The Sinocism China Newsletter For 03.29.13

Just links today, testing combining English stories with the original Chinese items on which they are based or to which they are related, feedback appreciated:

THE ESSENTIAL EIGHT

Premier points the way for farming |Politics |chinadaily.com.cn Making his first research tour since becoming premier, Li Keqiang highlighted agricultural modernization on Thursday, describing it as one of the main engines to drive China’s development. Li visited a farm in Guli, a town in Changshu city, Jiangsu province, after touring a garment factory in Jiangyin. He was shown new developments in urbanization in which farmers’ communities transformed themselves into communities in an urban setting with members conceding their farm plots to specialist farmers. Li welcomed them as both new urban residents and new farmers, saying if they make a good effort in building their communities, small-town life can be easier and more convenient than living in big cities. In the wheat fields of Guli, he told local residents “the earth can yield gold” if only there are policies to motivate farmers to grow more. “Farmers should not only be encouraged to produce more grain, but also to produce higher quality grain,” he said. But producing more is impossible on small plots, Li said. “It can only be done through concentrating the land into larger farms.”//李克强:土地产黄金要靠大块 一亩三分地那能行吗?_资讯频道_凤凰网 28日上午,李克强来到常熟古里镇田娘农场,走进麦地,站在田埂上向农民了解家庭农场情况。当地农民介绍说,土地流转后要经过整理再耕作,能用大机械,产量收入都上去了。李克强说,土地也能产出黄金,但小块不行,要靠大块,一户农民一亩三分地那能行吗?

人民日报-国家工商总局—— 加强对苹果合同格式条款监管 People’s Daily page 9 today–SAIC now getting on the case about Apple’s support policies, sends out national notice telling local AICs to “to enhance legal supervision over Apple’s [and other electronics products manufacturers] imparity clauses in its warranty policies” to protect against infringement on consumers rights// 本报北京3月28日电 (记者富子梅)记者从国家工商总局获悉:针对“苹果”在售后维修服务中存在的问题,工商总局向全国工商系统下发《关于加强对苹果等电子产品企业利用合同格式条款侵害消费者权益行为执法监督的通知》,要求各地加强对“苹果”等电子产品企业的合同监管,以法律为准绳、以事实为依据,依法查处违法违规行为,营造规范、和谐的市场消费环境。// China vows tough regulation after Apple’s disputed repair policies – Xinhua summary of the SAIC news// 苹果称维修条款已修改 中消协律师:换汤不换药-财经网 doesn’t sound like consumers association satisfied with whatever changes to its support policies Apple may have just made// 售后问题引发不满,维修条款受到批评,苹果公司于3月在其官方网站上公布了修改后的维修条款。3月28日,中消协律师团团长邱宝昌认为,总体来看,这些改动是换汤不换药,改后问题仍然不少。部分条款仍然涉嫌违规//…Apple going to have to show contrition, make the changes demanded to adhere to the law. classic line of attack is finding a kernel of truth and then blowing it up into a mass media struggle session until the target bows down and pays obeisance. Apple can’t win this fight, whatever the merits. time for an iKowtow…

China Worries Arise in Sprint Deal – WSJ.com The U.S. government is seeking oversight of network-equipment purchases as a condition for approving Softbank Corp.’s $20 billion acquisition of U.S. phone carrier Sprint Nextel Corp., a move that appears to be aimed at keeping out Chinese suppliers like Huawei Technologies Co., people familiar with the matter said….Because of concerns about violating trade rules, any constraints wouldn’t specifically exclude gear from Huawei, which Softbank has used in its home market of Japan, or ZTE, a person familiar with the process said. Nor would they explicitly give the government a veto, this person said. But U.S. officials have made no secret of their distrust of the Chinese companies and are aiming to make sure their equipment doesn’t become a core part of U.S. telecom infrastructure, the people said. “You have to find a way to say, ‘Don’t buy from the Chinese,’ without saying, ‘Don’t buy from the Chinese,’ ” said a person who has spoken with Sprint.//odds a next leg of Apple story here is talk of officials dropping use of foreign mobile devices?

New Community Offers Officials Cheap Housing – Economic Observer Online Officials in Shiyan, Hubei will have exclusive access to purchasing hugely-discounted homes in a new development. The project was supposedly designed to alleviate housing problems, but many who qualify already own multiple apartments. They’ll also be able to sell the new units for windfall profits….Shiyan is a mountainous prefecture-level city with a population of 3.4 million. The average price for a home in the city is over 5,000 yuan per square meter, but these units will be sold for about half that price. The catch is, to buy one, you must be part of a very specific demographic: Shiyan government officials.//十堰“公务员小区”利益链 – 经济观察网 - 专业财经新闻网站 “十堰市财政比较困难,货币化补贴也没有到位,所以很多新参加工作的人,没有赶上福利房的人,就存在住房困难的问题。”严清华对本报介绍,事实上,历届十堰市委、市政府都曾计划改善公务员住房问题,但一直未有实质进展。 2012年初,时任十堰市委、市政府将“解决基层公务员住房困难”的问题,再度提上日程。严清华透露:“当时的设想是,联系一个开发商,找一个地方,针对这些没房子但要求买房子的机关的工作人员组织起来,一起去跟开发商商量一个优惠一点的价格。”

China Naming Harvard-Educated Liu to NDRC May Hail Policy Shift – Bloomberg Liu He was appointed as a vice chairman of China’s top economic-planning agency, a sign that President Xi Jinping’s government may be preparing to quicken market-driven policy changes to sustain growth…“Liu He is the key person in determining what kind of economic-policy package ultimately makes it to Xi Jinping’s desk,” Barry Naughton, Chinese economy professor at the University of California at San Diego, said in November.//刘鹤任中央财经办主任兼发改委副主任|刘鹤|中央财经办|发改委_新浪新闻 据国务院发展研究中心网站消息,由国务院发展研究中心主办、中国发展研究基金会承办的中国发展高层论坛2013年会“中国:改革开放与全面建成小康社会”经济峰会在京召开。刘鹤以中央财经领导小组办公室主任、国家发展和改革委员会副主任身份参加了相关活动,此前他担任国务院发展研究中心党组书记、副主任。

Committed to Truth: Liu Jianfeng | Nomadically Curious Visual Thoughts Liu has a mission to start a Chinese version of Pro-Publica. A non government and non commercially funded model of journalism. While this might be impossible in China, his fearless efforts to try to make it happen are something to be admired by journalists worldwide. While he never explicitly said this to me, I’m sure his decision to show up in this video and venue was in some part motivated by his attempt to find funding. Sadly, finding sources often involves trying to find someone who needs you as much as you need them.

