The Sinocism China Newsletter 06.20.13

Just links today:

THE ESSENTIAL EIGHT

Chinese Govt Says Financial System Must Support Economy – Bloomberg The seven-day repurchase rate, a gauge of interbank funding availability, rose to the highest since at least 2006 today [12%]…“Beijing’s new approach is to focus on reform, rather than stimulus,” said Qu Hongbin, HSBC Holdings Plc’s Hong Kong-based chief China economist, who cut his estimate for expansion this year to 7.4 percent from 8.2 percent. “In the last three months, we have seen enough evidence that the current generation of leadership is really determined to push forward reform.” The State Council meeting yesterday discussed how the financial industry can support a restructuring of China’s economy, according to the statement. Chinese leaders have sought to reduce the nation’s reliance on investment and exports for economic growth.//M-2 Growth still way above 2013 target of 13%…Choices too constrained due to debt burden and credit growth, leadership biting the bullet before things get even worse? Trying to inflict pain as a lever to push against some of the entrenched special interests as they push for aggressive economic reforms at the Third Plenum? Li Keqiang, Zhang Gaoli, Zhou Xiaochuan and Wang Qishan not on the same page? One well known China financial system expert told me a couple of days ago he thinks “PBOC is on a suicide mission”…It does seem a strange time to try to give a lesson in moral hazard, given what appears to be the precarious nature of things…

Related: 人民日报-李克强主持召开国务院常务会议 研究部署金融支持经济结构调整和转型升级的政策措施 决定再取消和下放一批行政审批等事项

Related: PBOC Sacrifices Growth as Bank Curbs Invert Swaps – Bloomberg “The PBOC is doing the opposite of what the banks were hoping it would do,” said Ju Wang, a senior strategist at HSBC Holdings Plc in Hong Kong. “It is focusing on cleaning up the banks’ balance sheets and the financial system in spite of the liquidity squeeze.”…“We are going to have banking sector problems,” Charlene Chu, Fitch’s head of China financial institutions, said in a Bloomberg Television interview in Hong Kong yesterday. “Those can manifest either in a crisis or they can manifest in slow growth.”…“We are going to have banking sector problems,” Charlene Chu, Fitch’s head of China financial institutions, said in a Bloomberg Television interview in Hong Kong yesterday. “Those can manifest either in a crisis or they can manifest in slow growth.”

Related: China’s Big Four Banks Accelerate Lending in June-Caijing New loans extended by the so-called “Big Four” in the first nine days in June hit 216 billion yuan, exceeding the total of 208 billion for May last year, and well above last June’s 180 billion

Related: China cash crunch deepens as PBOC withholds funding – FT.com Signalling that the cash crunch could persist for a while, the China Securities Journal, a major state-run newspaper, ran a front-page commentary saying China was at a turning point in monetary policy. “We cannot use as fast money supply growth as in the past, or even faster, to promote economic growth,” the newspaper said. “This means that authorities must control the pace of money supply growth.”

China Manufacturing Contracts at Faster Pace as Slowdown Deepens – Bloomberg The preliminary reading of 48.3 for a Purchasing Managers’ Index released today by HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics compares with the 49.1 median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey of 15 economists. May’s final reading of 49.2 was the first below 50 since October, indicating contraction.

Related: 许小年:持续性衰退的冬天刚开始,但是春天来时,你要在(转)_但斌_新浪博客  notes from a recent, interesting talk on the state of the economy by Xu Xiaonian //  许小年杭州金融论坛演纪录、中国经济是一种结构性失衡带来的持续性衰退

Related: 国办多路摸底基层经济 或酿新政_财经频道_一财网 State Council has sent out 27 inspection teams to better understand local economic conditions // 6月上旬,国务院办公厅秘书二局派员在浙江义乌、温州等地进行经济运行情况调研。此次该局向各省市区派出27个调研组,温州只是其中一组。

WikiLeaks Says It Is Working to Negotiate Asylum in Iceland for Snowden – NYTimes.com “We are in touch with Mr. Snowden’s legal team and are in the process of brokering his asylum in Iceland,” Mr. Assange said in a conference call with reporters. He said both the legal and practical obstacles were under review by Mr. Snowden’s lawyers and supporters.

