The Sinocism China Newsletter For 05.07.13

[UPDATE: It seems extraordinary for Xi Jinping to be putting so much personal time and capital into the Middle East peace process, especially so early in his administration. Would he really give this effort so much propaganda exposure if he did not believe there were a good outcome already baked in?

As to what a good outcome might be, here are a couple of guesses.

Xi may really be able to bring the two parties to the table and get a deal, thus cementing his reputation as a global statesman, helping China's image as a constructive, rising power, and benefiting China's relations with the Middle East and the Muslim world.

Or China may believe that by taking such a high-level, high-profile role in the issue, one that appears more favorable to the Palestinians than what the US has advocated, China wins in the Middle East regardless of the outcome. In fact a "recalcitrant" Israel, however friendly its relations with China may be, might help reinforce the idea that China is aligned with the majority of the Middle East while the US is on Israel's side.

These are guesses, but we can have a high level confidence that Xi Jinping would not be making such a big deal if he had not worked through how to make it a win for China. And it would seem to fit nicely with Xi's diplomatic agenda and his recent trip to Russia, Africa and the BRICs summit. END UPDATE]

In what could be a momentous shift in China’s foreign policy, Xi Jinping has taken up the cause of Middle East peace and directly inserted himself into the process. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are both visiting China.

Xi and Li Keqiang’s Monday meeting with Abbas were the top items in official media ( 人民日报-习近平同阿巴斯总统会谈时强调 中方坚定支持巴勒斯坦人民的正义事业《新闻联播》). Xi Jinping called for Middle East talks (China Daily) and offered a four-point proposal for settlement of Palestinian question (Xinhua).

Aggressively trying to solve the Palestinian question will help China’s relationship with the Muslim world, needed given China has a large Muslim population and is increasingly reliant on oil imports from the region. It might also further damage US standing in the region. But how many well meaning, highly skilled diplomats have tried and failed to solve this issue?

China certainly has the financial resources to throw money towards a possible solution, but will Israel go for it, especially as Xi’s four point proposal includes “credible steps to stop settlement activities”? What might Netanyahu ask for in return, especially regards to China’s relationship with Iran? How seriously is the US taking this initiative? What is the likelihood Xi can orchestrate something like the “Camp Xiangshan Accords”?

I was skeptical of the Economist’s claim that the “Chinese Dream” was somehow inspired by Tom Friedman. James Miles, author of the cover story, has taken to the Analects blog to explain The Chinese dream: The role of Thomas Friedman:

Mr Friedman, then, was front and centre of Chinese media discussion of the Chinese dream in the days leading up to Mr Xi’s speech. Oriental Outlook’s cover package referred to no writings on the topic other than Mr Friedman’s column. (Quotations were altered to omit Mr Xi’s name: his impending elevation was still technically a secret). It may well be that the column happened to coincide with independent plans by Mr Xi to develop a Chinese-dream theory. (Its message that China should have its own dream certainly dovetailed nicely with Mr Xi’s nationalist bent: there has been no repetition by Mr Xi of anything like the “one world, one dream” slogan that China devised for the Beijing Olympics in 2008). But a link with Mr Friedman is hard to dismiss.

While I am dream mode I should note that the China Copyright and Media blog has published a full translation of the recent Seeking Truth essay The Chinese Dream Infuses Socialism with Chinese Characteristics with New Energy, written by “秋石 Autumn Stone”.

My Dealbook column this week looks at the Alibaba-Sina Weibo deal and China’s Changing Internet Landscape:

All this activity and wealth creation is happening inside of what the Economist magazine, in an excellent recent report on China’s Internet, termed a “giant cage.” But there are recent signs that the government is concerned the cage may need strengthening.

On May 2, China’s State Internet Information Office declared war against online rumors because they “have impaired the credibility of online media, disrupted normal communication order, and aroused great aversion among the public.” One report suggests the regulators have some of the most influential users of Sina Weibo, those with millions or tens of millions of followers, in their sights. Online rumors have been a real problem, but crackdowns against them can be used for broader goals….

The regulators may not always succeed the first time, but it would be a mistake to assume they will not keep pushing the issue, especially when propaganda work and ideology are so core to the party’s control. At the end of March, the State Council released its task list for the next five years, and one of the items is an Internet real name registration system by June 30, 2014.