我国明年6月底前实施不动产登记和网络实名制_新闻_腾讯网 国务院办公厅发布关于实施《国务院机构改革和职能转变方案》任务分工的通知,通知指出,党的十八届二中全会和十二届全国人大一次会议审议通过了《国务院机构改革和职能转变方案》(以下简称《方案》),要求各地区、各部门用3至5年时间完成《方案》提出的各项任务,加快建设职能科学、结构优化、廉洁高效、人民满意的服务型政府。//State Council–Real Estate Registration and Internet Real Name Registration by June 30, 2014

Henan farmers on potentially toxic wheat: “They are all sold to you. We don’t eat them.” | Offbeat China local farmlands are covered with a thick, grey, cardboard-feel layer, as if the wheat is growing out of concrete. When asked about whether they themselves dare to eat wheat harvested from such farmlands, one farmer thus responded…with a big smile on his face: “They are all sold to you. We don’t eat [wheat soaked in wastewater]. There are still wheat farms irrigated by [clean] water from the wells. We eat those.”//he is now famous

 

BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

China Industrial Profits in January-February up 17.2Pct-Caijing Chinese industrial companies profits rose 17.2 percent on year in the first two months of the year, compared with a 5.3 percent increased posted in 2012, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Thursday

Productive but Slow Boat for Financial Reform – Caixin The China Development Bank, a policy bank, is busy promoting economic and social development. But experts say it needs improvements, and to date neither its missions nor obligations have been solidified via laws and regulations. Another pending reform would open the financial sector wider to private capital. Investors have already put private capital into city commercial and joint-stock banks, and the wealth management sector is growing. Indeed, financial oversight is not just about rules and enforcement anymore. Increasingly in China, it’s also a matter of deregulation, encouraging innovation, serving the real economy and making the market more effective. These are some of the new standards for regulatory professionalism and independence. But they hinge on the kind of market reform that in China has made and is still making a difference, but slowly.

Will China’s Currency Replace the Dollar as the World’s Top Currency? | ChinaFile The main point that a lot of people miss: for the RMB to become a truly global currency, China’s entire relationship with the rest of the world economy would have to change, in ways the Chinese have strongly resisted so far.  (This is the main reason, by the way, that Japan, even when it was riding high in the 1980s, deliberately chose not to embrace a much larger international role for its currency, the Yen).

Missing Billionaire Casts Pall on China’s Private Business Push – Bloomberg Even by the standards of China’s rough and tumble breed of entrepreneurs, billionaire Liu Han’s brushes with death mark him out.After dodging a hitman’s bullets in 1997, which led to the execution of a rival tycoon and two of his relatives almost a decade later, Liu, 47, finds himself ensnared in more killings. This time, his own brother is the suspect, and the Sichuan Hanlong Group founder is being held by police for helping him evade capture over a 2009 triple murder, state media reported.

China: gold before swine | beyondbrics His chart illustrates how peaks in the gold price match peaks in Chinese inflation, while rising inflation is correlated with rising gold prices:

SouFun Leads Drop by Property Stocks – Bloomberg “These funding curbs may be more important than previous curbs on the property sector, if the money really isn’t available that’s when demand starts to fall apart,” Michael Shaoul, the chairman of Marketfield Asset Management LLC, which oversees more than $6 billion, said by phone in New York. “At some point in 2013 we’ll exceed the lows of 2012,” he said, referring to Chinese stock indexes.//kind of funny, cause wasn’t the uncontrolled growth of wealth management products supposed to cause a crash? and now reigning them is bad news as well..guess china’s economy can’t win either way…sell in May and move away?

银监会严限农村中小金融机构平台贷_金融频道_财新网 CBRC cracking down on some rural finance vehicles// 银监会要求,平台贷款余额只降不增,重点压缩县及县以下平台贷款;持续控制房地产贷款;筑严影子银行关联业务风险的防火墙

SAIC Profit Misses Estimates as GM’s Chinese Earnings Stall – Bloomberg GM brands such as Cadillac and Chevrolet underperformed the broader Chinese passenger-vehicle market, which grew 7.1 percent last year. By contrast, Volkswagen’s sales increased 25 percent in the market last year as it benefited from new models and a backlash against Japanese brands following a territorial dispute over islands in the East China Sea.

China Cosco Posts Worse-Than-Expected Loss on Cargo Price – Bloomberg The net loss was 9.56 billion yuan ($1.54 billion), compared with 10.5 billion yuan a year earlier, under international accounting standards, the Tianjin-based company said in a Hong Kong stock exchange filing yesterday…Chairman Wei Jiafu is restructuring the company’s assets in a bid to return to profitability as a third straight annual loss may result in shares being delisted in Shanghai. The company has unveiled a plan to sell its logistics unit. It may raise as much as 27 billion yuan selling assets to its parent, said two people with knowledge of the matter this month.

Jail for insider trading — Shanghai Daily A former fund manager was sentenced to three years in jail for insider trading, the Shanghai No.1 Intermediate People’s Court said yesterday. Zheng Tuo, formerly with the Bank of Communications Schroders Fund Management Co, was also fined 6 million yuan (US$967,742) for profiting by using the company information before official disclosure.