Related: Newspaper commentaries suggest Beijing wants Hong Kong to handle Snowden on its own | South China Morning Post The People’s Daily said “the Prism scandal was America’s trouble in the first place”, but some US politicians were trying to “create a new link between China and the scandal with their own imagination” by hinting that Snowden was a Chinese spy. It said such a link was “nonsense” and Beijing should ask the “big mouths” to shut up. “Pouring dirty water on China shows how American politicians are embarrassed and anxious,” it said.

Related: America cedes moral high ground on cyber spying – FT.com – David Pilling After the NSA leaks it will be more difficult for Washington to cast aspersions on China… “Our legitimacy and standing will be seriously compromised,” says Adam Segal, a cyber expert at the Council on Foreign Relations, of US preaching. “It is true that the Chinese are still doing it and we need to stand firm. But the politics is much more complicated now.”

Related: US eyes prosecution of foreign cyber thieves – FT.com been hearing for a few months that US is considering indicting some Chiense SOE heads for at least receiving stolen information…not sure Obama dares given the potential fallout from China, I assume that is something that was discussed in Sunnylands..wonder if DOJ already has sealed indictments prepared // Christopher Johnson, of the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, said “the Chinese were quite dismissive” of US warnings on cyber at the Palm Springs summit. “It’s unclear whether they fully grasped the implicit US warning that failure to make quick, demonstrable progress in the new cyber talks risks prompting the employment of the tougher elements in the US toolkit,” said Mr Johnson, a former senior China analyst for the Central Intelligence Agency.

China’s Xi harks back to Mao in party ‘cleanup’ – AP ”This campaign is necessary because the (Communist Party) as a ruling party has been struggling to deal with popular distrust — popular cynical, critical, even confrontational reaction to everything the party says or does,” said Ding Xueliang, a Chinese politics expert at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. He added, however, that the campaign is likely to achieve little in the long term as long as it remains a top-down effort in which the party is expected to police itself. “If they are re-using Mao Zedong-era slogans to deal with today’s problems, no matter how much resources are put into the campaign, the outcome will be very tiny,” he said.

Related: CPC campaign eyes cleaner official work styles – Xinhua  know someone who works in party committee of large bureaucracy, been pulling lots of late nights recently writing reports on the mass line education campaign to be distributed to all the groups under their org’s purview…at a minimum lots of time will be spent on study sessions // Liu Yunshan, head of a leading group formed by the CPC Central Committee to direct the campaign, made the remarks at a meeting held on Tuesday, the same day the year-long campaign was officially launched, according to an official statement issued on Wednesday. Bad work styles involving formalism, bureaucracy, hedonism and extravagance take different forms in different departments and localities, Liu said. “Each department or organization should act according to its own actual situation and strive to spot problems, analyze their causes and find specific solutions,” he said.// 人民日报-刘云山在党的群众路线教育实践活动工作会议上强调 认真贯彻落实习近平总书记重要讲话精神 确保党的群众路线教育实践活动取得实效

GM Says China Luxury Vehicle Demand Slower Than Expected – Bloomberg Sales of premium cars in China will probably increase about 4 percent this year, or about half the pace that the automaker had expected at the start of the year, Bob Socia, GM’s China head, said in a briefing in Shanghai today. The automaker has said it expects total industry sales to increase about 7 percent to 8 percent this year.

Related: GM to China’s wealthy: what you really want is a Caddy | beyondbrics Car market analysts point out that the luxury car slowdown that GM refers to it not comprehensive: some premium carmakers are still doing just fine. Sales of Audi – favourite drive of the Chinese bureaucracy – rose over 16 per cent last month year on year, and 14 per cent annually, so far this year. Now all GM has to do is persuade millions of Chinese who have grown up lusting after an Audi that what they really want is a Caddy.

