberg While the People’s Bank of China warns debt is rising quickly, and credit expansion is already high, that didn’t stop it from extending what Chinese media reported is a 1 trillion yuan ($162 billion), three-year loan to a state development bank. By comparison, the AIG rescue amounted to $182 billion. The loan, designed to lower financing costs for government-backed housing projects, marks a “qualitative” easing by Governor Zhou Xiaochuan, according to Citigroup Inc. economists. The move, which the PBOC has yet to confirm publicly, also takes the central bank deeper into fiscal-policy territory after it gave quotas for discounted lending for agriculture, small businesses and low-income housing.

No Tech Barrier to Publishing Unemployment Rate, Statistics Official Says – Caixin The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) faces no technical barriers to publishing an unemployment rate based on its surveys, a senior official at the bureau said, after Premier Li Keqiang indicated the government will begin publishing a figure for the first time. The State Council will arrange a timetable for publishing the data, the official said on July 31, but so far the bureau has not received a notice from the cabinet on when to do this.

Banks Angling for China IPO Hired a CEO’s Daughter – WSJ As banks angled to participate in the IPO of China’s Tianhe Chemicals, three of them—UBS, Investec and J.P. Morgan Chase—hired the daughter of the CEO.

Workers at Jiangsu Auto-Parts Factory Say Fatal Blast Wasn’t a Surprise – Caixin Workers at an auto-parts maker in the eastern province of Jiangsu which was hit by a deadly explosion two days ago said the factory was filled with pulverized metal every day and they could barely see others from one meter apart. The August 2 explosion is suspected of being triggered by metallic dust, which is highly combustible when concentrated. Kunshan Zhongrong Metal Production Co., which owns the factory in Kunshan, polishes car wheels for clients including Citic Dicastal Wheel Manufacturing Co., Ltd. Dicastal is an auto-parts supplier for General Motors and several other global car manufacturers.

China Revamps Everbright Group in State Business Shake-Up – Bloomberg The company will become a joint stock company instead of a “state-wholly-owned enterprise,” Hong Kong-listed unit China Everbright Ltd. said in an exchange filing yesterday. Set up in 1983, the group had 2.6 trillion yuan ($420 billion) of assets last year, pre-tax profits of 37 billion yuan and almost 50,000 employees, according to its website.

Foreign security software off China’s government procurement list – Xinhua A Chinese government procurement agency has excluded Symantec and Kaspersky, two foreign security software developers, from a security software supplier list. According to a report from Beijing Youth Daily, all the five antivirus softwares in the list are from China, including Qihoo 360, Venustech, CAJinchen, Beijing Jiangmin and Rising. China’s homegrown technology companies also got the better of their foreign counterparts in the personal computer operating system supplier list, making Microsoft the only foreign brand.

China police detain six in tainted meat scandal: Xinhua | Reuters Shanghai’s chief of police and deputy mayor Bai Shaokang told local radio that the executives of Shanghai Husi Food, a unit of U.S.-based OSI Group LLC, had been taken into custody, Xinhua news agency said. The firm had supplied meat to foreign fast food chains McDonald’s and KFC-parent Yum Brands Inc, among many others.

China Services Index Drops to Six-Month Low on Property – Bloomberg A Chinese services-industry index declined to a six-month low in July, dragged down by a weaker property market. The non-manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index fell to 54.2 from 55.0 in June, the Beijing-based National Bureau of Statistics and China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing said today in Beijing

China’s H1 crude steel demand lags output, mills under financing stress -CISA | Reuters Inventories held by large steel mills stood at 14.46 million tonnes by the end of June, the first increase after three months of decline but down 6 percent from end-March, CISA data showed. China managed to sell most of its additional steel output in the first half on overseas markets, with exports up 34 percent from a year ago to 41 million tonnes. However, CISA said exports were unlikely to rise further due to growing trade frictions. Currently there are 12 anti-dumping investigations against Chinese steelmakers, involving around 2 million tonnes of exported products, the head of CISA market research, Wang Yingsheng, told the briefing.

Chinese Province Backpedals on Home-Buying Subsidies – China Real Time Report – WSJ Over the weekend, western China’s Sichuan province removed a statement it posted on Friday saying it would give subsidies to banks to support lending to homebuyers. Specifically, it would offer a 3% subsidy on loans that are offered on benchmark rates or lower to first-time homebuyers in the second half of the year.

