Since it seems that just about everyone is writing a column about the upcoming Obama-Xi summit, I decided to take a different tack for this week’s Dealbook column. There is another event on June 7th and 8th that is far more important to millions of Chinese than the Sunnylands summit. It is Crunchtime for China’s High School Seniors:
Friday and Saturday will be momentous days for millions of Chinese families, but not because of the upcoming California summit meeting between President Obama and China’s new leader, Xi Jinping.
On those two days, high school seniors from around China will sit for the annual college entrance examination, called the Gaokao in Chinese…
As with just about everything in China, there are too many people competing for a scarce resource. And through the household registration (hukou) system, the college entrance process is biased in favor of urban applicants….
Sohu News has a terrific infographic on the regional and urban/rural inequalities in the education system and the Gaokao–谁输在了起跑线之前? Xinhua reports this week that More Chinese university vacancies are reserved for rural students:
An estimated 8.6-percent more rural students are expected to enroll in the country’s leading universities this year than last year, according to the statement.
Statistics from the ministry show that the national average college admission rate was 8.5 percent in 2011, while the number for the 680 impoverished counties stood at just 5.7 percent.
The urban-rural education disparities are now being discussed–the Sohu infographic was in my sina Weibo stream–but any solutions require difficult structural reforms. Meanwhile society becomes more stratified.
I could not resist adding some comment on the upcoming Obama-Xi meeting:
The new foreign policy mantra for the Chinese government is building “a new type of great power relations.” The meaning is not yet clear, but it is probably safe to assume that it involves a relative diminution of American power vis a vis China. While there are many positive aspects to the United States-China relationship, including bilateral trade that may exceed $450 billion in 2013, managing the rise of China is going to require statesmanship and strategic thinking that, given the partisan politics in Washington, could be lacking.
I have two suggestions for the summit meeting organizers. First, Peng Liyuan and Michelle Obama will be with their husbands at Sunnylands, and it would be great if there were a global initiative on which they could cooperate.
Second, given the proposed acquisition of Smithfield Foods by Shanghui International, serve some Smithfield Ham.
The first lady idea is not a particularly original one, and in fact the Atlantic web site today has a long post about a New Idea for Sino-American Relations: First Lady Diplomacy. So can it happen?
No, as the New York Times reports just as I was about to hit send. Michelle Obama is staying in DC to be with their daughters, who finish school this week. Seems like a real missed opportunity…
Among the tsunami of suggestions from smart people (see the Foreign and Defense Affairs section below) about what should be discussed at the summit, Douglas Paal of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace has written perhaps the most useful I have seen so far. In U.S.-China Summit: Time to Make History Paal writes:
They should seek to evoke from each other expressions of principle about handling the major disputes and challenges facing both countries. This is not about crafting a detailed “fourth communiqué,” for which there is neither time nor a need [Zing!]. Nor is it about creating a “G2” consortium of the United States and China to lead world affairs. But if these two powers cannot find a principled way to handle many of the problems they face, regional and global cooperation may prove elusive and competition dangerous.
THE ESSENTIAL EIGHT
Poverty elimination remains important task of Chinese government: President Xi – Xinhua | English.news.cn Chinese President Xi Jinping said here Monday that poverty elimination remains an important task of the Chinese government. When visiting a Costa Rican family that grows coffee beans, Xi said he had been a farmer and personally knows what life is like for Chinese farmers. “China has made a major contribution to the world by helping more than 200 million people to get rid of poverty in the past few decades alone,” he said.
Related: [视频]习近平走访哥斯达黎加农户_新闻频道_央视网 CCTV Evening News Tuesday report on Xi Jinping and Peng Liyuan visiting a Costa Rican farming family. Xi tells the farmer he was once also a farmer…impressive personal diplomacy…Peng Liyuan even gives the farmer’s wife a nice hug when they are leaving. then Peng Liyuan gets about 40 seconds alone at the end of this report, about her visit to a Costa Rican hospital. When was the last time CCTV Evening News reported on the activities of a first lady alone? Mrs. Peng to be one of the most effective instruments of Chinese soft power?