[焦点访谈]养老金“亏空”了吗?(20130328)_新闻频道_央视网 CCTV on reports of a pension gap// 我国养老保险制度建立的时间较晚,虽然空账、收支缺口以及资金保值增值等问题依然存在,但成绩还是有目共睹的。截至2011年底,我国企业职工基本养老保险已覆盖全国所有县,参保人口、基金收入和结余规模等各项指标都再创历史新高。我国已经连续九年提高养老金待遇,连续做到按时足额发放。所以,我们应该有这样的信心:我们有缺口,我们能平衡,中国人的保障水平不仅不会降低,还会随着经济社会发展不断提高。

 

POLITICS AND LAW

China Sends Strong Signals of Reform in Cabinet Meeting-Caijing Chinese policy makers stepped up their rhetoric on reforms in major areas including fisical and taxation at a State Council executive meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang on Wednesday. China will “actively advance reforms in major sector, trying to make substantial progresses,” a key message highlighted by the state-run Xinhua News Agency at the meeting. How to release “reform dividends” is widely awaited by the public at the first year of the new leadership, said the official agency, referring to the then-vice premier pressing reforms as the “biggest dividend” in November when he was already clinched as the head of the government.

New rules to boost clean governance |Politics |chinadaily.com.cn A renewed focus on working for the people, frugality and improved efficiency were some of the key points of the State Council’s work rules for government agencies published on Thursday. The rules targeted displays of ostentation and reminded officials of the importance of clean governance and accountability. In the 58-item State Council’s Work Rules, the government required its ministries, commissions and affiliated agencies to maintain and improve contact with the public, meet people’s requests and adopt a disciplined approach to work.//国务院工作规则公布:要求加强约束亲属 决不许搞特权_资讯频道_凤凰网 核心提示:国务院颁发《国务院工作规则》,第五十四条规定,国务院组成人员要廉洁从政,严格执行领导干部重大事项报告制度,不得利用职权和职务影响为本人或特定关系人谋取不正当利益;不得违反规定干预或插手市场经济活动;加强对亲属和身边工作人员的教育和约束,决不允许搞特权。

国务院:明年7月前出台不动产登记条例_资讯频道_凤凰网出台并实施不动产统一登记制度。 (国土资源部、住房城乡建设部会同法制办、税务总局等有关部门负责。2014年6月底前出台不动产登记条例)

The Jamestown Foundation: Policy Reform Measures Highlight Potential for Transformation–Bruce Gilley In the next five years, China will implement a series of transformative public sector reforms due to the convergence of several factors over the past year that have made China ripe for change. Most obvious among them is the fact that the party leadership chosen in 2012 is unusually united around Xi Jinping, in stark contrast to the factional divisions that characterized the previous leadership…China is in a stage of development where it “enjoys” a constant stream of focusing events—the Bo Xilai scandal, elite corruption, the Beijing air pollution crisis and the Wenzhou high-speed rail crash stand out as a notable few. The Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) unfulfilled 2004 promise to transform itself from a ruling party to a governing party in order to restore its legitimacy requires an effective government that can analyze, formulate, enact, implement, monitor and revise new public policies. In short, the policy gridlock of the 2002 to 2012 period should be disappearing in favor of an emergent period of substantive reform.

The 2013 People’s Congress: A New Government, A New Direction? | Brookings Institution–Kenneth G. Lieberthal In China, where the 12th National People’s Congress officially selected its new leadership, many economic, domestic and foreign policy challenges persist. My colleagues Cheng Li, Jonathan Pollack, Feng Wang, Ran Tao and I discussed China’s most pressing issues and possible outcomes.

The Jamestown Foundation: Centralized Power Key to Realizing Xi’s “China Dream”–Willy Lam Structural changes in the party-state apparatus as well as personnel movements the past several months have demonstrated the premium that the Xi-Li leadership has put on concentration of powers as well as upholding socio-political stability. These developments also mark a departure from the dictums of late patriarch Deng Xiaoping about the devolution of powers and in particular, the separation of party and government, which was written into the Political Report to the 13th Party Congress of 1987. President Xi, however, obviously favors a different approach to governance. As Zhang Ping, the just-retired NDRC minister, put it during the NPC session, “China’s best advantage is that [the authorities] can concentrate the nation’s resources and efforts to do big things” (People’s Daily Online, March 6; Sohu.com [Beijing], March 6). For President Xi, it is apparent that the Leninist doctrine of “democratic centralism” is the best way of realizing the China dream.

Official stresses “Chinese dream” promotion – Xinhua | English.news.cn Senior official Liu Qibao on Thursday called for making greater efforts to promote the “Chinese dream.” Liu, head of the Publicity Department of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, made the remarks during an inspection tour in east China’s Jiangsu and Shandong provinces from March 25 to 28. Liu said the promotion of the “Chinese dream” should be regarded as an important task, as the term can help to boost national cohesion.

人民日报-中国特色社会主义是实现中国梦的必由之路 广东省中国特色社会主义理论体系研究中心 既不走封闭僵化的老路,也不走改旗易帜的邪路。民族复兴与道路选择密切相关,道路选择的折腾是对实现民族复兴的最大伤害。回归过去的发展模式,质疑改革开放的举措和成就;或者照搬西方的发展道路,盲从西方的规范和价值,都是对中国特色社会主义道路的背离,都是对实现中华民族伟大复兴的背离。只有不动摇、不懈怠、不折腾,毫不动摇坚持并持之以恒拓展中国特色社会主义道路,中华民族伟大复兴才能如期实现。

人民日报-社会公正是中国梦的基石(中国道路中国梦) 田成有 规则公平是社会运行的基本法则,它的着眼点是制度公平、形式公平。任何社会主体,无论是政府公务人员,还是普通民众,在法律和规则面前一律平等,任何组织、任何个人都不得有超越、凌驾于宪法和法律之上的特权。于人民法院而言,对待每个到法院打官司的人,都应按同一尺度、同种规则,进行同等对待。规则公平,意味着共同遵循公正的游戏规则,走在同样的法治轨道上,按法治思维思考问题,按法治方式解决问题,让明规则强过潜规则,让每个人不因地位、身份、财产的不同而有不公正的际遇。(作者为云南省高级人民法院副院长)

