The Sinocism China Newsletter 07.19.16

The hiatus was longer than intended. Maine was great fun, we ran into lots of Chinese tourists, and it was much cooler than DC is these days.

Newsletter frequency will continue to be very inconsistent for at least the next month. We are on the road for just over three weeks starting Thursday, including a long overdue trip to Beijing. Twitter is easier to use when traveling so I will still be tweeting things I find interesting @niubi.

I conveniently missed publishing during the week the South China Sea tribunal news broke.

Beijing’s propaganda tsunami of shrill, shameless sophistry ahead of the South China Sea tribunal decision is a sign of the contempt it holds for non-Communist Party-led rule of law.

Some are speculating that Xi will be hurt politically by the tribunal rebuke, but Xi appears to have neutralized any elders who might be able to restrain him if they are unhappy with the direction he is taking the PRC, perhaps even at the upcoming rumored Beidahe meetings, but that assumes there are people at or near the top of the Communist China system who don’t share his xenophobic jingoism. I would like to believe there are but am skeptical, and even if there are some they are likely so cowed by Xi that it is politically and personally much safer to toe the line. Again, I hope I am wrong but it is hard to keep making that argument after decades of people looking for the “reformers” in power and never really finding one. (See this April 2011 Sinocism post–Views On Political Reform And Leadership Splits In China for an earlier discussion of this more hopeful approach to viewing elite Chinese politics.)

It is worth remembering that China’s decision to become a maritime power and to build out the capabilities needed to assert and protect its claimed maritime rights and sovereignty in the South China Sea long predate the ascension of Xi in 2012.

I’d bet that the tribunal loss may strengthen Xi and the other hardline jingoist xenophobes who manipulate the idea of the West keeping the PRC down to further their illiberal, authoritarian China dream.

Beijing’s lack of any real substantive response since the ruling should not be taken as a sign that it is changing its long-term goals. It is certainly positive that Communist Party censors have tamped down some of the worst of the online jingoism and xenophobia and not arranged or allowed any street protests so far but it is much too early to conclude that the PRC is somehow backing away from some of its claims or going to change its behavior.

I want to go back to Maine…

AnchorTHE ESSENTIAL EIGHT *

1. China: Disregard the South China Sea ruling. The Philippines: No. – The Washington Post On Tuesday, the Filipino foreign minister, Perfecto Yasay, went public with an account of their conversation, telling ABS-CBN, a local news channel, that China offered conditional talks. “[China’s foreign minister] had asked us to open ourselves for bilateral negotiations but outside, or [in] disregard of, the arbitral ruling,” Yasay told the cameras. “This is something I told him was not consistent with our constitution and our national interest.”

Related: China admiral warns freedom of navigation patrols could end ‘in disaster’ | Reuters China is the biggest beneficiary of freedom of navigation in the South China Sea and won’t let anybody damage it, Sun said. “But China consistently opposes so-called military freedom of navigation which brings with it a military threat, and which challenges and disrespects the international law of the sea,” Sun said. “This kind of military freedom of navigation is damaging to freedom of navigation in the South China Sea, and it could even play out in a disastrous way,” he added, without elaborating.  //  making up the law as it goes along?

Related: PLA navy chief urges China-U.S. cooperation in handling South China Sea – Xinhua Describing the current security situation in waters around China as “complicated and sensitive” and noting the escalating South China Sea issue, Wu said Richardson’s visit will be beneficial for the two countries to strengthen communication, promote trust, resolve doubts and avoid misjudgments. “We will never sacrifice our sovereignty and interests in the South China Sea,” Wu said, stressing that it is China’s “core interest” and concerns the foundation of the Party’s governance, the country’s security and stability and the Chinese nation’s basic interests. Wu said that China will not recede over territorial sovereignty or fear any military provocation, which the Chinese navy is fully prepared to cope with. “We will never stop our construction on the Nansha Islands halfway… the Nansha Islands are China’s inherent territory, and our necessary construction on the islands is reasonable, justified and lawful,” Wu said.

Related: China to Close Part of South China Sea for Military Exercise – ABC News Hainan’s maritime administration said an area southeast of the island province would be closed from Monday to Thursday, but gave no details about the nature of the exercises. The navy and Defense Ministry had no immediate comment.

Related: China Begins Air Patrols Over Disputed Area of the South China Sea – The New York Times China’s air force flew a “combat air patrol” over the South China Sea “recently,” Xinhua, the official news agency, reported, citing Shen Jinke, an air force spokesman. The patrol consisted of bombers, fighters, “scouts” and tankers and would become “regular practice,” Mr. Shen said, according to Xinhua. The announcement of the air patrols, plus a separate statement that China would conduct military exercises in the South China Sea off the coast of Hainan Island, came as Adm. John M. Richardson, the chief of United States naval operations, was in Beijing to discuss the South China Sea and other issues that arose after the tribunal rebuked China’s claims over the waters on July 12. //[视频]中国空军赴南海常态化战斗巡航CCTV节目官网-CCTV-1央视网(cctv.com) CCTV Evening News Monday on the PLAAF flights in South China Sea, says will become routine