Related: 组图：习近平与夫人走访哥斯达黎加农户_新闻_腾讯网 pictures of Xi Jinping and Peng Liyuan visiting a costa Rican farming family. Nice picture of Xi picking a flower and passing it to his wife
Related: Mexico, China Seek to Jump-Start Trade – WSJ.com It is now cheaper to land many products in New York from Mexico than from China, said Jaime Serra Puche, Mexico’s former trade minister. The transportation costs from China alone would be equal to a 12% tariff. As a result, Mexico’s share of the U.S. import market has risen from 10% to 13% over the past seven years. “Mexico has recovered the ability to compete vis-à-vis China to penetrate the U.S. market,” said Mr. Serra Puche. Analysts say it is time for Mexico to take a more aggressive stance with China. “We now need for Mexican products to compete in China,” said Luis de la Calle, a consultant and former Mexican trade negotiator.
Former LDP elder: Kakuei Tanaka said Senkaku issue shelved in 1972 – AJW by The Asahi Shimbun big deal // Prime Minister Kakuei Tanaka in 1972 confirmed that Japan and China agreed to shelve the dispute over the Senkaku Islands, a statement that contradicts the official Japanese government position, former political heavyweight Hiromu Nonaka said. Nonaka, 87, a former chief Cabinet secretary and long-time member of the Liberal Democratic Party faction once led by Tanaka, said he himself heard Tanaka make the comment when he returned to Japan after normalizing relations with China in September 1972.
Related: Japan Is Back | Foreign Affairs Abe in a May interview // We have never agreed with the Chinese to shelve the issue of the Senkaku Islands. To say that we have in the past is a complete lie by the Chinese.
Related: Spokesman urges Japan to return to dialogue on Diaoyu Islands – Xinhua | English.news.cn It is an historical fact that China and Japan had reached important understanding and consensus on shelving the issue of the Diaoyu Islands for a future resolution, spokesman Hong Lei told a regular press briefing. Hong made the remarks in response to a question about a comment made by Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga. Yoshihide said at a news conference held in Tokyo Tuesday that Japan has never agreed with China on shelving the dispute over the Diaoyu Islands.
Xi Jinping’s Chinese Dream – NYT OpEd So is Xi a reformer? A nationalist? The answer is that he is both, because only by being a nationalist can he be a reformer. American policy makers must understand Xi’s nationalism so that when the reigning superpower meets the rising superpower, both can benefit.–Robert Lawrence Kuhn // I agree, see item below, from 11.30 Sinocism.
Related: The Sinocism China Newsletter For 11.30.12 | I have noted what appears to be greater emphasis by Xi Jinping on nationalism and the “great renewal of the Chinese nation” and would not be surprised if it is part of a strategy to use nationalism as a cudgel in a corruption campaign and an assault on some of the entrenched special interests: Watching Xi’s [November 16] remarks I was struck by his three references to “中华民族伟大复兴” (translated as “great renewal of the Chinese nation” or “great Chinese renaissance”) and his omission of most of the standard ideological benchmarks. “中华民族伟大复兴” is not a new term and has historically been used by Deng Xiaoping and many others as the justification for reform…Xi’s repeated mention of this goal may be another sign that will see a more nationalist China during his rein. The Party knows it needs more than “Scientific Development”, “The Three Represents”, “Marxism”, “Mao Zedong Thought” or “Socialism with Chinese Characteristics” to justify its rule. And that is why I think we will see attempts at reforms, though nothing like the political reforms Westerners and liberal Chinese hope for. The great renewal of the Chinese nation will not happen without significant changes to the economy, and a real crackdown on corruption (calling Wang Qishan…) Some will argue that it will also not happen without wholesale political reform, but Xi Jinping and the new leadership are unlikely to agree. Expect Xi Jinping to be a reformer, but possibly a hardline nationalist one.
EU Hits China With Solar-Panel Duties in Dumping Dispute – Bloomberg In an incentive for the government in Beijing to negotiate, the commission today set the initially lower rate of 11.8 percent for two months, after which the levies will range from 37.2 percent to 67.9 percent unless an accord is reached. After Aug. 6, the provisional duties would average 47.6 percent, the EU said.
Related: European Union Backs Down on China Tariffs – NYTimes.com Germany had warned against imposing preliminary duties in the case, which risked inflaming trade relations with China. Karel De Gucht, the European trade commissioner, had recommended average duties as high as 47.6 percent to last for up to six months. Those duties will be set at the far lower level of 11 percent until August, an official said ahead of a formal announcement later on Tuesday.
