The Sinocism China Newsletter 01.19.15

Thanks everyone who filled out the survey about the first weekend commentary edition. Most of you liked it so I will work on making it a regular service, though Tim Heath’s The Declining Influence of Politburo Standing Committee Members and the Growing Strength of the Central Party Bureaucracy set thebar quite high and I do not have the next one scheduled.
Today’s Links:

THE ESSENTIAL EIGHT *

1. Chinese Stocks Plunge Most in Six Years on Lending Curbs – Bloomberg a much needed regulatory intervention and pullback, doubt though that this is end of the Xi bull market  //  The penalties have raised concern that policy makers are trying to curb a surge in stock purchases using borrowed money, after outstanding margin loans surged to 1.08 trillion yuan ($174 billion) as of Jan. 13 from about 400 billion yuan at the end of June. The Shanghai Composite index jumped 67 percent in the past 12 months through last week on record volumes as individual investors piled into the market. “Regulators are concerned that shares have run too hard, too fast,” said Hao Hong, a strategist at Bocom International Holdings Co. in Hong Kong. “They want a measured increase in the stock market. After all, margin financing is one of the reasons for people to be bullish on brokerage stocks, and these stocks have run particularly hard.”

Related: 网络安全审查办法即将审议–东方网 In midst of Monday stock market carnage network security shares rose on news of a new network security review procedure to be presented next month to the “Central Leading Group For Cyberspace Affairs” (the official translation per its office’s website) for approval. Probably lots more room to run for security and defense industrial complex-related shares. And only more bad news to come for foreign, and especially US, technology firms in China // 东方网1月19日消息:昨天,中国智能终端安全产业联盟在张江高科技园区成立。中央网信办有关负责人此间透露,其组织起草的我国网络安全审查办法,下月提交中央网络安全和信息化领导小组第二次会议审议。这意味着,我国即将推出网络安全审查制度,维护个人与国家信息安全。

2. New Snowden Docs Indicate Scope of NSA Preparations for Cyber Battle – SPIEGEL ONLINE The Snowden documents show that, thanks to fourth party collection, the NSA succeeded in detecting numerous incidents of data spying over the past 10 years, with many attacks originating from China and Russia. It also enabled the Tailored Access Operations (TAO) to track down the IP address of the control server used by China and, from there, to detect the people responsible inside the Peoples’ Liberation Army. It wasn’t easy, the NSA spies noted. The Chinese had apparently used changing IP addresses, making them “difficult to track; difficult to target.” In the end, though, the document states, they succeeded in exploiting a central router. The document suggests that things got more challenging when the NSA sought to turn the tables and go after the attacker. Only after extensive “wading through uninteresting data” did they finally succeed in infiltrating the computer of a high-ranking Chinese military official and accessing information regarding targets in the US government and in other governments around the world. They also were able to access sourcecode for Chinese malware.

Related: Spotlight: Snowden files unveil U.S. attempt to control Internet – Xinhua The world-shocking global surveillance by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) is just the beginning of the spook organization’s sprawling efforts to control the Internet, show new revelations attributed to NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. The NSA is “planning for wars of the future in which the Internet will play a critical role” and seeking the ability to destroy enemy infrastructure remotely, German magazine Der Spiegel revealed in a recent report, citing “top-secret documents” from Snowden’s archive it has seen exclusively.

Related: N.S.A. Tapped Into North Korean Networks Before Sony Attack, Officials Say – NYTimes Spurred by growing concern about North Korea’s maturing capabilities, the American spy agency drilled into the Chinese networks that connect North Korea to the outside world, picked through connections in Malaysia favored by North Korean hackers and penetrated directly into the North with the help of South Korea and other American allies, according to former United States and foreign officials, computer experts later briefed on the operations and a newly disclosed N.S.A. document.

Related: China ‘stole Aust fighter plane design’ | Business Spectator Top secret documents have reportedly revealed that Chinese spies stole key design information about Australia’s new Joint Strike Fighter. The documents, which were disclosed by former US National Security Agency intelligence contractor Edward Snowden to German magazine Der Spiegel, show that Chinese cyber spies stole “huge volumes” of sensitive military information relating to the plane. The stolen information includes details of the fighter’s radar systems, engine schematics, methods for cooling exhaust gas and “aft deck heating contour maps”, Fairfax Media reports.

3. How the Communist Party knocked down Macau’s house of cards in just six weeks | South China Morning Post It took just six weeks for graft-busting Beijing authorities to show the city’s gambling kingpins that there is no such thing as a sure thing

Related: Chinese officials to meet Macau regulators as mainland tightens screws on gambling hub | South China Morning Post The drive to clean up Macau’s multibillion-dollar casino industry will move up a gear this week when officials from the mainland’s Ministry of Public Security are expected to arrive in the city for a key meeting with financial regulators and senior bankers. Details of the top-level gathering are being kept strictly under wraps, but sources with a knowledge of the arrangements have told the Sunday Morning Post that ministry officials would spell out details of a “live monitoring system” giving them unprecedented access to all money transfers made in Macau through the state-backed China UnionPay bank payment card.

