The Sinocism China Newsletter 11.08.16

Restarting after a hiatus is always hard because I missed so much.

This latest break occurred because of frustration over continuing to produce the newsletter without earning any meaningful financial benefit. I have yet to find an interesting business model for the newsletter, several combination conversations with media firms over the last few years have demonstrated they see very little value in the newsletter beyond paying a low salary, the number of people willing to pay a reasonable monthly subscription to support a general China newsletter does not appear to large enough to support a full-time effort, and voluntary support has dried up in spite of calls at the bottom of every newsletter. So apologies but the newsletter is now a sporadic hobby I will do when I have the time and inclination, and it will remain that way barring some business model breakthrough. I still use Twitter daily to share China news so you can always stay in touch by following me @niubi.

The topic du jour is of course the election. Regardless of the winner, the process has been so ugly and so divorced from the truth that the CCP democracy-discrediting propaganda almost writes itself, and in some instances may contain more truth than reports on Breitbart or Fox News.

The biggest news during the recent hiatus was the declaration of Xi Jinping as the core (以习近平同志为核心的党中央) of the leadership at the 6th Plenum of the 18th Party Congress. Among the ocean of reporting and punditry about the Plenum and the core designation, the two reports I recommend are Chris Johnson and Scott Kennedy’s Now China’s “Core” Leader, Xi Jinping Looks to Dominate Leadership Shuffle and Chris Buckley’s Xi Jinping Is China’s ‘Core’ Leader: Here’s What It Means. And of course you should read the original documents issued by the CCP, listed below in the Essential Eight section.

My take is that the core designation is a very big deal as it sends a crystal clear signal to every Communist Party member that Xi is in charge and that opposing Xi is opposing the Party, and that not implementing policies coming from the Party Center is opposing Xi.

Xi’s role in the 2015 parade commemorating the World War II victory had a similar signaling effect to the military. The most important thing about that parade in my view was the clear message to the PLA leadership and rank and file that Xi was in charge. Since the parade you have seen a deepening corruption crackdown inside the PLA and and the launch of the most ambitious and difficult military reforms in decades.

PRC officials tend to be cautious, and when you combine the core designation with the CCDI’s corruption, discipline and ideological crackdowns, the corruption investigations that have severely limited the influence of key elders Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao, Xi’s control over the sources of hard power (see this summer 2014 Sinocism post The Corruption Crackdown) as well as the political and bureaucratic evisceration of the the Communist Youth League, you would have to be a very bold, stupid and/or desperate cadre to think that “resisting” Xi is a good idea.

Collective leadership was also stressed in the Plenum Communique, leading to some commentary that the core concept really will not have a large impact. I guess that is how you define collective. To my mind, if everyone else in the leadership is either appointed or cowed by you, the CCDI crackdowns and your control over the security services and the military, you can run a “collective decision” process that ultimately delivers what you want.

The core designation should help Xi with personnel arrangements for the 19th Party Congress, officially scheduled for the second half of 2017. It should also improve policy implementation throughout the bureaucracy, though if your policies are incoherent better implementation will not necessarily improve things. As for the hopeful scenario still embraced by a dwindling few, that once Xi is fully secure in his position and his team then you will see a blossoming of reform and a relaxation of the increasing repression, I’d sure like to believe it but it is harder and harder to find any evidence that relatively positive scenario will happen. In the meantime, the Plenum documents signal an expanding, intensifying and increasingly institutionalized crackdown not just on corruption but also ideology and policy discipline.

Lots of things can of course happen between now and the 19th Party Congress next year. Remember, November 11 is the fifth anniversary of the murder of Neil Heywood, a crime that helped set in motion the political turmoil in the months ahead of the 2012 18th Party Congress. But at this moment in time I’d put money on Xi Jinping getting just almost everything he wants at the 19th Party Congress.

Go Hillary!

Today’s Links:

AnchorTHE ESSENTIAL EIGHT *

1. Commentary: No matter who wins, US presidential election reveals ‘ill’ democracy – People’s Daily Online no matter who wins this election, the next president-elect will face a true political conundrum. Meanwhile, the world will look on with concern, waiting to see whether the U.S. adopts a more cautious diplomatic policy or decides to make aggressive overtures. So what path will the U.S. choose? We shall wait and see. (The author Yuan Peng is vice president of the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations.) // CICIR is a Ministry of State Security think tank, so very influential

Related: Why Chinese Elites Endorse Hillary Clinton | Foreign Policy Trump’s policies would be softer on China, but the global instability he’d create as President would be bad for business in Beijing.

Related: 揭秘特朗普最大华裔助选团 组织集资全靠微信-新闻频道-手机搜狐 any PRC money going to trump campaign? Says this Wechat Trump support group fundraising group led by someone who can not vote because only a green card holder

2. Hong Kong Elected 2 Separatists. China Took Drastic Action. – The New York Times The two young activists who are testing that limit are advocates of independence for Hong Kong. While being sworn in, they made a statement of defiance against Chinese rule, using a crude obscenity and a term that many consider a slur against Chinese people. In acting against them, the government of President Xi Jinping has asserted new authority to set policy in Hong Kong, opening what could be a more chaotic era here, in which elected officials are held to a vague standard of political loyalty and blacklisted if they fall short.