After China port fraud probe, messy legal fight chills metal trade | Reuters banks deserve whatever losses coming given their negligent due diligence…idiotic or worse if they did not consider this kind of fraud likely  //  With multiple claimants, cross-country jurisdictions, involvement of state-owned entities and a separate corruption probe into Chen Jihong, the chairman of Decheng’s parent firm, the lawsuits stemming from the alleged fraud are unlikely to be wrapped up soon. “The problem is that court judgments attained outside of China are not recognized on the mainland. Companies cannot simply take the judgments into China and have Chinese courts freeze assets,” said William McGovern, a lawyer at Kobre & Kim who specializes in international commercial disputes.

银行高层称地方债快捂不住 地方政府到处找抵押物|地方债|抵押物|地方政府_新浪财经_新浪网 Economic Observer reports local governments in growing debt distress  //  编者按:地方债本非洪水猛兽,合理的负债结构对于地方实现跨越式发展至关重要。然而,随着中国经济进入增速换挡期,地方政府融资能力日趋枯竭而举债冲动一如既往,地方债正面临大考。旧债未偿新债又至。急剧膨胀的地方债务背后是不健全的地方财政体系。病根不除,宿疾难愈。解决问题的关键是规范财政管理体制,逐步放开地方政府自行发债的权力,理顺政府间关系。从今日起,本报拟连续推出四期报道,敬请关注。

 

POLITICS AND LAW *

CCTV Executive behind ‘A Bite of China’ Food Documentary Detained – Caixin Liu Wen, director of the CCTV-9 documentary channel, was taken away by prosecutors on July 30, sources with knowledge of the matter said. The channel was responsible for the A Bite of China food documentary. One source said an inquiry by the National Audit Office found Liu had “financial problems regarding the purchase of documentaries” from outside producers. The audit started in December. He is also “suspected of exchanging favors related to soft ads” in popular programs, the source said, referring to product placement.// lots of people there have issues a real audit will uncover…Caixin also reports that the auditors have asked for documents related to the DaVinci Furniture case…my understanding is that Caixin was full forced to pull back on its 2012 expose due to pressure from above…maybe no longer?

INSIGHT: Xi using Zhou probe to solidify his power base – AJW by The Asahi Shimbun A source with a strong background in Japan-China relations was told late last year that Jiang’s consent had already been obtained to go after Zhou. The person who passed on that information was a relative of Wang Qishan, secretary of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection in the Communist Party.

Corruption and the economy: Is anti-graft anti-growth? | The Economist the view that anti-corruption efforts are hurting the economy has become pervasive enough for leaders to confront it head-on. In July Lou Jiwei, the finance minister, said that those who think corruption helps lubricate growth are “making fools of themselves”. He has a point. For all the short-term dislocations, the crackdown is surely good for China’s economy. Most economists these days no longer regard corruption as greasing the wheels of business in developing economies, as used to be argued. Rather, they realise, it deters private investment, misallocates resources and generates social grievances. China’s past anti-graft campaigns, though admittedly less extensive than the current one, hurt the economy little and may even have boosted it

Chill wind blows through Chinese Academy of Social Sciences | South China Morning Post Privately, some scholars at CASS said the recent developments had already sent a psychological chill through intellectual circles. The scholars said they were particularly concerned about the accusation of “foreign infiltration” because many had developed research relationships with foreign counterparts. Some scholars publicly expressed concern that the tightening of ideological controls would distract from their academic research.

人民日报三评周永康案:党内不能搞封妻荫子那套_网易新闻中心 third of three People’s Daily commentaries in wake of Zhou Yongkang announcement  //  党员干部不仅要以身作则、带头遵纪守法,而且要严格约束亲属和身边工作人员,坚决反对和克服特权思想、特权现象。党内决不能搞封妻荫子、封建依附那一套,搞那种东西总有一天要出事。 “加强纪律性,革命无不胜”。反腐败斗争的实践警示我们,必须严明党的纪律,各项纪律都要严。遵纪守法是无条件的,要说到做到、有纪必执、有法必依、有违必查。要深入贯彻八项规定精神,坚决反对和纠正“四风”,坚持以零容忍态度惩治腐败,坚决遏制腐败蔓延的势头。广大党员干部守法纪、守规矩、守本分,真正做到清清白白为官、堂堂正正做人、干干净净干事,这是对党和国家的事业负责,也是对自己和家人负责。本报评论员

Law enforcement, judicial officials back Zhou Yongkang probe – Xinhua In a meeting attended by officials from the CPC’s political and legal authorities on Thursday, Chinese security chief Meng Jianzhu said the probe into Zhou showcases the Party’s resolve to run the Party strictly in accordance with the Party Constitution, according to Friday’s Legal Daily. He called on law-enforcement and judicial officials to draw a lesson from Zhou’s case, remain clear-minded, strictly observe discipline, respect and abide by the law, stay clean and fight corruption. Law-enforcement and judicial authorities should show zero tolerance toward discipline and law violations and acts of corruption, Meng said.