人民日报-担起我们这代人的使命 ——九论同心共筑中国梦 本报评论员 曾经遥不可及的梦想,正在我们的团结奋斗中不断靠近。两个一百年目标,已是“望得见桅杆尖头了”的航船,是“已见光芒四射喷薄而出”的红日。穿过两个百年目标,已经能看到一个富强民主文明和谐的新中国。沿着中国特色社会主义道路同心共筑中国梦,我们这代人定能不负历史责任、担起时代使命,为中华民族迎来一个更好的明天。

Jailed former Chongqing police chief Wang Lijun settles into prison life | South China Morning Post Wang Lijun, the former police chief of Chongqing is leading a comfortable life in a prison on the outskirts of Beijing, a source close to his family said. “He stays in a good mental state and has put on some weight compared with when he stood trial in September,” the source quoted a family member who had visited Wang as saying.

Number of Gov’t Weibo Accounts Soars – Caixin More government organs and officials are using micrologging platforms to burnish their images and improve communication with the public, research by a government training center finds. The survey by the Chinese Academy of Governance found that by December 20, 2012, a total of 176,700 weibo accounts had been opened by government organs and officials on the four major domestic weibo service providers. The figure is a 249.5 percent increase from the end of 2011.

有种行贿叫“购房优惠”-中国青年报 在繁荣的房地产市场背后,还有多少“购房优惠”在腐蚀、收买权力部门的公仆?这需要加大反腐力度——地产商哪里会是什么慈善家,他们这边给官员们“购房优惠”,那边就让普通买房者给他们的腐败成本埋单了,房奴之负自然“压力山大”。所以,严厉打击房地产业面向特定权势群体的“购房优惠”,也是调控房地产的一个着力点。

China’s first ladies: Taking centre stage | The Economist Like Ms Peng today, Madame Chiang added a touch of grace and beauty to a regime sorely in need of both. She made an impression on everyone who met her. Life magazine dubbed her “the most powerful woman in the world”. In 1941 she became the first Chinese person (and only the second woman) to address both houses of the American Congress. A speaking tour of the United States drew thousands of people eager to catch a glimpse of the glamorous wife of China’s wartime leader. So famous were her charms that when she met Franklin Roosevelt in the Oval Office, he reportedly asked that a card table be place between them—just in case.

网曝浙江一村支书有53套房 纪委公布调查结果_新闻_腾讯网 温州网讯 “浙江省苍南县出了个‘皇帝’——房弟,陈庆转,灵溪镇岩头村党员,在苍南县就拥有房产53套,总价值高达4715万元,大部分实为其兄村委书记陈庆锥所有……”近日,一则题为《苍南县出了个“皇帝”——“房弟”》的帖子在天涯论坛等各大论坛上疯传,17名村民实名举报该村党支部书记陈庆锥利用职务之便,利用自己的双重身份(注:指拥有两个身份证)以及其弟(陈庆转)和妻子(张金花)的名义,占用村里本该分给村民的拆迁安置房等。昨天,苍南县纪委公布最新调查结果称,帖子中所说的53处房产,经初步核实,如今登记在陈庆锥、陈庆转两个家庭名下的共计10处,现已转让的共计19处,还有些产权尚不明确或属其他人所有等。

唐志军:中国为何管不住 “三公消费”-财经网 浙江大学公共政策研究院副院长范柏乃指出,近年来,全国三公消费总额突破了9000亿元,相当于2012年全年财政收入的10%!新闻出版总署署长柳斌杰用微博严厉批评:“几百个文件管不住大吃大喝,真是治国之败笔”!

西门庆:社会转型期的商人典型_观点频道_财新网 【名家/新秀】(财新专栏作家 梁盼)明代中后期,中国进入了一个商品经济极为发达的时代,商人的财富资本和文化素养,都达到了一个空前的高度。加之以利玛窦为代表的西方传教士,来到中国传播西方的科技与理性思维;而明代的先进知识分子,以科学家徐光启为代表,在传教士的影响之下,逐步开始从中世纪的世界观向近代思维转变。哲学思想方面,以李贽为代表的“异端”学者,对整个儒家文化及其价值观,提出了全盘否定的观点。种种迹象表面,明代中后期,中国社会到了一个向近代转型的关键历史阶段。

Fei Chang Dao: Jiang Jiemin Appointed SASAC Head – Related Weibo Censorship lots of rumors

 

FOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS

(LEAD) N.K. leader orders rocket forces to be on standby to strike U.S. and S. Korean targets | YONHAP NEWS North Korean leader Kim Jong-un ordered the country’s strategic rocket forces to be placed on standby to strike U.S. and South Korean targets, state media reported Friday, after two B-2 stealth bombers conducted first-ever operational drills over the Korean Peninsula.

China Must Meet Threats at Sea in Power Push, Editorial Says – Bloomberg China needs to get better at responding to threats and provocations at sea as it becomes a stronger coastal power, a maritime surveillance official wrote in an commentary published today. China is acting quickly on calls made during the Communist Party’s congress in November to exert more maritime power, said the op-ed, published on the website of the state-owned Global Times newspaper. Yesterday, naval vessels reached a shoal at the southern edge of the country’s claimed territory and pledged to defend Chinese sovereignty.