Related: EC Investigations Aim at China’s 4G Market-Caijing Most industry insiders interviewed by Caijing believe that the investigations are merely a tactic used by the EC to help European telecom equipment companies seize a larger share of China’s 4G market. Cheng Dejie, deputy chief engineer at Sichuan Communication Design, China Comservice, said the EC is picking on Chinese telecommunications products at the eve of a shift from 3G to 4G mobile communications technology and the impending large-scale commercial application of 4G products worldwide.
Video: Beijing’s “Sleeping” Satellites – Economic Observer Beijing’s strict property purchase restrictions have indirectly led to the development of “sleeping” satellite towns in neighboring Hebei province. These towns offer no local employment options and simply house populations that commute to the capital for work.// know someone who just bought in Yanjiao. commute to CBD not bad, prices are not unreasonable given the number people in the Greater Beijing Area. Is “Bedroom Community” a better translation than “sleeping city”? And is this analogous to the development of the suburbs around New York City or DC that became the Greater New York Metropolitan area or the Greater DC Area? just here it is happening faster, and we are watching the “sausage made” in real time? I wrote about the ”Greater Beijing” idea in a 2010 post
Inside China’s ‘cancer villages’ | World news | The Guardian Death rates in communities near chemical, pharmaceutical or power plants exceed the national average, but residents face a wall of denial and intimidation
China Sticks to Carbon-Intensity Target, Dismisses CO2 Cap – Bloomberg China’s Chief Climate Negotiator Su Wei reaffirmed his nation’s commitment to lower emissions relative to economic output while dismissing reports that it will adopt an absolute cap on greenhouse gases. The Financial Times and Independent newspapers both said last month that China is looking to introduce a cap in 2016. The Independent cited a proposal by the National Development and Reform Commission, the economic planning agency where Su works. The FT cited Jiang Kejun, an NDRC carbon-policy researcher. “The paper quoted an expert,” Su said today in an interview in Bonn, where two weeks of climate talks began yesterday. “It’s not necessarily presenting the view of the government or the NDRC. The NDRC would reaffirm that we have committed to a carbon-intensity target by 2020.” // have to be careful assuming that what an official expert says is actually the likely policy, vs a desired or advocated approach
Tencent Sends a Message with Bid to Take Popular App Abroad – Caixin WeChat has adopted various strategies to seek expansion abroad, but Tencent has found that competition in messaging has become increasingly strong. In addition, maintaining a sound relationship with telecoms partners has presented a challenge.
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BUSINESS AND ECONOMY
Diverging Readings Complicate Macroeconomic Regulation -Caijing very abridged translation of the cover story 换档经济调控 of the new issue of Caijing //The divergences of various macroeconomic indicators indicate the structural mismatch of resources has reached a tipping point, which has complicated analysis and regulation of the macroeconomy
China’s luxury consumption patterns shift from prestige to quality: report – Xinhua Chinese affluent consumers are increasing their purchases of lower price luxury items, moving away from established brands, Bank Julius Baer said in a report here on Tuesday. The Swiss biggest private banking group released its third Julius Baer Wealth Report Tuesday, saying that the Chinese consumers have changed tastes and habits, and luxury becomes a lifestyle in stead of a one-off celebration. The report expects the next wave of luxury consumption in China is less about famous brands, but a migration towards heritage, underlying quality and understatement.
豪宅“发烧”：上海一别墅捂出20万单价_财经频道_一财网 200,000 rmb/m villas go on sale in Shanghai..good mareting tactic? // 日前，上海市静安区的一个名为远中风华园的项目推出11套联排别墅，网上报价高达20万元/平方米以上，面积多为283平方
China Pork Binge Aides U.S. Export Prospects After Year of Loss – Bloomberg China is the world’s largest pork consumer, and the U.S. exported 23 percent of its output last year, the most since at least 1960, government data show. U.S. producers lost $23 per hog on average in the year through the spring of 2013, the most severe losses since 2009, according to Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. China may import 326 million pounds (148,000 metric tons) of U.S. pork this year, 9.8 percent more than previously forecast, if the deal goes through, said Brett Stuart, the chief executive officer of meat researcher Global AgriTrends. Last year, China was the third-biggest buyer of U.S. pork, after Japan and Mexico.