Related: Hong Kong’s leader CY Leung is angling for a fight by a threatening to revive Article 23, a draconian anti-subversion law — Quartz Leung, who is deeply unpopular, evoked the specter once again of the dreaded “Article 23” of the Basic Law on Monday, a proposed bill that has haunted Hong Kong citizens for nearly two decades. The vaguely worded provision has been robustly rejected by Hong Kongers in the past, over fears it could lead to draconian laws similar to those used in mainland China to crush dissent and imprison political activists.

Related: Full text: Explanations on draft interpretation of Article 104 of Basic Law of Hong Kong SAR – Xinhua The Standing Committee of the twelfth National People’s Congress on Monday adopted the interpretation of Article 104 of the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China at its twenty-fourth Session. Following is the full text of the explanations on the draft interpretation.

Related: Chinese business leaders protest Hong Kong pro-democracy lawmakers | gbtimes.com Close to 100 Chinese business leaders have put their names to the cover of newspaper Sing Tao Daily in protest against two Hong Kong Legislative Council members’ advocacy of democracy. Tencent founder and president, Pony Ma, SF Express founder Wang Wei and Skyworth TV founder Huang Hongsheng were among the signatories calling for the removal of Liang Songheng (Sixtus “Baggio” Leung) and You Huizhen (Yau Wai-ching), ifeng reports.

3. ‘Unsupervised power is very dangerous’: China’s top graft-buster warns Communist Party’s 80 million members to toe the line | South China Morning Post Discipline tsar Wang Qishan tells party cadres to stay clean and vigilant in rare People’s Daily article // the original article 王岐山在人民日报撰文:不受监督的权力是极其危险的

Related: China to set up new anti-corruption body to oversee all public servants as it intensifies battle against graft | South China Morning Post China will set up a new anti-graft body to consolidate separate state agencies and oversee all public servants in the latest move to combat deep-rooted corruption in the country. Beijing and the provinces of Shanxi and Zhejiang will set up new supervision commissions as pilot programmes, according to a statement from the general offices of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, Xinhua reported late on Monday. The commissions will later be implemented nationwide, according to the statement.

Related: China to make supervision system more efficient – Xinhua Chinese authorities will conduct a pilot program in Beijing and the provinces of Shanxi and Zhejiang as part of efforts to make the current supervision system more authoritative and efficient, according to a statement published Monday.

Related: Xi spells out Party codes on stricter governance – Xinhua  Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, has stressed the imperativeness of regulating intra-Party political life and advancing supervision, calling the move “an important approach to promoting comprehensive and strict Party governance.” Xi made the remarks last week when explaining two related documents at the sixth plenary session of the 18th CPC Central Committee. Xi’s remarks and the two documents, namely the norms of political life in the Party under current conditions, and the regulation on intra-Party supervision, were publicized on Wednesday. The norms, in 12 parts, stress consolidating ideals and beliefs, keeping to the Party’s basic line, safeguarding the authority of the CPC Central Committee, and maintaining close ties with the people, among others. The regulation, which consists of eight chapters and 47 articles, aims to uphold the CPC’s leadership, strengthen Party building, promote the comprehensive and strict governance of the Party and maintain the Party’s status and purity.

Related: China’s Xi lashes out at political cliques, election fraud – Xinhua The top CPC leader pointed out the questionable faith and loyalty of some Party members, including senior ones. He cited a number of faults among such members, including lax discipline, detachment from the people, arbitrariness and inaction, acts of individualism, factionalism, money worshipping and violations linked to formalism, bureaucracy, hedonism and extravagance. Nepotism and election fraud have endured while some Party officials sold positions of power, and bartered positions, Xi said, adding that power abuse, corruption as well as legal and disciplinary violations have been spreading. In particular, a handful of senior Party officials, overcome by their political cravings and lust for power, have resorted to political conspiracies by working in ostensible obedience, while forming cliques to pursue selfish interests, he said. He went on to list Zhou Yongkang, Bo Xilai, Guo Boxiong, Xu Caihou and Ling Jihua as examples of such behaviour, citing both their economic and political misdeeds.

Related:  CPC publicizes documents on intra-Party political life, supervision – Xinhua  The two documents were introduced to supplement the layout of the CPC’s “Four Comprehensives,” a strategy to promote reform and opening up, refine the socialist modernization drive, as well as to adhere to and develop socialism with Chinese characteristics // 关于新形势下党内政治生活的若干准则(全文) and  中国共产党党内监督条例(全文)

Related:[视频]习近平就《关于新形势下党内政治生活的若干准则》和《中国共产党党内监督条例》作说明_CCTV节目官网-CCTV-CCTV evening news Wednesday reads Xi’s explainer on 6th Plenum documents

Related:New Communist Party rules call on top Chinese cadres to inform on each other | South China Morning Post New guidelines tighten party’s grip on members of Central Committee, and suggest blowing whistle on those who don’t toe the line

4. Provincial Party Shake-up Paves Way for Leadership Changes-Caixin and everyone promoted owes their good fortune to the core… //  Throughout China, provincial Communist Party officials have been shaking up the ranks of their powerful party committees in preparation for next year’s National Party Congress, which will elect the top party leadership and shape the country’s political and economic direction in the next five years. About half of the provincial party committees have changed standing committee members in October, while the party’s central committee also held a key session to endorse President Xi Jinping, who is also general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, as the “core” leader.