人民日报海外版-用行动在海上划一条清晰的线(望海楼) 贾秀东 去年,菲律宾、越南和日本分别在南海和东海挑起事态,我方被迫打出“组合拳”,后发制人,变被动为主动,实现了对黄岩岛海域的常态化、排他性“物理控制”,设立了三沙市及其警备区,在靠近越南的九段线中方一侧开展油气区块招标,公布了钓鱼岛及其附属岛屿领海基点基线,并一举打破日本幻想的对钓鱼岛的所谓单方面“实际控制”。近日,我国派遣多批次海监、渔政船前往西沙群岛、黄岩岛、美济礁等南海海域以及钓鱼岛海域执行巡航护渔,加强常态化管理。中国海军南海舰队联合机动编队抵达南海海域,进行海上机动作战、海上维权、远海护航,支援作战快速反应等科目的训练。

Cybersecurity Meets the WTO – Skating on Stilts the US could see WTO challenges to the provision from its own allies (unless they’re so sick of Chinese hacking that they decide to emulate the new provision rather than attack it).   Would such claims prevail?  You might think that they would face an uphill fight; most WTO undertakings have an exemption for national security measures, and the procurement code is no exception. What’s more, there’s no doubt that buying commercial IT products from an untrusted source does raise serious security issues.  Indeed, we can thank China’s hackers for demonstrating to the world just how serious those security issues are. But when I dug out the national security exemption, I was surprised to see that the US Trade Representative’s office had negotiated a strikingly weak security exemption for the WTO procurement code.

Congress Bulls Into China’s Shop – Skating on Stilts This could turn out to be a harsh blow for companies like Lenovo that have so far escaped the spotlight trained on Huawei and ZTE. But it may also bring some surprises for American companies selling commercial IT gear to the government.  It’s not clear that they even know which of their suppliers and assemblers are directed or subsidized by the Chinese government. Where the IT system is manufactured doesn’t answer the question; sanctions will depend not on where the system is made but on whether the company that supplies it is tainted by close ties to China’s government. It will make life equally awkward for the Obama Administration, which has been slowly and hesitantly toughening its stance on Chinese cyberespionage.  The CR language will force the pace of retaliation, probably faster than the administration would like

人民日报-美国新法案:限制购买中国IT产品(深阅读) 专家认为,美方此举有违世贸组织规则 本报记者

Mr. Xi Goes to Moscow – NYTimes.com There is one more way the two powers diverge. Russia is faking democracy, and China is faking communism, yet both share the condition of “partial-reform equilibrium” — the phenomenon wherein major liberalizing reforms produce winners who in turn form into powerful interest groups that stymie further reforms. Xi has raised hopes of being willing, and able, to deliver a further reform advance. Putin stirs no such hopes.// Stephen Kotkin teaches history at Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School for Public and International Affairs and recently co-edited “Beijing’s Power and China’s Borders: Twenty Neighbors in Asia.

Manned sub Jiaolong to conduct trial missions – Xinhua | English.news.cn The four months of missions, which will include research in the South China Sea and the northeast Pacific Ocean, mark the start of a five-year trial period for the Jiaolong before it starts regular operation, said Jin Jiancai, office director of the China Ocean Mineral Resources Research & Development Association under the SOA.

Chinese military to further cooperation with maritime law enforcement – Xinhua | English.news.cn The Chinese military will beef up cooperation with the country’s maritime law enforcement forces in a move to better protect China’s maritime rights and interests, a Ministry of National Defense spokesman said Thursday. Spokesman Yang Yujun made the remarks at a ministry press conference in response to a question regarding the military’s collaboration with the restructured State Oceanic Administration (SOA)

The Long Littoral Project: South China Sea | CNA This report address the major security issues associated with the South China Sea (SCS). It includes an introductory essay by RADM (ret.) Michael A. McDevitt, senior fellow at CNA and director of the Long Littoral project. His essay explores U.S. policy and the SCS. It is followed by two other papers. The first, by Dr. M. Taylor Fravel, is on the growing competition in the SCS. The second, co-authored by Dr. Lewis M. Stern and RADM McDevitt, address Vietnam’s interests in the SCS disputes.

U.S., China cyber battle intensifies – Tony Romm – POLITICO.com Beyond the rhetoric, though, there’s a brewing and complex debate in Washington over what exactly to do about the attacks. As they really just begin to confront the confounding China cybersecurity problem, both the White House and Congress must walk a precarious line — stopping the hackers, preventing diplomatic fallout and preserving U.S. trade.

The Jamestown Foundation: The Second Artillery Force in the Xi Jinping Era New Chinese Communist Party (CCP) General Secretary, Central Military Commission (CMC) Chairman and PRC President Xi Jinping’s early interactions with the PLA Second Artillery Force (PLASAF) have sparked a considerable amount of speculation about the future of China’s strategic missile force under his leadership. Late last month, acting in his role as chairman of the CMC, China’s top military decision-making body, Xi signed an order awarding a merit citation to a PLASAF brigade to recognize its outstanding performance. Among the unidentified brigade’s accomplishments since its establishment about twenty years ago, it has participated in two National Day military parades and successfully launched more than 100 missiles—the most of any PLASAF brigade—according to official media reports (Xinhua, February 25). Xi’s recognition seems another sign that the Second Artillery’s star will continue on its rise.

The Jamestown Foundation: South Sea Fleet Exercises Shine Spotlight on Tensions The atmospherics surrounding these exercises, however, suggest Beijing is using routine activities to frame the status quo in the South China Sea in its favor. Publicizing PLAN sailors’ pledge to safeguard Chinese sovereignty through national-level propaganda organs was unnecessary, reinforcing the idea Beijing maintains its firm, non-negotiable stance on China’s maritime boundaries. The quantity and quality of the PLAN equipment, including some of its most advanced aircraft and ships, already ensured special attention would be paid without alarming statements about how the PLAN exercised at the furthest reach of Chinese territory..The explicit contradictions between China’s statements, actions and principles, thus, are lowering regional expectations that the country’s “peaceful development” is anything other than convenient rhetoric.