Related: 中国不接受南海仲裁案裁决具有法理正当性 -军报记者 来源:解放军报作者:党校理论体系研究中心

Related: Senior military officer urges combat preparedness – Xinhua Fan Changlong, vice chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC), has called for troops to be ready for combat and for improvements to equipment and logistical preparation. Fan made the remarks, which were carried in a statement released on Tuesday, in an recent inspection tour of the Southern Theater Command. Officers and soldiers need to be aware of current threats to China’s sovereignty, security and interests, he said, urging the military to research combat methods and strategies pertinent to different situations and foster special forces reserved for key missions and scenarios. // 范长龙:不断深化海上方向军事斗争准备

Related: Can China Enforce a South China Sea ADIZ? – USNI News Taken together, these developments would appear to indicate that, should China declare a South China Sea ADIZ, it is well on its way to being able to properly police and enforce it, unlike the case with its East China Sea equivalent. As noted by the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative, the development of new runways and air-defense capabilities appear to be part of a long-term anti-access strategy by China which “would see it establish effective control over the sea and airspace throughout the South China Sea.”

2. 新的历史起点上全面推进国防和军队建设的科学指南–军事–人民网  ——深入学习贯彻习主席国防和军队建设重要论述 中央军委政治工作部-关于贯彻新形势下军事战略方针。强国强军,战略先行。习主席着眼实现党和国家战略目标新要求,与时俱进创新军事战略指导。指出要有效履行新的历史时期军队使命任务,为全面建成小康社会、实现中华民族伟大复兴提供坚强保障;毫不动摇坚持积极防御战略思想,同时不断丰富和发展这一思想的内涵;将军事斗争准备基点放在打赢信息化局部战争上,突出海上军事斗争和军事斗争准备;加强现代战争作战指导,创新基本作战思想,实施信息主导、精打要害、联合制胜的体系作战,发挥人民战争的整体威力;优化军事战略布局,构建全局统筹、分区负责,相互策应、互为一体的战略部署和军事布势,等等。这进一步丰富发展了积极防御战略方针的时代内涵,确立起新形势下统揽军事力量建设和运用的总纲。

3. KFC Targeted in Protests Over South China Sea – The New York Times “As Chinese people, our hearts are tied up with the country’s fate, exposing the injustice behind the ‘South China Sea arbitration farce’ is the embodiment of patriotic feeling,” Xinhua, the state news service, said on Tuesday. “But if that feeling leads to illegal behavior that destroys social order, then it’s mistaken to label it ‘patriotic.’ ” The state-run newspaper China Daily warned that such protests would also harm Chinese citizens. Many “foreign-funded enterprises in China, such as KFC, have been localized and mostly employ local people and purchase raw materials from China,” it said. // Disturbing Miaopai video via Weibo  of one protest where there crowd berates the police taking down the banners, almost physically attack the police. the police look to have been extricated by someone more senior in plainclothes…so much anger, so much danger from any protests

Related: 人民日报谈抵制肯德基:爱国不是“糊涂的爱” 在地球已成“村”的今天,爱国决不是抱团封闭、一叶障目,而是开放包容、宽厚自信。今天的中国,已进入与世界深度互动阶段。中国是现行国际体系的参与者、建设者、贡献者,同时也是受益者。以世界眼光审时度势,在全球范围谋篇布局,是走上世界舞台的中国必然的选择。“把弘扬爱国主义精神与扩大对外开放结合进来……善于从不同文明中寻求智慧、汲取营养,增强中华文明生机活力”,习近平总书记的论述告诉我们,大国心态既是捍卫自身利益和尊严的坚定和果敢,也是微笑着拥抱世界的从容和自信;既是弘扬民族文化和价值观的矢志不渝,也是兼收并蓄各国文化的海纳百川。

Related: 多地抵制肯德基 “爱国”还是炒作?国内新京报网 据媒体报道,近期包括湖南长沙、郴州,浙江杭州、浦江,江苏扬州、连云港、泗洪,山东临沂、安徽滁州、广德、宁国等地,全国至少11个地方发生了抵制肯德基事件。警方表示爱国可以,但不允许做出过激行为,这样不能提升爱国认知,反而助长了社会暴戾气氛。

Related: The “next level smearing” of Chinese patriotism: a view from the Communist Youth League | southseaconversations 讨论南海 While the Global Times hailed the “new wave of patriotism,” it was clear that, like in 2001, the party-state did not want real-world demonstrations. Municipal and university authorities were reportedly instructed to stay vigilantly on guard against potential mass gatherings. Nor, it seems, was online warmongering particularly desirable from the party’s perspective, with extreme nationalist Weibos encountering censorship. An article published on the Communist Youth League’s Weibo, illuminates some of the reasoning behind this desire to keep the patriotic outbursts relatively mild. It argues that much of the extreme nationalist outbursts are in fact “next-level smearing” (高级黑, gaojihei below) of China’s good patriots by anti-party elements posing as extreme nationalists.

