The H7N9 bird flu virus continues to spread (Reuters) in China. Shanghai has begun culling poultry (Xinhua) and the city government announced Friday afternoon that it is halting (CNN) all live poultry sales (上海紧急决定：暂停活禽市场交易_新闻_腾讯网).
The New York Times reports that the C.D.C. has begun work on a vaccine:
While it is being made “only as a precaution,” a spokesman for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention emphasized, an agency virologist said the agency was “fairly worried” about the new virus….
It will take at least a month to create the seed vaccine, even though the agency is speeding the process by building it from synthetic DNA rather than waiting for a virus sample to arrive from China, said Michael Shaw, associate laboratory director for the C.D.C.’s influenza division….
Because China has posted the genetic sequences of the virus on public databanks, it is possible to build the genes for the virus’s outer spikes in a laboratory and attach them to a viral “backbone” that has already been proven to grow well in labs and in the sterile chicken eggs in which flu vaccines are made.
But world experts are debating the case for a new bird flu vaccine, according to Reuters:
The virus has been shared with World Health Organization (WHO) collaborating centers in Atlanta, Beijing, London, Melbourne and Tokyo, and these groups are analyzing samples to identify the best candidate to be used for the manufacture of vaccine – if it becomes necessary.
It is still a big “if”, even assuming the continued spread of the new disease, which has killed five of the 14 people that it has infected in China.
“It is an incredibly difficult decision because once you make it you have to change from making seasonal flu vaccines and go to making a vaccine for this virus,” said Jeremy Farrar, a leading expert on infectious diseases and director of Oxford University’s research unit in Vietnam.
That could mean shortages of vaccine against the normal seasonal flu which, while not serious for most people, still costs thousands of lives.
ChinaFile has an excellent conversation about the virus in Bird Flu Fears: Should We Trust Beijing This Time? It is almost exactly ten years since the SARS epidemic, which Beijing tried to cover up until its hand was forced. For many reasons, including smartphones, social media and the number of medical professionals on Sina Weibo, I think Beijing has no choice but to be transparent and proactive now that the virus is spreading.
If the government tries to cover up an outbreak it will fail. So far there is no evidence that Beijing has not been transparent, but there is such a dearth of trust in the government that many will likely believe the situation must be much worse than has been officially disclosed. Will Wang Qishan, who took over as mayor of Beijing after SARS hit, take a break from hunting corrupt officials and play in role in the management of this flu strain if it spreads widely?
Remember the quarantines and temperature checks all over Beijing during the 2009 swine flu fears? I expect them to return very soon. China appears, I hope, to have learned a lot of lessons from SARS.
China’s internet: A giant cage in this week’s Economist is an excellent survey by Gady Epstein. If you want to read one thing to understand the Internet here, read Epstein’s piece. I am flattered that my China Politics 2.0 presentation was cited as a source.
THE ESSENTIAL EIGHT
Time for A New Approach – Economic Observer Online - It’s time to stop talking about reform and to approach our country’s challenges from a different perspective. Reform is only a means to an end, but in China it has been taken as the goal for so many years. It’s because of this that non-economic reforms have been unable to progress and economic reforms have also become distorted. By Sun Liping (孙立平), a professor of sociology at Tsinghua University// the original Chinese is much longer and more interesting–确立社会转型新思维
Show of Force—or Just for Show? | U.S. Naval Institute The newly launched Chinese aircraft carrier appears to be merely symbolic and nothing more—at least for now.。。。In total, then, using the criterion of credible combat power, we find that Chinese naval aviation based on the Liaoning class, even when it achieves full operational capability and has multiple hulls available, will fall short except in niche circumstances. Since the considerations discussed here are likely no mystery to the PLAN itself, we must take at face value the Chinese proclamation that the Liaoning is a developmental platform meant to provide the PLAN with entry-level experience in naval aviation. True PLAN carrier-aviation-credible combat power will have to await the introduction of a new class of ship that has catapults, and also improvements in ASW defenses. But these must be accompanied by the development of airborne-early-warning aircraft and sound maintenance and logistics capabilities. Even with all this, the PLAN’s carrier aviation will still be subject to the same emerging problems faced by the U.S. carrier force; proliferation of advanced denial systems will progressively constrain the mission space of manned aircraft and aircraft carriers. On the other hand, if China elects to peaceably settle its territorial disputes and emerge as an esteemed member of the family of nations, its carrier fleet will be a welcome addition to the global maritime partnership.