A Key Move to Protect Courts in China – China Real Time Report – WSJ Stanley Lubman China’s Communist Party made two major announcements on Tuesday night: The first revealed that former security czar Zhou Yongkang was being investigated for “discipline violations.” The second, related to the first, was that rule of law would be the focus of the party’s annual conclave in October. The reputation and legality of China’s police, courts and prosecutors suffered during Zhou’s tenure as head of the country’s security apparatus. Legal reform plans already put on the table could help China to move past the Zhou era. Earlier this month, Beijing released a 45-item list of legal reform goals, a significant aim of which is to reduce the influence of local government on local courts.  Such an aim may seem modest, but if successful, it would mark an important step in addressing the weakness of rule of law in the country.

Chinese courts open tip-off websites – Xinhua Chinese courts at all levels have launched websites for collecting tip-offs of illegal conduct by staff, the Supreme People’s Court (SPC) has said. All intermediate courts and most of grassroots courts have launched their websites in recent days, and connected to the sites already run by the SPC and all higher people’s courts.

中纪委网站发布十八大以来地方巡视工作图解-中新网 nice infographic of CCDI inspection teams’ work since 18th Party Congress

王岐山的下一步棋是什么 第三,如此大规模的反腐行动会不会导致公务员队伍的不稳定,进而影响到社会稳定? 这一轮的反腐力度到底有多大?用王岐山的老朋友、著名作家二月河的话来说,读遍二十四史也找不到。 近一段时间以来,也有个别声音说,这样反下去会导致公务员队伍不稳定。 这样的一个论调实际上并未真实体察中国公务员队伍的现实。实际的情况是,绝大多数公务员选择这个职业主要有两个理由:其一,公务员工作稳定,有一份安全感;其二,公务员工作可以做一点事情。 换言之,绝大多数公务员不是为了“贪财”才选择这份工作的。如果任由腐败形势恶化,任由个别官员不断刷新贪腐记录,最终大家的“饭碗”都会保不住。 贪腐官员是中央和各级公务员的共同敌人,孰轻孰重,想必广大公务员能够掂量得门清。 从这个意义上来说,公务员队伍是乱不了的,不但不会乱,还会更加团结,更加旗帜鲜明地支持中央的决定。

China releases investigative journalist after almost year in jail Liu Hu, a reporter with the Guangzhou-based newspaper New Express, was arrested on a charge of defamation last September. His lawyer Zhou Ze said prosecutors had called him to say that Liu was being released as they were “unable to proceed with the case within the legal detention limits”. Writing on his Weibo microblog account, Zhou said: “I have always believed that Liu Hu was innocent.” Liu was first detained last August on suspicion of “fabricating and spreading rumors” after accusing a deputy director of the State Administration for Industry and Commerce, a business regulatory body, of dereliction of duty while serving as Communist Party secretary of a district in southwestern Chongqing.

吉林大学副校长被查 曾因非典时表现突出获升迁|吉林大学|副校长|违纪_新浪新闻 A deputy President of Jilin University under investigation for discipline violations…education one of the target sectors for new round of CCDI inspections, and a target-rich environment

[视频]中央党的群众路线教育实践活动领导小组通知 要求全面清理整治奢华浪费建设_新闻频道_央视网(cctv.com) 《通知》强调,要认真贯彻落实《党政机关厉行节约反对浪费条例》和有关严格控制党政机关新建楼堂馆所等通知精神,重点对挪用扶贫款、救灾款等专项资金,超规模、超标准、超投资概算,举借和使用政府性债务资金,建豪楼、造地标等奢华浪费建设进行清理整治。对违规违纪行为特别是党的十八大以来顶风违纪的要严肃查处,并追究相关责任人的责任。

Six months after Cypress family slain, wary community wonders – Houston Chronicle On Jan. 30, authorities checking on the family found the bodies of Maoye Sun, 50; Mei Xie, 49; and their boys, Timothy, 9; and Titus, 7. All four had been shot in the head in their bedrooms, authorities said.  //  was in oil-related business, lots of rumors

 

FOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS *

China’s Xi likely to promote army general who exposed graft – sources | Reuters General Liu Yuan, 62, the eldest son of late president Liu Shaoqi, is set to be appointed to the Central Military Commission during a meeting of the Communist Party’s elite 205-member Central Committee in October, a source close to the leadership and a second source with ties to the military said. Security had been stepped up around Liu after he had received death threats for exposing the worst military graft scandal in modern China, which involved the widespread selling of positions in the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), three separate sources added. // rumors about this for a while, we’ll find out soon enough

PRC National Defense Ministry Spokesman Sr. Col. Geng Yansheng Offers China’s Most-Detailed Position to Date on Dongdiao-class Ship’s Intelligence Collection in U.S. EEZ during RIMPAC Exercise | Andrew S. Erickson Expect Chinese interlocutors to push the following argument: under the “New-Type Great Power Relations” concept that Presidents Xi and Obama endorsed at their Sunnylands Summit, and the “New-Type Navy-to-Navy Relations” concept that logically flows from this, the U.S. side should reduce surveillance and reconnaissance operations (SROs) in China’s EEZ to ensure the “mutual trust” necessary for the future positive development of the relationship.

A ‘New Situation’: China’s Evolving Assessment of its Security Environment | The Jamestown Foundation Based on its ubiquity and variety of use, it appears that the “new situation” phrase has become a hallmark of the Xi administration in matters of national security and foreign policy. More importantly, it demonstrates that the party has developed a distinctly new assessment of its development and security environment. It implies that China has a sense of growing yet cautious optimism in its increasing power and perception of the enhanced opportunities of a multi-polar world. At the same time, it entails a wary view of an international situation that may not accommodate the China Dream, requiring a “strong army” to cope with new challenges, prompting “innovative” diplomatic efforts and likely prompting similar “innovations” in military strategy and doctrine to secure China’s expanding interests.

China Expands Offshore Oil Fleet for Contested Waters – WSJ Chinese companies from the giant China National Offshore Oil Corp. to small services providers have ordered more ships and rigs for offshore exploration in the first half of this year than in any full year since 2010, with more on the way, according to data compiled by IHS Maritime. In addition, China ordered a massive, 30,000-ton deep-water drilling rig last year that is designed to operate in the South China Sea, and has two more in the planning stage.

China slams U.S. report on its religious status – Xinhua | English.news.cn The U.S. State Department released its annual international religious freedom report on July 29, which continued to include China on a list of countries of particular concern. “We urge the U.S to abandon its political bias and stop interfering in China’s internal affairs under the pretext of religion,” said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang in a statement.

“Opposing force” helps China toughen up troops – Xinhua | English.news.cn According to a Sunday report in the People’s Daily, the flagship newspaper of the Communist Party of China, the country’s first permanent professional “opposing force”, an infantry brigade from Beijing Military Area Command, also joined the exercise which ended on Monday. The report said that unlike previous exercises, which were usually scripted, this year’s exercise was “for real”. The red teams were from seven military area commands while the blue team, or the “opposing force”, played the enemy. Before the exercise started, no one knew what was going to happen, said the report. In the end, the blue team won six out of seven battles, defeating every area command except Shenyang. //  陆军战术训练实现新跨越(金台点兵)

Chinese farm purchase prompts “xenophobia” row in New Zealand election campaign – Xinhua | English.news.cn NZ too small to allow unfettered purchases by foreigners  //  New Zealand’s main farming organization on Sunday expressed unease about Chinese food giant Shanghai Pengxin Group’s planned purchase of a major dairy holding as the political row over the proposed sale deepened with accusations of xenophobia. Federated Farmers President William Rolleston said the sale of the central North Island Lochinver Station, which is still subject to approval by New Zealand’s Overseas Investment Office (OIO) and Chinese authorities, “may not provide sufficient benefit to New Zealand.”

Chinese provincial agency may have confirmed secret long-range missile The Chinese government has never acknowledged the existence of the Dongfeng-41 (DF-41) missile but the U.S. Department of Defense said in a 2014 report that it could carry a payload of multiple nuclear warheads. Analysts have said the missile could have a range of about 12,000 km (7,500 miles). The Global Times carried a screenshot of the provincial monitoring station’s online notice about the missile. The paper said the missile was “a strategic trump card that is without a doubt the most mysterious and most capable of deterrence”. But both the Global Times report and the station’s notice were later taken down.