5. The coming clash with China over North Korea – The Washington Post – Josh Rogin Top Clinton foreign policy advisers have been open about their intention to apply to North Korea a version of the playbook the Obama administration used with Iran. They are promising to drastically increase sanctions on Pyongyang before sitting down at the table. They are also considering secondary sanctions on foreign firms that enable North Korea’s illicit industries, which means punishing Chinese companies keeping Kim’s nuclear and missile industries afloat. For the Chinese government, both of those ideas are seen as direct assaults on China’s primacy over an issue it considers a core interest. Rather than respond to the threat of sanctions by leaning on its client state, Beijing is more likely to buck Washington and fight back against the new policy.

Related: U.S. to deploy THAAD anti-missile battery in South Korea in 8-10 months: commander| Reuters And Beijing still hysterical about it. Any chance the ROK Presidential scandal will derail this?

Related: U.S. acts to block North Korea access to financial system | Reuters A Treasury Department order requires U.S. financial institutions “to apply additional due diligence measures to prevent North Korean financial institutions from gaining improper indirect access to U.S. correspondent accounts.” The move comes after the Treasury in June declared North Korea a “primary money laundering concern” and proposed the steps to further block its ability to use the U.S. and world financial systems to fund its weapons programs.

6. China Adopts Cybersecurity Law Despite Foreign Opposition – Bloomberg The Cyber Security Law was passed by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, China’s top legislature, and will take effect in June, government officials said Monday. Among other things, it requires internet operators to cooperate with investigations involving crime and national security, and imposes mandatory testing and certification of computer equipment. Companies must also give government investigators full access to their data if wrong-doing is suspected. // 2016年网络安全法

Related: Xinhua Insight: China adopts cybersecurity law to protect national security, citizens’ rights The government will take measures to “monitor, defend and handle cybersecurity risks and threats originating from within the country or overseas sources, protecting key information infrastructure from attack,intrusion, disturbance and damage,” the law states. Efforts will also be made to punish criminal activities online and safeguard the order and security of cyberspace. Individual users and organizations are not allowed to jeopardize security on the Internet or use it to “damage national security, honor and interests,” according to the provisions. Online activities that attempt to overthrow the socialist system, split the nation, undermine national unity, advocate terrorism and extremism are all prohibited, according to the provisions, which also forbid activities including inciting ethnic hatred, discrimination and spreading violence and obscene information.

7. Jeff Bader & Dennis Wilder: “How Should the New President Deal With China?” – YouTube the top two Asia advisors to the last two Presidents—Obama and Bush—visited the Paulson Institute to share their unique perspectives on the state of U.S.-China relations and how the next administration should work with China. Drawing on a deep well of experience, Jeff Bader and Dennis Wilder shared lessons learned from each of their tenures as National Security Council Senior Director for Asia (Bader in the Obama Administration, Wilder in the George W. Bush Administration). In a conversation moderated by Paulson Institute Vice Chairman Evan Feigenbaum, Bader and Wilder discuss a wide range of topics, including the fraying consensus on U.S. policy toward China, how a changing China has unsettled Washington, the leadership of Xi Jinping, China’s role on the global stage, dealmaking with Beijing, what most Americans don’t get about China, how politics affect diplomacy, and much more.  //  see Mr. Wilder’s comments starting about 34:45 on why it is important to remember that they are still Communists and run by the Communist Party, remarkable how many people seem to forget, ignore, or try to elide this away…

8. Comments at CSIS Event “Chinese Public Opinion and the Durability of Chinese Communist Party Rule” | The Sinocism China Newsletter On Wednesday, October 26th, I particpated as a commentator in a Center for Strategic and International Studies panel discussion with Scott Kennedy, Dr. Tang Wenfang, author of Populist Authoritarianism: Chinese Political Culture and Regime Stability, and Dr. Bruce Dickson, author of The Dictator’s Dilemma: The Chinese Communist Party’s Strategy For Survival. A video of the event is available here, and below are my prepared comments.

AnchorBUSINESS, ECONOMY AND TRADE *

China’s Exports Drop for a Seventh Month on Tepid Global Demand – Bloomberg Overseas shipments dropped 7.3 percent from a year earlier in October in dollar terms Imports slipped 1.4 percent Trade surplus widened to $49.1 billion

Yuan Weakness Spurs Fresh Surge in China Outflows – WSJ As much as $78 billion may have left China in September, according to Goldman Sachs, which has its own measure of outflows, the largest amount since the $100 billion-plus the firm estimates left the country in December and again in January. Analysts say October outflows are poised to be large as well. China’s regulators have acknowledged the pressure from money leaving the country but so far have dismissed concerns over capital flight.