The Alibaba deal is about strengthening mobile positioning and spurring social commerce. The government would probably be pleased to see Weibo shift from being a hotbed of social and political commentary and critiques to more of an online shopping arcade that, through integrated online payment functionality, has the voluntary real name registrations of many users.

Just as China’s leadership is clear it will pursue economic reform without structural political reform, so it also appears intent on building a commercially vibrant yet managed Internet, an “Internet with Chinese characteristics.”

Tuesday’s Global Times has a commentary arguing that the verified, celebrity Weibo users have a special responsibility to fight rumors–社评:“大V”对抵制网络谣言负有特殊责任_评论_环球网.

Never a dull moment…

Today’s Links:

THE ESSENTIAL EIGHT

Reduced red tape to boost economy |Economy |chinadaily.com.cn China’s cabinet announced detailed plans on Monday to deepen economic reform, cutting government interventions that hinder robust growth. It will cancel or delegate power to lower levels for 62 items previously subject to central government administrative approval, after similar approaches removed 71 items last month, according to a statement released after an executive meeting of the State Council chaired by Premier Li Keqiang.

Related: 人民日报-李克强主持召开国务院常务会议 研究部署2013年深化经济体制改革重点工作 决定再取消和下放一批行政审批事项

国务院列出今年改革清单 温州金改力争推QDII2|国务院|温州|金改_新浪财经_新浪网

从国务院常务会议看今年改革三大特点 – 新华时政 – 新华网   新华网北京5月6日电(记者 刘铮、韩洁)国务院总理李克强6日主持召开国务院常务会议,研究部署2013年深化经济体制改革重点工作。会议确定今年在行政体制、财税、金融、投融资、价格、民生、统筹城乡、农业农村、科技等重点领域和关键环节加大改革力度。

China Names Yuan Convertibility Plan as Goal This Year – Bloomberg China will this year put forward a plan for allowing yuan capital-account convertibility as part of measures to loosen control over its currency and interest rates, the nation’s cabinet said. The yuan plan will also include creating a mechanism that allows investments overseas by individuals, the State Council said in a statement today after a meeting led by Premier Li Keqiang on the focus of economic reforms in 2013. Other measures include improving controls on risks from local government debt, expanding trials of value-added taxes on companies and pushing forward changes to the country’s household-registration system.

新华网:舆论呼吁及时澄清“朱令案”传闻-财经网  State Media taking up the case of Zhu Ling, this from Xinhua saying that the public opinion groundswell about the case needs to be answered // 近20年来面对此案的种种传言,甚至是直指司法不公的传言,警方并没有及时予以澄清。目前这种“全民福尔摩斯”式的以讹传讹,无论对于受害者朱令,还是“嫌疑人”孙某,都是不公平的。

Related: Censorship Feeds Criticism of Chinese Poisoning Case – Bloomberg Why did China’s leading social-media platform recently ban users from performing searches for a woman poisoned in 1995? Attempts to answer that question — and to censor the answers — have sparked some of the most politically potent online commentary on Chinese leadership, privilege and corruption in recent memory. // ban seems to have been lifted

 朱令妈妈:没人告诉我结案了_网易新闻中心 China Radio interviews Zhu Ling’s mother // 今天下午@央广高速广播 主持人 @许川 对朱令妈妈进行了访谈,根据天涯网友的文字直播,整理了一份文字记录。朱妈妈表示会继续申请信息公开,她说:这是我一个特别重要的期望。我希望给朱令一个交代,给所有关心朱令的网友们一个交代。

Presumption of guilt stirs more questions – OP-ED – Globaltimes.cn The public has quickly jumped to assume the guilt of both Sun and related officials. In all likelihood, if there had been solid evidence the perpetrator would not have gone unpunished. Sun’s family background was not distinguished enough to prevent security organs from investigating the situation at a top university in China // but what this implies is that there are some who do have those connections, as many have pointed out on weibo about the chinese version below

环球时报:朱令案,舆论需冷静,官方应回应|孙维|朱令|舆论_新浪新闻 至少从概率上说,一件投毒致残案如果证据明显,并且有家属执着要求声张正义,作案人能在中国逍遥法外的可能性很小。孙维“家庭背景”的硬条件在北京算不上很显赫,她的亲属即使有心阻止在中国顶尖大学里投毒致残案的调查,也绝不会像网上一些人想的那样容易。

Obama, minister of China petitions? – China Media Project The online petition, made through the Obama administration’s “We the People” platform, alleges that Zhu Ling’s former Tsinghua roommate, Sun Wei (possibly known now as “Jasmine Sun”), had both motive and opportunity to poison her roommate. It asks that Sun, who some believe now resides in the United States, be deported and face investigation.