Related: Macau Junket Looks Abroad as Corruption War Deters VIPS – Bloomberg David Group is shutting three of its seven rooms that cater for high rollers at casinos in Macau, it said in a Jan. 17 statement. The company, which runs rooms at casinos, including those operated by Sands China Ltd. and Wynn Macau Ltd. (1128), is taking the action as part of a re-organization prompted by an industry downturn, Frank Ng, the company’s director of corporate communications, said in a phone interview. “We’re adjusting our business strategy; this is a general trend in the industry,” Ng said. “We’re hibernating. Once we wake up, we can restart.” The company can reopen the rooms when the market conditions improve, he said.

Related: Macau croupiers anxious about future amid Xi Jinping’s anti-graft campaign | South China Morning Post A baccarat dealer at Wynn Macau, the 29-year-old has seen friends and family lose their jobs overnight as the smaller junket companies catering to mainland high rollers have fallen victim to winds of change. Until now, Leong has not been directly affected, but senses the writing may be on the wall after not being asked to apply for overtime during the peak Lunar New Year season, something that has always been a given.

4. Interview: Chinese News Assistants React to Arrest of Colleague Zhang Miao | Asia Society Jonathan Landreth, managing editor for ChinaFile at Asia Society, worked as an accredited foreign correspondent for The Hollywood Reporter and Agence-France Presse between 2005 and 2011. “Most foreign bureaus would be nothing without their Chinese news assistants,” Landreth said. He added that while harassment of news assistants has always been common, prolonged detentions like Zhang’s have been extremely rare. To get inside perspectives, we reached out to five Chinese news assistants for reactions to the Zhang Miao situation.

5. 经济参考网 – 财收增速23年后跌回个位数 专家称增速下行将成常态,建议下调增速预期“还富于民” Economic Information-China’s fiscal revenue grew 8.6% in 2014, first time it has not grown in double digits since 1991, at least 5 provinces did not hit their 2014 targets  //  《经济参考报》记者从权威渠道获悉,2014年我国财政收入预计同比增长约8.6%,这意味着自1991年以来全国财收增速重回个位数时代。记者对地方财政数据进行梳理发现,至少五省份2014年财政收入未完成年初预算。

6. The Plight of China’s Rights Lawyers | ChinaFile As the year came to a close, at least seven prominent Chinese human rights lawyers rang in the New Year from a jail cell. Under President Xi Jinping, 2014 was one of the worst years in recent memory for China’s embattled civil society. Bookending the year were the cases of two prominent legal advocates: in January, Xu Zhiyong was sentenced to four years imprisonment for his moderate criticism of government policy and leading the “New Citizens’ Movement,” a group advocating for political reforms in China. Outspoken free speech lawyer Pu Zhiqiang, who turns 50 tomorrow, has spent the past six months in detention as authorities continue to build a case against him.

7. Top leadership stresses Party’s role in state organs – Xinhua The Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee on Friday heard work reports from the “leading Party groups” in the five major organs — the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress; the top legislature; the State Council; the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) National Committee; the Supreme People’s Court (SPC); and the Supreme People’s Procuratorate (SPP). President Xi Jinping, who is also general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, presided over the conference, according to a statement issued after the meeting. The meeting said the central leadership must be strengthened to rejuvenate the nation, deepen reform and advance rule of law. While the CPC Central Committee supports the work of the five organs, leading Party groups at these organs play a vital role.

8. China in 2015: What to Expect | The Diplomat  Chinese President Xi Jinping has a full plate this year: a continuing anti-corruption campaign, a stated commitment to developing the “rule of law,” and a need to move forward on difficult economic reforms. Christopher Johnson, the Freeman Chair in China Studies at CSIS, gives The Diplomat his take on what to expect (and what not to expect) from China domestically in 2015.

 

BUSINESS, ECONOMY AND TRADE *

China central bank scholar sees GDP growth up to 7.3 percent in 2015: Xinhua | Reuters China’s economic growth may be as high as 7.3 percent this year, partly due to falling commodity prices, the official Xinhua news agency quoted an academic advisor to the central bank’s monetary policy committee as saying on Saturday. Song Guoqing was also quoted telling a forum that China’s consumer price index may rise in 2015 by about 1.6 percent, saying the sharp decline in prices of commodities including crude oil, iron ore and copper presented “a large bonus” for the economy.

What to Look for Beyond the Headlines in China’s GDP Report – Bloomberg comes out Tuesday AM Beijing time  //  Beyond the headlines, here are a few things to look out for to see the structural shifts occurring amid the slowdown.

China home prices fall as trends diverge among cities – Xinhua Of 70 large and medium-sized cities surveyed, 66 saw new home prices drop in December from the previous month, according to data released on Sunday by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). Meanwhile, new home prices were flat in Zhengzhou, Wuhan, and Ganzhou last month, while Shenzhen saw prices rise 1.2 percent from November, the NBS data showed. For existing homes, prices in 60 cities fell in December from the previous month, while eight cities recorded gains, with the first-tier cities of Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou seeing prices gain 0.2 percent, 0.4 percent, and 0.2 percent, respectively. Nanjing and Urumqi were flat in price growth, the data showed.

China Dream Ends for Handan as Steel Slump Spurs Property Losses – Bloomberg As policy shifts China toward greater consumption and innovation-led growth, Handan’s reliance on the steel industry for expansion has left it among cities feeling the brunt of adjustment pain. “Steel towns have been decimated many times before, in Pittsburgh, in the U.K., in France, in Belgium,” said Junheng Li, founder of researcher JL Warren Capital LLC in New York. “Handan has a choice: cling to steel and suffer an inexorable decline or invest in the future, wherever it may be.”