Central Government Appoints New Finance Minister-Caixin A deputy chief of staff of China’s cabinet has been promoted to head of the Finance Ministry, the state-run Xinhua News Service reported Monday, citing the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC). Xiao Jie, 59, succeeds Lou Jiwei, whose next move is not clear.  Xiao broke an age barrier in 2001 when, at 44, he was appointed China’s youngest-ever vice minister of finance. Today he’s a 23-year veteran of the Ministry of Finance. He has also served as the State Council’s deputy chief of staff — the vice secretary-general — since March 2013.  // I am ignoring most of the western media commentary on this, Lou is at retirement age, he made a fair number of enemies with his outspokenness, and there is no indication his replacement will pursue different policies, as the finance minister role is too junior to actually set those policies.

China central bank to keep liquidity ample, curb asset bubbles | Reuters China’s central bank said on Tuesday that it will maintain ample liquidity in the country’s financial system while taking steps to prevent asset bubbles in an increasingly leveraged economy. In its third-quarter monetary policy implementation report, the People’s Bank of China said it will maintain a prudent monetary policy, fine-tuning in a preemptive and timely way and using multiple monetary policy tools flexibly to keep money markets stable.

Trade on Once-Bustling Mekong Grinds to Halt-Caixin today, the real picture of Mekong trade is anything but action-packed. An alternative land route, Chinese efforts to curb the upstream smuggling of frozen-meat products, and government restrictions on the export of wood and stone in Myanmar and Laos have brought the river’s shipping trade to a screeching halt.

China approves five-year plan to revive northeast – Xinhua China’s State Council has approved the plan to revive the country’s northeastern region during 13th Five-Year Plan period (2016-2020) in the latest effort to assist the area’s sagging economy. The plan called for more focus on quality growth and supply-side structural reform to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship. The northeast should take coordinated efforts to improve the region’s economic structure and enhance its competitiveness, according to the plan.

Shanghai Again Tightens Home-Purchasing Rules, Targeting Divorce, in Bid to Cool Market-Caixin Shanghai has further tightened home-purchasing rules by demanding lenders scrutinize the sources of funds used for down payments — a move that will likely curb the surge of divorce filings among couples seeking to purchase second homes.

Surging Garlic Prices Raise Inflation Concerns-Caixin The wholesale and retail prices of garlic, one of the most frequently seen seasonings on Chinese dinner tables, rose to a six-year high of 14.5 yuan ($2.14) and 15.8 yuan per kilogram in October, up 90% and 68% respectively from a year earlier, according to the National Development and Reform Commission, the country’s top economic planner. The price surge was the result mainly of speculation and bad weather, analysts said.

Green Light Turns Yellow for China’s Ride-Hailing Industry-Caixin Since 2014, business has been booming for Jia as rapid expansion of the Internet-based ride-hailing sector resulted in an explosion of demand for the cars he leases to drivers. But regulators in the city now plan to require that all drivers have Beijing household registrations. That would slam the door on migrant workers from other regions, who account for more than 80% of the drivers working with Jia. Local authorities in other cities are imposing similar limitations. It’s a chilling development for the new ride-hailing industry after the central government in July gave it the green light. China became the first country to create a formal legal framework for a business that had operated in a regulatory gray zone for years. The central government left it to local officials to work out the details.

China’s VAT Reforms Leave Some Firms Paying More-Caixin Value-added tax (VAT) reforms in China, designed to reduce the burden on companies, have left some companies paying more tax, according to a research report. The Unirule Institute of Economics, a Beijing-based research group, recently conducted a survey based on 113 companies across 12 industries in cities that include Hangzhou, Wuhan, Guiyang and Dalian. Of the companies surveyed, 57 were subject to the VAT mechanism, and 36 of them reported increased taxes.

CCDI Dispatches New Inspector to Lead Work at Central Bank-Caixin Wang Hongjin, who led one of the 12 inspection offices inside the Beijing headquarters of the Communist Party’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI), has been appointed director of the People’s Bank of China’s discipline inspection team, which answers directly to the CCDI, according to the bank’s website. He is the second person to take the job, after Wang Huaqing.

China Sovereign Wealth Fund to Start Research Institute-Caixin China Investment Corporation (CIC), the country’s sovereign wealth fund, will set up a research institute to promote international trade and investment. Starting on Saturday, CIC will hold four recruitment sessions for overseas Chinese talent in Chicago, New York, Boston and San Francisco.

NY fines China’s AgBank $215m over money laundering violations In its consent order, agreed with the bank and released on Friday afternoon, the DFS spelt out a litany of failings at the New York branch of AgBank, the world’s sixth-biggest bank by market capitalisation. The regulator said the lapses had come even after it had warned the branch in 2014 to step up its efforts to comply with the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA), a decades-old law that requires banks in the US to help government agencies detect and prevent money-laundering.