人民日报-人民日报头版首次在华盛顿街头展示(第一现场People’s Daily reports that the People’s Daily for the first time is on display on the street in Washington DC, placed in glass display of “today’s front pages” from around the world, outside of Newseum// 3月27日,初春的华盛顿阳光灿烂。美国新闻博物馆位于宾夕法尼亚大道入口处东边的“今日头版”阅报栏中展示着当天的人民日报头版,这是人民日报头版首次在美国首都华盛顿街头展示。与此同时,美国新闻博物馆内六楼展厅展示着当天的人民日报头版。

Two congressmen urge USTR designate China for trade secret theft – Yahoo! News Canada ”As evidence mounts that the Government of China actively engages in the cyber theft of the trade secrets of American businesses, we write to request that you consider designating China as a Priority Foreign Country under Section 182 of the Trade Act of 1974,” the lawmakers said. The letter from Representatives Sander Levin and Charles Rangel urged the Trade Representative’s office to take the action when it issues the annual report on intellectual property protection on April 30.

Brussels – Beijing: changing the game?–EU Institute for Security Studies The EUISS is pleased to present the final report prepared in the framework of the research project ‘Developing a comprehensive EU strategy towards China’, including the revised papers and commentaries that were presented at the expert meeting organised by the EU Institute for Security Studies in Paris on 11-12 October 2012. The aim of this project was to examine and assess EU policy towards China in the following fields: trade, investment, the euro and global economic governance, environment and resources, defence and security, politics, and the regional context. The report concludes that China represents a great opportunity but also a challenge for the EU

China forum ‘NZ Inc at its best’ – Pat English – Business – NZ Herald News New Zealand and Chinese leaders are gearing up for one of their most significant gatherings since the Free Trade Agreement was signed five years ago. Taking place in Beijing next month, the first ever New Zealand China Partnership Forum will bring together key figures from a wide range of sectors in each country. Alongside Prime Minister John Key will be the likes of Fonterra chief executive Theo Spierings, University of Waikato vice chancellor Roy Crawford and Ngati Kahungunu chair Ngahiwi Tomoana.

Pipeline perils on the China-Myanmar border The gas pipeline route from Lashio to Yunnan is our 4 Brigade area, fighting occurred in the Huphyet area this morning,” a source in the area told Interfax on the weekend. “The line is not close to, but rather is in, the conflict area,” said another source. ..CNPC did not answer requests for clarification on whether the fighting would cause delays, but a London-based security consultant told Interfax running gas through a pipeline under such circumstances would be highly dangerous.

Is China Pivoting to the Middle East? – Beibei Bao, Charles Eichacker, and Max J. Rosenthal – The Atlantic ”The underlying ‘retreat-pursuit’ philosophy of ‘March West’ still anchors on a zero-sum perception of the U.S.-China relations,” wrote author Yun Sun. “As the U.S. pivots away from the region and becomes deeply immersed in Asia Pacific, it needs to seriously consider the implications of and prepare for China’s ‘March West’.” But Wang, who once taught at the elite Central Party School, a finishing school for China’s ruling class, rejected that view. Speaking over the phone, he argued instead that China must “adopt an active attitude” towards the countries to its west because of its own internal needs. “Look back to China’s history, most of the capitals in Chinese dynasties were in central China, not on China’s coast,” he said. “So the ‘March West’ is primarily to re-balance China’s domestic economic development. The U.S. is a two-ocean country, while China is a one-ocean state, so why should we not make use of the land connections we have on our western border?”

 

HONG KONG, MACAO AND TAIWAN

Woman Receives Free Trip to Taiwan to Recover Camera She Lost 6 Years Ago in Hawaii That high school friend had spotted a report on Hawaii News Now, which detailed how the camera washed ashore on a beach in Taiwan. A China Airlines employee found the camera and flipped through the images on its memory card, which amazingly still worked. The employee then got in touch with officials in Hawaii to try to identify its owner. Those officials contacted Hawaii News Now, whose story on the camera went viral and was spotted by Scallan’s friend.

Hong Kong Prepares for New Coronavirus – NYTimes.com Medical researchers emphasize that they do not know if the new virus will develop the same ability as SARS to spread from person to person. The World Health Organization is taking a cautious stance. The health organization announced Tuesday that the virus, known as a coronavirus, had killed 11 of the 17 people infected so far, including a man in Britain who fell ill after traveling to Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. The health organization asked member governments to report any new cases, but it stopped short of urging any special measures.

China Policy Institute Blog » On an even-keel? Cross-Strait Relations in Ma’s Second Term The early indications are that President Xi has shown a personal interest in cross-Strait relations and that his position is somewhere between that of his predecessors. His articulation of a strong sense of personal confidence and confidence that China should be duly respected suggests that he is likely to take a more robust stance over Taiwan on all ‘sovereignty related’ issues. Since Xi became President of the PRC, there are already two occasions when the more confident and assertive approach of Xi appears to have left its mark. They involve the management of the diplomatic truce between Taipei and Beijing, as well as allowing a bit more space for Taiwanese to take part in international dialogues.

 

TECH AND MEDIA

How Samsung Became the World’s No. 1 Smartphone Maker – Businessweek Perhaps Samsung will grow so huge it invites new government scrutiny in Korea. Maybe iPhones 6, 7, and 8 will prove so beautiful and compelling, not even the chairman will have an answer. A likelier scenario is that another company, probably from China, will do to Samsung what it has done to its competitors. “The Chinese look like Samsung did five years ago,” says Horace Dediu, an independent mobile analyst. He identifies Huawei and ZTE as particular threats; other analysts bring up Lenovo (LNVGY). “Samsung makes less profit per smartphone than Apple,” Dediu continues. “The Chinese make even less. If the smartphone is going to become a commodity, how does Samsung play in that game?”

China Has 160 Million Active Android Users, 85 Million on iOS (INFOGRAPHIC) We’ve heard a lot about sales and projections for smartphones in China – such as 199 percent smartphone growth in the past year – but how about active mobiles in the hands of Chinese users? The cross-promotion and ads platform Umeng has released its newest report accompanied by an infographic. It shows that, at the end of 2012, China has 160 million active Android users, with 85 million engaged in using iOS.

China takes aim at Apple. Why? – CSMonitor.com Nobody who is prepared to talk about it has a clue. Chinese and foreign analysts say that in the absence of any indications as to where the decision to launch the campaign came from, all they can do is guess.