3 reasons why Tesla isn’t plugged in to China car market – MarketWatch 1. Lack of a market for ‘green’ products; 2. Large numbers of unregistered units; 3. Chaotic management  //  and probably poor government relations strategy and gr hiring

Chinese funds aggressively shorting commodities linked to copper dive | Reuters Chinese funds such as Shanghai Chaos Investment Co and Zhejiang Dunhe Investment Co are said by traders to be behind at least three big drops in copper in a year, one in March last year when the metal fell more than 8 percent in three days. Neither of these two funds returned calls seeking comment on the latest market moves. Benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange fell to 5-1/2 year lows near $5,350 a tonne this week and was facing its biggest weekly loss in more than three years at 6.4 percent. Other funds involved include Flowinvest China Commodities Trading, Yihui Investment and Shanghai Discovering Investment, market sources said.

Kaisa Stress Spreading to Loans as Nomura Sees Big Selling Push – Bloomberg “There’s selling pressure coming from people who want to trim their portfolios to better manage any outsized concentration in developers,” Andrew Tan, head of secondary trading for loans and special situations in Asia ex-Japan at Nomura Holdings Inc. in Singapore, said by phone on Jan. 15. “I haven’t seen such a big motivation to sell in Chinese property loans for some time.”

Dealmaker linked to Zhou Yongkang case had ties with ex-vice-president | South China Morning Post October 2013 Hong Kong-listed mainland developer Fantasia Holdings provides a key link between Wu [Bing] and Zeng [Qinghong]’s family. Fantasia Holdings’ largest shareholder and executive director is Baby Zeng Jie, better known as Zeng Baobao, who is a niece of Zeng Qinghong. The company holds a controlling 58.8 per cent interest in Fantasia Chengdu Development, Zhongxu holds 10 per cent, while a person named Qiu Qiongming controls the remaining 31.2 per cent, according to Fantasia’s prospectus for its 2009 listing. Qiu’s identity is unknown, although the person has the same family name as Wu’s wife, sources said. // how many of these developers have what now may be political liabilities, and how well do their underwriters and investors understand those?

China’s shipyards brace for leaner times as oil slump sours rig building spree | Reuters As crude prices slide, oil producers are slashing new project spending. With a near 40 percent slice of a global market worth tens of billions of dollars, Chinese rig builders that offered juicy financing terms and discounts to leapfrog Asian rivals in recent years are now the most exposed to a slowdown.

 

POLITICS AND LAW *

Authorities hold CCTV producer Luo Fanghua, a member of Ling Jihua’s extended family | South China Morning Post Luo Fanghua, a 46-year-old producer at state broadcaster CCTV, was detained late last month, ThePaper.cn cited several people at her workplace as saying. Luo is married to Gu Yuanxu, the brother of Gu Liping, who is Ling’s wife. //Thepaper broke this news-央视财经频道制片人罗芳华被带走,系谷丽萍弟媳打虎记澎湃新闻 

CCTV fire culprit gets extended jail term for corruption – Xinhhua 12.26.2011 what does he know?  //  Xu Wei, former head of the construction office of the China Central Television’s (CCTV) headquarters, was convicted of embezzling 3.2 million yuan (US$506,000) from two CCTV subsidiaries to buy an apartment and pay air tickets and tours for relatives between 2005 and 2007, according to a verdict handed down by the Beijing No. 2 Intermediate People’s Court last Monday.

Newly-appointed tourism official under investigation – Xinhua Huo Ke, deputy director of the China National Tourism Administration, is being investigated for suspected “serious discipline and law violations,” the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (ccdi) announced Friday on its website. Huo, 54, was named tourism deputy head in December, according to the administration’s official website. The appointment was officially announced by the State Council — China’s cabinet — on Wednesday this week.// ties with Ling Jinhua, just promoted out of his previous job in what looks like an obvious “lure the enemy away from his base” move…see next item

港媒评霍克落马:“调虎离山”是一招打虎妙棋|调虎离山计|短命鬼_凤凰资讯 国家旅游局副局长霍克16日晚落马,而其人从中央办公厅调任至此刚刚一个月。据香港大公网评论员马浩亮的文章,“调虎离山计”在十八大以来的打虎风暴中屡试不爽,查处范长秘、于大清、蒋洁敏都是如此。有些“大老虎”、“老虎”之前处于党政军权力运行的核心岗位上,在信息获取方面有独特优势。如果就贸贸然去查,未免打草惊蛇。“调虎离山”,离开老巢,无疑是一招妙棋。

赵本山乡亲:他以往上坟都是大车队 去年仅两车新闻腾讯网 Zhao Benshan was quite tight with the Liaoning official who was just detained, and who spent most of his career in Tieling…many signs pointing to increasing problems for one of china’s most famous comedians  //  在跟车队伍中,村民还经常看到时任开原市委书记魏俊星的身影,据当地人讲,他与赵本山关系一直不错。魏俊星曾在一次公开发言中称其为“亲爱的本山”,并表示赵本山极重情义。 1月16日,官至辽宁省政府副秘书长的魏俊星因涉嫌严重违纪违法被查。 赵本山的朋友圈却绝不仅限于开原市。在公开的合影中,就有章子怡、林志玲、那英、张艺谋、冯小刚、宋祖英等大腕,赵本山与他们都有过合作。宋祖英这样的大牌明星能到开原这样的县级市演出,少不了赵本山的关系。在2009年一个娱乐大典上,赵本山公开调侃那英“不务正业”,足见感情深厚。