AnchorPOLITICS AND LAW *

Xi stresses sound environment for public opinion – People’s Daily Online Xi made the remarks while meeting with representatives of the All-China Journalists’ Association (ACJA) and winners of this year’s China News Award and Changjiang Taofen Award, the country’s top two journalism awards, named after famous Chinese journalists Fan Changjiang (1909-1970) and Zou Taofen (or Tsou Tao-fen, 1895-1944). Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, urged the country’s journalists to follow “the correct political direction,” conform to the CPC Central Committee, adhere to the Marxist view of journalism, stick to the standpoint of the Party and the people and uphold socialism with Chinese characteristics. // 习近平提4点希望:做党和人民信赖的新闻工作者

Vice Anhui governor under investigation – Xinhua Chen Shulong, vice governor of east China’s Anhui Province, is under investigation for “serious discipline breaches,” the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) of the Communist Party of China (CPC) announced on Tuesday.

湖南省委常委、宣传部部长张文雄接受组织调查-新华网 Zhang Wenwei, Hunan Party Committee member and head of provincial propaganda bureau, under investigation

China’s civil affairs minister and deputy ‘under investigation’ | South China Morning Post Speculation Li Liguo faces a corruption inquiry after minister not seen at key party meeting

Top graft-buster’s ally appointed China’s new spy chief | South China Morning Post Chen Wenqing named state security minister, as civil affairs minister also replaced with a former anti-corruption official

Commentary: CPC backs bold officials with passion for reform – Xinhua The Communist Party of China (CPC) has thrown its weight behind officials who meet challenges head on and take reasonable, honest risks to secure reform and innovation, regardless of mistakes they may make. The CPC embedded this new leniency in policy at the sixth plenary session of the 18th CPC Central Committee, last month. Focusing on strengthening the Party’s disciplines, the key meeting also encouraged Party members to emerge from their comfort zones without fear. So long as their actions are rational, honest, and demonstrate strict adherence to the exemplary standards of behavior expected of CPC officials, they should have nothing to fear. The CPC needs officials who have the guts to take on today’s challenges and the confidence to seek new solutions to old problems.

One Year on: Reform Pilots on Procuratorates Initiating Public Interest Litigation – NPC Observer Last week, the 24th Session of the Standing Committee of the 12th National People’s Congress heard the Supreme People’s Procuratorate’s interim report on the reform pilots on people’s procuratorates initiating public interest litigation. The pilots were authorized by the NPCSC a little over a year ago in July 2015 for a period of two years. The following is an overview of the pilots, followed by a summary of the interim report

AnchorFOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS *

China tries chequebook diplomacy in Southeast Asia Cannons blasted the frigid air of Tiananmen Square with a 21-gun salute last week, as China feted Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak during a five-day visit. Mr Najib inspected a regimental colourguard on Tuesday before being whisked into the Great Hall of the People to sign $34bn in trade and investment agreements. During a pause in proceedings, Liu Zhenmin, Chinese vice foreign minister, took a moment to reassure the Malaysian media that this was not the way it looked. “There is no such thing as using our financial muscle to improve ties,” he replied, stony-faced, to a question on whether China was exercising chequebook diplomacy. But it was hard to hide the glee on the Chinese side: back-to-back visits by Philippine and Malaysian leaders have marked a moment of rare foreign policy success for Beijing, which has spent more time recently alienating most of its Southeast Asian neighbours with an aggressive pursuit of maritime hegemony in the South China Sea.

Recalibrating U.S.-China Relations in Southeast Asia – Center for American Progress Research report titled “Recalibrating U.S.-China Relations in Southeast Asia.” Vikram Singh, CAP’s Vice President for National Security and International Policy, and Yuan Peng, CICIR’s Vice President, will delve into the project’s findings and recommendations to cut through competition and offer new areas of cooperation in Southeast Asia. Speakers: Vikram Singh, Vice President for National Security and International Policy, Center for American Progress Yuan Peng, Vice President, China Institutes for Contemporary International Relations Moderator: Bill Bishop, author, “Sinocism China Newsletter” // interesting report, interesting panel I moderated with Vikram Singh and Yuan Peng, video online

China Launches 10 Billion Euro Fund to Boost Investment in Central, Eastern Europe-Caixin China has set up a 10 billion euro ($11.1 billion) investment fund to finance projects in Central and Eastern Europe, the latest in a series of moves under Beijing’s “One Belt One Road” initiative to help Chinese firms scouting for investment opportunities abroad amid an economic slowdown at home. The China-Central Eastern European fund will raise another 50 billion euros to finance joint ventures, Premier Li Keqiang said at an annual meeting with 16 regional heads of state in the Latvian capital, Riga.

In a first, China and Pakistan plan joint army counter-terror command – India Today The exercise is aimed in part at addressing security concerns surrounding the China Pakistan Economic Corridor.