AIG Chief Raises Doubt About Completing Plane-Unit Sale – Bloomberg AIG said last week that it hadn’t received a deposit required in an agreement to sell International Lease Finance Corp. to acquirers led by New China Trust Co. Chairman Weng Xianding. That would allow AIG to cancel the accord, reached in December, to sell 80 percent of ILFC for about $4.2 billion. The transaction is subject to approval from U.S. and Chinese regulators, including the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S.
Beijing’s forced sale of Glencore Peru mine may play into China’s hands | Reuters Interest from Chinese state companies in Glencore’s Peruvian mine is a rare case of an asset sale forced by a government as a condition of merger approval working in favor of its own national champions, and underscores China’s new-found clout in regulating global takeovers. Chinalco Mining Corp International (3668.HK) and Hong Kong-listed MMG Ltd (1208.HK), both linked to a Chinese state-owned enterprises, are considering offers for Glencore Xstrata’s Las Bambas mine, according to people close to the matter, less than three months after Beijing blessed Glencore’s $35 billion purchase of Xstrata.
POLITICS AND LAW
Fight Between Two Ministries Intensifies -Caijing The Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security (MOHRSS) and the National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC) are fighting to be the sole competent authority of the new integrated healthcare system, which will combine three programs that cover urban workers, urban residents, and the rural population. China’s health insurance system has been fragmented since its establishment, with medical insurance for urban workers and urban residents managed by the MOHRSS and coverage for the rural population managed by the NHFPC.
人民日报-官箴十条（作家论苑） 李建永 “Ten Admonitions for Officials”, from chinese history…second most read story in today’s online version of the People’s Daily // 谚云，不知为吏，视已成事。纵览古籍，从历史这面大镜子里，不仅可以照见历代王朝“其兴也勃焉”、“其亡也忽焉”的发展轨迹；同时亦可以看到几千年来，官对政治社会所发挥的建设性与破坏力、正能量与副作用之经验教训。《晏子春秋·内篇问上》云：“国有具官，然后其政可善。”谨从古籍中撷取十个句子，试述善政需具什么官。
郭树清当选山东省省长|郭树清|山东省|省长_新浪财经_新浪网 Guo Shuqing elected governor of Shandong province
Two contrasting stories on chengguan highlight China’s social conflict | Offbeat China Two stories that have been making waves on Weibo, China’s most dynamic microblog service, yesterday were both on chengguang. In one case, chengguan were the usual brutal abuser with no mercy. In the other, chengguan were the “victim.” No matter which side they stand, chengguan are at the front line of China’s mounting social conflict between the powerful and the powerless.
人民日报-围绕转变发展方式深化改革 郑新立 党的十八大报告提出，到2020年全面建成小康社会，实现国内生产总值和城乡居民人均收入比2010年翻一番。实现这样的目标，必须加快转变经济发展方式，实现产业升级和经济转型。而加快转变经济发展方式，需要改革来推动。具体来说，应从以下几个方面进一步深化改革。
“支持目录”或让位“负面清单” 高层酝酿改革行业管理思路_财经频道_一财网 目前负面清单试点还未列出，但这方面的想法和方向已经很明确。未来，不符合市场发展规律的部门和政策都会逐步进行调整和清理。
解密中央巡视组：组长选自离开一线高官_网易新闻中心 2013年5月以来，中央巡视组出现重要变化：巡视组组长由“职务”变为“任务”，组长不再是“铁帽子”，而将改为“一次一授权”。 除了工作重心，中央巡视组巡视工作被赋予新的工作手段：抽查领导干部报告的个人有关事项。 此前中央巡视组共设12个巡视组，其中6个地方组，4个企业金融组，2个中央国家机关巡视组。按照惯例，6个地方巡视组中，每个巡视组负责相对固定的省(市、区)，以便巡视组可以持续关注、深入了解被巡视地等的情况。巡视组对地方进行巡视的主要方式有：听取汇报、列席有关会议、个别谈话、召开座谈会、民主测评、查阅有关文件资料、受理群众信访和专题调研等。
安徽原副省长被调查 曾造假骗朱镕基后升迁|朱镕基|造假|安徽省_新浪新闻 detained for Anhui deputy governor Ni Fake enraged Zhu Rongji in 1998 when he faked a full granary in advance of a Zhu inspection..and yet, he was promoted repeatedly…// 1998年5月，时任国务总理的朱镕基前往南陵县视察该县落实国家粮食收购政策的情况。公开报道显示，为了应对朱镕基的视察，当地政府从外地调运1031吨粮食到总理将要视察的南陵县峨岭粮站，连驾驶员在内前后二百余人通宵大干了四天，“人造”出粮食满仓的景象。据当时的媒体公开报道，倪发科时任芜湖市委副书记，事发的前一天，他还领着一大帮人赶去验收粮仓，准备应对朱镕基的视察。造假揭穿后，朱镕基大怒。
How Would Facing Its Past Change China’s Future? | ChinaFile Orville Schell–Perhaps the great Chinese writer Lu Xun was wrong when in 1926, after a group of students were shot dead in front of the Tiananmen Gate, he wrote: “This is not the conclusion of an incident, but a new beginning. Lies written in ink, can never disguise truths written in blood. All blood debts must be repaid in kind: the longer the delay, the greater the interest” Maybe.