Related: 部委官员大范围换红旗轿车 已有近1000辆交付_财经_凤凰网 Switch to Red Flags underway for government officials, beyond just Wang Yi. Audi and Mercedes worried? // 有消息说,一汽红旗在北京的库房里已备齐上千辆H7轿车,今后各部委的高级官员将逐步换上红旗H7轿车作为公车,不过具体更替的细节还待定。

Related: “王毅用红旗”传积极信号 政府采购支持自主品牌 新华社——经济参考网 外交部长王毅开始使用国产红旗轿车的消息发布后,引起了巨大反响,被汽车和政府采购界解读为公车采购转向支持自主品牌的积极信号。业界同时期待,为使支持自主品牌汽车发展的政策真正落实,应尽早出台更加明晰的政府采购政策措施。

China’s Xi tells Vietnam wants peace in South China Sea | Reuters Xi took a more conciliatory line during his meeting with President Truong Tan Sang in Beijing’s central Great Hall of the People, where Sang was given full military honors at his welcome ceremony. “China and Vietnam must both act in a spirit of responsibility towards history and their people, put the broader picture of Sino-Vietnam friendship and bilateral development first, make up their minds to … push for a political resolution to the South China Sea issue and prevent it from affecting ties,” Xi said, according to China’s Foreign Ministry.

Related: Talks establish fishery hotline|china daily Agricultural authorities from Beijing and Hanoi agreed on Wednesday to establish a fishery emergency hotline, as the leaders of the two countries vowed to prevent disputes from derailing ties. On his first official trip to China, Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang and President Xi Jinping also witnessed the signing of another nine agreements in areas including defense, economy and public diplomacy.

‘Mystifying’: Blind Chinese Activist Chen Guangcheng’s Former Adviser Speaks Out on Pressure Claims – China Real Time Report – WSJ Mattie J. Bekink, Mr. Chen’s former special adviser, said in a statement sent to The Wall Street Journal…His legal advocacy work was impressive and important for China. It was a great privilege to work with him and I look back at our time together fondly. I am very saddened to see him now distorting the facts about his time at NYU. It is for this reason that I wish to set the record straight.

Related: Corallo Media Strategies : Main Page Chen Guangcheng’s PR firm, founder did PR for ”Karl Rove, Scooter Libby, the USA PATRIOT Act and the war on terror”..sad to see Chen implode in America, sadly not surprised

Related: Chen misread Washington politics – OP-ED – Globaltimes.cn It is the fantasy about their own value that “abandoned” them. These dissidents who went overseas will realize that cooperation with China is what prevails. After being “consumed” in a one-off manner, they will turn out to be cumbersome assets of the West. Without a total transformation, they will face a dead end. And for the people around them, more guidance and less agitation will help them find the right path. // 环球时报评论:陈光诚需要主动跳出筹码的尴尬位置_资讯频道_凤凰网

Related: Academic Ties With China Face New Scrutiny in Dispute Over Dissident – Global – The Chronicle of Higher Education For James A. Millward, a history professor at Georgetown University whose work on the independence movement in China’s Xinjiang province resulted in his being temporarily denied entry to China, the worst outcome would be that American universities and scholars don’t engage with China. “The Chinese government is good at creating an environment that encourages self-censorship. Not everyone is an Ai Weiwei,” he said, referring to the outspoken Chinese artist and activist. Like the prominent and well-connected Mr. Ai, American universities have leverage, argued Mr. Millward, because they have a product that China wants. “We don’t need to self-censor. We are Ai Weiwei.”

How a Small Beijing Area Made Big Strides – Caixin The concept of participatory budgeting was introduced to China seven years ago. Some examples of the practice have been appearing recently, such as consultations for civil construction funds projects in the Maizidian Residential Area in Beijing’s east Chaoyang District. The example in Maizidian, a small district comprised of five communities, is significant for one very important reason: For the first time in China the government ceded to the public its authority to dispose of funds. At the end of 2012, the government of the Maizidian Residential Area, the very lowest level of the country’s administrative hierarchy, decided to set aside a portion of tax funds and allow residents to decide what social improvement projects to spend them on.