China Needs Justice, Not Equality | Foreign Affairs China’s new leaders have interpreted recent unrest as being fueled by anger about inequality. But most Chinese find the gap between rich and poor relatively unproblematic. If the Xi administration hopes to settle the country, it needs to starts focusing on the real reasons citizens are taking to the streets: injustice and corruption. MARTIN KING WHYTE is a professor of sociology at Harvard University.

Related: and there is much discussion in the media, and from official sources, about injustice//   [社论]信仰法律实现正义,“到了必须下决心的时候”_要闻_南都网  摘要:如何防范冤假错案,公众对这一命题的关注,丝毫不输职业法律人,各界对此的讨论随着诸如聂树斌、佘祥林及至浙江叔侄等典型个案的媒体报道而反复进行,几近疲惫。

沈德咏:我们应当如何防范冤假错案 Deputy head of China’s Supreme People’s Court on preventing wrongful convictions // 一段时期以来,相继出现的刑事冤假错案给人民法院带来了前所未有的挑战,如不妥为应对,将严重制约刑事审判工作的发展,已经到了必须下决心的时候。错案一经发现,惟有依法及时纠正、匡扶正义,方能让民众对国家法治树立起信心。同时,相比较错案的纠正,我们必须要更加重视“防患于未然”,要做“事前诸葛亮”,使潜在的可能发生的冤假错案无法形成。坚决守住防范冤假错案的底线,不仅是我们刑事审判部门和法官应尽的职责,也是由于司法审判的最终判断性质所决定的。

学习时报:最危险的是穷人失去向上流动的希望 – 新华时政 – 新华网 Study Times–The most dangerous are poor people who have lost hope of upward mobility//  改革开放以来,经济社会的发展为人们提供了广阔的发展空间,个人通过奋斗和劳动创造了美好生活。但是,在人民生活不断改善、人民福祉逐步增进的同时,必须清醒地认识到社会分层“凝固化”和社会流动“缓慢化”的趋势,并采取切实措施加以解决,让中国梦在时代进步中焕发出绚丽的光彩。

U.S. Intelligence on North Korea Proves Elusive – NYTimes.com When President Obama and South Korea’s new president, Park Geun-hye, meet for the first time at the White House on Tuesday, intelligence officials and outside experts say, they will be working, by necessity, from a deeply incomplete understanding of their common adversary. At a time when the United States has learned to conduct drone strikes with increasing accuracy in Pakistan, and direct cyberweapons at specific nuclear centrifuges deep under the Iranian desert, its understanding of North Korea’s leadership and weapons systems has actually gotten worse.

RelatedThe Chosun Ilbo (English Edition): Daily News from Korea – U.S. Neglecting N.Korean Nuke Problem, Says China ”Beijing believes that Washington lacks the will and capacity to address the issue because it is too focused on Syria and the wider Middle East,” the source said. “It seems Beijing has notified Seoul of its concerns both directly and indirectly.” Beijing worries that Washington has given up trying to persuade North Korea to denuclearize and instead turned its attention to deterrence, which leads to a proliferation of nuclear weapons and missiles in the region, the source added. // which China will hate if it means deploying more missile defense and other military assets closer to China…

Obama, Park to show united front on North Korea – AJW by The Asahi Shimbun President Barack Obama and South Korea’s new leader Park Geun-hye will seek to present a strong front against North Korea’s nuclear threats when they meet at the White House on May 7. But they also want to leave the door open to talks with Pyongyang.

DoD “Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China 2013″ Report Just Released | Andrew S. Erickson In extremely welcome change from last year, the 2013 report is detailed and substantive.

Related: Espionage fuels China’s fast-paced military buildup: Pentagon | Reuters In its 83-page annual report to Congress on Chinese military developments, the U.S. Defense Department also highlighted Beijing’s efforts to develop advanced-technology stealth aircraft and to build an aircraft carrier fleet to project power further offshore. ”What concerns me is the extent to which China’s military modernization occurs in the absence of the type of openness and transparency that others are certainly asking of China,” David Helvey, deputy assistant secretary of defense for East Asia, told a Pentagon briefing on the report.