人民论坛–中共领导集体权力交接：派系裙带关系还是制度因素？ interesting from people’s tribune on 18th Party Congress succession.was 2012 actually the smoothest/most institutionalized succession in prc history, we just saw the sausage being made in near-real time because of social media and far more people being interested in the transition given China’s importance to the world?// 因此，中共十八大上的高层权力交接，并非像西方学界和媒体所猜想和推断的那样是“派系”、“裙带关系”在起主导作用，其在制度上有邓小平设置的规则可以遵循，特别是最高领导人“年龄限制”和“任期制”的制度规定，最大限度地体现了中共权力继承和交接上所注重的本届党和政府（十八大）与下届党和政府（十九大）领导人之间、党的十九大与二十大最高领导人权力继承上，可以“平稳交接”的原则、有利于最高领导人“梯队建设”的原则，以及防止任何个人权力坐大的“集体领导”的原则。这也是从邓时代以来的历次交班过程都可以观察到的制度设置所体现出来的三个重要原则。这种制度安排的好处在于：一方面可以防止出现由于严重的派别斗争、裙带关系主导而带来的权力继承上的弊端，另一方面也有利于防止出现上层领导分裂、不稳定或个人专权等问题，有利于权力平稳交接
Lu Xun’s Afterlives | The China Story The following essay is an edited excerpt from Gloria Davies’ book Lu Xun’s Revolution, published by Harvard University Press in March 2013. It is a study of the writing of a man who is regarded as the colossus of twentieth-century Chinese letters. Mao Zedong called him ‘the sage of modern China’, although much of what Lu Xun wrote challenged orthodoxies, be they the orthodoxies of China’s past, its present, or even of its future. Lu Xun’s work continues to engage, baffle, enthral and enliven participants in as well as observers of Chinese culture and politics. While the ‘Lu Xun spirit’ has slough off its Mao-era associations, the ‘Lu Xun style’ of eviscerating, and coruscating, prose is widely emulated: by free thinkers and Party hacks, Internet rapscallions and doughy neo-Marxist sophists, as well as by purveyors of commercialised nationalist dudgeon of the kind whose vitriolic efforts frequently appear in the pages of such media outlets as Global Times.// at least two of the recent commentaries in the page 1 People’s Daily series about building the Chinese dream cited Lu Xun
New Interest in China for ‘Tomb Sweeping’ Festival – NYTimes.com Qingming, which was observed on Thursday, is an age-old festival in which the living pay respect to their dearly departed ancestors — and in-laws — by tidying graves and burning paper offerings so that the spirits can afford the good afterlife. Banned by the victorious Communist Party in 1949 for its feudal links, Qingming has had a resurgence in recent years. Since the festival was officially reinstated by the mainland government as a public holiday in 2008, the masses have flocked to their relatives’ graves to sweep away debris and leave behind the deceased’s temporal favorites, like oranges, cigarettes and beer.//We went to Peking Man site today to visit grave of spouse’s Grandfather, no burning of anything, in-laws very responsible
China’s Manhunt Shows Sway in Southeast Asia – NYTimes.com just as the US or Russia would do if someone killed their citizens like this// Security officials from Laos arrested the trafficker, Naw Kham, but the international manhunt that led to his capture was organized in Beijing, by top Chinese government officials intent on making him pay for the killings of 13 Chinese seamen on the river, which has become a major trade route into China.
Exclusive: UBS was mystery lender for Thai group’s Ping An deal – sources | Reuters The mystery lender behind a Thai billionaire’s $9.4 billion purchase of a stake in China’s No.2 insurer was UBS, which offered the region’s fourth largest bridge loan ever and a complex financing package known to only a few involved, people with knowledge of the matter told Reuters. The Swiss bank’s financial backing for the biggest foreign purchase of Chinese stock explains how a Thai conglomerate scraped together $7.4 billion in cash for the deal’s final payment, after its main lender backed out at the 11th hour.
Apple Pulls Bookstore App in China Over Illegal Content, FT Says – Bloomberg The online bookstore provided access to 10 works, including three by Chinese writer Wang Lixiong, FT said, citing Hao Peiqiang, the app’s developer. Books by Wang, who is also a political activist, are mostly banned in the country, according to the newspaper. The removal of the app follows an apology this week by Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook to customers in its second-largest market. State media including China Central Television had criticized the company for its customer service and warranty policies, prompting Apple to say it will now offer full replacements of older iPhones experiencing problems.