Related:  China’s citizens are livid about the South China Sea ruling because of what they’re taught in government schools — Quartz Other official textbooks have also played a part in asserting China’s South China Sea claims. “The Rich Xisha [Paracel] Islands,” an article in People’s Education Press’s Chinese textbook for 9-year-olds said that the islands, which are also claimed by Vietnam, are “our country’s coast defense outpost” with “beautiful scenery” and “rich natural resources.” On the islands, “sea turtles are turned upside-down by fishermen, with their four legs in the air—there’s no way to escape,” the article said, describing how they’re caught. “The rich Xisha Islands are the place where we have lived generation to generation,” it concludes. “With the development of our motherland’s construction, the lovely Xisha Islands will definitely become more beautiful and richer.”  //  my kids studied this chapter when they were in third grade in Beijing

Related:  海军霸气宣言:别在我家门口惹事新闻腾讯网 海军发布霸气MV《别在我家门口惹事》,不但歌词雄壮,视频中还有大量罕见的解放军海军实战演习镜头,看得人热血沸腾。 //  PLAN puts out a music video after tribunal decision, “Don’t cause trouble in front of our house”…no doubt further stirring the loins of online patriots

4. Xi invokes spirit of ‘new Long March’ to reach Communist Party goals | South China Morning Post The trip was seen by analysts as an attempt to bolster his image as an inheritor of the party’s legacy. Xi carried out an inspection tour in Ningxia on Monday and visited a memorial hall where the three main Red Army forces converged in October 1936, marking the end of the Long March. // full propaganda rollout not yet underway // some pics of his visit from Xinhua http://news.xinhuanet.com/politics/2016-07/19/c_1119239676.htm

Related: 习近平:中华民族能量积蓄太久了,要爆发出来实现伟大中国梦中南海澎湃新闻-The Paper scenes from Xi’s Ningxia inspection tour, including to a visit to a mosque

5. China to hold Party officials accountable for poor leadership – Xinhua The new regulation, summing up the existing Party rules and stressing strictly governing the Party, further clarified the subjects, situations and punishments in the accountability mechanism. For instance, the Party will hold officials and party organizations accountable for failing to implement Party guidelines and policies; failure to discipline subordinates or identify and address loopholes in Party management; or corruption in their own departments. Leading officials will face punishment according to the severity of their wrongdoings, such as being named and shamed within certain ranks, receiving oral or written warnings, being suspended from their posts, transferred, forced to resign, demotion or dismissal. They are also subject to punishment for violating party discipline. // the new regs: 中国共产党问责条例  and a helpful infographic explainer from the CCDI一图读懂《中国共产党问责条例》 Looks to be another attempt to create a lever to not only enforce ideological conformity but also force compliance with policies coming out of Beijing

Related: 王岐山同志在《人民日报》发表署名文章:用担当的行动诠释对党和人民的忠诚—中央纪委监察部网站 中央巡视省区市、中央部委和中央企事业单位党组织,发现的一个突出问题就是贯彻党的路线方针政策不坚决、不全面、不到位,以官僚主义、形式主义的错误方式应对。有的以会议贯彻会议、以文件落实文件,更有甚者索性把党中央决策部署变成标语和口号、不贯彻不落实,有的贯彻执行不力,有的在贯彻中走样。群众听到党中央为民务实的政策无不为之高兴,但由于有的领导干部不担当不尽责,致使党的好政策得不到落实,人民群众就没有获得感。同党中央保持高度一致,不仅要听表态、更要见行动,看是否把中央精神同本地区本部门本单位实际紧密联系起来,实事求是、求真务实,见诸行动、落到实处。全面从严治党必须坚持问题导向,以强有力的问责督促责任落实,维护党中央集中统一领导,确保中央政令畅通。

6. Liberal Chinese Journal’s Purged Editors Declare Publication Dissolved – The New York Times “From now on, if any periodical comes out with the name Yanhuang Chunqiu, it has nothing to do with us,” reads the statement, released on Sunday. The announcement comes after the dismissal last week of Yanhuang Chunqiu’s founding publisher, Du Daozheng, and the demotion of its chief editor by its sponsoring institution, the Chinese National Academy of Arts, which is affiliated with the Ministry of Culture. The academy also assigned four of its own staff members to important editorial positions.

Related: The Death of a Liberal Chinese Magazine | The Diplomat One of the seven taboo issues listed in an internal party document called Document No 9 was “historical nihilism” — which effectively bans any versions of history other than the official one. A senior official at the Central Party School this month railed against “historical nihilism,” quoting Xi as having said that “hostile forces” like to use historical issues to “attack, smear and slander” the country. Public discussion and publication on the dark side of party history such as the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976), the anti-rightist movement in 1957 that sent intellectuals to hard labor, and the Great Famine (1958-1961)  remain mostly banned in China, but Yanhuang Chunqiu repeatedly carried articles on historical issues like these, believing that reflections on past mistakes would help steer the country back on the reformist path. “I feel very hurt and sad.  In the past 25 years, my friends and I were just trying to do something good for the party and the country,” said Du despondently. “We’ve tried our best and have a clear conscience… but I can’t do much any more.” Du and several editors at the journal believe that the order to force new management on Yanhuang Chunqiu was a well-planned, coordinated effort by several government organs that has the endorsement of high-ranking authorities. // I don’t buy the idea that the shutdown the result of “factional infighting”; the crackdown on “historical nihilism” is coming straight from the top