China’s Graft-busters Target State-owned Firms Ahead Of Reform – Reuters The SOE anti-graft efforts coincide with China’s imminent roll-out of ambitious new guidelines to overhaul the country’s inefficient state sector. The State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC), the ministry-level body that directly oversees 112 central government industrial and service conglomerates, is expected to publish the reform plans before the end of March. “Currently the anti-corruption fight at central SOEs remains severe and complicated,” SASAC Chairman Zhang Yi said at an internal meeting last year, according to a post on the CCDI’s website earlier this month.

中纪委:落实党委书记主体责任,今年要抓到地市一级_打虎记_澎湃新闻-The Paper 中央纪委监察部网站“学思践悟”专栏于1月19日零时更新发文《改革就是要改体制动机制》。文章指出,当前,腐败问题多发,一个重要原因是反腐败体制机制不健全。党风廉政建设,党委书记要是不抓,纪委书记再“折腾”也“折腾”不到哪里去。文章强调,深化纪律检查体制改革,关键在抓住落实主体责任这个“牛鼻子”。去年先是抓到中央和国家机关、省一级,今年要抓到地市一级。 // CCDI seems serious about now holding each party secretary personally responsible for any problems in his/her area of responsibility…

人民日报评论员:打铁还需自身硬–观点–人民网 信任是对纪检监察干部的最大支持,但是信任不能代替监督。应该看到,纪检监察机关不是天然的保险箱,纪检监察干部也并非生活在真空之中。如果监督者不被监督,就可能出现“灯下黑”的情况;纪检监察干部发生以案谋私、串通包庇、跑风漏气等问题,对党和人民事业的伤害,将比一般干部更甚。“执纪者必先守纪,律人者必先律己”,各级纪检监察机关清理好门户,做到打铁自身硬,才能让监督执纪问责更有底气、更加硬气、更具权威,做到“其身正,不令而行”。

十余省书协“主席”为官员 官员作品可卖上千元新闻腾讯网 日前,十八届中纪委五次全会在京召开,中纪委书记王岐山当场“怒批”一些书协“官气”太重的话,让官员兼职书法协会这一现象再次引起社会关注。昨天人民网刊文,揭露多省份书协领导中有地方官员。按照中央要求官员不得担任社会团体领导。专家表示,王岐山讲话释放出强烈的信号,对于官员任职社会团体现象未来可能将更严格查处..在十八届中纪委五次全会上,王岐山直言:“有的领导干部楷书没写好,直接奔行草,还敢裱了送人。”此外,在谈到一些地方书协“官气”太重时,王岐山说,“现在有的干部玩过了,飘飘然了,忘记了执政党和老百姓的关系了。

黑龙江3官员同日被宣布落马,东北石油大学原党委书记在列打虎记澎湃新闻-The Paper Former Party Secretary of Dongbei Petroleum University, vice mayor of Daqing 2 of 3 officials who investigations announced today. More heads to role in oil industry?// 月19日,中央纪委监察部网站援引黑龙江省纪委消息,东北石油大学原党委书记孙彦彬等3人接受调查。 据黑龙江省纪委消息:经黑龙江省委批准,东北石油大学原党委书记孙彦彬(正厅级)因涉嫌严重违纪违法,被立案调查。  据黑龙江省纪委消息:经黑龙江省委批准,大庆市副市长、大庆市高新技术产业开发区管委会党工委书记杨彦彬因涉嫌严重违纪违法,目前正接受组织调查。 据黑龙江省纪委消息:经黑龙江省委批准,抚远县原县长、省政府抚远三角洲管理委员会原常务副主任付延成(副厅级)因涉嫌严重违纪违法,目前正接受组织调查。

For sale: seats on Guangdong’s advisory body | South China Morning Post What price for a seat on Guangdong’ s political advisory body? If court documents in the corruption trial of disgraced provincial United Front Work Department chief Zhou Zhenhong are any guide, the positions were bought and sold for anywhere between 150,000 yuan (HK$189,300) and 945,000 yuan in 2008. The documents came to light on the weekend as the provincial authorities announced that the delayed meeting of the Guangdong committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference would take place on Feb 7.

Case law Chinese style–where is it going? | Supreme People’s Court Monitor This blogpost will look at how the Court leadership understands Chinese “case law” and how it sees case law to be useful to the judiciary.

Authorities’ silence can also be a gesture – Global Times Twenty-five years have passed since 1989. Profound changes have taken place. Why has the official line on Zhao [Ziyang] not changed? It is possible that the authorities feel no necessity to change the previous judgment on him. It is also possible that any misreading of Zhao’s role may have some impact on the present. In the past 25 years, China has pursued a path that Zhao and his think tanks opposed at that time, becoming the world’s second largest economy. China is using its actions and achievements to answer questions over the sensitive issues. The positive changes will only take place if the country continues to pursue socialism. If the political system is changed as a few people have called for, China’s hard work in pursuing reform and opening-up will be demonized.