Apple in China: Unparalleled arrogance, undisclosed agenda | The Economist Truth be told, nobody outside the official inner circle has a clue what is really going on. The only certain thing is that the famously aloof technology firm is surely paying attention. “China is currently our second-largest market,” Tim Cook said to Xinhua

State-owned film studio sues Apple | South China Morning Post Shanghai Animation Film Studio, which has produced blockbuster animated movies such as The Monkey King, accuses Apple Inc and Apple Electronics Products Commerce (Beijing), one of its Chinese subsidiaries, of infringing on intellectual property rights while providing unauthorised download services in its App Store. A senior official with the Shanghai company confirmed that it had filed the litigation with the Beijing No 2 Intermediate People’s Court, which accepted the case.

Outcry after official urges Wechat to charge a fee | South China Morning Post Shi Wei, a director at the commission’s Institute of Economic System and Management, made the following controversial comments during an interview with Xinhua:“If Wechat doesn’t charge a fee, then why do text messages charge a fee? This is basic economics. If text messages charge a fee, then so should Wechat.”His comment quickly went viral on China’s social media

A New Mobile Operating System That Hopes to ‘Kill Apple Eventually’ | Tea Leaf Nation Today marked the long-awaited launch of the Smartisan OS, a mobile operating system, by Chinese company Hammer Technologies…Lao Cha, secretary of Mobile China Alliance, a cellphone maker trade body, saw larger problems in the launch: “[Luo] made a few small changes and now he’s talking peoples’ ears off. It’s a shame that so many people are taken in. It’s no wonder there is no true innovation in China; Hammer Technologies innovation is typical China-style innovation.” Another internet user saw a silver lining in a somewhat disappointing event. “Whether or not this succeeds, domestic Android ROM development has gone from strictly translating high-level foreign ROM to several people developing their own ROM, to what we have now – teams competing to make ROM. It’s already a kind of progress.”

Facebook blocked in North Korea, Iran, Cuba and ‘another country,’ says state media | South China Morning Post This might explain why in a recent article published on a website run by the country’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technolgoy, readers are given an ambiguous, yet amusing account of the status of Facebook in the country. Here goes the lead: “Myanmar recently unblocked the popular social networking site Facebook, which means only four countries in the world still ban the website: North Korea, Cuba, Iran and another country”.//缅甸解禁Facebook 全球仅剩4个国家仍封锁_互联网_中国信息产业网缅甸最近宣布对全球最受欢迎的社交网站Facebook解禁,目前全球仅剩4个国家仍然对Facebook实施封锁,朝鲜、古巴、伊朗等。//China referred to as “等”, lots of comments on Weibo

China’s Instagram and Other Tech Startups Look West – Businessweek Intel’s (INTC) venture fund, Intel Capital, has invested about $670 million in more than 100 Chinese tech companies since 1998. Richard Hsu, managing director of Intel Capital China, says many of the roughly 40 companies in his portfolio have had to develop new business models to succeed. Shanghai-based Uucun, which helps set up and run app stores for more than 300 smartphone makers, gives away its products, making money from ads and promotions embedded in the apps. Uucun Chief Executive Officer Zhang Zhendong says the ads reach 30 million users and the company has attracted more than $10 million in investment from Intel Capital, Vickers Capital, and other firms.//reporter contacted me, couldn’t name one truly innovative company…nor could several of my vc/tech friends…sad

Sina Portal to Assign Ad Sales Duties to Operations Staff | Marbridge Consulting – China Internet News layoffs at Sina?// A number of sources inside Chinese internet company Sina (Nasdaq: SINA) said today that as part of adjustments to its portal business, Sina will require portal channels to be responsible for sales, and will cut down on operations staff by 10% to 15%, varying by portal channel ranking. Some of the more marginal channels will be shut down altogether.

How China’s exploding market for apps is exactly like Hollywood – Quartz Developers who watch the China market are projecting that 2013 will see 10x year-over-year growth in revenue from games, for a couple of linked reasons. One is that developers simply didn’t make that much money on games in China in 2012. But that’s a consequence of the hundreds of different Android app stores in China having difficult-to-use payment mechanisms that hardly resemble the one-click purchasing possible in Apple’s app store and Google’s Play store. (Google’s Android smartphone software—rather than Apple’s iOS—runs on over 90% of Chinese smartphones sold.)

The Messaging Apps Taking on Facebook, Apple – WSJ.com These messaging apps—with funny names like WhatsApp, WeChat and KakaoTalk—have become an indispensable form of communication for hundreds of millions of people world-wide. They are also rankling technology giants from Silicon Valley to Seoul.

Qihoo 360 loses suit against Tencent – Xinhua | English.news.cn Tecent did not create a monopoly and all of Qihoo 360′s appeals have been rejected, according to a ruling from the Guangdong Provincial Higher People’s Court. Qihoo 360 was also ordered to pay 790,000 yuan (125,912 U.S. dollars) in legal fees.

Announcing Our New Voluntary Subscription Option–TechInAsia Along with our shiny new design, you may notice we have added a voluntary subscription option to the site. You might be wondering why we’ve done that, and there are a couple of reasons. The biggest is that additional income from subscriptions will allow us to do more with the blog. With enough money, we can hire more writers, cover more stories, do cooler things with our data, and more. Voluntary subscriptions are a way for us to generate revenue that can be used to improve the site’s content without resorting to obnoxious paywalls or big noisy popup ads.

 

SOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY

人民日报评“抗日神剧”:罔顾基本的公共理性–陕西频道–人民网 当年义和团运动“神功护体,刀枪不入”以惨剧收场,带着如许悲壮的意味,又何尝不是因为落后甚至愚昧。今天,借助无与伦比的奇妙想象和神乎其技的电视特效,义和团的旧梦终于重圆,却如此让人哭笑不得。难道真的是因为我们强大了,再不必反思历史,而一下子从自卑走向自信了吗?(徐鹏飞)

In China’s Competitive Marriage Market, Some Now Seeking ‘Budget’ Spouses | Tea Leaf Nation The newly released “budget wife” list has sparked much debate among Chinese Web users. A running poll on Weibo found that 50.6% of those who voted consider such standards “fleeting” and believe finding a suitable match is more important. 15.9% believe that the standards are unreliable and in fact describe baifumei (fair-skinned, rich, and beautiful women), and not regular women.