Pentagon Lifts Veil on 7 New Obscure Chinese Weapons | Danger Room | Wired.com The latest installment (.pdf) of the Pentagon’s annual report on Chinese military developments, released today, highlights some of these lesser-known but still potentially world-changing weapons.

China to crack down on faked export data – FT.com The SAFE statement, published late on Sunday, was the first major action taken by the government to address the problem. “This is clearly a sign that the authorities recognise that companies channelling inflows into China dressed up as exports is actually a serious issue, that it is happening and that they want to do something about it,” said Louis Kuijs, an economist with the Royal Bank of Scotland.

Related: Yuan Falls as China Cools Market – WSJ.com The rules appear to have scaled back investors’ expectations of further gains by the yuan in the short term by effectively limiting banks’ ability to bet against the dollar versus the yuan in China. But analysts say the yuan’s longer-term outlook remains bullish because of China’s huge trade surplus and sound economic fundamentals.

Navigating China’s perilous health care system along the Street of Eternal Happiness | Marketplace.orgLike nearly all Chinese, Yao is covered by a state health insurance plan. But she’s discovered that it doesn’t pay for much of her treatment. Yao and her husband Tang Jin Lin say that after two years in and out of hospitals, her doctors still don’t know what’s wrong with her. ”It’s useless!” yells Tang, “They’re just trying to check her quickly, prescribe some drugs, and move on to the next patient. They’re not trying to figure out what’s really wrong with her,” he says. Yao interrupts her husband: “We’ve gone through all of our retirement savings seeing these doctors.” // 看病难,看病贵

Baidu Buys PPS Video for $370 Million, Now China’s Biggest Video Platform–TechInAsia Chinese search company Baidu announced today that it has acquired PPS.tv’s streaming video service for $370 million. The acquisition bolsters Baidu’s video offerings (it already owns iQiyi) and puts it in a position to challenge market leader Youku-Tudou for a bigger share of China’s web video marketplace. By some user counts, this acquisition makes Baidu the proud new owner of China’s biggest video platform.

 

BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

Yum says not affected by China mutton scandal | South China Morning Post Yum Brands said its roughly 450 Little Sheep hot pot restaurants in China are not involved in a fake mutton scandal that is the latest tainted food saga to rock the country that is the fast-food chain’s largest market.

China Quake Zone’s Absent Men Show Labor Supply Curbing Growth – Bloomberg Like rural communities across China, Zhang’s village in southwestern Sichuan province is home these days mainly to the old, the weak and the young. The able-bodied men have left to seek work in the cities.

China’s new securities regulator has a China dream, too | beyondbrics When Xiao Gang, the new boss of the China Securities Regulatory Commission, used ‘China dream’ as the theme of his first public speech following his appointment back in March, he was making an obvious echo of president Xi Jinping’s evoctaion of a ‘China dream’. Xiao’s speech was published on CSRC’s website to just before China’s May 4th Youth Day.

China’s great rebalancing, or: where does the investment go? | FT Alphaville These signs of slowdown in services growth raises the question of where Chinese growth is now coming from, given that April manufacturing PMIs also disappointed. Importantly, what does it say about the composition of China’s economy, which the country’s leaders acknowledge needs to move from an unusually heavy reliance on investment towards more consumption-based growth?

 

POLITICS AND LAW

Chinese ministry restricts official meals to canteens in austerity measure | South China Morning Post A new document aiming to cut costs and streamline operations at China’s top authority for land and resource planning included a decree ordering officials to keep wining and dining to canteens. The Ministry of Land and Resources released on Sunday its first whitepaper this year listing 20 new measures to “further improve the working style of the ministry and its relevant organs and establish closer ties with the masses”, the Beijing News reported on Monday.

开国元勋后代井冈山纪念朱毛会师85周年_网易新闻 5月4日,毛泽东外孙孔继宁、朱德外孙刘建、陈毅之子陈昊苏、何长工之子何光晔等众多开国元勋后代、红军后人齐聚江西井冈山,纪念朱毛会师85周年。1928年4月28日,朱德和陈毅领导的南昌起义部队与毛泽东领导的秋收起义部队在井冈山脚下会师

石家庄平山官员——“皇帝哥”火了-石家庄吧 | 微吧 一起扎堆吧!河北省石家庄市平山县古月镇北冶乡沕沕水村村民向乡长张栋礼下跪求情,要求释放被抓捕村官。

胡耀邦故居成全国重点文保单位 去年获批4A景区_网易新闻中心 Hu Yaobang’s home now a protected cultural site// 国家文物局表示,对于名人故居,此次评选增加了从严把握的三条原则:即与本人做出的重大贡献或发生的重要历史事件没有紧密关联的不列入,已有一处故居旧居列入“国保”单位的原则上不再考虑第二处列入,新中国成立后复建的不列入。