7. Follow the Money » China’s Asymmetric Basket Peg The reason why the renminbi is down against all the major currencies, obviously, is that managing the renminbi “with reference to a basket” hasn’t meant targeting stability against a basket. As the chart above illustrates, over the last seven months the renminbi has slowly depreciated against the CFETS basket. The renminbi has now depreciated by about 5 percent against the CFETS basket since last December, and by about 10 percent since last summer. How? No doubt there are many tricks up the PBOC’s sleeve. But one is straightforward. When the dollar goes down, China hasn’t appreciated its currency by all that much against the dollar. And when the dollar goes up, China has depreciated against the dollar in a way that is consistent with management “with reference to a basket.”

Related: China state banks sharply push up yuan after key level breached | Reuters The yuan slipped below 6.7 per dollar for the first time since late 2010 on Monday after state-bank support tapered off, but on Tuesday they appeared more persistent.

Related: Brexit upsides, RMB devaluation edition | FT Alphaville Upsides for whom, you ask? For Chinese policymakers, we respond. As do Deutsche Bank: More subtly, Brexit indirectly helped reduce concerns of a ‘risk off’ shock from China thanks to the stealthy RMB devaluation around the UK vote. This has confirmed a new-found market tolerance of China currency slippage, at least when it looks controlled by policymakers.

8. The Remarkable Forgotten Life of H. T. Tsiang – The New Yorker This piece is adapted from “A Floating Chinaman: Fantasy and Failure across the Pacific,” recently published by Harvard University Press

AnchorBUSINESS, ECONOMY AND TRADE *

Inbound Investment from ASEAN Drops 57 Pct. to 1.87 Bln Yuan in June-Caixin Foreign direct investment from ASEAN fell 57 percent year on year to 1.87 billion yuan in June, the commerce ministry said on July 19. This decline is normal and is not necessarily related to the South China Sea disputes, said Shen Danyang, the ministry spokesperson. Rival territorial claims over several islands in the region, between China and a few southeastern Asian countries including the Philippines and Vietnam remain unresolved.

United States Expands Its Challenge to China’s Export Restraints on Key Raw Materials | United States Trade Representative U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman announced today that the United States has expanded its challenge at the World Trade Organization (WTO) concerning China’s export restraints on raw materials.  On July 13, the United States requested consultations with the People’s Republic of China regarding its export duties on nine different raw materials.  Today, the United States has supplemented that request to include China’s export duties on chromium, as well as China’s export quotas on antimony, indium, magnesia, talc, and tin.

China Faces Third EU Complaint at WTO Over Raw-Material Curbs – Bloomberg The European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, complained to the WTO about Chinese export duties and export quotas on 11 raw materials. They are graphite, cobalt, copper, lead, chromium, magnesia, talcum, tantalum, tin, antimony and indium.

America wants to believe China can’t innovate. Tech tells a different story. – The Washington Post Outsiders tend to know one thing about China’s Internet: It’s blocked — no Facebook, Twitter or Google. They imagine a country languishing behind a digital Iron Curtain, waiting, frozen in time, for the fall of the Web’s Berlin Wall. The United States wants to believe that the scourge of censorship thwarts online innovation, but China is challenging the idea in ways that frighten and confound.

Chinese Venture Fundraising at Three-Year Low as Startups Hurt – Bloomberg “We’re seeing some distress for startups especially among the smaller, younger unicorns,” said Jarod Ji, an analyst at Zero2IPO, an influential Beijing-based research firm that tracks the VC and private-equity industries. “Most of these companies aren’t profitable, and investors are getting increasingly wary of their burn rates.”

Can Financial Unit Shuffling Stem SOE Red Ink?-Caixin An increasing number of state-owned enterprises are trying to inject profitable financial service subsidiaries into money-losing, publicly listed entities – a strategy that’s raised eyebrows in Beijing as a possible setback for the government’s ongoing SOE reform efforts. Based on a Caixin analysis of state media reports and company documents, at least six companies in the steel, mining and shipbuilding industries announced plans to acquire financial assets from state-backed parents between January and July.

Grains Giant COFCO Swallows Up Textile Trader Chinatex-Caixin A new merger between COFCO Corp. and another state-owned food and agricultural products supplier will help China’s largest foodstuffs conglomerate secure its slice of the global and domestic edible oil processing and cotton markets, COFCO said. COFCO’s merger with Chinatex is part of a broader effort by Beijing to consolidate various sectors, from railroad builders to agricultural products and steel makers, to reduce excess capacity and overheated competition, and produce a handful of players with the skills and scale to compete globally.

Baoneng’s hostile bid for China Vanke threatened by margin calls — FT.com the fall in Vanke’s share price could force Baoneng — which currently owns 25 per cent of Vanke and is the developer’s largest shareholder — to dump some of its holding in order to repay the debt it used to acquire them.  Baoneng has used bank loans and sales of high-yielding wealth management products by its life insurance unit to acquire its Vanke stake. Last month, Huang Qifan, the powerful mayor of China’s largest city, called for the government to examine how privately owned Baoneng raised the funds.