 

BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

CSRC Discusses IPO Reform with Market Players – Caixin The China Securities Regulatory Commission met with more than 300 securities underwriters, accountants and lawyers on June 18 to hear their opinions on a recently published draft policy for continuing the reform of the stock insurance mechanism. Participants at the meeting say a CSRC proposal to remove the last hurdle of initial public offerings was welcomed.

The yuan: The cheapest thing going is gone | The Economist After enduring a decade of criticism for its weakness, China’s currency now looks uncomfortably strong

Dalian Wanda Invests $1.6 Billion in Yachtmaker, London Property – Bloomberg Dalian Wanda Group, the closely held Chinese property developer, is spending 1 billion pounds ($1.6 billion) to buy a stake in a British yacht maker and invest in a London property as it expands in the luxury industry. Wanda, controlled by billionaire Wang Jianlin, agreed to buy a 92 percent stake in British yachtmaker Sunseeker International Ltd., whose vessels have featured in four James Bond movies, for 320 million pounds, it said in a statement today. It will also invest 700 million pounds in a London property that includes a five-star hotel.

A Rare Look Into How China Fudges its Numbers – China Real Time Report – WSJ The National Bureau of Statistics said that it pursued the Henglan case on a tip from a whistleblower. How widespread the problem is elsewhere in the country is anyone’s guess. And sure, this may have been going on for years with little real impact on economic decision making. But with China’s growth slowing for first time since becoming a major player in the global economy, artificially inflated figures threaten to further complicate efforts by companies and governments everywhere to gauge what that slowdown means for them.

Western groups wary of Chinese buyers | beyondbrics Outbound deals hit US$64.4bn last year, the second-highest total in more than a decade, according to Mergermarket. But China is so unpopular that Chinese investors often have to pay a premium of up to 20 per cent for their target. //I hear have to agree to bigger breakup fees and put the money in escrow, as have a reputation for not paying when they walk

Goldman Left Out of Smithfield Deal – WSJ.com Smithfield learned about Goldman’s investment in Shuanghui, held through an investment subsidiary of the bank, early in the talks that led to the deal with Shuanghui, and Smithfield was taken by surprise by the development, the people said. Smithfield kept Goldman as an adviser limited to shareholder activism.

Chinese Miners Suffer Hangover after Recent Binge Buying – Caixin Firms’ appetite for new purchases has dwindled after many ran into problems with overseas deals

Video – Growth in Chinese Home Prices Picks Up in May – WSJ.com Housing prices in China’s biggest cities rose 5.3% in May from a year earlier, the fastest increase in more than two years. Michael Klibaner of Jones Lang LaSalle tells the WSJ’s Wei Gu why government measures to cool the property market aren’t working.

地方政府态度冷淡 500城住房信息6月底联网遇阻 | 每经网 So much for hitting the target of getting real estate info in 500 cities online by end of June…// 按照住建部预设,今年6月底前将完成500个城市的住房信息联网,但如今6月份只剩下10天,这一目标恐难以实现。

北京“准地王”涨价复出 新华社——经济参考网 业内有分析指出,由于土地溢价率超过50%后须上报国土部,夏家胡同地块再度出让上调起始竞价,不排除是有意压低土地溢价率的可能。中原地产市场研究部总监张大伟分析认为,“按照北京一直来的惯例,本地块可能在20.4亿以上开始竞争保障房配套建设面积。也就是说,最后本地块的土地出让价格可能在20亿左右,也就是楼面价在3万左右”。

Chinese Investors Now Have Easier Way to Tap U.S. Property Market – China Real Time Report – WSJ Guangzhou-based GF Fund Management Co. is launching two funds—one denominated in dollars, the other in yuan—that will buy shares in the 120 real-estate investment trusts tracked by the MSCI U.S. REIT Index, which is seen as a proxy for the U.S. real-estate market. The funds will be launched on July 8 and offered to retail and institutional investors at banks and brokerages. The minimum investment is 1,000 yuan ($163)