Beijing citizens turn out to salute reformer Zhao Ziyang 10 years after death – AJW by The Asahi Shimbun More than a hundred people gathered at Zhao’s former residence where the sacked secretary-general of the Communist Party spent his final years under house arrest until his death on Jan. 17, 2005. Some Communist Party heavyweights, including Li Rui, a former aide to Mao Zedong and Tian Jiyun, a former deputy secretary-general of the State Council, also attended the memorial ceremony. “I believe many people have carried out the wishes of my father,” said Wang Yannan, a daughter of Zhao, during the ceremony.

广西凭祥警方击毙2名新疆偷渡者 1人在逃(图)新闻腾讯网 2 Uighurs shot dead in Guangxi, report says were trying cross border illegally // 中新网南宁1月19日电 (记者 王刚)1月18日晚,几名偷渡的新疆维吾尔族人在中越边城广西凭祥市与警方发生冲突。其中2名维族人被击毙,当地特警武警等警力目前正在全城追捕一名逃脱者。 当地有关部门披露,传出枪声之地位于当地一高速路收费站附近,时间为当晚8点多。当时警方用两辆小车逼停偷渡者的车辆后,遭对方拒捕并行凶。警方最终击毙其中两人,而一人逃往居民生活区。

中国严打西南边境偷渡抓千余人:境外势力煽动多人去“圣战”一号专案澎湃新闻-The Paper propaganda push underway about efforts 2 stop uighurs illegally leaving china via SW borders.  // 新华网1月18日消息,2014年以来,针对西南边境地区组织偷渡活动呈增多之势,特别是境内外“蛇头”相互勾结组织人员偷渡出境活动持续高发、屡打不绝的突出情况,按照中央部署,公安部成立“4·29”专案组,于2014年5月初部署多地警方按照“打蛇头、打组织、打通道、挖幕后”的要求,统一开展集中打击西南边境地区组织偷渡专案行动,并派出多个工作组,赴重点地区进行一线督导。

Turkey’s Dangerous Game with China | Middle East Briefing A major question emerging from the Chinese announcement is whether the Erdogan government in Turkey is supporting and facilitating the smuggling of Uighurs into Turkey. Some among these illegals are believed to be extremists affiliated with the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) and the Turkestan Islamic Party (TIP), bound for Syria and Iraq, where they planned to join the Islamic State terrorist insurgency. In the past two years, as the Erdogan government in Turkey became more involved in the support for rebels fighting to overthrow the Assad government in Syria, Turkey began shifting its stance on East Turkestan (the historic name preferred by the Uighur group) and the recent upsurge in terrorist attacks in Xinjiang Province in northwest China, the home of the Uighurs.

上海司法体制改革:法检预算由市财政局直管国内新京报网 上海是司法改革的先行地区,在“人财物统管”上,上海把所有基层法院、检察院调整为一级预算单位,由市财政局直接管。对“人”的统管则通过设立法官、检察官遴选委员会分级任免的制度来实现。专家称,这既实现了法院、检察院人财物管理的制衡,又避免了系统内部的“行政化”。

Potemkin Review-Chinese Harmonism: a Critique As a political mantra, the Chinese term for harmony, 和谐, is mainly associated with Hu Jintao, general secretary of the CCP from 2002 to 2012 and so-called “core of the fourth generation” of the central leadership[1]. Hu turned the slogan of “harmonious socialist society” 社会主义和谐社会 into a keynote of state propaganda during his tenure in power. Chinese harmonism qua type of discourse, however, encompasses much more than the word itself. This short piece will attempt to dissect and critique Chinese harmonism in the early twenty-first century. It will be argued that there are structural reasons prodding the regime into resorting to harmonistic discourse, whether or not the term “harmony” makes an appearance.

A new audience for US Supreme Court Chief Justice Roberts’ 2014 Year-end Report | Supreme People’s Court Monitor Chief Justice John Roberts of the US Supreme Court may be surprised to learn that (an edited and translated version of ) his year-end report (linked here), is being read by tens of thousands of Chinese judges and lawyers. The reason is a translation by the Institute for Applied Legal Studies, affiliated with the Supreme People’s Court (Court), was published on the Supreme People’s Court website and distributed through its social media channels (Wechat and Weibo), as well by the social media feeds of local Chinese courts. What relevance does Justice Robert’s report have for the Chinese judiciary?  It reflects how the Court considers foreign legal models as it seeks to reform the Chinese courts.

 

FOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS *

PLA will not shy away from investigating China’s top military leaders, says anti-corruption official | South China Morning Post The People’s Liberation Army will no longer shy away from investigating high-level leaders to “maintain a positive image”, a PLA anti-graft official told China’s Global Times in an exclusive interview. Major General Yu Bencheng said the long-standing practice had done great harm to the military. In the past it had become so difficult to gain promotion in the army that people had put extra emphasis on establishing close links with those of senior rank, he said.