June 4 crackdown mastermind Chen Xitong dies | South China Morning Post Disgraced former Beijing mayor Chen Xitong – one of the main culprits blamed for the brutal crackdown on the 1989 pro-democracy movement in Tiananmen Square – has died at age 84, Hong Kong China News Agency (HKCNA) reported on Tuesday. HKCNA – a semi-official central government mouthpiece – quoted an unnamed source and said Chen had passed away. Two independent sources also confirmed Chen’s death to the South China Morning Post.
This is the song of Tiananmen: ‘Blindfold my eyes and cover the sky’ In a recent interview with Vice, Cui lamented that Chinese youth today listen mostly to Western music. “China has such huge history and culture, and then [Chinese people] just want to leave that alone and listen to the Western music or culture,” he said. Like the Tiananmen crackdown itself, Cui’s anthems are both remembered and forgotten, too significant to ignore but increasingly repressed by a government eager to move on and youth who have other, more present concerns.
China Travels Back Down the River – China Real Time Report – WSJ define long-term…25 years later and counting// It is worth noting that, back in 1988, “River Elegy” harbored no illusions about the long-term prospects for a Communism based on political dictatorship. While China’s leaders have made the current system work so far, it’s only a matter of time before the silt builds up to the point that the water begins to flow backwards.
Chinese Poultry Factory Was Considered a Model – NYTimes.com People familiar with the factory were cited by Chinese state news media on Tuesday as saying that safety measures were poor or nonexistent. The death toll rivaled some of the more horrendous accidents in China’s notoriously unsafe mining industry. Officials have avoided granting interviews, but some details began to emerge in official media reports on Tuesday of the conditions of the factory. A report by Xinhua, the state news agency, said that Changchun officials had concluded at a meeting that working conditions were too crowded, fire escape routes and procedures were poor, and inspections substandard. Much of the factory had been built from flammable materials, so “the risk of fire was very large,” Xinhua reported.
Relatives scuffle with police after China fire kills 120 | Reuters ”Many countries have the basic ability to avoid one-time disasters in which more than 100 people die … China has reached this point,” the Global Times, a widely read and influential tabloid, said in an editorial about the fire. “It is … a blow to China’s modernization and the latest proof that Chinese society is unable to balance development and safety risks.”
FOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS
Japan, U.S. to stage joint military exercise despite China’s protest – AJW by The Asahi Shimbun Japan and the United States will go ahead with a joint military exercise in California to simulate recapturing remote islands, despite protests from China, sources said. “Dawn Blitz,” a U.S. Navy and Marine Corps amphibious training exercise that will involve Japan’s Self-Defense Forces, is set for June 10-26. The exercise will be conducted at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton in San Diego and San Clemente Island.
US to replace EU to be China’s largest trade partner in 2013|Economy|chinadaily.com.cn The US is expected to replace the EU as China’s largest trade partner this year, as rampant trade protectionism in the EU has damaged bilateral trade, a government adviser told China Daily. “US trade with China may hit $450 billion in 2013, while EU trade with China will hover around $420 billion,” said Wei Jianguo, former vice-minister of commerce. He is now vice-chairman and secretary-general of the China Center for International Economic Exchanges, a high-level government think tank.