银行外部风险防火墙升级 名单制严管担保、小贷_财经频道_一财网 《第一财经日报》获悉,银监会已于近日下发通知,要求银行重点关注小贷公司、典当行、担保机构、民间融资、非法集资五类主要外部风险源。 针对小贷公司和融资性担保机构,银监会特别要求银行对其实行名单制管理,由总行统一确定合作机构准入标准,开展资质信用评级并分级授信。 对此,有地方金融办人士表示,这对小贷和担保行业的发展将是沉重的一击。不过,亦有小贷业内人士称,银行建立起明确、完善的准入机制有利于小贷及担保行业的长远发展。

China Southern’s Lofty Ambitions – Economic Observe China Southern Airlines is the first carrier to maintain both Boeing 787 Dreamliners and Airbus 380 aircraft, which lead the industry in long distance efficiency. However, the airline doesn’t have the long-haul routes to use the planes efficiently. The A380s are hemorrhaging money, and some worry the Dreamliners will suffer the same fate.

Profits for China’s SOEs up 6.5% in first 5 months |Business News |chinadaily.com.cn China’s state-owned enterprises reported 884.1 billion yuan ($143.34 billion) in profits in the first five months of 2013, up 6.5 percent year-on-year, government data showed Wednesday. The growth rate marked a jump from the 5.3-percent profit gain in the first four months.

U.S. Icons Now Made of Chinese Steel – WSJ.com The reason is partly because Chinese-made steel is cheaper. In fact, U.S. steel companies argue its price is unfairly subsidized, and want the U.S. government to restrict imports as much as possible. China claims it is simply a more efficient producer. Also at play, however, is the relative scarcity of American contractors with expertise in specialized projects like bridges. Together, these two factors show why the U.S. is unlikely to completely swear off Chinese steel.

 

POLITICS AND LAW

雷政富当庭讲述不雅视频始末 称与赵红霞谈恋爱_资讯频道_凤凰网 Lei Zhengfu renounces his confession, says he and Zhao Hongxia were in love..perhaps she thought by kissing the ranine Lei (thanks Evan Osnos) he would turn into a prince? // 雷政富对之前承认的一些犯罪事实予以否认。他辩称与赵红霞是“恋爱关系”、“耍朋友”,因赵红霞想结婚,只是找肖烨帮其“摆平”赵。雷称其“之前向纪委交待的材料失真”,但检方举证予以驳斥。

中纪委:网传农民日报社长贪腐包情妇问题不实_网易新闻中心 中新网6月19日电 农民日报社主办的中国农业新闻网今日发布消息称,6月19日下午三点,中纪委驻农业部纪检组和农业部相关部门的负责人专程到农民日报社,通报了关于“网传农民日报社长唐园结贪腐问题”的核查情况和处理意见,称相关“微博反映唐园结4个方面的问题均缺乏事实依据,不能认定,对微博反映的问题作了结处理”。

国家档案局:副司长范悦因与纪英男同居被免_网易新闻中心 据新华社电 国家档案局机关纪委负责人19日表示,该局政策法规研究司原副司长范悦已因作风问题被免职,该局对于网络披露的范悦花巨款包养纪英男的情况正在进行调查,如发现范的资金来源涉及违法违纪问题,将依法依纪作出处理。

China executes official for child rapes after online uproar | Reuters Li Xingong, who was the party’s deputy head in Yongcheng city in Henan province, was found guilty of assaulting the girls during police interrogations starting from the second half of 2011, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

China completes Internet, phone monitoring scheme for Tibet | Reuters By the end of last year, all 2.76 million fixed line and mobile telephone users and 1.47 million internet users in the remote region had registered for services under their real identities, Xinhua news agency said. The scheme “is conducive to protecting citizens’ personal information and curbing the spread of detrimental information” the report quoted government official Nyima Doje as saying.