社评:愿东风41成捍卫中国安全的利器 then Global Times published this comment on the DF-41 notice// 陕西省环境监测中心的一篇官方消息中,提到“DF-41战略导弹的研制保障条件”,这一信息迅速被中国的军事爱好者和西方媒体捕捉到,被认为是中国官方机构“确认”了DF-41、即东风-41洲际战略导弹的存在。一段时间以来,西方情报机构多次谈论中国这款最新型的战略核武器,有人甚至认为它将对中美最深层的相互认识产生影响。我们希望这一次是靠谱的,中国研制东风-41的工作像西方情报界一直所描述的那样进展顺利。尽管国家拥有战略核导弹的情况离中国普通人的生活非常遥远,但它却涉及了这个国家最核心的战略能力,它在很大程度上影响着美国和世界主要力量的对华态度。中国的战略核导弹同美俄相比数量太少,迅速提高核弹头数量会导致西方的较大反弹,因此提高战略核导弹的质量是当前的最佳选择。要提升战略核导弹的存活能力和突防能力,在这两点上东风-41似都实现了决定性的突破。如果按西方情报机构所说,东风-41使用了固体燃料,具有公路机动能力,并且是分导多弹头,那么它将是第一轮核打击很难摧毁、美国反导系统亦很难拦截的战略利器。

China says can build what it wants on South China Sea isles | Reuters Yi Xianliang, deputy head of the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s Boundary and Ocean Affairs Departments, told reporters that China had every right to build on its islands as a way of improving basic living conditions there. “The Spratly Islands are China’s intrinsic territory, and what China does or doesn’t do is up to the Chinese government. Nobody can change the government’s position,” Yi said. It was a double standard to bring this issue up now when other countries had been doing similar things for years, he added.

China FM urges cease-fire in Gaza with five-point proposal – Xinhua Visiting Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi urged on Sunday both Israel and the Gaza-ruling Hamas to stop the ongoing fighting, calling on Israel to lift its blockade of the restive enclave and release the Palestinians. Wang, who started his two-day visit on Saturday, raised a five- point proposal on ceasefire in Gaza, saying China is a firm supporter and sincere mediator for the peace between the Palestinians and Israel.

盘点2014年夏季高级将领调整_政经频道_财新网 Caixin takes stock of the recent high-level personnel changes and promotions in the PLA

China ‘increasing number of missile warheads’ | South China Morning Post The PLA has been increasing the number of both nuclear and conventional warheads in its strategic missile command, according to an official military document. The document, official teaching materials for the strategic missile command as well as the air, ground and naval branches of the People’s Liberation Army, corroborates suspicions among military experts that China has been beefing up its nuclear arsenal amid a global trend toward a reduction of nuclear arms.

 

TECH AND MEDIA *

Aliyun OS on Chinese Central Government’s Procurement List | Marbridge The Procurement Center of the Central Government Institution of the PRC (Central Government Procurement Center) recently published its list of supply agreements for 2014, with domestically developed operating systems accounting for a conspicuously large proportion of operating systems (OSs) used by the government, and some domestic OSs appearing on the list for the first time. Eight OSs appear on the list in total, including seven Chinese OSs (Deepin, SPGnux , NeoKylin, National Fundamental Software of China’s Linux-based OS, Ubuntu Kylin, Aliyun, LX, and one overseas OS (Microsoft Windows). Alibaba Group’s Aliyun OS, which is compatible with Android apps and native apps, is the only mobile OS on the list. The OS can be used on smart phones, as well as smart TVs and set-top boxes.

Asia Unbound » China Has a History of Not Trusting Microsoft on Cybersecurity For at least the last two decades, Beijing has searched for policy tools to reduce dependence on the United States and other developed economies for critical technologies and to create the conditions for indigenous innovation—for Chinese companies to move up the value chain from labor-intensive to high-technology products. And cybersecurity has also always been a priority and a worry. In the past, because China still needed them, Beijing and the technology companies came to agreements that everybody could live with. The Chinese government squeezed, but the companies got continued access to the market and made large investments in R&D in China to show the government that they were collaborative partners. China still needs the tech companies, but that dependence, or at least Beijing’s view of that dependence, seems to be lessening. If that is the case, then the anti-monopoly investigations and the broader pressure on American companies are both part of a larger history and the start of something new.