Chinese army to look into corruption in staff housing projects – Xinhua The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) will start a two-year operation against malpractice and corruption in staff housing projects. Due to loose supervision, there are a number of problems in staff housing projects, said Friday’s PLA Daily quoting a notice from the PLA General Political Department, the PLA General Logistics Department and the PLA discipline inspection department. Chinese armed forces have built affordable housing projects for officers and servicemen since 1999. They are supposed to be moderate in size and equipment and should not be sold to civilians. However, the notice admitted that some housing projects were built out of budgets and aimed for luxury use. Some were sold to staff at unusually cheap prices and others were sold to civilians.

习近平:军官收入主要靠工资 不能有灰色收入–时政·民生–江苏–地方–首页 习主席在军队一次重要会议上讲:今后军官的收入主要是靠工资,不能有其他所谓的灰色收入,更不能有违法所得,否则就要受到查处和追究。这段话是讲给部队听的,也是讲给全党同志特别是领导干部听的。廉政建设做到了这一点,“不能”才算真正见到成效!

中央军委巡视组将进驻武警部队海军空军,已完成7大军区巡视打虎记澎湃新闻-The Paper 澎湃新闻(www.thepaper.cn从权威渠道获悉,经中央军委批准,今年2月初至4月20日,中央军委巡视组对武警部队、海军和空军党委班子及其成员进行巡视。 根据军队巡视工作有关规定,中央军委巡视组自今年1月16日开始,在北京设立了专用邮政信箱,开通了举报电话,并在机关设立举报箱,主要受理反映党员领导干部特别是武警部队、海军和空军党委班子及其成员贯彻党的路线方针政策和军委决策指示、执行民主集中制、开展作风建设、选拔任用干部、廉政勤政等方面问题,重点是选人用人、工程建设、房地产管理、经济适用房建设和分配出售、经费物资管理使用、装备研发采购,特别是十八大后不收敛不收手、顶风违纪问题。

Closer Look: PLA Transparency Exposes Depth of Its Graft Problem – Caixin Although speculation that the officers has bubbled for a while, this is the first time the investigations have been officially confirmed. For this reason the PLA’s announcement improves its transparency on matters related to corruption. The sacked officials were involved in a range of departments and military regions and colleges. All were either military commanders or political heads, and most served as deputies.

《炎黄》影射江泽民大秘 中共下令删除_中国-多维新闻网 原总后勤部基建营房部部长张金昌在新年第一期《炎黄春秋》撰文,揭发被判无期徒刑的原海军副司令员王守业贪腐黑幕,并且影射王守业依靠河南老乡、时任中央军委主席办公室主任贾廷安升官。贾廷安长期担任原中央军委主席江泽民秘书,如今官拜总政治部副主任。不过,截至目前《炎黄》网站以及大陆各大门户网站已经撤销了相关文章,杂志总编辑杨继绳证实:“是上面要求的

China-savvy tea partyer takes helm of US House panel on Asia – AP Rep. Matt Salmon of Arizona is part of the tea party movement that advocates small government, a tough line on immigration and opposes President Barack Obama at every turn. But Salmon also brings a unique perspective on Asia. He spent two years as a Mormon missionary in Taiwan, where he learned Chinese. He says he has visited mainland China more than 40 times, and during an earlier three-term stint in Congress that ended in 2000, he met with China’s then-leader to help secure the release of a U.S. college researcher accused of stealing state secrets.

Loosening Beijing embrace, Sri Lanka reviews China projects – The Straits Times Sri Lanka’s new government will review Chinese infrastructure projects awarded under the previous administration, a junior minister said, a move bound to please Indian and Western powers concerned about Beijing’s access in the island state.

How Xu Zengping became the middleman in China’s deal to buy the Liaoning | South China Morning Post In the mid-1990s, the former PLA basketball star was contacted by officers within the PLA Navy with a secretive mission: go to Ukraine and buy the Soviet-built carrier

China’s security hardware firms seek to boost Mideast business – Xinhua Chinese security equipment firms tried to promote their business in the growing Middle East market at one of the world’s largest annual security congress Intersec opened here on Sunday. According to the organizers, this year’s Intersec attracted 1,237 exhibitors from 54 countries, while a total of 204 Chinese companies have brought their products to the exhibition. “We realized that keeping places under control is very important in the Middle East,” said Andy Wu, overseas sales manager at camera producer Unique Vision from Shenzhen, China’s Guangdong Province.

Japan seeks closer maritime defence ties with India | Daily Mail Online Japan’s foreign minister used a visit to India Saturday to push for tighter maritime security ties between the two nations, as Tokyo seeks to shore up its relationships in Asia to counter an increasingly powerful China. Fumio Kishida, who met with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday, is on his first overseas visit since Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe secured a landmark victory in national elections last month.// 日外相称中国藏南地区属印度 on visit to India Japan’s foreign minister says Arunachal Pradesh belongs to India

日本无法用错误史观绑架世界(望海楼)–观点–人民网 近期,美国《华尔街日报》披露,日本政府于去年12月通过日驻美外交机构对美国一家出版商提出交涉,要求其修改出版教科书中有关慰安妇的内容。该出版商已拒绝日方要求。消息一出,引起广泛关注。日本政府通过修改教科书掩盖侵略历史的行径并非首次出现,就在今年年初,日媒还曝出,东京教科书出版商得到文部科学省批准,将在4月发行的高中社会学课本中删除“慰安妇”及“强征”等内容。然而,日本官方就有关历史问题向外国出版商提出交涉的情况却实属罕见。 日政府此举应是精心设计。

China-Korea Culture Wars and National Myths: TV Dramas as Battleground-The Asia-Pacific Journal This article offers a comparative analysis of the discourse on state building and national identity formation in historical television serials in China and South Korea. I assess The Great Han Emperor Wu (Han Wu Da Di 汉武大帝) (2005) and Jumong (2007) in light of contemporary nationalistic sensibilities.