AnchorPOLITICS AND LAW *

China Leadership Monitor | Hoover Institution Tuesday, July 19, 2016 Summer 2016: Issue 50

The Mea Culpa Machine — China Media Project — Medium we should find it perplexing that Hong Kong’s English-language South China Morning Post has attributed to a unnamed “staff reporter” a July 11 report based on an exclusive phone interview with Zhao Wei (赵威), a young legal assistant detained on July 9, 2015, and held incommunicado ever since…It’s my understanding from people at the Post that senior brass have also refused to explain to their own journalists exactly how the “interview” was arranged. This raises very serious questions about the newspaper’s commitment to editorial independence just seven months after its new owner, Alibaba chairman Jack Ma, responded to concerns with a simple, “Trust us.”

After Four Detainees of the ‘709 Incident’ Are Indicted, Chinese State Media Name Foreign News Organizations, a US Congressman, & Three Embassies in Beijing as ‘Foreign Anti-China Forces’ « China Change “Journalists with the Associated Press and the German public TV Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen that reported on the Fengrui Law Firm.” This assertion is based on photos posted on Fengrui’s website and by its Weibo account;    “The famous anti-China American Congressman Chris Smith.” According to the article, Smith strongly condemned the arrest of rights lawyers, “but in a slip of the tongue acknowledged that he had met with some of the detained lawyers.” “Smith is a 100% anti-China old hand, and has appeared in many anti-China events in the U. S. from 2006 to 2014.”

Managing the Power Within: China’s State Security Commission-Peter Mattis & Samantha Hoffman The absence of the CSSC and its membership list from public media coverage should not lead to an assumption that it does not exist. This is arguably another sign that its purpose is domestic. The appropriate analog to the CSSC within the Chinese system is not the Central Military Commission, as one analyst suggested, but rather the leading small groups—informal bodies that advise on policy  and supervise policy implementation. These groups have fluctuated in importance for setting the overall direction and guidance for policy, but they possess a degree of informality and few if any official lists exist of present or past membership. In the Third Plenum report, the CSSC’s purpose was described as “improving the state security system and state security strategy” and appeared in the section on reshaping social governance. Relatedly, anything involving domestic security and intelligence operations rarely appears in the official Chinese media. The Central Political-Legal Committee (CPLC), which controls the domestic security and intelligence agencies, maintains a low public profile

Documents from reformist icon Zhao Ziyang give rare insight into China at crossroads | South China Morning Post A Hong Kong publisher will release hundreds of documents about Zhao Ziyang, the late reformist icon of the Communist Party, shedding new light on China’s stillborn democratic movement of the 1980s. Most of the documents have never been made public, according to Chinese University Press, which is publishing the four-volume Collected Works of Zhao Ziyang, 1980 – 1989 on Wednesday. The books gather more than 2,000 pages of his internal speeches and letters.

陈锦华遗体火化 习近平江泽民胡锦涛表示哀悼_凤凰资讯 陈锦华同志因病于2016年7月2日15时56分在北京逝世,享年87岁。 陈锦华同志病重期间和逝世后,习近平、李克强、张德江、俞正声、刘云山、王岐山、张高丽、江泽民、胡锦涛等同志,前往医院看望或通过各种形式对陈锦华同志逝世表示沉痛哀悼并向其亲属表示深切慰问。 // notable turnout for Chen Jinhua’s funeral. all 7 PBSC’ers + Hu jintao. Jiang zemin sent flowers

Central authorities require study of CPC history – Xinhua | English.news.cn The organization department, publicity department and Party history research office of the CPC Central Committee along with the Ministry of Education jointly issued a circular, calling for the detailed study of a new book on the Party’s history to foster love of the Party and the country. The book, which profiles the CPC’s history between 1921 and 2012, was published ahead of the CPC’s 95th founding anniversary this year. // 中央组织部、中央宣传部、中央党史研究室、教育部联合发出《关于认真组织学习宣传〈中国共产党的九十年〉的通知》 

“Political Star” Rises to Cyber Chief — China Media Project — Medium Xu Lin (徐麟), a deputy director at the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) since June last year and formerly propaganda chief of Shanghai, will take over from Lu Wei (鲁炜) — the high-profile cyber chief who famously met with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg during a visit to the US in 2014 — as head of the powerful internet control and regulatory body. The official release from Xinhua was brief, announcing the news without explanation or context before providing a bulleted list of Xu Lin’s past assignments: “Comrade Xu Lin will serve as director of the Office of the Central Leading Group for Cyberspace Affairs; Comrade Lu Wei will no longer serve as director of the Office of the Central Leading Group for Cyberspace Affairs.”