Old photos of Peng Liyuan disclosed – Xinhua | English.news.cn

胡耀邦之子:对习近平失望_中国_多维新闻网 讲话的最后还透露了一个包括很多红二代在内的校友会上发生的故事,思想争锋的两端为普世价值派和正统派官员。“普世派同志”指责官员为何不听取民意,一方面标榜坚定的共党信仰,一方面又将自己的家人全部送至海外;官员怒指“普世派同志”,“你的意思不就是要共产党下台吗?你还是不是共产党员?”陈子明在该微博中也披露,这里的“普世派同志”为红二代、招商局集团有限公司董事长兼招商银行董事长秦晓,他近年常有批判政府之语,而讲话中所指官员为中信原董事长孔丹。而孔丹、秦晓为“西纠”(文革开始时,1966年8月成立的首都红卫兵西城分队)的创建人,孔任西纠司令、秦任西纠宣传部长。

 

FOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS

China Says Middle East Conflict Too Complex for U.S. Alone – Bloomberg China’s new leadership is paying great attention to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Wu Sike, China’s special envoy for the Middle East, told the official Xinhua News Agency in comments reported yesterday. He spoke as China hosted United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, who is scheduled to meet President Xi Jinping today. “The Middle East problems are too complex to be solved single-handedly, including by a superpower like America taking the leading role,” Wu said. “It’s not that the U.S. doesn’t want to solve it, it’s that they can’t solve it.”

专访:中国采取积极态度推动巴以和平进程 – 新华时政 – 新华

SDF joins U.S. Marines in California amphibious assault exercise – AJW by The Asahi Shimbun Members of Japan’s Self-Defense Forces teamed with U.S. Marines in Southern California on June 17 for amphibious training partly aimed at sending a message to an increasingly aggressive China and beefing up the SDF’s emergency response capabilities. Dubbed “Dawn Blitz,” the joint drill involves a scenario in which U.S. and Japanese forces retake an airfield on an island after it becomes occupied by about 15 members of an invading force.

UN chief hails China’s peacekeepers | china daily China provides more peacekeepers to the United Nations than all four other permanent members (of the Security Council) combined. I applaud this solidarity.” Ban said he counted on China’s continued contribution to world peace, and discussed the issue when he met President Xi Jinping in the afternoon.

U.S. Human-Trafficking Report Criticizes China, Russia – Bloomberg The Obama administration has downgraded the ratings of China, Russia and Uzbekistan in an annual report on global efforts to combat modern slavery. The three-tier ranking puts Russia and China on a list of the world’s worst offenders, such as North Korea and Saudi Arabia, and below second-tier countries such as Rwanda, described in the report as a destination for “women and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking.” // does this trigger sanctions?

Mutual Assured Production | Foreign Affairs Tensions between China and Japan are rising, but an economic version of mutual deterrence is preserving the uneasy status quo. Put simply, China needs to buy Japanese products as much as Japan needs to sell them.–RICHARD KATZ is Editor of the semiweekly The Oriental Economist Alert and the monthly The Oriental Economist Report, both reports on Japan.

North Korea: Witness to Transformation | Is China Subsidizing the DPRK: The Pricing of North Korean Exports In any case, the main point is that in the relatively undifferentiated commodities for which we can find at least some world benchmark prices, it looks to us like business is business. Prices track world market prices, and if anything, China is exploiting its market power on both the export and import side.

NZ-China: Is integration becoming dependence?–Lowy Interpreter Two milestones occurred in New Zealand in the last two months with little fanfare, but with interesting implications. Firstly, in April, China overtook Australia as New Zealand’s largest export market. Then in May, New Zealand and the US held the largest and warmest partnership forum since the rupture of the ANZUS alliance in 1985. Speaking during the forum, former US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Randy Schriver called the US-NZ relationship ‘an alliance in all but name’. While both events, taken independently, have positive repercussions for New Zealand, taken together they reveal something else: that we have well and truly hitched our wagon to China for our economic prosperity and the US for our national security.