Province to probe ‘fake’ student dictionaries |Society |chinadaily.com.cn Hubei provincial authorities have vowed to investigate the government procurement of 3 million dictionaries reported by media to be low quality. It was the second time in weeks that dictionaries a local government bought for students have had problems. ”We have stopped handing out the dictionaries and will investigate the whole procurement process,” the Hubei Department of Education said in a statement on its website on Monday. “Any wrongdoing will be dealt with seriously.”

 

FOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS

China seeks to water down key World Bank report – FT.comChina is leading an effort to water down the World Bank’s most popular research report in a test of the development institution’s new president, Jim Yong Kim. According to people close to the matter, China wants to eliminate the ranking of countries in the Doing Business report, which compares business regulations – such as the difficulty of starting a company – in 185 different nations.

FBI Agents Association endorses Rep. Mike Rogers to bureau’s new leader – The Washington Post The FBI Agents Association released a statement of support for Rep. Mike Rogers (Mich.), a former agent, and urged President Obama to nominate him when Mueller’s term ends in September. // China would probably not be happy about this

China sends fishing fleet to Nansha Islands – Xinhua | English.news.cn A fishing fleet is about set sail for Nansha Islands at the Baimajing Harbor in Danzhou City, south China’s Hainan Province, May 6, 2013. Thirty Chinese fishing vessels on Monday set off for the Nansha Islands in the South China Sea. The fishing ships, each with a capacity exceeding 100 tonnes, will stay around the Nansha Islands for 40 days

PacNet #30A – The US Rebalancing to Asia: Indonesia’s Maritime Dilemma | Center for Strategic and International Studies The Indonesian archipelago straddles a strategic location at the crossroads of two oceans and two continents – the Indian and Pacific Oceans, and the Asian and Australian continents. In between, and connecting the two regions, are three critical maritime chokepoints for global trade: the Straits of Malacca-Singapore, Sunda, and Lombok-Makassar. The Straits of Malacca and Singapore are partly administered by Malaysia and Singapore, while the Sunda and Lombok-Makassar Straits are located within the Indonesian Archipelagic Sea Lanes (ASL). At a glance, these features might seem a geostrategic blessing. Recent developments in the maritime strategic environment, however, could complicate Indonesia’s strategic calculus.

细化钓鱼岛实战 解放军模拟对日定点清除_多维新闻网 Duowei on the recent PLAN exercise to practice attacking an island //【多维新闻】在中美就协防钓鱼岛一番唇枪舌战后,中国官方媒体日前报道的解放军动态格外引人注目。央视近日报道,解放军北海舰队航空兵日前演练多机种远程对海岛精确打击;《解放军报》5月6日称,南海舰队某猎潜艇大队4月25日在某海域展开了一场攻防对抗演练,在近似实战的环境中磨砺反潜硬功;中国军网5月2日公开东海舰队歼-10机群4月27日演练偷袭格斗制敌的消息。

Defence White Paper pulls its punches on China--Lowy Interpreter The most striking feature of the 2013 Defence White Paper is the growing gap between Australia’s strategic policy aspirations and the crunch in defence spending. Nowhere is this more evident than in the ambitious rhetoric over the strategic construct of the ‘Indo-Pacific’, where Australia’s grand plans to play an active role in promoting a stable environment coexist uncomfortably with the fact that defence expenditure as a proportion of GDP is at its lowest point since 1938. Like the Australia in the Asian Century White Paper, DWP 2013 paints a grandiose picture of Australia’s regional ambitions, but fails to deliver on the means to achieve it.

Chinese National Security Decision-making: Processes and Challenges | Brookings Institution This paper examines three processes of China’s national security decision-making: the decision-making at the top level, the policy-coordination process conducted through the National Security Leading Small Group (NSLSG), and the informational process for national security decision-making. Generally speaking, the supreme decision-making authority in China is monopolized and exercised through the collective leadership of the Politburo Standing Committee; this is especially true with regard to “strategically important” issues, such as Sino-U.S. relations.