BUSINESS AND ECONOMY
China Economic Watch | Shadow Deposits in the United States and China In both the United States and China, the growth of shadow deposits was driven by regulatory arbitrage to avoid restrictions on deposit interest rates. More by accident than design, both MMFs and WMPs have grown into an important source of short-term financing for both economies, with widespread participation by household investors. In the United States MMFs are equal to 17 percent of GDP. Bank-issued WMPs are equal to 14 percent of Chinese GDP. Adding in third-party WMPs issued by trusts and securities companies brings the total to 17 percent of GDP, equal to the American level. While money market mutual funds have plateaued in size in the United States, Chinese wealth management products continue to grow robustly.
China Economic Watch | Rewriting History: A SAFE Revision Reveals a Different Picture of Balance of Payments and a Mixed Message for Foreign Firms Until yesterday if you had looked at China’s balance of payment figures for 2011 and 2012 you would see a decline in current account as a share of GDP, the current account share of GDP fell to 2.6 percent in 2012, down from 2.8 percent in 2011. You would also have thought that the earnings of foreign companies in China increased in 2012. For those that read the preliminary figures and thought China’s current account surplus had continued to decline in 2012 and foreign earnings continued to improve in 2012, they would be wrong on both counts…It is easy to jump on SAFE for a statistical revision to China’s current account data, and hawks are almost certain to view the revision as an effort to manipulate data to hide a renewed growth in China’s current account surplus. They are wrong. The most recent revision mostly reflects the difficulty in collecting data on the service sector and retained earnings for foreign firms in China, not an effort to manipulate data. Now foreign firms in China may need to adjust their strategies after a slowdown in 2012, provided the next SAFE revision does not significantly raise foreign earnings for 2012.
Foreign Firms Brace for More Pressure in China – WSJ.com ”I am aware of growing concern and discussion coming from a range of industries, but finding and pursuing immediate solutions to help encourage balanced treatment seems to remain challenging,” said Piper Stover, president of the China-based arm of the U.S.-China Business Council.
Kowtow Now – By David Wolf | Foreign Policy The better course of action for companies is to try to avoid becoming a target. Take the double standard and use it as an advantage by proactively behaving at a higher benchmark: when in Rome, doing as the Christians, as it were. Making China a “most favored nation” by adhering in China to your highest operating standards from around the world — in finance, customer service, hiring, and ethics — is not just a nice idea, it is a corporate survival strategy.
New gov’t tests first major reform in agriculture – Xinhua | English.news.cn Regions where conditions permit will be picked to carry out the pilot program involving nine major tasks to boost modern agriculture through comprehensive and coordinated agricultural reforms. The experiments in agriculture are restricted only in Heilongjiang Province, one of the country’s top grain production regions in northeast China, according to the statement. Large-scale farming in different forms will be supported by the government, as farmers are encouraged to grow their joint partnership, family farms or cooperatives at a time when most rural young and middle-aged labor force are leaving the countryside and seek job opportunities in cities.
Airports in China Hew to an Unswerving Flight Path – NYTimes.com At a time when many American airports are falling into disrepair, China is quickening its air travel development, with plans to build nearly 100 more airports by 2015, including some at high altitudes, where special landing gear is required. Many of those airports are expected to lose money, but that hasn’t deterred the government, which views the expansion of infrastructure as vital to economic development. China’s big-city airports are already colossal. Last year, Beijing Capital International Airport handled 81 million passengers, up from 27 million in 2002. This year, it could surpass Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport to become the world’s busiest.
China Turns Graveyard From Goldmine Hurting Ship Makers: Freight – Bloomberg For shipbuilders such as STX Group, China was once a goldmine. Now it’s a graveyard. China’s lower appetite for commodities undermined the group’s plan to sell its shipping line, wiping out a combined $435 million of investor wealth at the South Korea-based conglomerate’s three main companies this week. That also threatens the group’s ability to repay $1.2 billion of debt by the end of the year. STX’s crisis comes after last decade’s boom prompted the group to set up a shipbuilding and offshore complex in Dalian, northeastern China.
Investors Seek Clarity From People’s Bank of China – WSJ.com is this a desired outcome for the PBOC? could they not want to make it easy for traders?// All this has left investors unwilling to make heavy bets one way or the other. The yield on the benchmark seven-year government bond has barely budged in the past month, trading between 3.42% and 3.47%, while the usually volatile equity markets have been calmer than usual. The Shanghai Composite Index has traded between 2220.08 and 2369.65 since March 1.