人民日报-智库发展大有空间潜力(名家笔谈) 傅 莹 Fu Ying in People’s Daily on the large potential for the development of Chinese think tanks // 中国智库应发挥好桥梁作用,让外界更好地了解中国人为什么这样思考和行为. 当今时代,智库驱动着国际思想跳动的脉搏。它是国家战略、政策的储备库,又是社会思潮的引领者;是培养教育人才的基地,还是国际交流对话的平台。可以说,智库构成了各国判断形势和决策的重要智力支撑。

How to Tweet in Mandarin – NYTimes.com Joe Nocera on a quick tour of China, meets with Hong Huang and Kaifu Lee, discovers Weibo and WeChat, quotes James Fallows// Lunch had run late, and by the time we got back to our hotel, Hung Huang was already in the lobby waiting for us. Blunt, opinionated and wickedly funny, Huang is one of the country’s top fashion editors. But she is better known for her acerbic posts on Weibo, a microblog, where she has 7.5 million followers. As we introduced ourselves — four journalists on a three-city tour of China — she passed around a picture that someone had texted her.

 

HONG KONG, MACAO AND TAIWAN

Banyan: Strange haven | The Economist To many Americans, and some Chinese too, it seems bizarre that someone fearful for his safety and freedom should flee America to take refuge in a part of China. But as he put it: “The people of Hong Kong have a long tradition of protesting in the streets, of making their views known.” Hong Kong is a unique part of China. Mr Snowden, the leading actor in a global drama, is now also part of a local subplot, about whether that uniqueness can be preserved.

Hong Kong’s pro-democracy activists rally around Snowden – CSMonitor.com Beijing is responsible for Hong Kong’s defense and foreign affairs, and Hong Kong’s extradition treaty with the United States contains such a proviso. But China seems unlikely to risk souring relations with Washington by simply blocking an extradition request point-blank. If Beijing wanted to cooperate with Washington, there is little it could do if Snowden challenged an extradition order, legal analysts say; legal procedures under Hong Kong’s common law, patterned after the British system, could take several years.

 

TECH AND MEDIA

余额宝动了谁的奶酪_财经频道_一财网 Alipay’s “Yu’E Bao” looks interesting and disruptive // “让屌丝们赚钱”是余额宝此次吸引用户的一大口号,支付宝一个余额宝的小方框,在一天内为天弘基金带来了5000万元申购。

余额宝信号:支付宝要成为“自金融”平台?-看点-虎嗅网 关于余额宝,现在已有的争论大凡分两类:一类认为“余额宝”是个厉害的金融创新,可能威胁到商业银行的利益(“余额宝”账户对商业银行活期账户的替代性);一类认为“余额宝”现在购买货币基金的尝试,与商业银行业务存在着本质的差别(“余额宝”账户与商业银行活期账户的差异性)。

Tencent-Led Funding Values Fab at Over $1 Billion – WSJ.com Two-year-old design website Fab is now worth more than $1 billion, thanks to an investment led in part by Chinese Internet conglomerate Tencent Holdings Ltd. China’s largest listed Internet company is contributing to a $150 million round of venture capital and will appoint a director to Fab’s board. The deal values the Manhattan-based company at about $1 billion, not including the new capital, a Fab spokeswoman said.

Kindle: hot in China | beyondbrics It’s not just Apple that can generate sales buzz in China for new devices. A couple of weeks on from Amazon’s Kindle launch in China, and the new e-reading devices are becoming hot properties. The company told beyondbrics in an email that the two Kindle tablets were sold out “almost immediately” and customers are leaving their contact information for the waiting list to be next in line for new stocks.

Chinese TV Spy Thriller Producer Fu Becomes a Billionaire – Bloomberg Huace accounted for 6 percent of China’s total production of 17,703 episodes of TV dramas last year, according to data from the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television. Its shows include “Memories in China,” a TV play about a feud between two families in the late Qing Dynasty, and “The Silent War,” a spy thriller, which featured Hong Kong actor Tony Leung and Chinese actress Zhou Xun.