China’s Children of the Damned | The Global Mail  Among the innocent victims of executions and long incarcerations are the children of criminals. Youngsters whose parents have been executed are not “legally” considered orphans and are not cared for by the Chinese state. And while family members — grandparents, uncles and aunties — are expected to take responsibility for these children, financial and personal circumstances often result in the young and vulnerable having nowhere to turn.

 

ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT AND HEALTH

Vitamin C Tablet Found to Contain Arsenic and Mercury – People’s Daily Online A leading Chinese pharmaceutical maker has stopped selling Vitamin C Yinqiao tablets after they were found to have contained arsenic and mercury, reports CCTV. Guangzhou Pharmaceutical Holdings Limited said Wednesday the chemical-laced pills produced by its subsidiary, Guangxi Yingkang Pharmacy Co, have been taken off the shelves and sealed for investigation.

原料黑洞:山银花风波发酵|山银花|金银花|凉茶_21世纪网 核心提示:山银花带来的问题也不仅仅是硫磺熏蒸过的枝叶入药这一个。王老吉,以及加多宝等凉茶中配方标注的金银花或含不实成分。

中医药“西医化” 中医药发展要上升为国家战略 新华社——经济参考网 当前国家对基层中医药工作思路清晰、方向明确,但中医药发展现状与群众日益增长的需求之间,仍存在较大差距,而中医药发展中面临的诸多困难,也非中医药一个部门所能解决。业内人士和专家建议,进一步从战略高度重视中医药发展,加大“中医药国十条”落实力度,理顺中医药管理体制机制,真正按照中医药规律来管理和发展中医药。

Baby formula pulled off shelves after problems exposed – Xinhua | English.news.cn Food safety authorities in Shanghai said Thursday 28 stores and 15 supermarkets have been ordered to stop selling baby formula products under a foreign brand name after media exposure of safety problems. About 1,300 kg of baby formula products trademarked by Hero Nutradefense had been pulled off shelves by Thursday afternoon, the Shanghai Food Safety Office said in a statement.

Air Pollution, Birth Defects, and the Risk in China (and Beyond) – Businessweek It turns out that several scientists, both inside and outside China, have been studying that question in recent years—and their answer is yes. That doesn’t mean that every woman giving birth in a polluted environment, or every child born, will experience lasting health problems, but the trend lines across a population are clear. Depending on the level of pollution and the frequency of exposure, observed impacts range from a rise in severe congenital birth defects to a greater frequency of preterm births and low birth weights, correlated with increased risk for infant mortality and for diabetes and cardiovascular disease later in life.

Most cities hiding vital pollution data from public | South China Morning Post Most city governments on the mainland withheld vital information on pollution from the public last year, with many scaling back their disclosure to protect polluters as economic growth slowed, two major environmental organisations said in a study released in Beijing yesterday. The 10 most secretive cities were Zaozhuang in Shandong , Datong and Yangquan in Shanxi, Xiangyang in Hubei , Karamay in Xinjiang, Changchun and Jilin city in Jilin, Zhangjiajie in Hunan , Jinzhou in Liaoning and Ordos in Inner Mongolia. They disclosed barely any environmental information, such as the amounts of pollutants discharged or the identities of major polluters.

FOOD AND TRAVEL

Video-Tea, Tradition and China-CNN.com Growing taste for Pu’er tea is boosting local economy. CNN’s Steven Jiang reports…watch how the Pu’er discs are made

 

BEIJING

Beijing Taxi Fares to Go Up Next Month? – Economic Observer Online – In-depth and Independent Reports say that the current flag fall rate will be lifted from 10 yuan to 15 yuan, and that the fare will rise to 2.4 yuan a kilometer for trips over 3km from the current 2 yuan a kilometer.//long overdue

北京今年实施清洁空气七大工程 取缔露天烧烤_资讯频道_凤凰网 Beijing plans to clean up air in 2013 include no more outdoor BBQs

Beijing targets capital’s suburban smog |Society |chinadaily.com.cn The city will continue to control vehicle emissions using the policy that restricts private cars from being driven one day a week, based on the final digit of the car license plate, he said on Thursday. Meanwhile, it may consider launching the policy in particular areas and periods to control the number of cars on road.//北京环保局:正在研究更严格的机动车限行政策_资讯频道_凤凰网 方力说,北京将研究完善机动车总量控制政策,进一步控制机动车过快增长;研究完善外地车辆在京使用的管理政策,重点加强对夜间进京外地大型货运车、渣土运输柴油车、无牌照燃油小摩托、外地牌照长期在京使用的小客车的监管

Please help improve Sinocism by donatingforwarding this email to your friends, sending comments/ideas and following me on Twitter @niubi or Sina Weibo @billbishop.

Subscribe to the Sinocism China Newsletter email. Free
  • http://twitter.com/Chopstik Chopstik

    I like the connection btwn the English version and the original Chinese. Keep in mind that the original Chinese doesn’t do anything for me since I’m functionally illiterate in Chinese but think it is handy for those who are functional in both languages.

    • http://www.sinocism.com/ Bill Bishop

      Thanks

  • David Cowhig

    Thank you for this, Bill.

    The summaries add a lot of value. I like having the original Chinese available. That makes it a lot easier to do searches for related articles and I get to learn some new words too!

    The only suggestion I have is that big blocks of text can be hard to read. Perhaps after the // you might add three spaces. Perhaps in some cases the blocks would be easier to read if they were broken up a bit — maybe indent for a new sub paragraph and leave a line space between and two lines between one topic and the next.

    • http://www.sinocism.com/ Bill Bishop

      thanks. yes, i have been testing this new format but i think it does not work. will try to figure something out