POLITICS AND LAW
Xi Jinping’s War on Graft Appears to Have Limits – NYTimes.com Another banner called for officials to disclose their assets publicly, a proposal that has met resistance from powerful interests within the party. The activists also demanded that officials reveal whether they secretly hold foreign passports, an increasingly common practice that in recent years has helped thousands of corrupt civil servants escape Chinese justice by fleeing abroad with their ill-gotten loot. The short-lived demonstration at a public plaza not far from China’s leadership compound was promptly, and roughly, broken up by the police as a small crowd listened to a speech by one of the protesters. By Thursday evening, the three men and one woman were still being held on criminal charges of illegal assembly, according to their lawyers, charges that carry a penalty of up to five years in prison.
Gov’t Austerity Slows Orders at Upscale Restaurant Chains - Caixin–South Beauty Group, a restaurant chain that serves Sichuan cuisine, said early this year it would list on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, but it has not followed through. ”So far South Beauty hasn’t taken any further action for its IPO,” a source from UBS Securities, the underwriter for South Beauty, said. “We seldom mention it in our company.” South Beauty never reveals its sales and profit figures publicly because it is a private company. However, a source from a consultancy that once cooperated with it said that only a few of its outlets were very profitable. Many of its restaurants made tiny profits and some made none at all, the source said.
China’s first lady Peng Liyuan: a perfectly scripted life – Telegraph In 2007, as Mr Xi was anointed as China’s next leader, she began cutting back her singing appearances and instead took on more charity work. Ruby Yang, a film director who shot a series of public service advertisements with Mrs Peng remembered how, stranded in tiny Aids-ridden village in Henan province, Mrs Peng had met a young boy, infected with HIV, who had been forced to live in a pigsty. “She was obviously deeply affected,” she said. “As a Chinese American, I had no idea she was such a star. I made her do her make-up by the side of the road. But she was professional about it”.
The death of a news censor – China Media Project In a pointed reminder of the complex relationship between control and its subversion in China’s media, many professional journalists today mourned the passing of Zeng Li (曾礼), affectionately known as “Old Zeng,” a man who served as a “content examiner” (审读员) at Southern Weekly but also played a crucial role in the paper’s fight against overbearing censorship policies earlier this year. Zeng Li passed away on April 3, just days after his retirement from Southern Weekly, a paper known for its strong independent streak in a tightly controlled media environment. He was 61 years old.
‘Hi! I’m Fang!’ The Man Who Changed China | ChinaFile–Perry Link In China in the 1980s, the word renquan (“human rights”) was extremely “sensitive.” Few dared even to utter it in public, let alone to champion the concept. Now, nearly three decades later, a grassroots movement called weiquan (“supporting rights”) has spread widely, and it seems clear that China’s rulers are helpless to reverse it. Even people at the lowest levels of society demand their rights. No one brought about this dramatic change single-handedly, but arguably no one did more to get it started than Fang Lizhi, the Chinese astrophysicist, activist, and dissident, who died a year ago this week. We were friends for many years; here are eight of my favorite memories of him
Crime statistics: Murder mysteries | The Economist The data, however, are so suspect that it is difficult to say with certainty what the trends really are. Some Chinese scholars believe the murder numbers are indeed falling, though not as dramatically as the official figures appear to show. If they are right, it might help disprove the widely held notion in China that executions act as deterrent: it is generally believed that China has become more cautious in recent years in applying the death penalty. Figures about murder are especially prone to manipulation by local governments.
Secret Files Expose Offshore’s Global Impact | International Consortium of Investigative Journalists Any Chinese in here?// Dozens of journalists sifted through millions of leaked records and thousands of names to produce ICIJ’s investigation into offshore secrecy A cache of 2.5 million files has cracked open the secrets of more than 120,000 offshore companies and trusts, exposing hidden dealings of politicians, con men and the mega-rich the world over.
Eight Questions: Bill Callahan, ‘China Dreams’ – China Real Time Report – WSJ Bill Callahan, a professor of international politics at the University of Manchester who this year is researching China-India relations at the National University of Singapore, has been listening in on their conversations. His new book “China Dreams: 20 Visions of the Future” lets the rest of us in on what he heard. China Real Time threatened to harmonize him unless he answered our eight questions. You don’t have much time for research on China based on trying to peer over the wall of the Communist Party’s Zhongnanhai compound. Bill Callahan: People who analyze Chinese politics generally gather facts through elite interviews and survey China’s “restricted” publications. However, I found that seeking “secret knowledge” often led me away from exciting developments in China. Most insiders, for understandable reasons, either tell me what they think foreigners want to hear or tell me what the party-state wants outsiders to hear.
FOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS
China’s Maritime Disputes in the East and South China Seas – Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Maritime disputes constitute the single likeliest source of instability and military conflict with China, says Michael Swaine. In testimony before the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, he explains the primary drivers of tension in the East and South China Seas and identifies steps Washington can take to reduce the risk of hostilities.
North Korea Cramping China’s Anti-Access Style | Flashpoints All of this has ramifications for Beijing. Ever increasing amounts of missile defense systems will certainly erode China’s growing anti-access capabilities. While it is hard to make solid predictions, it is clear that missile defenses utilized for the protection of U.S. bases and allies in the region also have the potential of being used and/or enhanced to defend against Chinese missiles in the event – however remote – of some sort of conflict.
U.S. to Deploy Anti-Missile System to Guam, Pentagon Says – Bloomberg The Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense program, or Thaad, that is being deployed is a land-based system made by Lockheed Martin Corp. (LMT) that uses truck-mounted launchers to intercept missiles. The decision to send it to Guam is the latest U.S. military response to North Korea’s heightened rhetoric. Two Navy destroyers were deployed to the western Pacific this week.
North Korea missiles ‘ready to strike’ US: Kim Jong-un – YouTube North Korea has put its missile units on standby ready to attack US bases in South Korea, the Pacific and the US after Washington revealed it has flown B2 stealth bombers over the Korean Peninsula.
Chinese scholar predicts turbulent years ahead for Philippines-China relations | Sun.Star China relations will suffer in the next four years due to the international arbitration sought by Manila over the two country’s overlapping claims in the West Philippine Sea. This was the prediction made by Dr. Ruan Zongze, vice president of the China Institute of International Studies (CIIS), an office under the Chinese Foreign Ministry.
China-U.S. mutual trust grows despite gaps: new ambassador – Xinhua | English.news.cn There is growing mutual trust between China and the United States, and China is firmly committed to seeking a new type of inter-power relationship, Cui Tiankai, China’s new ambassador to Washington, said on Wednesday. Cui, who met U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry earlier Wednesday, told reporters that he does not agree with the so-called deficit of trust between China and the United States. Instead, he believed mutual trust is growing.
人民日报海外版-习近平:内政外交新思路 张广昭 陈振凯 “鞋子合不合脚，自己穿了才知道”。一个国家的发展道路合不合适，只有这个国家的人民才最有发言权。实现“中国梦”，一定要坚持走中国道路，同时以中国力量推动“世界梦”的演进和实现。“中国道路”的成功，本身就是对世界文明的一次巨大贡献。 相信，习近平的治国思想，终将成为中国特色、中国道路、中国模式的一部分。
解放军学者：美重返亚太让中国更有理由加强军力 – 新华国际 – 新华网 昆仑岩：适当军事对抗未必是坏事. 一度让人谈C色变的美对华战略包围，随着习近平主席访俄大获成功而蹙眉稍展。摆在中国新领导人面前的考题够难，但并非无解。
Enter the Dragon and the Elephant: China’s and India’s Participation in Global Health Governance – Council on Foreign Relations Yanzhong Huang examines China’s and India’s participation in three dimensions of global health governance (GHG): health-related foreign assistance, the development and implementation of global health rules, and the ideational foundations of their participation. Overall, both countries are increasingly active in participating in GHG, but they not only fail to shoulder significantly more responsibilities in GHG but also fail to offer a viable, sustainable alternative to the existing governance paradigm. Future directions and effectiveness of their participation will ultimately be determined by the dynamics of the ongoing global power shift and the two countries’ ability to address domestic health challenges.
Hagel calls North Korea’s nuclear ambitions a ‘growing threat’ | Fox News In a telephone call Tuesday evening to Chinese Defense Minister Chang Wanquan, Hagel cited North Korea’s pursuit of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles and said Washington and Beijing should continue to cooperate on those problems…Little also disclosed that Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will visit China later this month. It would be Dempsey’s first trip to China as head of the Joint Chiefs…Hagel also invited the Chinese defense minister to visit the United States this year.