Kabam Gets $120 Million From Alibaba for China Games – Bloomberg The funds will be used to finance growth, and an executive from Alibaba will join Kabam’s board, according to a statement yesterday from the San Francisco-based company, which is now valued at more than $1 billion. Other details of the investment weren’t disclosed. The accord gives Kabam a tie-up with China’s largest e-commerce company. Kabam had 2013 sales of more than $360 million, double the previous year

Alibaba Is Investing Huge Sums in an Array of U.S. Tech Companies – NYTimes.com still way behind Tencent in the US, remarkable that this puff piece makes no mention of that  //  the recent investments aren’t just about size. Alibaba is also rubbing elbows in the sometimes insular world of Silicon Valley-funded start-ups, where a handful of plugged-in financiers can help the company spot the next breakout smartphone app or e-commerce trend before it hits the mainstream. “With investments like these, they get good products, they make a splash, and most importantly, they build connections and trust amongst the venture capitalists,” said Sameet Sinha, an Internet analyst with B. Riley & Company, a small investment firm.

Xiaomi responds to claims of data sent to Beijing server- WantChinaTimes The Redmi Note from Chinese budget smartphone brand Xiaomi reportedly sent photos and texts of its users to a server in Beijing without the knowledge of users. The transmission cannot be disconnected through flashing or rebooting the smartphone, reports the technology news website of web portal Tencent, which cited a report from PhoneArena. A Hong Kong user claimed his Redmi Note connected to an IP address in China and sent his photos and texts storing at Xiaomi’s service MiCloud to the address while on a Wi-Fi connection. The transmission has nothing to do with Xiaomi’s backup service and would still take place if he turned off the backup service.

 

SOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY *

China’s Girl Births Ratio Improves as Country Gets More Educated – Businessweek China’s preference for male babies appears finally to have peaked. Official statistics show that for each of the past five years, China’s skewed gender ratio has narrowed; last year, 117.6 boys were born for every 100 girls nationwide. China is at “an inflection point on gender imbalance,” says Cai Yong, a demographer at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He believes that government statistics undercount girls, because parents may not register daughters (especially if they were illegally born second or third children) and estimates the true ratio is closer to 115. “Ten years from now it will probably be about 110,” he says.

China Experiences a Booming Underground Market in Child Surrogacy – NYTimes.com Here in Wuhan, Baby Plan offers a more expensive, but at times grimly controlled, program. Chinese couples fly to Thailand, where surrogacy is legal, to donate their sperm and egg. A Chinese surrogate is flown there, too, and receives the implant. The three return to China and the surrogate is installed in a private apartment with a full-time assistant. To make sure she does not get ideas about fleeing with the customer’s fetus, she is cut off from her family and receives daily visits from a psychological counselor, Mr. Huang said.

‘Love the Party’ removed from code for students – Global Times A new draft of the code of behavior for primary and middle school students will be open for public opinion online till August 20, after the Ministry of Education (MOE) published the draft online on Friday. As well as taking out the demand to love the Party and the public, the new code has also erased general phrases about self-respect and confidence and replaced them with more specific directives. Meanwhile, more specific rules have been added. For patriotism, the code now states that students should be aware of Chinese history and salute at flag-raising ceremonies. Students are required to practice garbage classification and live a low-carbon life, while the new code also prohibits them from smoking and drinking as well as Internet abuse.

 

ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT, SCIENCE AND HEALTH *

北京将出台官员治霾考核办法 PM2.5升高计零分_网易新闻中心 央广网北京8月2日消息 据中国之声《央广新闻》报道,7月28日,环保部等六部委公布《大气污染防治行动计划实施情况考核办法(试行)实施细则》规定,地方官员没有通过年度考核将被环保部、监察机关等部门约谈,并暂停该地区部分项目的环评审批。北京市环保局表示,目前正抓紧研究北京市的考核办法,考核方式将基于六部委实施细则并结合北京自身特色,将尽快报市政府批准并向社会公布。

 

BEIJING *

Beijing Subway Fares Set to Rise as Gov’t Frets over Crowding, Subsidies – Caixin The current ticket price for all passengers on Beijing’s subways and light rail networks is 2 yuan regardless of the distance travelled. Shanghai charges up to 11 yuan per ride as the travel distance increases. In Chengdu, capital of the southwestern province of Sichuan, a subway ticket is valid for only two hours. In Beijing, it can be used any time before midnight on the day it is issued. The regulator has not decided how to change the fares, but there is no doubt that it will roll out a plan to increase them by the end of the year, a source who works with a subway construction firm said.

Smoggy Beijing to ban coal use – Xinhua Beijing will ban coal sales and use in its six main districts and other regions by the end of 2020 to cut air pollution, local authorities said on Monday. According to the Beijing Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau, the districts of Dongcheng, Xicheng, Chaoyang, Haidian, Fengtai and Shijingshan will stop using coal and its related products, and close coal-fired power plants and other coal facilities.

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