Man or Machine? Seeking Truth in Chinese Politics-War on theRocksPeter Mattis This will be the first of a three-part series on Chinese politics. To kick off the series, I explain what is wrong with the assumptions underpinning much of today’s analysis of China’s political system. The second article will examine Xi Jinping the politician. The third and final article will highlight some of the key factors and issues that underpin how to understand Chinese elite politics. Chinese policy cannot be fully understood without reference to the people and process through which it was created. If Washington intends to shape China’s rise, then U.S. policymakers need to know how that system functions.

China’s Communist Party reaches out to ‘new social class’ of young managers, returned students and new media workers | South China Morning Post The Chinese Communist Party’s united front work department has established a new bureau targeting a “new social class” of younger in the private economy, students returning after studying abroad and those working in new media. The new bureau will be the eighth at the department that deals with issues outside the party such political parties; ethnic and religious issues: Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan affairs; Tibet affairs

AnchorFOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS *

Vietnam Rebukes China for ‘Untruthful’ Reports on Sea Ruling – Bloomberg Vietnam criticized as “untruthful” Chinese state media reports that Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc respected his Communist neighbor’s position on last week’s landmark South China Sea ruling and was interested in advancing two-way talks on the disputed waterway.

Vietnam TV station drops Chinese drama over South China Sea dispute | Reuters “Due to some objective reasons related to several Chinese actors criticising the court’s ruling on the nine-dash line and to show clear views of a mouthpiece under the Communist Party and the State, Binh Thuan TV announces the suspension of broadcasting of ‘Shanghai Bund’,” a station anchor said in a video posted by media. “Shanghai Bund” is a Chinese television series remake of the 1980 Hong Kong television series “The Bund”, starring Huang Xiaoming, who voiced support for Beijing’s claims. Binh Thuan TV is a state-run station based in the southern province of the same name.

Top Trump adviser: News Corp bashes him due to commercial interest in China | US news | The Guardian Peter Navarro, an economics professor and adviser to the businessman, told the Guardian that Murdoch’s media empire, News Corp, should be more supportive of the Republican nominee-in-waiting. They represent red-blooded American conservatism. Yet the only thing that seems off-limits to them is China. They should be all over China for its economic and military aggression. But they’re not. Either Rupert is pulling the strings or it’s self-censorship.”

Republican Party takes tougher stance on China than in 2012 | AP The Republican Party’s new policy platform takes stock of four years of change in China, and its assessment is not pretty. China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea are “preposterous.” Ethnic minorities face “cultural genocide.” The cult of founding Communist leader Mao Zedong is said to be coming back. The platform, which covers a wide range of U.S. domestic and foreign policies, was adopted at this week’s Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, that is set to anoint New York billionaire Donald Trump as the party’s candidate in November’s presidential election against presumptive Democratic contender, Hillary Clinton.

美国,“乱象痴迷征”可以休矣(钟声)_网易新闻 处理国内事务时,华盛顿尚未失去理性。“乱象综合征”背后,是美国当政者面对复杂社会矛盾的困窘无奈,以及党派利益至上带来的患得患失和懒政不为。 然而,具体到国际关系领域,华盛顿是否还有足够的理性,恐怕就很难说了。尽管美国仍是世界头号强国,但其维护霸主地位的实力明显减弱,这是尽人皆知的事实。美国的决策者非但没有及时调整心态,反而心浮气躁地到处挑起事端、制造混乱,自以为靠浑水摸鱼这种小伎俩就能掌控世界。用“乱象痴迷征”来描述美国的病态外交,实在是再恰当不过了。

Panning for Gold: Assessing Chinese Maritime Strategy from Primary Sources | Andrew S. Erickson Mandatory reading for all serious students of Chinese maritime strategy and Chinese-language open source scholarship! Ryan D. Martinson, “Panning for Gold: Assessing Chinese Maritime Strategy from Primary Sources,” Naval War College Review 69.3 (Summer 2016): 23-44.

An Unfinished Bridge, and Partnership, Between Russia and China – The New York Times Chinese criticism has stung Russian pride. In a recent interview with a local television station, Dmitri Astafyev, the head of Rubicon, a state-controlled company supervising the project, urged China to curb its criticism. “We’re being criticized because our partners in China have built two kilometers already while we’re not able to build as little as 309 meters,” Mr. Astafyev said. “While the Chinese are, of course, talented, they have, for starters, built the easy part,” he said. “But the key point is the following: They say they’ve built the bridge. Good. But it’s not suitable for traffic.”

西方“宪政民主”怎么了?- ——对“黑夜站立”“民主之春”运动的分析 2016年07月11日 09:12:36 来源:《红旗文稿》2016/13  作者:汪亭友 2016年3月底4月初,在资本主义最发达的法国和美国,接连爆发了“黑夜站立”“民主之春”抗议示威活动。成千上万的民众涌向街头,向政府和社会表达自己的不满和愤怒。法国和美国向来以西方“民主典范”著称,历史上法国《人权宣言》《美国宪法》以及以此为基础构建的“宪政民主”,成为西方世界津津乐道并大肆向全球推广的“普世价值”。国内外鼓吹者宣扬西方“宪政民主”能保护公民的自由平等权利,保障言论与新闻自由,保障选举民主与司法独立等等。然而此次“黑夜站立”“民主之春”运动揭露的种种问题,使人们有理由去质疑西式自由、平等和“选举民主”的真实性,有理由去批评所谓“宪政民主”的虚伪性。