习氏 “华尔兹”上场 元年凸显左右平衡术_多维新闻网【多维新闻】习近平携夫人彭丽媛的“魅力攻势”已告结，这也预示着“习元年”的号角正式吹响，新政大幕从内到外全面铺展开来。在不足5个月的时间里，反腐、改作风、倡改革无疑是最为提振民心的“三大马车”，载着更多清党和以民为本的承诺，以及对外绝不妥协的坚决表态，习近平循着“进一步、退一步”的习氏“华尔兹”步调开启了中华民族伟大复兴的“中国梦”。与惯常“华尔兹”舞步不同的是，习氏“华尔兹”进一步的同时，不是退两步，而是退一步。所以，总体上而言，一直在舞动的习近平，实则不偏执于左右。
Hawaii is a spot for sun, surf and spies – Yahoo! News Clandestine agents. Foreign spies. Intelligence. Hawaii is better known for sunbathing on the beach or surfing than high-stakes sleuthing. But the case of a 59-year-old civilian defense contractor accused of giving military secrets to his much younger Chinese girlfriend is a reminder of the state’s little-known identity as a prime target for espionage. A high concentration of important military commands means there’s a great deal of information on the islands that potential adversaries want to know. Case in point: Most of the FBI’s resources in Hawaii are concentrated on counterintelligence — not drug trafficking or terrorism.
HONG KONG, MACAO AND TAIWAN
Ex-vice president Siew to meet with Xi Jinping in Hainan – Taipei Times Former vice president Vincent Siew (蕭萬長) will embark on a trip today to attend the Boao Forum for Asia summit in Hainan, China, and will meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) on Saturday or Sunday, the Cross-Straits Common Market Foundation said yesterday.
Adelson Says He Can’t Recall 2000 Macau Licensing Talk – BloombergLas Vegas Sands Corp. Chairman Sheldon Adelson told a jury a Hong Kong businessman who seeks $328 million over claims he helped the casino operator get a Macau gaming license couldn’t deliver what he promised. “I think he asked me whether or not, if he could deliver a license, I would like it,” Adelson testified yesterday at a trial in state court in Nevada, recalling his early meetings with Richard Suen, a business friend of his brother Leonard Adelson. “He never said anything more than I know somebody who knows somebody who knows somebody.”
TECH AND MEDIA
The Transgressions of Apple Computer–Sinica Podcast Considering the enthusiasm of the Chinese market for Apple products, the state media-led hullabaloo has raised questions about whether the Chinese government is targeting Apple as a competitive threat to mainland companies. And what exactly is going on behind the scenes and what does it forebode for Apple? In today’s episode of Sinica, we are delighted to welcome David Wolf from Allison + Partners and Laurie Burkitt of the Wall Street Journal to our studio to join hosts Kaiser Kuo and Jeremy Goldkorn for a discussion and analysis of the situation.
Huawei Expects Growth Despite U.S. Setback – WSJ.com SHENZHEN, China—A Huawei Technologies Co. executive said the company’s core wireless-network business won’t see U.S. growth this year as it has been effectively shut out of the country due to security concerns. But the Chinese telecom-equipment supplier still expects growth elsewhere as China shifts to next generation mobile networks and demand from European customers remains solid.
Exclusive: Lenovo to design own chips－－EETimes Unlike Samsung or Apple, Lenovo has a checkered history of adopting different apps processors from a variety of suppliers for its smartphones.
SOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY
Art: UCCA Beijing Exhibition ‘On | Off’ Offers a Portrait of China’s Post-Mao Generation – Scene Asia – WSJ every day, China’s Internet users come up against the Great Firewall, an invisible but pervasive barrier that blocks search terms, censors commentary and shuts down controversial websites at will. It’s against this backdrop that “On | Off,” a group exhibition of young Chinese artists, opened earlier this year at the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing and closes later this month. Taking its name from a common VPN interface that allows netizens to breach the firewall’s restrictions, the show is a portrait of a new wave of Chinese artists: a post-Mao generation that was born after 1975, grew up in the wake of the Cultural Revolution and came of age during a period of booming economic prosperity and freedom set against residual state control.
Sotheby’s, Poly Auction, Guardian and Tiancheng Show Down in Hong Kong – Scene Asia – WSJ Poly’s most expensive item is “Mao’s Song Poem of Snow, No. 2” by contemporary painter Zeng Fanzhi. The painting, which depicts Chinese communist leader Mao Zedong and includes a transcription of his poem “Ode to Snow,” is estimated to go as high as $2.8 million. Nationalist works have sold well for Poly in the past: In December, the state-owned company auctioned off a patriotic work called “Ode to my Country” by 20th-century ink painter Qi Baishi for $11.6 million at a sale in Beijing.
Sports where puberty is a disadvantage | The Li-Ning Tower The trio of youngsters probably won’t win a tournament between them for a few years yet, but, if the Junior World Golf Championships is any guide, expect an Asian invasian soon: last year, 11 out of 12 age groups at the finals in San Diego were won by Asians or players of recent Asian descent. The year before it was nine. Alright, so the adults are still better than the kids in golf, but maybe not for much longer. The girls have already made a breakthrough, now it’s time for the boys to do the same.