China, India pledge to enhance mutual trust, safeguard border peace – Xinhua Senior defense officials from China and India vowed on Tuesday to enhance the strategic mutual trust and pragmatic cooperation between the two nations. At the 8th meeting of China-India Defense and Security Consultation, Sun Jianguo, deputy chief of the Joint Staff Department of China’s Central Military Commission, said China and India share broad common interests on international and regional affairs. The annual dialogue is co-chaired by Sun and Indian Defense Secretary Shri G Mohan Kumar.

美轮美奂!中国南沙5大灯塔照片曝光(组图)_凤凰资讯 new stamp series featuring the lighthouses of the Spratly Islands

Chinese aerospace giant unveils first smartphone for country’s satellite communications network | South China Morning Post Launch linked to ‘space-based Silk Road’ strategy

U.S. Defense Department Confirms USS Decatur Did Not Follow Innocent Passage and Challenged China’s Excessive Straight Baselines – Lawfare Thanks to Commander Gary Ross, from the press office of the Office of the U.S. Secretary of Defense, I can now confirm both facts.  In an email to me, Commander Ross writes: In this operation on Oct. 21, the U.S. naval vessel USS Decatur engaged in normal operations by conducting a non-provocative maneuvering drill. “Normal operations” refers to the exercise of “high seas” freedoms under international law as reflected in Articles 58 and 87 of the Law of the Sea Convention.  This differs from innocent passage, which involves the continuous and expeditious traversing of the territorial sea.  Normal operations can be demonstrated through the exercise of maneuvering drills, launch and recovery of aircraft, man-overboard drills, or other non-continuous/non-expeditious actio

The Vatican’s Illusions About Chinese Communism – WSJ Though he says state-backed bishops are generally “wonderful men” and “very faithful to the church,” Cardinal Zen laments that all are nonetheless “slaves” and “puppets.” Only someone ignorant of communism, he says, could think the nominations the government sends to Rome wouldn’t be coerced. Having taught in Chinese seminaries from 1989 to 1996, he recalls that state bishops couldn’t meet or even place international calls without government bosses present. Cardinal Zen slams Vatican diplomats who say that embracing the Patriotic Association is needed to preserve the church’s hierarchy and sacraments. “I would prefer no bishops,” he says. “With fake bishops you are destroying the church.”

AnchorTECH AND MEDIA *

WeChat Tests Electronic ID Cards in Nanning-Caixin Tencent Holdings Ltd. and officials from Nanning, the capital of the Guangxi region, unveiled their strategic collaboration at a ceremony this week, saying the new system will use facial recognition technology to safeguard security of the new electronic cards, Tencent said in an article on its QQ service. The Nanning city government has previously worked with WeChat on a wide range of other projects, including emergency and immigration services tied to the platform. WeChat also previously worked with the southern boomtown of Shenzhen, which borders Hong Kong, on a similar system for smartphone-based electronic driver’s licenses.

‘Doctor Strange’ Wins China Weekend Box Office Easily – China Film Insider There was nothing weird about Doctor Strange‘s expected strong performance for its China opening, with the Marvel comic book adaptation taking in almost US$45 million in its first three days, as CFI‘s Jonathan Papish predicted. The film, which stars Benedict Cumberbatch in the title role and Tilda Swinton in a controversial turn as a Celtic mystic, brushed aside charges of “whitewashing” and kowtowing to Chinese censorship concerns to outpace the second-place film, domestic Chinese thriller Hide and Seek, by about $40 million, based on numbers published by China-based research firm Entgroup

LeEco Shares Gyrate on Cash Crunch Concerns-Caixin LeEco said in a statement that rumors that it had stopped paying some of its suppliers were untrue. But CEO Jia Yueting said in an internal email over the weekend that the company was facing financial pressures and will enter a new phase of more-conservative spending.  //  suppliers, creditors and employees should be demanding immediate payment of whatever is owed, though may be too late…so many obvious signs of a classic scammer with this firm

China passes law to ensure films ‘serve the people and socialism’ | The Guardian First law governing the country’s film industry targets box-office fraud and says film-makers must have excellent moral integrity

李明远引咎辞职后,百度内部举办反腐专题学习会 Baidu holds an anti-corruption meeting in wake of latest company corruption scandal, this one involving former VP and “prince” Li Mingyuan…fish rots from the head, Baidu’s cultural rot runs very deep

Mudslinging in China Tech Land – Bloomberg Gadfly Slinging mud at LeEco — according to reports by Bloomberg News, the Beijing Times and others — is Xiaomi founder Lei Jun. Taking to WeChat, Lei cast aspersions on LeEco’s debt and its ability to pay. The two traded barbs on social media before the head of LeEco’s North American operations, Brian Hui, went on stage at the TechCrunch Beijing forum Tuesday where he clarified Jia’s original letter.“It’s not about running out of money. It’s how you can spend your money wisely,” Hui told moderator Jon Russell. Which brings me back to the question of how the heck a streaming video company got into high-performance electric cars.