Summers’ Agenda for Obama-Xi Summit – Washington Wire – WSJ Larry Summers, the former U.S. Treasury secretary who is now back at Harvard, talked, among other things, about China at a Seib & Wessel breakfast Wednesday. He said three big economic issues ought to be on the table whenPresident Barack Obama and China’s Xi Jinping meet next week in California.
The Key to U.S.-China Relations: ‘See You Again Next Year’ – James McGregor – The Atlantic Why the meeting between Barack Obama and Xi Jinping this week in California will be a good thing — even if nothing is accomplished.
Xi’s Not Ready – By Michael Auslin | Foreign Policy an AEI scholar , a Japanese Area studies one // Focusing on results during future summits would communicate that Washington is serious about protecting its interests. While our diplomats certainly deal seriously with their Chinese counterparts, the tone set at the top of this administration (and previous ones) has been too accommodating, too willing to play what we think is the long-game of engagement, while ignoring the longer Chinese game of undermining U.S. influence in Asia and globally while avoiding commitment to solving disagreements between us. Unfortunately, this week’s “shirt-sleeves” summit will fail to produce a more meaningful U.S.-China relationship because it is driven by wishful thinking, and not by a ruthless desire to protect U.S. interests.
Opinion: Nurturing the U.S.-China relationship – John Frisbie – POLITICO.comThe opportunity is not guaranteed, however. The US-China Business Council, a private, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization of roughly 225 American companies that do business with China, has identified several priorities that require the attention of government leaders in both the U.S. and China. A statement released by its board of directors earlier this year encourages sustained engagement by government and business leaders that matches the size and scale of the U.S.-China relationship.
习近平会晤奥巴马将首次一起散步吃早饭|习近平|奥巴马|访美_新浪新闻 “阳光地带”总裁杰弗里·考恩(Geoffrey Cowan)此前也向当地媒体透露，从先遣部队的前期筹备工作来看，两国领导人的会面方式主要会是小范围的。“会面本身有意安排了那种他们可以展开对话的形式。”他将之形容为“挽起袖子的外交”，“整体是呈现出像小聚餐派对一样……没有人需要举手(发言)。”据悉，这也是奥巴马担当总统第五个年头以来第一次造访这一庄园，并将在这里首度过夜。葛来仪说，中国最高领导人上任后的首次访美中，这是第一次不伴随21响礼炮和国宴的国事访问。“这透露的信号是，会谈内容比形式更为重要。”她说。
Exclusive: China tried to convince N.Korea to give up nuclear tests -source | Reuters China told an envoy of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un that Pyongyang should stop conducting nuclear and missile tests, but the North showed little sign of heeding the request, said a source with knowledge of the talks held late last month.
Struggle for China Continues | The Weekly Standard The international community also tried to cajole China’s leaders toward reform with positive incentives. In 2001, the International Olympic Committee awarded the 2008 Summer Games to Beijing in return for China’s commitment to begin instituting political changes. The Olympics have come and gone but China’s promises remain unfulfilled. The same is true of Beijing’s assurance s that it would not harm the family of the blind dissident lawyer, Chen Guangcheng, after his migration to America last year. //IOC did Beijing a huge favor, led to a massive hardware and software upgrade of security infrastructure
人民日报-我国自行研发首艘无人测量艇诞生 China’s first self-developed unmanned surveillance vessel makes an appearance in today’s people’s daily
U.S. expected to extend waivers on Iran sanctions to India, China | Reuters U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is likely to renew waivers on Iran oil sanctions for India, China and several other countries as soon as Wednesday, in exchange for their reducing purchases of crude from the Islamic Republic, two government sources said. The 180-day exceptions to the oil sanctions would be the third round since President Barack Obama signed the bill in late 2011.