China’s Blueprint for Sea Power | The Jamestown Foundation – Andrew Erickson Analyzed in juxtaposition over time, and compared against specific empirical manifestations of Beijing’s burgeoning efforts in the maritime domain, China’s major doctrinal publications and public statements reveal a sea change in strategic priorities and emerging capabilities to further them. China retains an incremental approach, in keeping with a disciplined hierarchy of national security priorities, but this layered development is already making major outward-radiating waves as the Middle Kingdom turns increasingly seaward as a hybrid land-sea great power. Whether viewed deductively from strategic intentions, or inductively from development, operational, and tactical actions, China’s increasingly-modernized and -integrated maritime forces—centered on the PLAN—are pursuing a two-fold effort: intensive “near seas active defense” of outstanding island and maritime claims on China’s maritime periphery, coupled with “far seas protection” of more diffuse, diverse interests beyond.

John Lewis & Xue Litai-China’s security agenda transcends the South China Sea – Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists – Volume 72, Issue 4 Recently available internal documents involving China’s leader reveal his views about war, the importance of oceans in protecting and rejuvenating the nation, and the motives underlying his moves in the South China Sea. Central to those motives is China’s rivalry with the United States and the grand strategy needed to determine its outcome. To this end, Xi created five externally oriented and proactive military theater commands, one of which would protect newly built assets in the South China Sea and the sea lanes – sometimes referred to as the Maritime Silk Road – that pass through this sea to Eurasia and beyond. Simultaneously, China’s actions in the Spratlys complicated and worsened the US-China rivalry, and security communities in both countries recognized that these actions could erupt into armed crises – despite decades of engagement to prevent them. A permanent problem-solving mechanism may allow the two countries to move toward a positive shared future.

Hans M. Kristensen & Robert S. Norris-Chinese nuclear forces, 2016 – Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists – Volume 72, Issue 4 The modernization of China’s land-based nuclear-capable missile force has progressed significantly over the past year, with Beijing fielding a new version of an existing nuclear missile and a new dual-capable missile. The country has also reorganized its nuclear missile command structure. The authors estimate that, in total, China has a stockpile of approximately 260 nuclear warheads for delivery by nearly 150 land-based ballistic missiles, 48 sea-based ballistic missiles, and bombers. The Chinese intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) force will probably continue to grow slowly, such that the number of ICBM warheads primarily targeted against the United States may exceed 100 a decade from now. Although there is no sign that the Chinese government has officially diverted from its no-first-use nuclear policy, its modernization program is adding significant new capabilities. These qualitative improvements may in turn alter Chinese nuclear policy and strategy.

AnchorHONG KONG, MACAO AND TAIWAN *

Sorry for Having Insulted China? Here’s Your Chance to Apologize – The New York Times Chinese leaders have often accused those who disagree with them of “hurting the feelings of 1.3 billion Chinese.” Getting into the spirit, Taiwanese and Hong Kongers are responding enthusiastically to a satirical Facebook page calling on them to say “sorry” to China. Sorry for anything, and everything. The reasons for contrition so far have included living under a blue sky (China’s skies are chronically polluted); eating clean food (food safety is a major challenge in China); and locking the door when using the toilet (not always done on the mainland).

Chinese Weibo users strike back with ‘Apologise to Taiwan Province’ competition: Shanghaiist With Taiwanese Facebook users satirically begging for the mainland’s forgiveness in a viral competition called the “First Annual ‘Apologise To China’ Contest,” Chinese netizens have responded in kind… With the #First Annual ‘Apologise to Taiwan Province’ Competition# on Weibo. No VPN needed here, folks. Most user comments referred to China as “father” and Taiwan as “wanwan” or “son.” They tended to focus on cultural differences between the two sides of the strait.

26 people, including 24 mainland Chinese, killed in tour bus blaze in Taiwan | South China Morning Post The front section of the bus, carrying tourists from Liaoning province, was ablaze before it rammed into a crash barrier on the island’s No 2 highway, just minutes away from Taoyuan International Airport, police said.

AnchorTECH AND MEDIA *

Baidu under investigation for advertising gambling – Xinhua Baidu seems to be really in the cross hairs. Wonder who they upset //  The CAC Beijing branch is responsible for the probe, said a spokesperson of the CAC, the country’s cyberspace regulator. Reports this week revealed that Baidu returned search results that included ads for gambling websites in its commercial section. The report also said that the names and information of some legal entities had been appropriated to make the gambling websites appear to be verified companies. It was not disclosed whether Baidu knowingly allowed such practice.

China Wants More Media Giants | Variety China’s media regulator Monday called for the country to accelerate the growth of competitive media conglomerates. The State Administration of Press Publication, Radio, Film and Television said that the integration of different media “falls short of central authorities’ requirement and public expectation,” and set a target of 2020 for improvement, reported state news agency Xinhua.