Hundreds of Chinese nationals trapped in north Myanmar: report | Reuters Hundreds of Chinese citizens, including miners and jade traders, are among 2,000 civilians trapped by fighting between government troops and insurgents in northern Myanmar, China’s state-backed Global Times reported on Monday. The Chinese nationals and Myanmar civilians are trapped in the northern state of Kachin, which borders southern China, where the Myanmar military has been battling the rebel Kachin Independence Army (KIA) for years, the newspaper said.

Hacked news companies tweet Chinese fired on U.S. warship – Jan. 16, 2015 The Twitter accounts of the New York Post and United Press International were hacked Friday. Both companies tweeted that a war had broken out between the United States and China. At 1 p.m. ET, the Twitter (TWTR, Tech30) accounts of both companies reported that the Chinese military had fired a missile on a U.S. warship, sparking a full-blown battle. They also claimed the U.S. Federal Reserve was to make an emergency announcement about interest rates.

 

HONG KONG, MACAO AND TAIWAN *

Xi Jinping congratulates newly-elected KMT chairman – Xinhua Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China’s (CPC) Central Committee, has congratulated Eric Chu for being elected as chairman of Taiwan’s ruling Kuomintang (KMT) party on Saturday. Xi said in a message that he hoped the two parties, for the cardinal interest of the Chinese nation, can continue working together to maintain the common political commitments of upholding the 1992 Consensus and opposing “Taiwan independence.”

Saturday Night in Taipei, and the Cool Kids Are at the Bookstore – NYTimes At a time when many bookstores in the United States are struggling in the face of an onslaught from the online retailer Amazon, Eslite is thriving. It has 43 stores in Taiwan and one in Hong Kong. The company has plans to open two branches in mainland China this year, in Shanghai and Suzhou. Sales rose more than 15 percent in 2013 in its listed arm, and profits are rising as well.

Is the PLA trying to invade Hong Kong schools?-EJ Insight They fear a new uniformed youth group, called Hong Kong Army Cadets, is intended to promote Beijing-style patriotism in schools. Interestingly, the Army Cadets are backed by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), raising concern about the Communist Party’s push to raise a generation of Chinese patriots in the former British colony. Some could argue that the PLA’s role in the youth cadet program is harmless but parents are wary about the Chinese army being involved in the raising of their children.

 

TECH AND MEDIA *

One billion harmful, erotic posts deleted in year-long Internet cleanup – Xinhua Chinese websites self-inspected and deleted more than 1 billion pornographic and harmful posts in 2014 in an Internet “cleanup operation”, said the country’s cyberspace watchdog Saturday. Authorities also closed down about 2,200 websites and 20 million online forums, blogs and social media accounts that had spread erotic and illegal content, said Ren Xianliang, deputy head of the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC). During the operation, domestic gateway websites have well cooperated, Ren said. Among the 1 billion deleted posts, 220 million were on four leading gateway websites, namely Sina, Sohu, Tencent and Netease. Two major search engines Baidu and Qihoo 360 deleted 130 million posts.

Alibaba-Backed Website Meituan Raises $700 Million in Financing – Bloomberg Meituan.com, the Chinese group-discount website backed by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (BABA), raised $700 million from unidentified investors, with Chief Executive Officer Wang Xing saying it’s now worth $7 billion. Transaction volumes are expected to increase to 100 billion yuan ($16.1 billion) this year, and rise to 1 trillion yuan in 2020, Wang said Sunday at a media conference in Beijing. At the end of last year, the figure was 46 billion yuan, he said.

Chinese Dot-com IPOs Fading in 2015 After Record Year – Bloomberg About a half-dozen of the companies may hold initial public offerings in New York this year, according to analysts at 86Research Ltd., Rosenblatt Securities Inc., and JG Capital Corp. Among the most likely candidates are Dianping.com, a consumer review website akin to Yelp Inc. in the U.S., and Meituan.com, which runs a discount site similar to Groupon Inc., they said. After about 60 Chinese Internet stock sales in the U.S. since 2000, including 12 IPOs last year, the biggest names in e-commerce, search, travel and social networking have already listed, leaving fewer nascent firms ready to go public. Startups looking for capital are finding a crowd of deep-pocketed companies such as Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (BABA) and Baidu Inc. eager to invest in smaller rivals.

Tumblr, still not blocked in China, to offer Chinese version-TechInAsia Free blogging and social networking site Tumblr is working on a Chinese version of its platform, according to iFanr. Some Tumblr users in China received invites to join the closed beta test of the translated site. While blogging platforms like WordPress and Blogger are blocked by China’s Great Firewall on the mainland, Tumblr is not (I used it to blog before starting this job for that reason). That’s probably due to the site not having a Chinese version and most of the content being more fun and shareable rather than serious and informative.