DoD Document Sheds First Clear Light On AirSea Battle: Warfare Unfettered « Breaking Defense Over a decade ago, Chinese military theorists started talking about “unrestricted warfare.” AirSea Battle is unrestricted warfare, American style. It’s central to a Pacific nightmare scenario with China, to reopening the Persian Gulf if it were blockaded by Iran, and to waging interservice budget battles in Washington..Yet unlike its acknowledged inspiration, the Army-Air Force concept of AirLand Battle against the Soviet Union, AirSea Battle remains more vague than vivid. Part of the problem is so much of it is classified, part is that the idea is still evolving, but some of the blame must fall on the Air Force and Navy, the concept’s chief proponents, who have never articulated it all that well in public – that is, until now:
Former military base opens doors|People|chinadaily.com.cn Wushitala township in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region is only able to thrive because it is next to the Malan military base.The township’s businesses, such as grocery stores, as well as fruit and vegetable markets, are hives of activity. They buzz with military personnel and curious tourists excited to be near the mysterious and legendary military base – which goes unmarked on maps – where China’s first nuclear and hydrogen bombs were tested. The base remains, but the testing center closed many years ago.
HONG KONG, MACAO AND TAIWAN
Heavy rain halts June 4 candlelight vigil | South China Morning Post The organiser of the candlelight vigil, the Hong Kong Alliance In Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements in China announced that there were about 150,000 people braving the heavy rain to join the annual memorial event. Police estimated the crowd at 54,000.
Rape suspect appears in HK court|Society|chinadaily.com.cn An Indian man suspected of raping a college student from Beijing in a guesthouse at Chungking Mansions in Hong Kong remains in custody after making his first appearance in a Hong Kong court on Tuesday. //long overdue for Chungking Mansions to be razed
TECH AND MEDIA
Goldman Sachs Joins Alibaba Loan Team as IPO Nears: Reuters -Caijing Goldman Sachs has joined Alibaba Group’s $8 billion loan team with $500million in financing as the Chinese e-commerce giant’s initial public offering is expected to come as early as the fourth quarter of this year, Reuters reported. Goldman has joined as mandated lead arranger and bookrunner on the loan, which has a June 7 deadline, Thomson Reuters publication Basis Point said Monday, citing an anonymous source. The $500million loan came two weeks after the bank doubled valuation for Alibaba to $70billion, roughly $2billion lower than the market value of Tencent, China’s leading Internet company.
Lei Jun Builds His Xiaomi Empire by Aping Apple and Steve Jobs – NYTimes.com Mr. Lei, listed by Forbes as one of China’s wealthiest entrepreneurs, worth $1.7 billion, has already helped create three multibillion-dollar start-ups in the last decade. Little wonder, then, that he comes across as confident, even a little cocky. “We’re not just some cheap Chinese company making a cheap phone,” he said. “We’re going to be a Fortune 500 company.” // hear latest round trying to value the company at $10B
SMIC forms joint venture to establish new wafer fab in Beijing Semiconductor Manufacturing International (SMIC) has announced that the company and its subsidiary SMIC Beijing have entered into a joint venture with Beijing Industrial Development Investment Management (BIDIMC) and Zhongguancun Development Group (ZDG) to build a wafer fab focused on 45nm and more advanced process technologies.
China’s migrants bring new habit home: online shopping | Video | Reuters.com China’s countryside represents the next frontier for the nation’s already thriving e-commerce industry, with more rural residents hooking up to the Internet to indulge in some retail therapy.
SOCIETY, ART, SPORTS, CULTURE AND HISTORY
An Unusual Theater Revival in China: American Play About Press Freedom – NYTimes.com As the play wrapped up its shows in Hangzhou, Suzhou and Tianjin and prepared to come to the capital, I had an exchange with its two producers, Susan Albert Loewenberg, producer director of L.A. Theatre Works, and Alison M. Friedman, founder of Ping Pong Productions and a longtime Beijing resident.