Media watchdog bans 60 online films – Entertainment News – SINA English China’s top media watchdog has ordered removal of more than 60 online movies from video streaming websites for containing vulgarity and violence, media reported over the weekend. The online films, including Da Fengshuishi (Fengshui Master) and Xiaomie Daxuesheng (Eliminate College Students), were removed from video streaming websites such as iQiyi and Youku within several days by the order of China’s State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SAPPRFT), domestic technology website huxiu.com reported on Sunday, adding that the number of films being taken off the websites is increasing.

WeChat Censorship Provokes Doubts On Integrity From Disgruntled Editor – TechNode “I am a man of the press, we deserve our dignity, and we won’t be cheaply bought. If one day all news outlets become minions of Tencent, will the “Chinese dream” even exist?”  bemoans editor in chief Xu Shipping in a public letter published on Eastday’s site, with the title “The ferocious and authoritarian empire of the penguin”.

Lattice Semiconductor to be bought by China-backed Canyon Bridge | Reuters “We think the deal will eventually close and believe odds are significantly better than 50-50,” Susquehanna Financial Group said in a note published after the deal announcement. But it warned about the risks related to U.S. national security watchdog Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS).

Baidu’s Vice President Resigns-Technode Baidu’s Vice President Li Mingyuan or Eric Li handed in his resignation letter after allegations of improper financial dealings surfaced. The news was circulated in a staff memo by Baidu’s ethics committee on Nov. 4. The allegations range from large financial transactions with the member of a company that was acquired by Baidu, a deal that Li was involved with, to improper financial dealings with partnering gaming firms of the Baidu division that Li was managing. Li was also accused of not disclosing his stake in several gaming companies with businesses relating to Baidu.

‘High-up’ Alibaba staffer helping SEC probe into tech giant | New York Post The Securities and Exchange Commission is working with one or more whistleblowers as it investigates the controversial accounting practices of the China-based e-commerce giant, The Post has learned.

China’s top internet regulator lays down the rules on live-streaming programmes | South China Morning Post People streaming news and entertainment must get licence to operate, says Cyberspace Administration

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker Delivers Major Policy Address on Semiconductors at Center for Strategic and International Studies | Department of Commerce In 2014, the Chinese Government announced that it would spend $150 billion to expand the share of Chinese-made integrated circuits in its market from 9 percent to 70 percent by 2025. To put that figure into perspective, $150 billion is roughly half of all worldwide semiconductor sales last year. In addition, we are seeing new attempts by China to acquire companies and technology based on their government’s interests – not commercial objectives. And we have witnessed attempts to restrict access to China’s domestic market.   Let me state the obvious: this unprecedented state-driven interference would distort the market and undermine the innovation ecosystem. The world has seen the effects of this type of targeted, government-led interference before.

AnchorSOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY *

About the Podcast | Romance of the Three Kingdoms Podcast attempt to tell the story of the classic Chinese novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms in a way that’s more accessible to an audience who did not grow up in the culture and society that it has permeated for hundreds of years.

High on Tibetan Plateau, Buddhist Spirituality Soars – The New York Times Even by the standards of the phenomenal sights of Tibet, Yarchen Gar is a wonder on the high plateau: thousands of ramshackle homes clustered on a remote peninsula at the bend of a river, each one the domicile of a nun who has come here to study Tibetan Buddhism.  //  in Garzê Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture , in Sichuan province

Tibet’s ‘Living Buddhas’ taken on patriotic education tour to Mao’s hometown, other historic party sites | South China Morning Post Some 20 living Buddhas took part in the sessions, in which they vowed allegiance to the central government, according to Tibet.cn, the region’s major news portal, on Saturday. “I feel that our country is wealthy and powerful. It’s a socialist new China built by numerous martyrs,” said living Buddha Jedrung from Chamdo of the one-week session.

AnchorENERGY, ENVIRONMENT, SCIENCE AND HEALTH *

摄影师深入雾霾源头,拍到的场景让人绝望! Chinese photographer travels to Hebei, shoots disturbing pics of the sources of the smog

The Economics of Air Pollution in China: Achieving Better and Cleaner Growth: Jun Ma: Amazon In The Economics of Air Pollution in China, leading Chinese economist Ma Jun makes the case that the trade-off between growth and environment is not inevitable. In his ambitious proposal to tackle severe air pollution and drastically reduce the level of so-called PM 2.5 particles―microscopic pollutants that lodge deeply in lungs―Ma Jun argues that in targeting pollution, China has a real opportunity to undertake significant structural economic reforms that would support long-term growth. Rooted in rigorous analyses and evidence-based projections, Ma Jun’s “big bang” proposal aims to mitigate pollution and facilitate a transition to a greener and more sustainable growth model.

China creates world’s most powerful superconducting magnet – People’s Daily Online The superconducting magnet was invented by High Magnetic Field Laboratory (CHMFL) under the Chinese Academy of Sciences. As the world’s first large-scale magnet capable of generating a 100,000-gauss magnetic field, the scientific achievement has created a platform for research on high-intensity magnetic fields.