Anti-Dumping or Blatant US Protectionism? How the US Tried and Failed to Destroy a Great Chinese Entrepreneur | China Private Equity As an American citizen, I’m more than a little disgusted by what the US government did in this case: it made that 2009 announcement, declaring a preliminary finding, without really checking its facts. Had Yao not acted quickly, hired lawyers and proved his case, his business would have been sunk, and Americans would end up paying much more to decorate their gifts. Had Commerce wanted to, it would have taken almost no time or effort to establish that Yama, as the largest Chinese ribbon exporter, was likely getting nothing from the Chinese government. But, they didn’t bother.

Work in progress – The Hindu It is still unclear what caused the People’s Liberation Army to move troops into the Depsang Plain. There is speculation that it might have done so to convey its displeasure at the recent infrastructure development undertaken by India in Ladakh. Given that a diplomatic mechanism already exists to regulate and draw down mutual deployments along the LAC, it would be unwise for any stakeholder on the Chinese side to try and unilaterally force an outcome through provocative actions. Indeed, Beijing must realise that its attempts to resolve long-standing disputes with countries across Asia through coercive tactics will only rebound on itself.

Government Lab Reveals It Has Operated Quantum Internet For Over Two Years | MIT Technology Review Richard Hughes and pals at Los Alamos National Labs in New Mexico reveal an alternative quantum internet, which they say they’ve been running for two and half years. Their approach is to create a quantum network based around a hub and spoke-type network. All messages get routed from any point in the network to another via this central hub.//US ahead of China on this? remember the PLA daily piece on a Chinese research breakthrough noted in yesterday’s Sinocism

 

HONG KONG, MACAO AND TAIWAN

Leopards found extinct in Taiwan as public begins to growl – CSMonitor.com A team of zoologists have been looking for the Formosan clouded leopard, indigenous to Taiwan, for 13 years. Last week they announced it was extinct.

Nation not taking asthma, allergies seriously: group – Taipei Times More than 20 percent of Taipei first-graders suffer from asthma and 50 percent of them have allergic rhinitis, the Taiwan Association of Asthma Education said yesterday.

 

TECH AND MEDIA

China Money Network − Tristen Langley: Start-ups Within Chinese Internet Companies Generate Great Value – Tune in for China’s Financial Markets and Investment Opportunities In this episode of China Money Podcast, co-founder of Amalfi Capital, Tristen Langley, talks with our host, Nina Xiang, on Alibaba Group’s $586 million acquisition of an 18% stake of Sina’s Weibo, her investment firm’s winning and losing bets, and the future challenges facing China’s e-commerce industry.

[视频]互联网企业抢占移动互联市场_新闻频道_央视网 Monday CCTV Evening News on the Alibaba-Sina deal, questions how the two firms will integrate user data without violating Sina Weibo’s data protection policies//  以阿里巴巴入股新浪微博为例,数据交换的深度合作是这次双方合作的主要内容,而在《新浪微博个人信息保护政策》中明确写到,“未经您本人允许,新浪微博不会向任何第三方披露您的个人信息”。这次阿里巴巴入股新浪微博后,也就成为了微博的股东,这样的规定在现实中到底能不能执行,还有待检验。

France Names Wong Kar-wai Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters – Scene Asia – WSJ France’s enduring love affair with Wong Kar-wai continued over the weekend, as the country named the Hong Kong filmmaker a Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters.

Caixin – China Economics & Finance now goes all-digital -Starting May 2013, we will officially cease print publication of Caixin – China Economics & Finance. The first digital-only issue goes out on May 1, 2013. At the same time, we will set up a paywall system for Caixin Online (english.caixin.com), which goes live on May 3, 2013. These changes are a key step in our shift to digital-only product offerings for Caixin English.

 

SOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY

Seeking Visibility for China’s Art – NYTimes.com China’s art market, though its growth slowed significantly last year, is an established part of the art world, ranking second in size behind the U.S. market in 2012 and ahead of Britain’s, according to a recent report. In fact, Chinese collectors — scouring the world for deals, or “panning for gold,” as The Art Newspaper’s new Chinese edition put it — have become a common sight (or, often, voice at the end of the telephone) at auctions around the world, even in small towns in Europe.