China to Overtake U.S. as World’s Biggest Movie Market? Not So Fast – WSJ The first six months of the year has seen a deceleration in Chinese box-office sales as the economy cools, a change that can partly be explained by the rarity of sharply discounted movie tickets that were common a year ago. Deep ticket discounts by online platforms fighting for a foothold helped drive up growth in box-office receipts last year to a staggering 50%, compared with the previous year. But the frenzy has wound down this year as some major players have established relatively stable market share.

Major Baidu shareholder challenges sale of iQiyi to chairman Robin Li | South China Morning Post New York hedge fund Acacia says in open letter the purchase of China’s leading online video subsidiary, not in shareholders’ interests

新论:“手机直播”如何赢得风口–评论-人民网 当前的手机直播,只是一个初级形态。及早规范,不仅是为了行业自身的健康发展,也是在呵护社会发展一种新的可能性。直播要想成为更主流的信息共享和传播工具,就必须坚持新的发展理念,真正管理好内容,杜绝一切违规违法行为和低俗内容,让直播助力美好分享。只有坚持走绿色发展之路,直播行业才能捍卫未来的想象空间,赢得一个更大的发展风口。 (作者为映客直播创始人)

An internet merger that China bears should watch — FT.com The deal is significant, too, because it underscores the progress China has made in protecting intellectual property rights. Mr Xie started his professional life as an intellectual property lawyer. He says he spent seven years in painstakingly acquiring the copyright to the music that is the lifeblood of his business. CMC has brought thousands of lawsuits, despite the low compensation such suits bring. But it was only in the last few years that enforcement of such rights became meaningful.

AnchorSOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY *

China strives to become leader in world of archeology-USA Today Over the past three decades, China has spent billions of dollars creating a massive pool of well-educated, well-equipped, state-employed archaeologists. According to foreign experts, they now are as good as archaeologists from more experienced nations such as the United States, United Kingdom and Germany. But there is one problem: They only know about China. The communist country has no experts with first-hand knowledge of other ancient civilizations in Egypt, Mesopotamia or India. Part of sending mainland archaeologists overseas is an attempt to remedy this.

China’s Christian Future by Yu Jie | Articles | First Things God let me live to witness and testify for him through writing. And for the 1.4 billion souls in my homeland, I shall continue. I do so in great hope. A growing faith in Christ, strengthened by the bonds of fellowship in church life, is breathing new life into my country. Neither the dead hand of Communism, nor the cynical imitation of Confucianism, nor capitalism, nor democracy, nor any earthly thing will determine the fate of my land. Christianity is China’s future. Yu Jie is a Chinese writer and dissident.

There are more than 20 million Muslims in China. For some, piety is a dangerous political act. – Vox why, then, is an act that’s private and religious in Xi’an or Beijing viewed in Xinjiang as public, political, and dangerous? The answer is that for Xinjiang’s Muslim residents, who are deeply resentful about rule from Beijing, religious piety is increasingly a signal of resistance to Chinese domination. And even when it isn’t, local Chinese officials will treat it as if it is anyway.

‘Oil and Water: Being Han in Xinjiang’, by Tom Cliff — FT.com in the 1950s, China’s party-state began sending Han workers and soldiers to Xinjiang, in the country’s far north-west, where they were instructed to build the Chinese nation. In Oil and Water, anthropologist Tom Cliff uses a blend of personal histories, theory and photography to detail the lives and ambitions of the settlers. Cliff argues that, in the eyes of the Chinese state, Xinjiang’s problems are not a function of insufficient support and understanding for the local populations. Rather, they are a function of insufficient numbers of Han migrants, who are seen as bringing positive cultural change to the region — in other words, making it more like the rest of China. Cliff focuses on the city of Korla, a Han outpost in central Xinjiang // the book on Amazon 

AnchorAGRICULTURE AND RURAL ISSUES *

Returnee’s Rabbit Business Breeds Frustration, Resentment | Sixth Tone Data from China’s agricultural ministry show that in the five-year period from 2010 to 2015, more than 4.5 million migrant workers — or 2 percent of an estimated 277 million total — returned to their rural homes to start businesses. Similarly, data from the ministry of civil affairs show that in 2015 about 1 percent of China’s 7.5 million university graduates that year chose to join the ranks of entrepreneurs in their rural homes.

This Ex-NASA Scientist Is Using Big Data To Raise Yields On China’s Small Farmlands – TechNode “Compared with the U.S., China’s farm fields are more scattered in nature. For example, the total land for each farmer in the U.S. is around hundreds or thousands of acres, it’s large but it’s relatively easy to manage because it’s usually one piece of big land.” “But in China, a farm is divided into hundreds of blocks. The first thing we have to do is to define the boundaries of numerous small blocks and to evaluate the land metrics of each one.” Zhang Gong, founder and CEO of Gago, said to TechNode.

 

Follow me on Twitter @niubi for updates between newsletters

Send comments/tips/complaints to [email protected]

If you like Sinocism please spread the word using this link.

And if you really like Sinocism, feel free to donate some money, with Bitcoin or a credit card. Thanks.

Subscribe to the Free Sinocism China Newsletter! Enter Your Email In The Box Below And Start Getting Smarter About China.