Samsung Loses Connection with Chinese Consumers in 2014 – Caixin Samsung’s market share fell by almost one-third in China last year. The country is the South Korean giant’s second-largest market after the United States, largely contributing to expectations it will see its first decline in profits since 2011. Data from CCID Consulting Co. Ltd. showed that Samsung’s market share in China fell from 20 percent in January, to 13.7 percent in October. It remained No. 1 in China market share, but snapping at its heels are Lenovo Group (10.7 percent), Apple (9.4 percent), Huawei Technologies Co. (8.5 percent) and Coolpad Group Ltd. (7.7 percent). Samsung’s sales decline continued in November, one of its dealers said. “Dealers sold 1.6 million Samsung phones in October, but in November the number was only 1.2 million,” he said

Top 10 advertising campaigns on Wechat – Marketing China During the last months, many fashion and luxury brands have opened a Wechat account, as reported by Fashionbi’s marketing research. The reason of its growing importance is that Wechat enables brands to have a one-to-one communication with their followers. Due its efficacy, an increasing number of global brands are integrating WeChat into their marketing strategies. With this APP, brands are looking for interact with its potential consumers through creative ways in order to capture their attention and get their involvement.

 

SOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY *

Mao’s Winding Road to Socialism – Caixin Mao also said Hunan should be an independent state. In an article published in September, 1920, he declared his opposition to establish a “Republic of Great China” and said that they should instead pursue a “Republic of Hunan.” This approach was necessary because “there were so few people in the country who actually understand what a republic means even though the country claims in name to be one.” He blamed the humiliation and suffering many provinces had experienced on the reformists’ fruitless mission of transforming a huge country while trying to keep all the pieces together. “Because there is utterly no hope in seeing the whole country built evenly, the best way to proceed now is to reject comprehensive construction and instead pursue the development of provinces individually and allow for the practice of provincial autonomy,” wrote Mao. He also argued, “it is best that (China) be broken up into 27 countries.”

Chinese tabloid journalists took pictures of dead body of pop star Yao Beina – Telegraph Three Shenzhen Evening News reporters were apparently let into Shenzhen’s Peking University Hospital by a doctor to take pictures of Yao Beina, who died of cancer on Friday aged 33. Yao’s agent, Bo Ning, said her family stepped in to prevent the photographs being published. “Do you have any bottom line as a human being!” Bo wrote on Weibo, China’s Twitter. The newspaper has since apologised.

China Focus » Heaven in the Heart: The Increasing Influence of Christianity among China’s Younger Generation These articles only provide us with a glimpse of the social, political, and organizational situation of young Chinese Christians, and from an external angle…Young parents often bring their infants with them to church.  “Hopefully they will grow up happier than me,” I murmur to myself every time I see the parents walk out of the door, their baby in the stroller.

 

ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT, SCIENCE AND HEALTH *

2 die from human H7N9 in E China – Xinhua two patients infected with the H7N9-strain of avian flu have died in east China’s Fujian Province, the local health and family planning commission said on Friday. In total, 15 cases have been confirmed in the province since the beginning of the year, according to the commission. Another human infection was reported in neighboring Jiangxi Province on Friday. Besides Fujian and Jiangxi, Shanghai Municipality and Zhejiang Province have reported human cases of H7N9 this winter.

Shanghai reports another human H7N9 infection case – Xinhua Shanghai on Sunday reported a new case of human infection of the H7N9 avian flu. The patient, surnamed Zhang, is a 69-year-old Shanghai citizen, the city’s health and family planning commission said. He was confirmed to be infected with the virus on Saturday and is being treated at a local hospital. So far, Shanghai has reported two human H7N9 cases this winter.

Scientists raise alarm on China’s fishy aqua farms | Reuters Fish farmers in China have been increasingly harvesting wild stocks in order to feed their caged varieties, putting new strains on the world’s oceans, said new research from scientists at Stanford University. China is the world’s largest producer and consumer of fish, contributing about one third of the global supply.

New HIV/AIDS Infections Surged 15% in China in 2014 – China Real Time Report – WSJ Global health officials have been urging China to step up its fight to prevent the spread of the disease. The World Health Organization’s China representative Bernhard Schwartlaender, said last year that “there is much more China needs to do” to prevent HIV infection. Stigma is a key problem in prevention, experts say. In a December opinion piece in the state-run China Daily, Dr. Schwartlaender wrote, “Perhaps most importantly, we must eliminate stigma and discrimination towards people living with HIV, and at-risk populations such as men who have sex with men, sex workers and injecting drug users.”

 

BEIJING *

幼升小取消考试 北京学前班市场趋冷–中青在线 2014年被称为北京教育改革元年,严格实施“就近入学”,“择校”受到限制。改革已经看到了效果,据统计,去年北京市的幼升小就近入学的比例达到了93.7%。 不用择校了,考试就失去了意义。 “我们幼儿园有幼小衔接课程。往年幼儿园要在每年3月前把拼音和20以内的加减法教完,以便让孩子们参加各个小学的幼升小考试。但是今年就没有这个时间限制了,孩子们用一年的时间学这点知识,挺轻松的。”周欣的儿子在一所私立幼儿园上大班,不打算上学前班。 种种迹象表明,北京的学前班市场有降温的趋势。

 

JOBS AND EVENTS *

Job: Social Media Editor @SCMP_News Location: Hong Kong
Focus: @facebook @twitter

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