China Scales Back Solar, Wind Ambitions as Renewables Cool – Bloomberg China, the world’s biggest clean-energy investor, lowered its solar and wind power targets for 2020, a reflection of how record installations of renewables have overwhelmed the ability of the nation’s grid to absorb the new electricity. China is now aiming for 110 gigawatts of solar power by 2020, a 27 percent reduction from an earlier target, according to a webcast posted on the website of the National Energy Administration that cited the agency’s chief engineer, Han Shui. The nation reduced its goal for wind power by 16 percent to 210 gigawatts.

Chinese Medicine Law Stirs Debate Between Scholars and Skeptics | Sixth Tone a new draft law aiming to support the development of the traditional medicine industry has sparked debate on how regulation should tackle a 5,000-year-old custom. Some say the law will permit and promote unscientific practices, while others say it will dilute cultural heritage by using modern principles to assess traditional remedies.

Total, China Join First Iran Gas Deal Since Sanctions Eased – Bloomberg Iran signed a $4.8 billion natural gas development project with energy giants Total SA and China National Petroleum Corp., marking the first joint venture with international partners since sanctions on the Persian Gulf nation were eased in January.

AnchorAGRICULTURE AND RURAL ISSUES *

农村土地《“三权分置”意见》政策解读 近日,中共中央办公厅、国务院办公厅印发了《关于完善农村土地所有权承包权经营权分置办法的意见》(以下简称《“三权分置”意见》)。国务院新闻办公室于2016年11月3日上午举行新闻发布会,农业部部长韩长赋,农村经济体制与经营管理司司长张红宇介绍《意见》有关情况,回答记者提问,从《“三权分置”意见》的重要意义、主要内容、核心内涵、主要目的、基本精神,中国特色农村土地制度创新发展的过程,正确处理农民和土地关系的主线底线,推进现代农业的举措等方面进行了政策解读。

How a 24-Year-Old Blogger Became China’s Pig Whisperer | Sixth Tone As the man behind the keyboard for Zhuguan Baba, or “Swineherd Baba,” a blog dedicated to pig-raising, Pan has become a leading online pig expert with over 40,000 followers and more than 100,000 views per article. By offering farmers and industry experts updates on everything from pork prices to increasing a pig’s fertility, Pan has tripled his income and tapped into a market with great potential: the hundreds of millions of rural farmers who need access to reliable information about their work.

AnchorEDUCATION *

Education Gap Widens Despite 500 Billion Yuan Preschool Program-Caixin About 16 million children in China lack access to preschool education, Peking University researchers revealed at a recent conference. Members of the university’s China Institute for Educational Finance Research (CIEFR) found that rural children are still lagging far behind their urban peers when it comes to reaching developmental milestones, despite the 500 billion yuan ($74 billion) that was pumped into preschool education by central and local governments between 2010 and 2015. The researchers’ findings were unveiled just before the central government announced plans to clamp down on certain types of for-profit schools in a bid to level China’s educational playing field.

China parliament bans some private, for-profit schools | Reuters China’s parliament has banned private, for-profit schools that teach first- through ninth-graders, a move to tighten government control over education that may cool a fast growing but poorly regulated sector. Leaders of the National People’s Congress adopted a revised law on private education that banned the schools, according to a document released on Monday at the end of a bi-monthly session.

AnchorBEIJING *

One Out of Every 100 Beijingers is a RMB Millionaire, Highest Concentration in Country | the Beijinger No surprise there, Beijing has the highest concentration of tuhao’s, or nouveau riche, within its city boundaries.  A tuhao in this case is defined as somebody with over RMB 10 million in assets. In real life, however, the term is considered slightly derogatory, considered to be someone who shows off their wealth unnecessarily. As you can see on the list below, Beijing has a total of 238,000 tuhao’s, one for every 100 people. Shanghai comes in second with 205,000, and Jilin Province came third with 95,000 tuhao’s.

AnchorJOBS AND EVENTS *

Intelligence Research Specialist Department Of State This position is located in the China Division, Office of Analysis for East Asia and the Pacific, Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR/EAP/CH). The division is responsible for the analysis of classified and open source information concerning the political, diplomatic (including bilateral relations with the U.S.), socio-economic, and cultural affairs of China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Mongolia. The division produces tailored intelligence products and briefings that inform the development and direction of U.S. foreign policy and support U.S. relations with foreign governments and international organizations. The incumbent of this position will service as an expert Intelligence Research Specialist responsible for all-source intelligence analysis of China’s political issues and personalities.

Two-Way Street: An FDI Discussion for the D.C. Policy Community | National Committee on United States – China Relations Join us as we launch and discuss an important new report, Two-Way Street – 25 Years of US-China Direct Investment, that unveils a fuller, more accurate picture of two-way direct investment flows between the United States and China, past and present. The report will enable policy and business leaders on both sides of the Pacific to better manage this growing element of the bilateral economic relationship. Two-Way Street makes use of a new transactions-based proprietary database to create a fully comparable picture of American foreign direct investment (FDI) in China and Chinese FDI in the United States from 1990 to 2015 // in DC, November 14, 2016 10:00am to 12:00pm EST. open to public with registration

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