Taoist leaders focus on preserving values|Society|chinadaily.com.cn Taoist abbot Yuan Zhihong has a complicated attitude toward money: He knows his temple needs funds to make ends meet, but the commercialization of religious venues is affecting their sacred status. “At some public memorial ceremonies, people have paid more than 1 million yuan ($163,000) to light the first incense stick,” he said. “The religion has become too secular in many places.” The 58-year-old abbot at Beijing Dongyue Temple made the remarks at an eight-day seminar organized by the State Administration for Religious Affairs and attended by about 130 Taoists and religious officials, in Beijing’s suburban Changping district in mid-May. // Dongyue is a lovely temple near CBD
ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT AND HEALTH
China’s water quality “not optimistic”: report – Xinhua | English.news.cn The Yellow, Songhua, Liaohe and Huaihe rivers are all slightly polluted, according to a report issued by the Ministry of Environmental Protection. The report said that 25 percent of the 60 lakes and reservoirs monitored by the ministry have excessive amounts of algae. The quality of coastal waters in the Yellow and South China seas is good, while that of the Bohai and East China seas is poor, the report said. The report said seven of the country’s nine most important bays have bad water quality, particularly Bohai and Hangzhou bays and the Yangtze River and Pearl River estuaries.
China Debates Grid Reform – WSJ.com China’s state-controlled grid operator is proposing to invest roughly $100 billion on technology to transmit electricity over long distances—presenting President Xi Jinping’s administration with an important test of how it treats China’s biggest government-controlled companies. The infrastructure project, among the most expensive ever proposed in China, has stirred debate among energy experts. // Caijing had an excellent cover story on the state grid reform debates in March
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FOOD AND TRAVEL
Chinese farmers upset by rising rice imports – Xinhua Due to price advantages for rice imported from Pakistan, Thailand and Vietnam, rice from these countries currently holds a 40-percent share in Hubei’s rice market, said Jiang. His company was forced to halt half of the machines in its grain mill amid weak demand. On Hubei’s grain market, the price of Vietnamese rice averages 3.14 yuan (0.5 U.S. dollars) per kilogram, and rice from Pakistan sells for 3.4 yuan per kg on average. In comparison, local rice products are priced between 3.8 yuan and 4 yuan per kg on average.
北京交通委：端午节前两日道路拥堵将达7小时_新闻_腾讯网 Beijing traffic authority: expect long traffic jams in two days before the Duanwu festival // 京华时报讯（记者黄海蕾）昨天，记者从市交通委官方网站获悉，受端午节影响，6月8日、9日全天道路中度拥堵的时间将持续7小时，晚高峰时段将达到严重拥堵，非高峰期拥堵时间也较平时明显增加。此外，端午节高速路不免费，假期首日客流压力创高峰，但总体数量相对五一会减少两成。
Beijing Shopping Center Project Sits in Limbo – Economic Observe A senior executive at Guangyao Dongfang Group (光耀东方) has said the company is discussing acquiring the Guoson Center by the Dongzhimen subway stop in Beijing. But disputes remain over who actually has the right to sell it. The still undeveloped 600,000 square-meter Guoson Center shopping complex sits at the intersection of three subway lines, making it a very attractive property. An official from Dongcheng District in Beijing said reports that the center would be sold for 12 billion yuan aren’t reliable. “There are equity disputes between GuocoLand China (国浩中国) and APTECH (北大青鸟) over Guoson,” he said. “It’s meaningless to talk about a transfer under this situation. Every year there are many companies discussing acquisition of Guoson, but none of them have succeeded.”
北京官方手机打车软件月底推出 是否收费未知|打车软件|北京|官方_互联网_新浪科技_新浪网 Beijing to roll out an official taxi reservation app, may work with existing private apps, not clear if it will charge // 昨天，记者从市交通委获悉，继6月1日本市推出统一电召服务号码后，本月底，统一手机打车软件将面世。据介绍，该软件或将“嘀嘀打车”“摇摇招车”等软件纳入，市民使用该软件是否收费尚未确定，但绝不允许有加价行为存在。
Beijing to have more clean-energy taxis|Society|chinadaily.com.cn Beijing plans to increase the number of taxis that run on natural gas from the current 99 to 2,000 by the end of July in a trial project to promote the use of clean energy in public transportation. Beijing now has 2,000 vehicles powered by natural gas, and that number is expected to be 10,000 by 2013, which will include 2,000 taxis, 3,143 city buses, and vehicles for some driving schools, the Beijing Environmental Protection Bureau said.
JOBS AND EVENTS
The Explorers Club – Events – NYC – Film Screening – The Poseidon Project June 05, 2013 Time: 6:00 Reception, 7:00 Screening Location: NYC Headquarters, 46 E70th Street, New York, NY, 10021Subscribe to the Sinocism China Newsletter email. Free