Going Global: Markups and Product Quality in the Chinese Art Market – Federal Reserve Bank of New York why is the New York Fed using its resources on this? what i am missing? // We analyze two reasons for export prices to be different across markets–namely, quality differentiation and variable markups–and attempt to parse their relative importance and some of their underlying drivers. To overcome the substantial measurement issues in this task, we consider a particular industry as a special case: Chinese fine art. The simplicity of the supply side of art vis-á-vis marginal cost and the wealth of data on its quality characteristics make it possible to separately identify the markup and quality components of international relative prices for Chinese artworks.

Punk in China – video | Music | guardian.co.uk When the Sex Pistols appeared on the BBC singing God Save the Queen, China was still in the grips of the Cultural Revolution – most music was banned, and Mao ruled supreme. Nearly 40 years later, punk is alive and kicking in Beijing

 

FOOD AND TRAVEL

Nongfu Spring to sue over quality claims[1]|chinadaily.com.cn In an online statement on Monday, the company said it is seeking 60 million yuan ($9.7 million) in damages from the paper, which it accuses of defamation. Zhong Shanshan, chairman of Nongfu Spring, appeared at a news conference in the afternoon that descended into a war of words with reporters from The Beijing Times, who insisted reports about the water quality had been “factual” and “well-grounded”.

 

BEIJING

北京出租车调价方案今日发布 15天后听证_网易财经 hearings on planned beijing taxi price increases. a cabbie told me the other day he does not expect his income to go up as the gas subsidy (油补费) will be eliminated…1425 rmb/mo he said, some from government, some from cab company. he claimed cab companies would end up making more money since they would save on their share of the cab subsidy. if true expect it to come out in chinese media at some point// 此前有媒体曾报道称,北京将从6月起出租车价格全面调整,起步价或将上调到15元,每公里收费上调到2.4元。市交通委则表示,出租车上调的价格收益,全部归出租司机所有。

北京新政欲破“打车难” – 经济观察网 - 专业财经新闻网站 导语:高峰时刻,一边是闲置的资源,一边却是旺盛的需求。作为主管部门,如何整合资源,调节需求?北京市交通委在近期交出了答卷——欲通过调整租价结构、改变出租车经营权限等组合措施,为“打车难”破题。

刘远举:出租车企业用押金“绑架”司机 抵制改革-财经网 以“押金”、“风险保证金”等形式存在的收费加大、加固了公司和司机之间的权利不平等架构,使公司可以转嫁改革成本给司机,迫使司机成为自己的拳头,最后,形成对改革的有效抵制。

Police struggle to stop jaywalkers as Beijing launches road safety campaign | South China Morning Post Some police lamented what they considered a manpower shortage. One officer told the Beijing Times that three or more officers were needed to effectively stop all the jaywalkers at an intersection. When more than a dozen people ignore a red light at once, which happens frequently, an officer is able to stop maybe one or two people in the lead, while the other violators continue on their way.

 

JOBS AND EVENTS

The Road to Reform: European Chamber Annual Conference 2013Time 2013-05-09 | 09:00 – 17:00 Venue: China World Summit Wing, Address: No.1 Jianguomenwai Avenue, Beijing

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  • http://twitter.com/Shaihuludata sam chester

    Bill, Your calling attention to China’s more confident diplomacy on the Arab/Israeli conflict is important. But you are misreading what actually led to the nearly overlapping visits this week of the Israeli and Palestinian leaders: China reassuring Arab opinion by ‘balancing’ a high prestige visit by Netanyahu with a visit from Abbas. Beijing sought to avoid taking heat from traditional Arab allies by having the first Middle East head of state to visit the new Xi/Li regime be from Israel, especially in such a public 5 day visit. So they quickly* brought over Abbas as a face-saving gesture, to sign a few meaningless statements, grandstand about China’s peacemaking to burnish China’s image of itself as ‘responsible stakeholder,’ and by doing so, water down the Israeli visit. The way the two visits, especially the Israeli visit, were reported in the Chinese and Arab press substantiates my point.

    This savvy act of diplomatic leverage fits in perfectly with the way China engages the Middle East, and the Arab/Israeli divide in particular (countless precedents exist where Beijing behaves very similar). In this sense, the current visits are no “transformative act of Chinese diplomacy” but simply are Xi acting out a long practiced Chinese strategy. Is China’s diplomatic profile growing in the Middle East? Yes. But nowhere near as much as this week’s visits or overheated proclamations of ‘China’s Pivot to West Asia’ suggest.

    * I’m confident access to government papers will reveal even more clearly how Abbas was invited in FFW fashion in response to Netanyahu’s office finalizing the Israeli visit.