Chinese Education: The Truth Behind the Boasts – Businessweek The reality is China’s students receive educations of greatly varying quality. Their parents often pay a lot for it, depending on where they live and how ambitious their choice of school—even though China is committed to a system “implemented uniformly by the State,” with “no tuition or miscellaneous fee,” according to the 1986 Compulsory Education Law. Yet some rural families struggle to pay school costs as high as one-half their meager incomes, while up to 130 students crowd country classrooms, according to Yang Dongping, an education expert at the Beijing Institute of Technology and the dean of the 21st Century Education Research Institute. Yang adds that urban parents pay introduction fees of as much as $10,000 to middlemen to win entry into the better schools.//$10,000 (62,000 RMB) is low…I have friends who have paid 200,000 RMB to get into good Beijing schools
Kirkpatrick and XU: Chinese Rhetoric and Writing The authors of Chinese Rhetoric and Writing offer a response to the argument that Chinese students’ academic writing in English is influenced by “culturally nuanced rhetorical baggage that is uniquely Chinese and hard to eradicate.” Noting that this argument draws from “an essentially monolingual and Anglo-centric view of writing,” they point out that the rapid growth in the use of English worldwide calls for “a radical reassessment of what English is in today’s world.”
Chinese Flood U.S. Programs to Gain Edge – WSJ.com Specialized master’s degrees in accounting, finance and other disciplines—generally aimed at students just out of college and lasting one year—have found tremendous popularity in recent years among Chinese nationals seeking a competitive edge and U.S. experience. Such demand has provided steady revenues for business schools at a time when traditional M.B.A. programs are losing their appeal among U.S. students. But the uneven applicant pool has left many schools weighing financial goals against uninspiring classroom experiences for both Chinese and local students and worrying about weak job-placement rates
China Concerto | ChinaFile China Concerto, which director Bo Wang (a Chongqing native) calls “a film about spectacles,” was shot in 2010 and 2011 during the peak of Bo Xilai’s so-called “Red Campaign.” The film takes the viewer into Chongqing’s streets to witness a selection of public spectacles, seemingly unrelated to the political climate of the red campaign, and manages, with only the slightest allusion to the politician leading the city, to take the rising temperature of the city that would soon be consumed by scandal.
五七中学纪事 – 张 鸣的个人空间 – 财经网名家博客 Zhang Ming on his experience at a “May 7 High school” during the Cultural Revolution// 事情过后，别的班同学笑话我们，说你们班真优秀，男的杀人，女的放火。怎么办呢？好像说的没错。 再后来，我们班的女生，每人得到了一床救济的被子，勉强过完了这个学期。当我们挤上大卡车，离开学校的时候，被告知，这所学校不办了，明年，我们要集体转学到另外一所中学，一所设在一个营部的中学。这所中学，不叫五七中学了。在车上，我们甚至没机会跟我们亲手养的猪，亲手盖的房子，亲手开的菜地和我们安眠在山顶的亲爱的同学告别，就这样一溜烟走了。那天，下着小雪，五七中学，雪雾迷蒙，一会儿，就什么都看不见了。车上，凛冽的风，刺骨。北大荒的冬天，零下30度，到下车的时候，人都快冻僵了。从那时到今天，我一直都没有回去过，有人告诉我，那里已经修了水库，五七中学已经淹没在一片汪洋之中了。我们葬在山巅的同学的灵魂，可还安宁？
SOAS CCS Annual Lecture 2013 – Stephen H. West 06.03.12 — The Burdens of Happiness: Zhu Changwen’s Garden of Joy This is certainly the case in Zhu Changwen’s writings, which reveal a complex and often contradictory set of feelings about the garden. While traditional treatments of the Lepu are based on his essay, “The Garden of Joy” and deal only with its aesthetics, a closer investigation of Zhu’s other prose and poetry reveals that garden could produce as much anxiety as it did delight. This leads us to consider that, if we want to thoroughly understand the history and meaning of gardens (or any other space inhabited by humans), we must be prepared to consider garden essays as only as partial representation of the garden’s meaning, derivative of generic expectations and revealing only fragments of the writer’s psyche.
ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT AND HEALTH
China’s fishy data exposed－－Sydney Morning Herald‘ ‘Chinese distant-water fisheries have become globally important economic actors,” Dr Pauly said in the journal Fish and Fisheries. ”Unfortunately what did not improve in the transition to the 21st century … is the tendency towards secrecy in fisheries data.”Dr Pauly’s group assembled its own database to calculate that China operated a far-seas fisheries fleet of at least 900 vessels to capture $11 billion worth of fish a year. The group admits its estimates have a relatively high degree of uncertainty, and the FAO’s Richard Grainger told the journal the estimates were ”far, far too high”. But China’s director of International Co-operation at the Bureau of Fisheries, Xiaobing Liu, confirmed last year it took 1.15 million tonnes, three times the FAO figure.
FOOD AND TRAVEL
Beijing Luxury Hotels – Conrad Beijing just opened on east third ring road across from tuanjiehu park entrance…had dinner there last night, nice place, friend had a beautiful room overlooking Tuanjiehu park
About Bespoke Beijing | Bespoke Beijing We’re a little company with a big mission: to change the way people travel. Actually you’re already traveling in a different way than you used to, we’re just here to make it easier than ever before. We believe in empowering people to learn more, experience more and maximize their time when they’re in a new city. And to put the trip in your hands so that you never feel you are having to adhere to someone else’s vision of what your trip should be.
Nursery tales: Ningxia region in China to produce up to 5 million vines per year | Grape Wall of China Ningxia in north-central China is in the midst of the next step of its ambitious plan to become a leading wine region — setting up facilities that can supply up to five million vines per year. The plan, which would ultimately make Ningxia less dependent on outside sources, calls for the import of hundreds of thousands of European vines, no easy feat given current regulations that favor local growers. Word is some vines have already been shipped and the issue is getting them through regulators and into Ningxia.
Visitors from China Take Top Spot in Growing Seattle Tourism — [contextChina] / 太平洋中国通 In 2011, for instance, the number of visitors to Seattle from China increased 35 percent from the previous year, more than from any other country, Tom Norwalk, CEO of Visit Seattle (formerly Seattle’s Convention and Visitors Bureau) told contextChina. Looking at monthly arrivals from China entering Seattle through Vancouver BC, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and cruise ships, including people going on to another state, the increase for the same period was even larger, at 48 percent.
Beijing 1947, in color – Imgur Amazing full-color photographs of Beijing in 1947, note the images of Chiang Kai-shek above the Tiananmen rostrum, and overlooking the north entrance of Qianmen
BOOKS AND LITERATURE
人民日报-官场小说，“反腐”还是“贩腐”（文艺点评） 周思明 官场小说家的责任不仅仅是“揭幕”。从文学的综合指标考量，官场小说作家要为政治生态的良性转变提出自己的远大构想与精神蓝图，为人们尤其是年轻读者们提供积极的人生经验、阳光的做人经验、正确的从政经验。官场小说作家应当塑造从政人物在官场上的坚守个性，书写新形势下为官者的崇高操守，这种操守来自对传统士大夫精神的传承，也来自现代性启蒙精神和科学正确的世界观、价值观、人生观的领悟与高张。这样的官场小说，才有作家个人的精神气质在。
JOBS AND EVENTS
Eurasia Group–ANALYST, CHINA (NEW YORK, WASHINGTON) Eurasia Group is seeking an experienced and motivated China analyst. The ideal candidate must have a strong understanding of elite politics, governance, and political decision-making in China. In this role, you will assess leadership dynamics and policymaking, and forecast the resulting political risks. You will be well-versed in Chinese macroeconomic and industrial policy. You will have the ability to analyze policies and regulations relevant to key sectors of the Chinese economy. You will have firm grasp of China’s foreign policies, its geopolitical footprint and its impact on global energy and commodity markets.
郭建波与任志强打赌房价认输 申请在长安街裸奔|任志强|郭建波|房价_新浪财经_新浪网 Chinese real estate bear loses bet to developer Ren Zhiqiang over Ren’s prediction last year that real estate prices would surge by March 2013. The loser ran naked across Chang’An Avenue last night (pictures are up on weibo this morning)…would suggest these kind of stakes for foreign China pundits but not sure you want to see that…// [CORRECTION: the bet did occur but the run has not. The pictures going around were of something else..apologies]
朝鲜纪录片：水深火热的美帝人民（字幕版）–凤凰视频-最具媒体价值的综合视频门户-凤凰网 North Korea video on “How Americans Live Today” making the rounds on Weibo…w English. snippet: “this is how Americans live today, drinking coffee made from snow, living in tents and buying guns to kill each other, especially children…”//[Correction: Whoops, turns out this a fake. Entertaining, but apologies]