Spying or No, China is Stuck With American Technology–TechInAsia Perhaps stuck for now. but motivation has grown to eventually be able to end reliance // In short, while China may spend the next few months ripping Cisco’s hardware out of its internet, the day China can say its tech industry doesn’t rely on international tech companies is still a very long way off. I’d be willing to bet that five years from now, most Chinese people will still be using Windows computers and Android phones. If this NSA scandal sparks a flurry of interest in domestic R&D, then perhaps a true Chinese alternative could be available somewhere further down the line. But China simply isn’t getting away from American technology anytime soon when almost all of its computers and mobile devices run American-made operating systems.

 

ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT AND HEALTH

Searching for Gold in Poison Land – Economic Observer Online – In-depth and Independent any good overseas-listed plays on this? // Decades of unrestrained industrialization has left much of China’s soil badly contaminated with various chemicals. Investors see a bright future for the soil remediation industry in capitalizing on the need to clean this up, but the industry remains very immature without clear standards.

Political advisors target soil pollution control – Xinhua | English.news.cn At the ongoing second meeting of the Standing Committee of the 12th Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) National Committee, Qian Guanlin, a senior national political advisor, said, “Soil pollution is covert, long-term and hard to rehabilitate… it threatens national grain safety, people’s health and social stability.” China’s soil environment has been an issue of concern, and its pollution of plowland is especially worrisome. Official figures show that about 150 million mu (10 million hectares) of plowland in China has been polluted, or 8.3 percent of the country’s total.

北京再入围十大空气污染城市 上月仅8天达标_网易新闻中心 Only 8 May Beijing days were not polluted

CNPC and Total affirm major Tajikistan potential–Interfax   China National Petroleum Corp. (CNPC) and France’s Total have sealed an agreement to farm in to acreage in Tajikistan owned by London-listed independent Tethys Petroleum, giving both majors a stake in oil and gas resources that may prove on par with recent world-class offshore discoveries in East Africa.

[视频]国家取消能源局8项审批职责_新闻频道_央视网 央视网消息(新闻联播):国家能源局“三定”方案今天公布,根据方案,明确取消能源局八项审批职责。其中包括:取消电力、煤炭、油气企业的发展建设规划和专项发展建设规划审批,取消电力市场份额核定,取消电力用户向发电企业直接购电试点审批,取消水电站大坝运行安全信息化验收和安全监测系统检查验收,取消发电厂整体安全性评价审批,取消电力二次系统安全防护规范和方案审批,取消电力安全生产标准化达标评级审批,取消电力行业信息系统安全保护、网络与信息安全应急预案审批。

Capital of Chinese Province With Worst Smog Restricts Car Sales – Bloomberg Shijiazhuang, the capital of steel-producing Hebei province surrounding Beijing, will restrict the number of new vehicles to 100,000 this year and limit households to owning two cars, according to a Shijiazhuang Daily report posted on the local government’s website today. That quota will be cut to 90,000 in 2015, with a lottery being used to determine who can buy cars, the report said.

China’s ‘Dr House’ resigns from post at public hospital | South China Morning Post The outspoken physician-turned-superstar microblogger has been sharing her life as a resident physician on her Sina Weibo account since 2011 and over the years, amassed more than two million followers.

 

BOOKS AND LITERATURE

Amazon: Enigma of China: An Inspector Chen Novel: Qiu Xiaolong just started this, weaving lots of current events into story// Zhou Keng—a trusted princeling, son of a major party member—was head of the Shanghai Housing Development Committee when a number of his corrupt practices were exposed on the internet.  Removed from his position and placed into extra-legal detention, Zhou apparently hanged himself while under guard.  While the Party is anxious to have Zhou’s death declared a suicide, and for the renowned Chief Inspector Chen to sign off on that conclusion, the sequence of events don’t quite add up. Now Chen will have to decide what to do – investigate the death as a possible homicide and risk angering unseen powerful people, or seek the justice that his position requires him to strive for.

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